As with any business endeavour
you will want to know how successful you are. There are a number of
ways to measure your search engine placement success and the first step
to gauging your performance is to understand what options are available
to you. Here is basic overview of the options available to you and how
they can benefit your online initiatives. You can try to do everything
“by hand,” but these applications will make your like much
easier so you can focus your efforts on growing your business.
Web Site Traffic Analysis –
You can check the effectiveness of your keyword placement and utilization
by using Web traffic analysis reports. You can use Web traffic analysis
reports to determine what sites are referring people to you and how
often the search engine spiders are visiting your Web site looking for
new content. You can strip down this information further to view only
search engine referrals. By looking at this information, you can also
see exactly what keywords people are using to find you and you can alter
the keywords used based on this information. Refining your keywords
is one of the key elements to success—you’re letting the
search engines tell you what you’re doing right and what you could
be doing better.
in the chapter we looked at how Web traffic analysis could contribute
to your master keywords list. Figure 1
how NetIQ’s WebTrends package (http://www.netiq.com/webtrends/default.asp
)can show you the keyword phrases the target market is using to locate a Web site.
Figure: 1 WebTrends reports the keywords used to locate a site.
The amount of targeted traffic and the return on investment
(ROI) achieved through your optimization efforts is the true measure
of success. How much business you generate online ultimately depends
on how well constructed your Web site is and how well targeted your
marketing campaigns are.
because you perform well in the search rankings does not mean the target
market will automatically do business with you. Once the target market
reaches your Web site it is up to your Web site to sell your business.
Like many popular Web traffic analysis and metrics packages, WebTrends
can show you sales data as it relates to particular search engines and
keywords, which can then be used to calculate your ROI.
again uses WebTrends as the sample tool to show the number
and value of sales that resulted in a referral from a search engine.
Figure 2: WebTrends tracks sales from
their point of origin.
look at entry pages and paths through your Web site. Since you have
optimized specific pages for specific keywords then people should be
entering your Web site on those pages. If the page is designed to the
needs of your target market it should push them deeper into the Web
site or to a point where a transaction takes place, which you can monitor
by looking at paths through your Web site and entry pages. For example,
say you created a Web page to address a particular special at a hotel
with a goal of having the target market fill out a reservation request
form. If the specials page is performing well in the engines, but people
are only staying on the page a few seconds then leaving the Web site
then you know it is the page itself that is not performing. Odds are
the copy and imagery do not make the right appeal to the target market,
so you can tweak it. The page may not require a complete redesign –
it could be that the call to action to fill out the reservation form
is not obvious, so make minor changes and monitor performance.
are several popular Web traffic reporting packages for you to consider:
Engine Rankings –
You can check the performance of your Web site for a particular keyword
phrase by hand or through the use of an application such as WebPosition
Gold (http://www.webposition.com/). If you are checking your results
by hand then you simply need to go to the search engine you’re
interested in, enter your keyword phrases, and observe where you Web
site ranks. You could hire someone to do this for you as well. Using
an application to check your rankings allows you to check more rankings
faster by automating the process. Search engines tend to frown on this
because of the added stress it puts on their system when you have many
people using these automated packages to run many searches. Figure
3 shows a sample report from the WebPosition Gold software
that summarizes search rankings for a series of keywords.
3: WebPosition Concise Report sample.
Inclusion Accounts –
Many search engines that have paid inclusion features, such as the Lycos
InSite submission program gives the customer means of tracking some
search information. This includes basic information such as the keywords
searched for and the number of referrals the search engine sent through
to the destination Web site. See Figure 4 for an example report from
the Lycos InSite program.
4: The Lycos InSite program offers basic tracking information.
(PPC) Accounts –
At the heart of all pay-to-play campaigns is the tracking functionality.
You are paying for each and every click so it is important to know which
search terms are working and which are not. One of the most well known
pay-to-play providers is Overture. When you sign-up with Overture you
can track all aspects of your campaign, including conversion rates,
click-throughs, and revenue generated. Figure 5 illustrates
Overture’s Marketing Console where you can monitor and adjust
your marketing campaigns.
Figure 5: Overture’s Marketing Console help your monitor your
Search engines are one of
the most important traffic generators for any Web site, and as such
you will want to rank as well as possible in the top search engines.
That said, not only will you want to rank well, you will want your listings
and paid campaigns to convert well and drive sales. It is critical that
you monitor all aspects of your search engine placement campaigns from
rankings to results.
In a future newsletter I
will look more into the topic of Web Traffic Analysis and Metrics to
discuss the types of measurements you should be evaluating.
A look into the world of search engine optimization and
A wrap-up of this series with a search engine marketing resources
guide. In upcoming newsletters we will review “Pay to Play”
search marketing and the development of targeted landing pages for all
your online advertising initiatives.
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 1
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 2
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 3
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 4
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 5
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 6
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 7
Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 8
Visit my Web site at http://www.susansweeney.com