It's one thing to know how to implement SEO practices, it's another to understand how to measure the impact of the SEO improvements that are implemented.
Simply keeping track of the keyword rankings does not provide the whole picture. It is important to understand how your traffic flows through the site and which channel that brings in the traffic is the most valuable.
The figure below illustrates the steps that visitors take how they find on search engines, then eventually reach to your site.
As you can see On page SEO contributes to all the steps where as Off page SEO only contributes to increase in impression.
Let's go through each of the steps to see how we can measure and influence each step.
Impression refers to how many times pages on your site shows up on the search results. Off page SEO influences this by building back links and making pages on your site rank higher.
When it comes to On page SEO, aligning the keywords with each page and optimize the pages (header, title, heading etc) will ensure the pages to rank higher.
CTR (Click Through Rate)
CTR is calculated by clicks/impressions and expressed in percentage.
For example, if there are 100 impressions and only 2 clicks that took place, it is 2% CTR.
In order to influence CTR, we need to optimize the meta description (red box in the figure below) by providing relevant yet enticing description of your page. One way to identify issues with meta description is to use Google Webmaster Tools.
Bounce rate is measured by how user respond to your site after landing on it.
If a visitor only views one page and leave, that will make the bounce rate 100%.
If a visitor views more than one page, that will make the bounce rate 0%.
By counting these two visitors, the average bounce rate is 50%.
One thing to note is that bounce rate tend to be high on Blogs but by applying the right site funnel system, you can decrease the bounce rate.
In order for us to talk about funnel, we need to first understand the buying funnel. When someone is looking to purchase something, he/she will likely be in one of the step indicated in the figure below.
By aligning and structure your site to this buying funnel, you can not only lower the bounce rate but also direct the visitor down the right path to the purchase page.
What is the Goal?
We can increase as much traffic as we want, directing them down the funnel and make them get to where we want them to go on our site. However, we need to understand what our goal is.
Are we trying to collect email addresses? Are we trying to sell something? Are we just want to increase brand awareness?
Depending on the goal, we need to not only change the message of the page (or section of the site) but also ensure the user experience is optimal for that goal.
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