For both in-house and agencies, what are the most important KPIs in your reporting?
@shuey03: I wrote this post about SEO KPIs about a month ago: http://t.co/x8ndz35H. There are some analytics kpis in there and other kpis to judge the success of an seo campaign. Our rankings reports will vary based on the type of campaign we are running. Our analytics reports will also vary (get more detailed) depending on the stage our clients are in.
@bloomreachinc: Revenue attributed directly to SEO.
@thompsonpaul: Big challenge still getting clients away from old interruption metrics – reach & frequency. Away from the tired (thanks @tommy_landry!) stuff like # of visits, # of fans etc. Trying to move them to interaction metrics like conversions. Most of my clients are lead gen in the broadest sense.
@LorinSteel: We have small businesses all the time Googling their own domain and basing those results as how they’re doing over all rather than brainstorming what potential customers are actually Googling.
@tommy_landry: Conversions is key, but dependent on much more than SEO. Also why I make recommendations for online marketing first.
@thompsonpaul: Agreed. In fact I don’t make any effort to separate SEO from online marketing – all tactics serving the same strategy.
@cstechjoel: They only vary when the client has special requests or less than one year of analytics history. Otherwise, std. form.
@RyanJones: if you don’t have revenue, determine your upper funnel and lower funnel activities. Tie search goals to those. Pro tip: don’t use the default session time from GA/Omniture. Use a “visit” time that makes sense for your visitors. Example: A pizza store and car dealer should have very very different cookie durations and buying cycles. In addition to just looking at keywords, bucket them into user intents and track those.
@dan_patterson: Out of curiosity, does anyone look at overall cost of SEO and how profitable it has been? Or do you just look at revenue?
@pincock: To the extent possible, we look at revenue from organic traffic and growth over the campaign.
@tommy_landry: Hard to look at overall cost of SEO accurately, since it involves tools, vendors, manhours, etc. But its a good idea.
@dan_patterson: I look at it as an in house because I have to justify the spend. But I wondering if any agencies do it for clients.
@tommy_landry: Great idea in concept. If the client is open to working together on conversion & attribution as well, that is.
@dan_patterson: I tend to look at attribution more from a flat/linear perspective. Every touch has a cost, so I try to map it all back to some kind of a CPA.
@bloomreachinc: Our head of product wrote about bias w different attribution models recently. Good read. http://t.co/IaPIIxaV.
@tommy_landry: I always found it too simple to attribute to only first or last touch. SEO tends to lose out most in that case.
How often do you build standard reports both for clients (agencies) and your boss (in-house)?
@abbygilmore: I report weekly on my own (don’t share with client) and monthly & quarterly to the client.
@tommy_landry: I customize to the client project, but standardized when I was an in-house SEO.
@shuey03: Our reporting platform provides our clients standard reporting every day. We will often times build custom reports and deliver them every 2-4 weeks.
@lyena: I deliver reports monthly. More frequent reports are less actionable, unless you are Amazon with ton of traffic.
@RyanJones: I prefer monthly. some clients like week over week, but it depends on the business, sales cycles, and dev cycles.
@pincock: Depends on the budget and complexity of the client. always a monthly report, sometimes weekly.
@dan_patterson: From my agency I prefer to have weekly updates at least, but then more formal reports once a month.
@bloomreachinc: Depends on the customer. The “right” time is the interval for that customer that shows trends.
@lyena: It helps to have alerts set up – when something goes wrong you know right away.
@pincock: There are some nice auto-generated reports you can create in @RavenTools that we use for clients who like a frequent snapshot.
@RyanJones: If you can’t act on them before the next report comes out, they’re too frequent. Good reporting not only says what’s happening, it says what to do about it too.
@tommy_landry: That’s a good point. Depending on the speed of execution in the organization, weekly may be too frequent.
@dan_patterson: I’m so glad you said that. If the report doesn’t include what you’re going to do then it’s just an update and that’s it. When I was agency side I felt like reporting was a time to analyze what’s going on and give our plan of action.
Are search engine rankings still a valuable KPI? Why or why not?
@shuey03: Yes… rankings are a leading KPI of what’s to come.
@parky: Absolutely agree. Often an entire deal for me is based on them.
@shuey03: You need to have both leading and lagging KPIs that you regularly monitor.
@RyanJones: KPI? No. Useful metric for figuring things out, yes. I’d rather rank #5 for a high converting term than #1 for something that doesn’t drive sales.
@pincock: Rankings are still nice for directional progress. actual organic traffic and conversions is what will really matter to report.
@tommy_landry: You have to be ranked to get any SEO traffic, so even if it’s evolving, it’s important to monitor. But not a true KPI. Clients focus too much on rankings and not enough on generating quality content that will capture a volume of long-tail queries.
@bloomreachinc: Depends how large pool of queries you are optimizing for is. Head and torso, yes. Long tail, focus more on traffic trends.
What kinds of KPIs do you track on non-ecommerce sites?
@lyena: My most common KPIs for SEO: revenue from organic traffic, revenue from top landing pages, page value of top organic pages. One more great KPIs is assisted conversions in multi-channel section. Plus time to conversion and clicks to conversion.
@abbygilmore: I work in social, but we track leads, traffic & engagement.
@shuey03: cost per lead from organic search traffic
@bloomreachinc: Shift focus from attributed revenue to conversions (whatever those may be for the site).
@dan_patterson: So here’s a question I was asked by a friend. You have a lead gen site that leads come by phone. How do you track effectiveness?
@shuey03: call tracking silly!
@cstechjoel: You can set up separate phone numbers unique to the campaign for relatively cheap.
@tommy_landry: One of my biz partners can do full call tracking for PPC, and it could be done for SEO easily with dynamic content.
@pincock: We look at primary conversion event and micro conversions (newsletter, free downloads, etc.) that show engagement.
@dan_patterson: What kinds of KPIs do you report on a non-ecommerce, non-lead gen site? Say a magazine-style site?
@shuey03: time on site, pages viewed per visit…. basically just looking at engagement.
What are the most valuable tools for generating quality reports?
@dan_patterson: I’ll give my answer first: EXCEL
@tommy_landry: I’m a big fan of seoClarity for progress reporting, and Market Samurai for Keyword research / targeting. seoClarity is pretty awesome. Can integrate to most any data source you throw at it. The UI is a WIP; only downside.
@Ravenjeremy: That one’s pretty easy! @RavenTools knocks out reports with integrated data from Analytics, Ranking and Social Media.
@bloomreachinc: Excel and Tableau are our go-to reporting tools. Also reporting capabilities build into our customer dashboard.
@RavenArienne: Report results that most affected bottom line, reiterate the strategy, THEN show work done. Briefly.
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