10 SEO measurements every marketer should know

Posted on November 19, 2012 by Rob Petersen




Laurence Peter

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up someplace else,” said Laurence Peter. For any brand doing business on the internet, to get where you want to go, an understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is required. The reasons why are simple.

  • 80% of people who visit a website start by typing a keyword in the query box of a search engine
  • 46% click on the website in the first position on first page
  • 90% click on websites on the first page

(Source: SEOBook)

SEO is about measuring website and marketing effectiveness and, from the learning, making adjustments to attract more people like the ones you want.

What are the measurements that matter? Here are 10 SEO measurements every marketer should know.

1. Return on Investment (ROI): It’s the final word on the success of any marketing campaign. This is no different for search marketing, It’s an objective measure of performance based on the buying cycle for your brand (e.g. 30 days, 60 days, 90 days). A calculation from Klipfolio is: (Attributable Revenue – Campaign Investment) / (Campaign Investment) = ROI (over X time period) and an example: ($1.0 M Revenue – $0.5 M Invest) / ( $0.5 M Invest) = $0.5 M ROI over past 90 days.

2. Visitors from Search: Every website should install an analytic tool, like Google Analytics. In the Traffic Sources section, look for the percent of people who come to your website from search, referrals (e.g. social networks, other websites, email marketing) and direct. It’s displayed as a pie chart like the one below. For most websites, search comprises a large percentage so monitoring the number of visitors make sense.

Google Analytics - Traffic Sources

3. Number of Keywords Driving Traffic: What drove them to your site? A measure of a site’s effectiveness is the number of keywords drawing traffic. A site growing in content and popularity should draw traffic from more search queries. These keywords are also found in the Traffic Sources of Google Analytics. If you are publishing new content but the number of keywords drawing traffic is not increasing accordingly, you should examine the keywords.

4. Keyword Rank: 90% of consumers go to a website on the first page of their search query and 46% click on the website in the #1 position. It’s important to choose keywords where you achieve a high rank. Beyond the first page of results, your hopes for generating traffic drop significantly. Rank Checker is a good tool to consider for measuring keywords rank.

Keyword Rank

5. Keyword Search Volume: The keywords chosen require good search volume. A good tools to measure search volume is the Keyword Tool in Google Adwords. If a keyword has 30,000 or more searches a month, it is a major keyword so choose keywords based on the unmet need your brand fills and where you chances of a top rank are best. This is the principle of “Short vs. Long Tail Keywords.”

Short vs Long Tail Keywords

6. Keyword Value (CPC). Although you don’t buy keywords with an SEO campaign, it’s still good to know what people pay for them. This gives the value of keywords is measured on a CPC (Cost Per Click) basis. CPC’s can also be found with Google Adwords’ Keywords Tool. Keywords run a wide range but many fall in the range of $1.00 to $5.00 per click.

7. Number of website pages receiving at least one visit from search engines: Publishing fresh and high quality content is key to drawing more traffic from search engines. Why? The more content a site has, the greater is its relevant to consumers and the search engines, and the more search impressions and clicks it will get. If you are publishing new content you should see more and more pages on the site drawing traffic.

8. Number of pages “indexed” by search engines: Search engines look for fresh content so they can serve it up in search results. If they don’t index it, results won’t show it. The more fresh content you create, the more often search engines come back looking for more.

9. Links: Every link to your site is another vote in the site’s popularity and add to your recognition as an authority with the search engine value, highly. The more sites that link to you, the higher your rank. Keep on creating and sharing valuable content, and you raise your relevance, authority and rank.

10. Conversion: The #1 business requirement of your search campaign is to get customers to take the action you want. Every site has its goal(s), whether it’s a sale, signup, a particular page view, an inquiry form, or a video view. Whatever your goal is, track it. If you can attach a dollar amount to each completed goal, even better. With effective SEO work, the number of completed goals (and revenue, if applicable) should increase over time.

For those looking for in-depth “hands-on” training  in SEO,  Rutgers CMD is conducting MIni-MBA in Search Marketing and Web Analytics from December 10-14. I’ll be teaching with colleagues, Mike Moran and Tim Peter.

Do these 10 measurements help you see how SEO works to get your business where it need to go online?


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  1. 02 06 13 05:36

    Best 12 Free tools for SEO everyone should know

12 to “10 SEO measurements every marketer should know”

  1. Neil Patt says:

    Keyword research is without a doubt, the single most important factor of any SEO campaign.

  2. Rob Petersen says:

    Thanks for the comment Neil. I happen to agree with you. Rob

  3. It is interesting to see the statistic of 46% of clicks going to the first website on the first page of search results. That just shows you the benefits of ethical SEO.

  4. robpetersen says:

    @Webipromo SEO Thanks for the comments. I agree with your assessment about the finding ethical SEO. Appreciate the input. Rob

  5. robpetersen says:

    @Neil Patt Totally agree Neil. Thanks for the input. Rob

  6. 1800numbers says:

    interesting and informative post!.. it gives me insight on how the traffic is measure and effectiveness of your campaign.. thanks for sharing..

  7. robpetersen says:

    @1800numbers You’re very welcome. Glad it was helpful. Rob

  8. LeLong says:

    Such a great seo strategy tips. I really happy to read this post. It is very important post for me……..

  9. shrnknet says:

    I have recently been seeking for facts about this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve located so far , I learn something more difficult on unique blogs everyday . to read content from other writers and practice just a little something from them.

  10. Jeckyjen says:

    Excellent post! Yes, it’s correct that 10 SEO measurements every marketer should know. It’s really helpful for all of us. I know that thousands of the human being will choice this post. Many many congrats for your great sharing.

  11. SteveCook3 says:

    seo is a very deep deep subject you have to be aware of all the factors and the parameters of judging then only you can be ranked in the google

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