SEO

The Google Analytics Metrics That Help You To Monitor The SEO Progress And Also Calculate The ROI

Google Analytics cannot be ignored by any SEO or for that matter any web marketing professional. Google introduces this application which is offered for free by Google as –

“ Google Analytics is the enterprise-class web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Powerful, flexible and easy-to-use features now let you see and analyze your traffic data in an entirely new way. With Google Analytics, you’re more prepared to write better-targeted ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives and create higher converting websites. “

FYI: The Google Analytics can be accessed here. The analytics product tour video can be viewed here.

If you register and view the data metrics offered you will see that there is a comprehensive portfolio giving you the details about how the visitor reached your web page and what content was viewed and also the client side data which can help you judge what kind of impression your site must have made on the visitor. It also allows you to download the data as an excel sheet or in a PDF format and mail it to the client or create logins so the client can view the data at its own convenient time and his own curiosity level. With Google Analytics data SEO’s can manage to calculate the ROI which can be found reliable by the client as Google enjoys a very high trust factor when it comes to search and search products.

But when you have a lot of data available it is quite possible that one can get confused and lose focus from the purpose of tracking the site. There can be many reasons for tracking the data but let us see from the SEO perspective which metrics should be monitored  daily, weekly, or monthly to keep an eye on where the site is heading to on the web.

I tend to focus on the following metrics, assuming I want to keep atrack of the visits from search engines and the especially visits from Google.

Month
Visits
New Visits
Visits From Search Engines
Visits From Google
Bounce Rate

If you maintain this data month-wise, you get an idea about the improvement or the results achieved as a result of SEO done on the site.

Another important report to be maintained is the no. of keywords with which the site is ranking and the source (you can select the source as Google and get an idea with how many and which keywords the site is ranking on Google and how many visitors are reaching your site via this source and how many pages are being viewed by them)

Let us take the above metrics in detail:

  • Visits: This is the total no. of visits for that month . This will give you an idea of increase or decrease in the no. of visits from all sources.
  • New Visits: The no. of new visits to your site . New visit means the visitor who is viewing your site for the first time. There is an exception and an approximation in this metric as the GA uses a javascript to track the visitor behavior and uses cookies for that , a visitor who may have visited your site earlier but has deleted the cookies and views your site after that then that same visitor is considered as a new visit though actually it is an old or a repeat visit. So, this data has to taken keeping an approximation in mind.
  • Visits From Search Engines: This gives you the data of how many visits the site has got from all the search engines. This can be filtered more to view the no. of visits from each search engine.
  • Visits From Google: After you filter the data from the ( total visits) to (visits from search engines) to (visits from Google) you can track and monitor the increase or decrease from this source and hence measure the success of the SEO campaign on Google.
  • Bounce Rate: This again is an important factor which may not exactly give you an idea about the progress of the SEO on the site but it will surely give you an idea about how many people are finding the landing page interesting enough to view other pages of the website for more information about your company. The Bounce Rate tells you about the no. of visitors who went back from the landing page itself and did not view any other page. This data is in percentage form.

When you maintain this table month-wise it gives you have a clear idea about the SEO performance of the site and you can confidently discuss the details with the client with adequate proof over a period of time and also gear the SEO campaign and tweak the website according to the data available to you.

The above table gives you a quantifying data but the quality of the SEO campaign will be judged by the keywords with which the site is ranking and the increase in the no. of targeted keywords , long tails keywords and others on the search engines and you can again segregate all this to present the keyword and source details winning the confidence of the client further by presenting it in the following table:

Source
Keyword
Visits
Pages/Visit
Avg. Time on Site
% New Visits
Bounce Rate

Data thus monitored periodically will give details about the site from the search engine and SEO perspective and hence will offer clarity, conciseness and confidence about the ROI calculated.

A simplest ROI calculation would be attained by answering these following questions:

  • How many visits received from search engines? Let us denote this as – a
  • How many enquiries received via the website form or calls received from visitors after visiting the site which they found via search engines? Let us denote this as - b
  • The no of enquiries thus received got converted to sales? Let us denote this as – c
  • The amount of profit from these invoices drawn? Let us denote this as – d
  • The cost of SEO monthly / annually depends on what basis you are calculating ? Let us denote this as – e

I suggest the ROI to be calculated half yearly or annually as this gives a clear idea.

Hence , (assuming you keep the period of the calculation the same for all the metrics)

ROI = (d – e) / e * 100

Basically,

ROI = ( Annual Profit from the sales which were achieved via the Enquires from search engines – The annual cost of SEO for the website) divide upon (The annual cost of SEO for the website) multiplied by 100

There can be many permutations and combinations that can be worked out in order to get various performance data as per your requirement. For example if you want to measure the conversion ratio of your sales department keeping in mind the online enquiries received then it can be done as follows:

Conversion Ratio = c/ b * 100

This can become as a KPP (Key Performance Parameter) for your sales team which can be monitored on a periodic basis to have a direction and guidance for chalking out the sales plans for the next period with a targeted approach and also the reasons for the low or high ratio can be discussed and therby helping to find the strengths and weaknesses in the system .

All these calculations are very simple but the recording of data about the no. of online enquiries generated and thereby the sales achieved has to be done from the client side and the data has to be given to the SEO so that a targeted report can be prepared and offered to the client for reference and to go ahead without doubts and ifs and buts.

Half the data comes from Google analytics for which the login can be created for the client to view and monitor by themselves and the other half has to be given by the client himself . So, if the client or his team is competent enough to calculate the ratios themselves then the onus is also on them else they have to cooperate with the SEO to offer the data so all these calculations are possible as only this guided approach can give the SEO the sense of satisfaction and the client the idea of the online progress of his website due to SEO.

Eventually, all analytics is has to be taken with an element of approximation but the overview of all this data monitored, recorded and filtered accordingly for the purpose surely shows us the road ahead and helps us to tap the online market with confidence and assuredness.

 The Google Analytics Metrics That Help You To Monitor The SEO Progress And Also Calculate The ROI

Bharati Ahuja

+Bharati Ahuja is founder WebPro Technologies India, SEO Trainer and Speaker, Web Entrepreneur, Blog Writer, Internet Marketing Consultant. Follow her on twitter @webprotech
 The Google Analytics Metrics That Help You To Monitor The SEO Progress And Also Calculate The ROI

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8 thoughts on “The Google Analytics Metrics That Help You To Monitor The SEO Progress And Also Calculate The ROI

  1. Great post Bharati your credentials speak for themselves. I always look at the bounce rate and my unique visitors the most. If your bounce rate is high your doing something wrong either your content is bad, or your website, or blog is unprofessional looking.

    If its high make the proper changes. And the unique visitors tells you how many different people are visiting your site on a daily basis so you know how well your marketing efforts are paying off. The more unique, page views, and low bounce rate your doing well.

    You also want to make sure you monetize your sites well we are all in business to make money. Alexa tells you how your site is ranking with all the other websites in the World the lower the better. Try to break into the top 100,000 and your doing real well. Good post!

    1. @bharti nice post and clearly defined process of calculating the ROI
      @Jayorban I am totally agree with you in monitoring bounce rate of the particular web pages. But i also giving more weight to my goal conversion funnel that can help you for understanding user behavior. I observed in various campaign that customers are vising order/inquiry pages but they hardly converted into sell. In this analysis, you can accordingly take action and can understand the user behavior for future improvements.

      I really enjoyed reading this conversation !!

  2. Question about bounce rate…
    Is it considered a “bounce” if the visitor views the landing page for longer than 1 minute and then returns to the search engine? Is it a requirement that they look at yet 1 more page on the site before it is no longer considered a bounce?

    I thought that there was a measurement of time involved. If not then perhaps a 1-page landing/conversion (where the visitor can fill in a form to request info, purchase, etc.) page is a poor idea.

    1. It depends on the analytics package you are using. Some packages refer to short visits rather than bouncerate indicating that a visitor left within 20 seconds after visiting.

      Not all packages track how long a visitor remains on one page, they just calculate the difference in timestamps of page visits to give you this number. GA falls in this category.

      For cases like this, you can best compare the bouncerate for the given page compared to the average bouncerate of the website to see if a page is performing well or not.

  3. Great post, thanks for sharing. It’s important to look at the bounce rate, as it will tell you whether you’re doing something right. Just like with everything else, you should always test and check everything! it is so important to keep up to scratch.

  4. Great insights on monitoring SEO and calculating ROI Bharati.

    Is there a ‘good’ bounce rate number to aim for? And what results have you seen from lowering bounce rates on a site?