Google’s Panda and Penguin have dramatically changed the face of SEO in the last two years. A lot has been written about these updates and their effects, but SEO experts rarely talk about Search Plus Your World and how it affects your business. Search+ is Google’s attempt to personalize search where your location, friends’ search history, social circle, and brand mentions are all taken into consideration.
With customized results, we can expect searchers to get different results in the search engines – even when they’re looking for the same search terms. Traditional SEO created an environment for consistent search results, but Search+ put an end to normal rankings.
With that thought in mind, here are some search metrics that will help you succeed with customized-search.
Keep close tabs on the visitor growth report in Google Analytics. This baseline growth metric is easy to interpret. You’ll know your SEO campaigns are successful if you’re trending upward in your visitor growth. A flat-line or downward trend means you need to revise your campaigns.
A closer inspection of the report is necessary to determine the type of visitors you’re getting. Are they new or repeat visitors? An increase in repeat visitors is proof that your content is compelling while a trend towards new visitors indicates that your content is not as sticky as your headlines.
Conversion takes place when website visitors successfully complete the action you’ve optimized your site for. Actions might include purchasing a product, subscribing to your list, or sharing your content.
The conversion report shows how page impressions lead to visitors and profits. You can also use the report to tweak copy, keywords, and ads. Testing and tweaking will help to optimize your pages and increase conversions.
Higher rankings in the search engines increase your site’s probability of getting clicked by search engine users. But your position in the results is not the only factor that affects your Click Through Rate (CTR). There are other factors that help users decide whether your page is most relevant to their search. You’ll experience a low CTR – in spite of your high rank – if you fail to attract users’ attention.
To maximize your CTR in the search results, you need to compose compelling titles, use rich snippets, optimize your Meta description, use site links and social layers, and avoid flash elements- which doesn’t display well in Google Instant Preview.
The explosion of social sharing and improved SEO has a majority of visitors bypassing your home page and landing on blog posts and product pages. This means all your pages must be optimized to convert visitors from every point of entry. Optimized pages boost conversions and reduce bounce rates.
So while ranking high in the search results is paramount, your pages need to be ready to capture and convert visitors as soon as they land. The experts at seoworks encourage clients to evaluate their site design, use simple navigation, optimize for intent, remove distractions, and make use of internal search.
When it comes to search and your business, a high ranking is not enough. Conversion is what impacts your bottom line. Consider the importance of the metrics discussed above and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your business goals.