SEO Benchmarking

How Best to Target SEO Performance

A while ago I spoke to someone about SEO and they said they were willing to pay someone to “increase the share of traffic from natural search”. Fair enough, I’m sure there are plenty of people who would do the same. The problem is how to measure this in order that it will improve business performance. Doing a simple “if you increase my % visitors from natural search engine traffic to 25%, I’ll give you xxxxx” gives the following potential problems :

  • Bit extreme I know, but it could cause divisions in the commercial team. Lets say the SEO responsible gets so target driven that they think the easiest way to increase the natural search share of total traffic is if newsletter and type in traffic falls!
  • Natural search engine traffic increases but the traffic quality is reduced. An example would be getting traffic related to “xxxx complaints” where for most affiliates anyway the focus should be more like e.g. “Buy xxxx” or in the case of travel “Book xxxx”
  • Traffic comes from a country that won’t convert because the focus on Geo-targetting has been dropped in favour of a mad dash for traffic.

The solution then is perhaps to :

  • Sell everyone in the organisation the benefits of good SEO and give them some pointers on how to improve.
  • Target specific positions in major search engines for key, converting keyword phrases. For physical products you will be looking for “xxxproduct delivered”, “xxxxproduct best price” depending on where the strength of the site is. For travel you might be looking for “Book xxxx hotel” or even with specific travel dates “Four Seasons Paphos from Glasgow 30th July”. 100% affiliates will be looking for phrases at the end of the buying process but anyone building a brand can be forgiven for getting traffic at the earlier stages of the buying cycle.
  • Target the traffic to specific pages which will convert in one way or another (email / twitter recruitment or a sale).

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