Measuring success in SEO and Social Media by determining ROI, Analytics, Metrics up front 11

When you are working at an organization that doesn’t have the right analytics, its painful. This also goes for working with clients that don’t have the money to buy an analytics package like Omniture or WebTrends. I’ve been through this on both sides of the organizational and the client side as well. (A couple times it was even my fault! Ooops, my bad! :P ). It is important to understand that not providing metrics and/or reporting or being able to measure certain aspects of your job and/or client work is going to have a negative effect on your overall performance.

Before starting any project you’re going to be working, whether it’s on the In-House or Client side of things, you need to know goals. The most important thing that you can do for yourself and for your “client” is going to be figuring out the goals of any project you are working on. Is it ranking for a certain number of keywords? working on Brand or Reputation Management type things, or increasing traffic by a certain percentage?

Once you have determined those goals, start by figuring out what types of analytics and metrics you will need to measure to be successful in your campaigns. Here is a list of the items necessary.

Analytics:
There is absolutely no excuse now at days for not having any sort of analytics packages to use. There are free solutions like Google Analytics that has everything all the way through Advanced Segmentation, etc. to Omniture with tons of click funnel reporting and more.

Important Metrics:
Now that you have analytics setup, you need to define the common metrics that you will be reporting on. If you’re goal is to drive traffic to a specific part of the site, then you should have a saved query or report that you can click on and get to quickly to perform that task.

Also, define other important metrics or metrics that you find valuable to the current role/climit
- Time spent on site (per LP)
- Click thru Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Keyword by Landing PAge
- etc.

Dashboards:
If possible, you should setup dashboards that give you an overview of the quick and dirty statistics that you need for the week/month/year. If these are also a click away or triggered by email, then you are golden. This is really not a “crucial” element, but a nice to have.

Subscriptions:
RSS and Email subscription can be important numbers that you are looking at, especially if one of your many goals is to increase engagement. Feedburner does a good job of tracking RSS subscriptions and you can use other web services or email providers to track email subscription.

Social, Brand, and Reputation Monitoring:
If you are doing any Social Media or Brand Marketing and/or Reputation Management type work, you are going to want to setup the right type of alerts to monitor the brand and or key terms around your brand. Three tools that I use consistently are Google Alerts, TweetBeep, and Trackur.

Trending Metrics:
When doing any news related work you are going to want to monitor and measure the trends in the industry. You can do this by monitoring and reporting on Google Insights data for high trafficked terms around a particular event, date, etc. Also, if you are doing something that is going to “create buzz” or a “trending topic” then you are going to want to monitor that carefuly and report on this by showing the ability to create something that went “hot.”

Reporting:
You and your client or group have definied success metrics as I mentioned above at this point. Also, you should have great metrics and dashboards that measure that data. Now that you have all of that, use it to your advantage by creating reports using charts and graphs that show off the progress and/or lack of progress.

Create a reporting template and provide analysis:
You should start by creating a template for tracking this data and provide some sort of analysis. Sometimes having the data/charts in Excel and only rolling the charts into a powerpoint are a great way to provide analysis and value to just a chart, graph, or list of numbers in a table.

I’ve learned had tons of experience of looking like an idiot or losing income by not having the appropriate metrics and reporting in place for clients and internally at a company. But, I can tell you that there are also organizations out there that flat out don’t have this in place or won’t be able to put this into place, and, well, you’ll just have to deal with it. But, when that situation arises, make sure that you are upfront and straight forward about that and the situation it will cause. If you have done that, it will usually ready the client for the type of things that you will use to measure success.

11 thoughts on “Measuring success in SEO and Social Media by determining ROI, Analytics, Metrics up front

  1. Reply Adrian Eden Feb 4, 2009 7:50 pm

    Make a video of this information, time is very valuable and it takes a long time to read all of this. There are so many articles and Blogs out there about this same subject, make a video and stand out from the crowd online. Mobile/Online Video is the way of the future.

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  3. Reply FREE seo tools Feb 4, 2009 9:03 pm

    I like what you are talking saying and it doesn’t take much conversion increase to easily double your profits. The ROI calculator at http://eziseo.com can work out your websites potential conversion

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  6. Reply Winooski Feb 5, 2009 10:19 am

    “Make a video of this information, time is very valuable and it takes a long time to read all of this.”

    With all due respect to Mr. Eden, it takes much *less* time to assess the value of written information –which you can skim easily– than it does to watch the video of the identical information (unless you have a reading disability such as dyslexia).

    Video has many virtues, but, in terms being both easy to skim and fundamental to thinking and reason, the written word is the essential medium.

  7. Reply Fort Mill SEO Feb 7, 2009 6:47 pm

    Thanks for the blog post. It’s tough to show a client how well you did if you don’t have the Analytics numbers to back it up. A few years ago we could get away with it, but not anymore. Again… nice post.

    Thanks!

    Eric Fransen, President
    Klik Marketing

  8. Reply WebHoster Feb 25, 2009 8:29 am

    Hi there !
    Nice vision of things. SEO it`s in a continuous change and re definition. For a web-designer , or web-developer it`s vital nowdays to know the basics and principles of SEO . Best Regards , Albert .

  9. Reply Dana Lookadoo May 7, 2009 8:45 am

    Tony, this summary is so very helpful and clearly defined

    In reviewing notes from your presentation at IMSB, I referred to your site and found this gem again. Will you be going into more depth on this subject at SMX Advanced?

    I’m reworking my template for tracking such metrics related to SEO & Social Media and am chomping at the bit to see an example of how others track. :-)

  10. Reply plexasys Jan 11, 2010 9:34 am

    Tony, this summary is so very helpful and clearly defined

    In reviewing notes from your presentation at IMSB, I referred to your site and found this gem again. Will you be going into more depth on this subject at SMX Advanced?

    I'm reworking my template for tracking such metrics related to SEO & Social Media and am chomping at the bit to see an example of how others trac

  11. Reply Chris Mar 10, 2011 2:43 pm

    Tony

    This is a great summary and definitely something I will be looking into. I need to spend some time looking at my Analytics so this is just the motivation I needed!

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