One thing I often hear from franchise owners is that they don’t have the time to understand or really analyze the reports they get from their digital marketing vendors. I completely understand the confusion. Not only is there a lot of information in the reports, but unless you spend your life online (like me), it can be hard to understand where all the data is coming from and what it means for you and your business. Let’s shed some light on it.
Breaking it Down
Your SEO and Google Analytics report may look daunting, but it can be broken down into a few key elements – Traffic, Rankings, and Keywords.
Let’s take a little closer look.
Your traffic metrics are just what they sound like – traffic to your website.
One of the first graphs you’ll see is a comparison of daily traffic, or visits to your website, compared to the previous month. Don’t worry if the lines don’t match up perfectly because you’ll different dates of the month fall on different days of the week.
The important things to note are the increases or decreases in traffic.
The second graph you may see is a table describing where the traffic came from whether it was a “referral” (came from some other website than Google), “organic search” (showing up in Google search results), “direct” (someone typed in your web address), “social” (got there from Facebook, Twitter, etc.), or “paid search” (PPC ad).
Once again, these statistics are in comparison to the previous month. You’ll compare performance metrics such as “sessions” (times people were on your website), “new users” (new visitors or, at least, new IP addresses), “bounce rate” (percentage of visitors that leave without taking any action), and “pages per session” (how many different pages visitors view each time they visit).
Ranking seems to be the metric that most people are concerned with because it tells you how you’re likely doing compared to your competition. It’s definitely one to watch.
Something to keep in mind, however, is that ranking is not everything. You can still be getting good traffic to your website without it showing up at the top of the list. And I can’t emphasize enough that IT TAKES TIME to climb in rankings.
Like the previous examples, this graph is comparing to the prior month. In this case, the average position (ranking) has actually slipped just slightly (something to be aware of, but not overly concerning). However, the overall clicks and impressions (times they’ve shown up) are on the rise.
“Keywords” is another word for “search terms” that are typed into a search engine like Google. The keyword that is entered starts a search for relevant results.
A keywords report lets you know how you are ranking and performing for individual keywords for the past month.
If you look at this report and don’t see a keyword you’d like to see, you can then get with your SEO vendor and tell them what you’re seeing. Remember that you generally know your territory better than your vendor, so don’t be afraid to recommend new keywords like “pet urine odor” or “fast drying carpet.”
Stay in the Loop
It’s important that you stay in touch with your vendor and hold them accountable. Don’t just set their reports aside. Talk with them and help them strategize about what you’d like to see happen.
Also, don’t forget to register to receive notifications about upcoming webinars. June will be focused on Pay-Per-Click advertising.You won’t want to miss these!