Granular – a buzzword – yes, perhaps. But it is a favorite word of mine nonetheless. Picture the pile of sawdust swept into the corner where a stack of 2×4’s have just been cut. Take each individual piece of that sawdust and spread it out on a table. Examine one piece at a time and identify characteristics that differentiate that one from the others. Repeat the process for all. Why would anyone ever want to do this? Well, they wouldn’t. It is about as exciting and productive as watching grass grow. But when it comes to traffic to your website and the measurement of your SEO efforts – you MUST demand this level of granularity out of your vendor. As a matter of fact, it should not be a demand, it should be part of the reports being supplied to you on a monthly — if not on a bi-weekly basis.
Case in point for a new customer recently: We incorporated a key term into our SEO ideation process for which they now rank #1 on Google and #4 on Bing. At the outset, they ranked #11 and #29 respectively. But what does that mean in terms of: a) gains in traffic, and b) lead generation? Here is the free secret to help you find out: You need to measure the total amount of traffic over a three month period before and a three month period after attaining this level of visibility. With this information in hand, you run the same comparison against traffic to the site limited to that term and across the same date ranges. With this data in hand, you can then define the EXACT percentage of additional traffic that this term has driven to the site, and what percentage of the broader gain that this percentage comprises.
With this process completed, you then look at the number of leads generated before and after the aforementioned point in time, and across the same date ranges. Why? Because if the increase in leads is not similar to the increase in traffic, then you may not be attracting the right visitors. You must repeat this process for all terms that you include at the outset of your project. THIS is the level of granularity that the true SEO must get to in order to ensure that the customer is getting the highest value on the terms that they are targeting. And it is not bad to re-route the ship. Some terms may simply prove less valuable than first thought. It is bad to waste customer dollars on terms that are either: a) proving not to drive much of a gain in traffic despite top 3 ranking on Google and Bing or b) are not driving an increase in leads.
At Core and More Technologies, this review process is standard for all of our customers.