The Basics of SEO and SEM
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) simply means gearing your website for good results in search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and so on.
Part Two: Search Engine Marketing is the paid component (e.g. Google Adwords or Facebook ads).
It is easy to become immobilised by the volume and complexity of information about these subject matters. Don’t be. What is important is how you can use data analytics to achieve real results for your business.
This is what we suggest is important.
Bounce Rate is the number of people who click onto your website and immediately click off. This can because they were expecting something else or they were not engaging when they arrived.
Visits and Unique Visitors
The number of times your site has been accessed is a ‘visit’. Unique visitors are the number of individual people (IP addresses) who have visited.
Visitors can come from various sources.
Organic Traffic whereby a user has entered keywords into a search engine and your website has appeared in the rankings and then been accessed. This is a good thing.
As a ballpark figure, we might aim to have as much as 50% of traffic to our site find us this way. The trick here is to have lots of keyword rich content and different forms of media (e.g. video, text posts, images, slides, audio, etc).
Direct Traffic means a user has typed your web address directly into their browser or has clicked on a web link in an email or other document.
Referral Traffic means there has been a link on another website that has brought the visitor to you.
Indexed Pages are the pages that have had at least one visit from an organic search.
It’s a good idea to regularly test and review how your keywords are performing. This is as simple as typing the popular expressions into search engines and seeing how well your page ranks.
To help, Google Adwords Keyword Tool can give you scores on multiple terms you want to review. This is worth doing as you may be surprised at the types of expressions people use for things. For example “real estate” may not be as popular as “houses for sale”.
These are also known as backlinks and are links to your site from other websites. In terms of SEO, the more the merrier, but quality is really important. If linking websites are not deemed relevant, it can be detrimental. As not all links are authoritative, the objective should be to increase the quality of site recommendations. Relevance to your business area should always be considered.
Conversions / Goals
This is where we see what is working or not working. Remember, our website is the nexus of our business and it has work to do. Ultimately, that work involves getting not just visitors but turning those visitors into enquiry makers (leads) and then customers.
A conversion is simply when a visitor completes some kind of action e.g. completes a form, clicks on an email link, phones you, or places an order.
If you are selling a high involvement product (e.g. an insurance policy or property investment), it may be unrealistic to expect people to buy straight away.
In this context, a successful ‘conversion’ might be to simply generate a lead. A separate ratio can then be established as to the number of leads that are given another level of contact and care who result in customers. With this analysis, we can see where our sales funnel is strong and where it is weak. Small changes of one component at a time can help isolate and eliminate leaky parts of the pipe.
What goals do you use for your business? How do you encourage traffic, and then enquiries, and then sales?