Manager – SEO Analytics
www.SapientNitro.com www.RyanMJones.com

SEO Performance Metrics
Ryan Jones | SMX East. October 1, 2012
Slides Online at www.RyanMJones.com



“ How do you measure your SEO
recommendations? ”
One of My Favorite Interview Questions

Note: If you want to hear more of my interview questions, We’re hiring a Sr. Manager in Chicago, Detroit or Toronto. Send me a resume.



Lots of People Say This:



Even More Say This:

Note: I took this from an actual e-book being sold online. If this is YOUR ebook, let’s talk.

These are NOT the Metrics You’re Looking For...
Pagerank – Alexa Rank – Hits – Rankings – MozRank – Number of Links – Any “Score”



So What IS the answer?
The best answer is to ask another question.


Goals Sales Leads KPIs / LFAs Awareness or Engagement

Not Goals Visits Video Views Rankings Facebook Likes, Twitter Followers

What’s Your Goal?

Sales? Conversions? Leads? Awareness? These are all valid goals depending upon your business.



“ Measure what makes sense, not simply

what’s measurable.”
- Use your goals to create actionable KPIs that measure success.
- Good KPIs should serve as reliable indicators and predictors of your goals. - Statistical modeling and correlation can help – but be careful.



Let’s look at an example….

“ I need search volumes on Macbook Air

And Macbook Pro.”
Sure Boss…
MBA gets 4 million searches/month MBP gets 9 million searches/month
Your Boss

We’re marketing a newsletter to Mac owners Well, you should use sales numbers then. Really? Yes! There’s more Macbook air owners than Pro owners

Reporting vs. Analytics.
Looking Deeper than Visits over Time



“Reporting shows what the number is. Analytics tell why and what we should do about it”
Act * tion * able adj \ˈak-sh(ə-)nə-bəl\ 1: Capable of being acted upon “What’s happening and what should I do about it?” - your boss or client.

Rule of Thumb: If it doesn’t contain words, insights, actions, or recommendations it’s NOT analytics.




Actionable Analysis: “It’s 4th and inches from the 36. Our RB is averaging 2.3 YPC and our kicker’s range is 42 yards.”

Down: 4 Ball Location : 36 yd line

Reporting vs. Actionable Analytics.
Referee Rhea Demonstrates the Difference.



Quantum Measurement: The Observer Effect

Correlation is NOT causation. Optimizing toward one variable MAY change your correlation. Example: YouTube Views Correlate To Sales.

You Can’t Have Half of a Funnel

If you don’t fill the top, nothing comes out at the bottom.

Bad things also happen if you plug the hole at the bottom.



That Same Funnel Can Be Used For Keywords

Head Keywords
UFAs – Upper Funnel Activities

Home Page
Category Pages

Sub Category Pages
Long Tail Keywords
LFAs – Lower Funnel Activities

Product pages



The SEO Process Revolves Around Analytics








Let’s Look At Some Examples
Tips & Tricks You Can Use Today

Apologize: we’re about to get all bulleted lists up in here



Looking at SEO Visits and LFAs.

Ideally, Visits & LFA trends should mirror each other. If they’re converging, build more high funnel terms. If they’re diverging, it may be a conversion rate issue.

“ Tip: Don’t just look at keywords, look at

upper and lower funnel actions.”
- Bucket Keywords into user intents
Keyword Bucket Cost Paid Rank SEO Rank Paid Visits SEO Visits Paid LFAs SEO LFAs

Navigational Blue Widgets Conquest

$1596 $396 $250

1 1 1 4

1 1 0 12

752 600 250 1004

986 250 0 12

125 481 42 816

400 49 0 3

Red Sprockets $860



Is That New Title Tag Working?
Paid Search measures click through rates. SEO can too!

Use Google’s Webmaster Tools for Impressions.
Calculate theoretical CTR, compare to actual When launching new titles, did your CTR go up too?
Position 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 % of Clicks 0.0% 36.4% 12.5% 9.5% 7.9% 6.1% 4.1% 3.8% 3.5% 3.0% 2.2% 2.6% 1.5%

Crazy Conspiracy Theory: Learn to Use WMT data now – if trends continue it may be all we’re left with!

• Get Impressions from GWT with PHP script at http://tiny.tw/9UI

Tips For Analytics Success
Analytics involves words, insights, and actions – not just numbers. If you can automate it, it’s reporting not analysis. Measure what matters, not what’s easily measurable.

Correlation doesn’t mean causation. Optimizing for one of the factors may even change that correlation
Develop your goals first, then choose metrics that effectively measure those goals There’s a forest behind the trees. Don’t forget to look at the big picture.



Thank You!
Manager – SEO Analytics

SapientNitro www.SapientNitro.com www.RyanMJones.com

Thank You!
* Download These Slides at www.RyanMJones.com