Reading The Analytics

Once you get your search engine optimization (SEO) up and running its time to turn to the analytics. The analytics give us the data that tells us how our customers are interacting with the website. Are they staying a while, visiting multiple pages and performing research? At first thought this may seem like a great thing. But if the goal of the SEO was to generate phone calls to your business for your service and you have visitors but they never call then the SEO missed its objective.

However, if the goal is to educate the consumer and move them through the buying funnel from awareness to purchase then you might be on the right track. It’s important to determine exactly what you would determine as successful. What do we want the customer to do?  This is known as a key performance indicator or KPI.

If you have correctly defined your KPI’s then you can read the analytics and determine if you are meeting the goal. One of the biggest mistakes I see from do-it-yourself or newbie SEO peeps is that they get caught up in reading website analytics based on what they have read on the internet or seen in a video. They begin measuring standard website performance like bounce rate, page sessions, click through etc. without any regard for a KPI. Just having a website that performs well based on standard metrics will not pay the bills. The bank will not accept your Google Analytics (GA) monthly summary for deposit.

Here is an example to demonstrate what I’m talking about. If you have a home service business for example your KPI’s should be much different. Your goal should be to book appointments either online through a web form or by the customer calling your business. If phone calls are the goal then a customer that lands on your site, immediately dials the number to book the service and then clicks off the site then this would be a score. But traditional web analytics data would show that this session was not effective. Your time on page would be very small maybe even counted as a bounce. Your click through would also be null. But this customer called and booked the service. This is why defining your KPI’s are so important. Also, it helps to identify what we need to do to measure the KPI. For example, let’s hypothetically say GA will not measure phone calls, then you would need to implement a call tracking number on the website to make sure you can measure the KPI.

The analytics provide an exceptional amount of data that you can spend hours each week analyzing. You can even get so caught up in the analytics that you lose sight of the forest for all the trees you’re looking at. Just because it can be measured does not mean it should be a KPI. Your business goals should determine your KPI’s. Once you have determined your KPI’s then come up with a plan to measure them. Just using analytics for analytics sake can waste a tremendous amount of time and lead you to chase insignificant goals.