Originally published in Daily Memphian
If there’s one takeaway from 2018, it’s that the internet is changing. Search engines have more content than ever before to sort through, and they’re increasingly expected to provide the best results. Transparency has been taken to a new level as privacy protection laws and website accessibility lawsuits increase. A website’s online reputation is now factored into search rankings as Google continues to prioritize expertise and industry knowledge.
Simple search engine optimization (SEO) techniques are falling to the wayside as optimization efforts now have to consider a larger picture like the type of reputation tied to your brand’s digital footprint and what expertise you lend to your website that similar websites don’t.
Fortunately, website metrics remain a steadfast solution to understanding how your website is performing in these turbulent waters. In particular, there are three simple metrics that are largely beneficial to understanding if your site is showcasing its expertise with an appropriate content strategy.
Keyword rankings. Your position ranking for targeted keywords is an assessment of how well your site will perform on a search engine such as Bing or Google. Aim for position No. 1, or as close to it as possible, as lower positions equate to a higher position with the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Lower your score, and improve your ranking, by focusing on the keywords your target audience is most likely to use, but also those that best represent your brand and services.
Bounce rate. Understand the percentage of people that find your site and then immediately leave. A healthy bounce rate is generally accepted to be between 30-40 percent, though the average varies slightly by industry. The bounce rate is one of many detectors available to understand how your keyword strategy is aligned with your brand and content. For example, if you have a high bounce rate, it’s likely your current traffic is not part of your target audience and is therefore unwanted.
Conversion rates by source. Are your conversions coming from organic search, referral backlinks or social-media links? This metric helps you understand where your time is best spent, or alternatively which sources need more strategy and attention to provide a healthy ROI. For example, if your lowest conversion rate comes from organic traffic, you’ve got some work to do to understand how organic traffic finds and uses your website.
With just these three simple metrics, you’ll have a quick understanding of your positioning within search engines, how likely visitors are to leave or stay on your website, and which channels offer you the highest conversions. Unlock each metric’s full potential by combining these data sets together to create an effective strategy for refining your website’s content and keyword targeting to outperform the competition.
Cameron Elliott, Digital Marketing Strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at redrovercompany.com.