In part two of this blog series we continue to look at how to track and measure additional value from your SEO campaigns. (See part one here)
Measuring the value of your blog
Nowadays, we are creating lots of content which we might then host as linkable assets on our site.
This content serves its primary function which is to attract links; but if the content is truly valuable then it should also exist to engage with your target audience and may even factor in the customer buying cycle.
If hosting content on your site is central to your SEO campaign, then you might decide to measure the impact of the blog on website conversions. Using your blog as an asset means understanding its true worth and building upon this over time.
Google Analytics now allows us to segment by User. This means were able to track the percentage of converting users who have interacted with the blog.
Start in the All Visits report in Google Analytics.
Add a new segment to this report. Were only interested in Users who have visited any page on the blog before converting. Filter by –
Page contains [enter blog sub-folder here] AND Transactions/Goal Completions per user
Google Analytics will tell you the percentage of users who have interacted with your blog before converting.
Track this over time to understand how the value of your blog is changing and potentially impacting conversions.
Per session value
If readers of your blog have a propensity to convert, you could even look to assign a Per Session Value based on existing engagement stats.
Reporting on this monetary value over time – rather than the number of visits/sessions your content might receive – is more likely to help invested parties understand the true worth of blog content activities and the impact of this on revenue/goal value.
The Frequency & Recency report in Google Analytics is also a good way to track Visitor Loyalty over time. Generally we can assume the more loyal our readership, the better the quality of content we are hosting on the site.
Remember: the fundamental reason we often undervalue our efforts in SEO is by failing to track each of the ways in which site users engage with our brand and provide value to our website.
For help choosing the correct campaign KPIs, please read this post from Avinash Kaushik: You Are What You Measure, So Choose Your KPIs (Incentives) Wisely.
Analysing your additional value
Now that we understand all the different outcomes wed like from our users, we need to understand the different ways in which our SEO campaign helps with their acquisition.
Obviously we can track organic acquisition through the Organic Channel report in Google Analytics. Custom Reporting can help you perfect this by matching your chosen metrics against relevant dimensions –
Building high-quality links is a fundamental aspect of any SEO campaign. High quality links will drive referrals and this traffic will usually be highly-relevant and therefore likely to convert. Despite this, we often fail to report on referrals and the value they provide.
The difficulty in measuring this as a channel is in splitting our SEO link referrals from the natural referrals (which are generated by existing links and other sources such as Google Images).
Unfortunately there is no quick and easy way in which to achieve this separation, though there are two rather labour-intensive ways:
- Filtered Profile – create a brand new profile in Google Analytics, complete with filters which only include data from our referring URLs (links weve built).
- Advanced Segments – create an Advanced Segment which filters on our chosen Referral Paths.
Both of these options are labour-intensive but quick and easy to maintain once you have something in place. The second option is usually preferred as:
- It allows you to apply your segment to historical data.
- Its easy to compare your segment against existing data in the same profile.
We can then view the total value of our referral grouping over a fixed period –
If you are creating and hosting content on your clients site, you might also want to claim credit for all traffic and outcomes from these specific pages.
Link building efforts and influencer engagement will invariably lead to your website being shared via social media channels. This is notoriously difficult to measure.
However a simple Custom Report in Google Analytics allows us to view the social reach of any content we host on our site. Providing that weve set-up our goals & site events we can also attribute a value to these social visitors and tie them into our additional campaign value.
Calculating your total value
By totalling the different ways in which we provide value to a client; we are able to significantly increase the worth of any investment in SEO.
Hopefully your reports are now set-up to accurately report back on your campaign KPIs.
Consider which of these reporting summaries sounds as though the client is really getting their monies-worth –
“This month organic revenue rose by 32% YoY – from £21,542 to £28,457”
This was helped by two pieces of content we hosted on your site and 8 backlinks built during the month.
“This month top-level organic sales revenue rose by 32% YoY from £21,542 to £28,457“
Organic traffic also drove a significant number of smaller on-site conversions, including:
- 256 Email Newsletter Sign-Ups (£1.22 Goal Value)
- 646 Ad Clicks (£0.06 Goal Value)
- 15 User Registrations (£5.62 Goal Value)
- 2 Partner/Affiliate Sign-Ups (£26.78 Goal Value)
- 28 Social Shares (£0.22 Goal Value)
The total additional value from organic micro-conversions was £4,476.
We also hosted 2 pieces of content on your blog which garnered significant interest and improved brand visibility, including –
- 112 social shares from Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn
- 254 social referral sessions
- 3 email newsletter sign-ups
- 12 ad clicks
- £234 in goal value
- 254 social referral sessions
- 8 high quality backlinks
- Average Domain Authority of 56
- 435 referral sessions
- £149 in referral sales revenue
- £38 in ongoing value from micro-conversions
- The number of users who have interacted with your blog before converting rose 14% MoM, showcasing the additional value which your blog content is providing.
- Users are typically returning to the blog more frequently, with returning users up 21% MoM.
Historic backlinks built by Search Laboratory also generated significant value, with £1,023 in referral revenue and £2,606 driven via referral micro-conversions.
In total, organic traffic & activities from Search Laboratory generated £36,796 in revenue & goal value during this month – with wider benefits including increased brand engagement and new linkable assets.
SEO should no longer be measured simply by its impact on organic metrics and SERP positions.
The wider range of techniques and strategies used to practice sustainable SEO means we should be obsessing over the bigger picture and the full breadth of benefits our SEO services now provide.
Hopefully you found this of use and I would love to hear any case studies or feedback you might have – please comment or get in touch!