5 SEO metrics I gotta have
Ian Lurie Nov 4 2010
I’m on #seochat tonight. I’m super-excited about it, so I’ve been scribbling notes for anticipated questions.
The topic, which I’ve actually talked about before, is SEO analytics. For me, there are five crucial SEO metrics. If you don’t have these, hang it up:
- Key phrase diversity. The number of unique phrases driving traffic to your site. Greater diversity means you’re probably doing better in the long tail, and that you’re less vulnerable to algorithm changes.
- Visitors from organic search. It’s nice to know my overall traffic from organic search, too. Hopefully this one’s a ‘duh’ for you.
- Visitors from non-branded organic search. This one’s subtly different from #2. Non-branded organic search are all visits from organic search, minus any brand names associated with you. So, if you’re Ford, you’d filter out ‘Ford’, ‘Mustang’, ‘Pinto’, etc..
- Visit quality. The data used for this metric could be average pageviews per visit from organic search, average time on site for visits from organic search, or even better, conversion rate from organic search. You could also use something like bounce rate for visitors from organic search. The idea? Figure out if you’re getting the right people to your site. If organic visit quality is really poor compared to your other channels, you need to rethink your strategy.
- Crawl quality indicators. This one’s a lot harder, but necessary. You need to find any pages on your site that aren’t getting crawled at all. You can do that by using GREP on your log files (my favorite method). You can also look for pages that get zero visits from organic search and try to use that as an indicator. If you have a log-based web analytics tool, then you can also check the ‘bots’ or ‘spiders’ report and see if any pages are left out.
Notice that I left out rankings and PageRank. Please don’t make me explain why here. If you need to know, post a comment and I’ll do that in another post.
Some of these ain’t easy to find, I know, but you have to try. Your boss/client/whatever will challenge SEO the same way Tea Partiers challenge global warming, so you’d better have data ready when they do.
If you want to learn more about these metrics, c’mon in to SEO chat tonight. You can follow along by using the #seochat hashtag on Twitter, or by going to the SEOChat Tweetchat room.
Related and mercenary impulses
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More