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Why SEO Metrics Don’t Define Success in Digital Marketing?
At one point or another, we've all wished for more likes on our social media posts, whether on Instagram or Facebook. But, at the same time, we all understand that the number of likes or number of followers doesn't define who we are as people?
SEO is no different. Sure, the metrics feel great to achieve, and seeing hundreds of thousands of daily visitors is quite exciting. However, specific SEO metrics aren't the end-all-be-all of a campaign. Sometimes an stresses the necessity of SEO metrics; however, they're not all essential.
Sometimes striving for 100% metric-based goals can hurt the user experience. For example, in the past, you could keyword-stuff your website, disregarding user experience.
Remember your content should be about the people you want to reach, not the search engine.
Focus on the Right Metrics
We won't say every SEO metric is unimportant; some of them are vital. However, there is a weighted scale regarding which metrics to focus on and which to ignore.
The metric you should focus on the most is revenue. If your SEO campaigns are not generating revenue, they aren't worth it, no matter how great your other metrics look. Revenue is king and should be the primary focus of any digital marketing campaign, including SEO.
But wait! you might be thinking, Revenue isn't an SEO metric. You're right; it's not. However, revenue should precede all others because it is a vital metric. We'll share an adage about copywriting and revenue that directly applies in the next section.
Another important metric to focus on is organic traffic. This one is self-explanatory; the more people see your content, the better. However, it's still important not to get too caught up in the numbers of organic traffic.
Business owners and marketers make the common mistake of thinking that more traffic equals more conversions. Unfortunately, that isn't necessarily true. If you're getting a ton of traffic but very few conversions, that could signal that something is wrong with your website or sales funnel.
The key here is to focus on quality over quantity. It's better to have 100 visitors interested in what you're selling than 10,000 who couldn't care less.
Finally, another metric you should focus on is conversion rate. This one ties in directly with organic traffic. As we mentioned, more traffic doesn't necessarily mean more conversions. However, a higher conversion rate does indicate that your SEO efforts are working effectively alongside your copywriting efforts.
There's a saying in copywriting that there are no rules, only conversions. The same applies to SEO. You'd much rather have lots of conversions with low traffic than the opposite scenario.
Many factors go into conversion rate, including your website's quality, your sales message's clarity, and the overall user experience. So if you're seeing a high conversion rate, that's a good sign that your SEO campaign is on track to produce a high return on investment (ROI).
What Metrics Don't Matter?
Now that we've gone over which metrics matter, it's time to talk about those that don't. There are two main metrics that business owners and marketers focus on that don't matter as much as they think.
The first is keyword rankings. In the past, keyword rankings were a significant factor in SEO success. The higher you ranked for a given keyword, the more traffic you would get. However, things have changed in recent years, and keyword rankings aren't as important as they used to be.
Another metric that isn't essential is the number of backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. In the past, having a lot of backlinks was crucial for good SEO. However, things have changed, and Google now emphasizes the quality of backlinks rather than quantity.
So if you're focused on keyword rankings and backlinks, you might want to shift your focus to other areas.
Optimize UX, and All Your Problems Will Be Solved
Frequently, we all get caught up in the metrics, optimization, and constant improvement. And while those are all essential things, they're not the only things that matter.
What really matters is the user experience (UX).
The goal of any digital marketing campaign should be to provide the best possible UX for users; if you can do that, the rest will fall into place. When a website offers a great UX, people are more likely to stay on it longer, which leads to more page views. They're also more likely to come back in the future and recommend it to others.
In addition, all of this leads to more conversions and more revenue.
So if you're ever feeling lost or like you're not making enough progress with your SEO efforts, try conducting a UX audit. If you're unsure where to start, here is a short guide.
First, take a step back and look at your website.
- Is it easy to navigate?
- Is it visually appealing?
- Is the content well-written and informative?
If you answered no to any of those questions, then that's where you need to start.
Next, take a look at your pages.
- Are they optimized for conversion?
- Do they have clear call-to-actions (CTAs)?
- Are there any areas that could be improved?
Again, if you answered no to any of those questions, you need to focus on those areas.
Finally, take a look at your sales funnel holistically.
- Is it effective?
- Are people dropping off at a certain point?
We recommend dividing up your sales funnels into parts of the customer awareness journey. Then, analyze it and see if someone could start at any moment and become a paying customer.
Ideally, someone should be at any point in the customer awareness journey, click on one of your posts, and eventually become a paying customer.
SEO is essential, but it's just one part of a successful digital marketing campaign. Many other factors contribute to the overall success of your efforts. When it comes to SEO, not all metrics are created equal. Some are more important than others, and some don't matter as much as you think. One of the most important aspects of any digital marketing campaign is providing a great UX for users. If you can do that, the rest will fall into place.