What makes a successful SEO campaign? How do you measure it?
This is best answered by first considering that SEO is a type of marketing. So how are marketing campaigns measured?
For a marketing campaign, measurement of success would usually be in terms of the number of sales, the volume of sales, the number of new purchasers, and the number of abandoned baskets or enquiries. Different campaigns would place a different priority on each of these elements.
So surely the same should be true for SEO for an eCommerce store such as a Magento shop. Success should be measured by the number of sales, the volume of sales, the number of new purchasers, and the number of abandoned baskets or enquiries. It should not be measured in terms of keyword rankings or other parameters such as inbound links, but directly on the actual sales data.
Within print or magazine advertising, readership data is used to influence where ads are placed, but the effectiveness is measured on sales generated, not numbers of printed magazines.
Attributing SEO work to sales
In a simple world, consumers would arrive just once at a website and either make a purchase or not. But in reality consumers may visit a website many times before purchase. For eCommerce SEO the most important task is first contact – getting the consumer to your Magento shop when first seriously searching for one of your products. It may be the consumer bookmarks the page and returns later as a direct visitor. For this reason the first interaction attribution model is best for eCommerce SEO.
Many business owners use Analytics to measure SEO success. But not all are aware of the very large differences in conversion data by attribution model, particularly for eCommerce. Analytics by default uses the last interaction attribution model which is well suited to PPC work, but less good for SEO work.
Example of how attribution impacts SEO results for Magento store.
For one particular Magento shop, the number of sales from organic search more than doubled after a couple of months SEO work but the actual data varies considerably according to attribution model used, by as much as 29%.
So in summary when measuring the success of an SEO campaign for a shop use sales data (not rankings or links) – but ensure you understand the details of the attribution model used.