Why do we normally do SEO? The answer is usually simple: to increase sales!
Your website is selling something all of the time. Here are a few examples:
> Attention – grabbing customers’ attention and keeping them on the website for advertising purposes.
> Leads – driving people to opt-in to marketing offers in order to collect their information, such as their email addresses, so you can market your products to them at a later date.
> Products – getting people to add something to their cart.
> Actual sales – getting them to part with their money and giving them some amazing value in return.
> Maximize sales – new customers, upsells, order bumps, etc.
To support whatever it is you’re selling, your SEO needs to help improve, and ultimately maximize all of the above examples.
What are KPIs? And Why Are They Important?
We must have data to track items that are important to you and/or your client’s sales funnels. And we call these items Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Each KPI you create must aim to match the major steps in your sales funnel, from the top to the bottom ideally.
And through analyzing this KPI data you can examine the steps in your sales funnel to identify potential blocks and/or what steps can be improved.
Obviously, this data isn’t just a snapshot; KPIs should be reviewed and reported over the course of months in order to understand the trends in the business. In fact, you’ll want to adjust for seasonal factors and also – don’t forget about adjusting for COVID.
And it’s best that you work these KPIs into good and easy-to-understand SEO reporting. This is required not only for small businesses to do themselves but also for agencies to be able to give to their clients.
SEO Reporting is Critical, But Why?
Because you can’t improve what you don’t inspect.
And you’ve got to be looking at the right things!
These right things are the business KPIs, and will normally require data from not only standard analytics but from other tools that provide you data that is integrated into various aspects of your sales funnel.
Unfortunately, most SEOs produce fancy charts and numbers that, while important, often don’t get to the root of the client’s issue, and can lead to bad choices on where to spend energy and time.
For example, bounce rate is not always important for every client.
I’ll give you an example – let’s say you’re an emergency plumber. What you want is for a customer to find your phone number quickly when they reach your website and call you instantly. If someone has an emergency, they’re likely not going to spend a long time on your website! In this scenario, a large bounce rate isn’t reflective of the ability of the website to drive a lead.
And configuring SEO reports for most tools is not child’s play for a small business. So for this to really work, to benefit you and your client the most, you need to do a couple of things at a minimum:
(1) Know the business well enough to include the most relevant information on the sales funnel within the report.
(2) And have a customizable report builder that enables you to quickly and easily create SEO reports.
As an example, let’s say you manage an e-commerce site. Your KPIs might include the following for the TOP of a sales funnel:
(1) Organic search results
(2) New users
(3) Top performing pages
Your KPIs might include the following for the MIDDLE of a sales funnel:
(1) New leads
(2) Opt-in form conversion rate
Your KPIs might include the following for the BOTTOM of a sales funnel:
(1) Organic sales
(2) Overall sales
If you’re using quality tools you’ll want to include KPIs that represent those stages in your sales funnel at the beginning of your report (a.k.a. an executive summary).
You’ll also want to compare these over time too, so you can make appropriate decisions and identify underperformers so you know which areas to drill down on for fixing and/or improving.
One of the best tools we’ve come across is the Hike report builder tool, which provides the customization you want in an easy-to-use way.
Hike’s reporting tool is incredibly powerful; you can not only customize it to include what you want, as mentioned above, you can also customize the look and feel, and include various widgets so that you can make good business decisions.
(Want to see Hike’s Report Builder in action? Check out this 2-minute video.)
For example, you can include data from your own spreadsheets, which is perfect for KPI reporting and examination over time. And thus you can include it all in one, easy-to-use, convenient place!
This gives you, or your clients, the data you need, no matter where the source originates. And that’s vitally important to make good business decisions!
Now, as an SEO, you can become more of a partner and build that great relationship with your client, really helping them. And as a small business owner, you’ve now got the tools to show you what’s really going on.
This post was created by Dave Braun, CEO at Pro Website Creators. A bit about Dave: he loves to work with clients to help their websites be the hub of their marketing wheel! He’s invested years learning the technical aspects of WordPress web design as well as writing copy to help make clients’ messages clear and not confusing.