Far too many companies investing in search engine optimization focus on the wrong metrics to measure SEO success. For example, rankings and traffic. My boss told me a story just yesterday about a local business owner he had a call with who thought his current SEO company was doing a great job. The company’s website traffic was progressively climbing each month, but upon further inspection, he realized most of the traffic was coming from…Wait for it…
That’s not exactly useful for a company offering local services in Maryland.
The most important metric for measuring your SEO success, therefore, is the number of sales you can attribute to non-branded organic traffic coming into your site. So one way to get more sales is to get more qualified traffic to your website, but another way is to improve your site’s visit-to-lead conversion rate. How many people who visit your site end up picking up the phone to call you or fill out one of your contact forms?
Does a Low Conversion Rate Mean Your Site Sucks?
Upon calculating their websites’ conversion rate, a lot of business owners assume a low conversion rate means their site sucks. While that could be true, don’t shell out a bunch of cash on a new website design yet.
There’s another reason why your site might have a low conversation rate—it’s attracting the wrong demographic.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
At this point you’ve hopefully nailed down the target audience for your business. You can’t afford to market to everyone, so the more specific you can get with your target market, the better.
There are a variety of demographics you might choose to define your target audience, such as:
Location (recall the China example above!)
But other than their location (remember the China example), how can you determine whether or not the people coming to your website fit those demographics?
Google Analytics Audience Reporting
Back in October, I wrote about how Google Analytics got a bit of a facelift and some new reporting features. Some of these features—such as the expanded demographics features and new “Interests” features—expand your ability to track whether or not your site visitors fit your target audience.
According to Google,
“The Demographics and Interest sections include Overview reports, along with new Age, Gender, and Interest Categories reports. They allow you to better understand who your visitors are. These are the same demographics & interest categories used to target ads on the Google Display Network. Use these insights about your visitors to refine your ad campaign strategies. Not all of your visitors may have demographics associated with them, so these reports may only represent a subset of your visitors and may not be representative of your overall site composition.”
“When someone visits a website that has partnered with the Google Display Network, Google stores a number in their browsers (using a “cookie”) to remember their visits. This number uniquely identifies a web browser on a specific computer, not a specific person. Browsers may be associated with a demographic category, such as gender or age range, based on the sites that were visited.
“In addition, some sites might provide us with demographic information that people share on certain websites, such as social networking sites. We may also use demographics derived from Google profiles.”
The Benefit of Using Demographic Data
By setting up accurate audience reporting in Google Analytics to reflect your target demographics, you can evaluate your conversion rate based on only visitors in your service area that fall in your target demographic. My guess is, this will make your conversion rate skyrocket.
Once you’ve figured out a more accurate conversion rate, you can determine where you should focus on making website (design and content) changes to improve that number, or simply focus on getting more qualified visitors to your site, or both.
Where We Can Help
At Blue Corona, we can help you on the tracking side of things to help you determine a more accurate conversion rate for your website. If it turns out that your site converts amazingly for those in your target demographic, we can help you attract more of those people to your site. Of course, if it turns out your conversion rate really is low because of your site design or content, we can help there, too.
About The Author: Lexie serves as Blue Corona's Content Marketing Manager. She's also the author of our soon-to-be famous, and someday to be written white paper, "Horse Hat SEO: Giddy-Up Your Google Rankings."
View more blogs by Lexie Bond
“Blue Corona's expertise in search engine optimization is directly responsible for driving the increase in monthly visits to our web site, producing many telephone inquiries and visits to our showroom. ”