Most of the time, discussing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) boils down to two factors: organic traffic and leads. And while those are two big players in the world of SEO, they are two parts of a bigger picture. Here we’ll highlight some additional–and equally important–indicators of SEO performance. Just like organic traffic and lead generation, these factors contribute in a big way to awareness, engagement, and conversion.
Types of Traffic and Overall Awareness
Taking traffic a few steps beyond “organic or not” can give your business a wealth of valuable insight. Just in case you are new to SEO, referral is traffic that came from clicking a link on another website. Direct traffic refers to visitors that typed your website address into a browser while organic traffic is when visitors type keywords into a search engine and click a non-paying result to get to your website. Citations, on the other hand, refer to your business listing anywhere it is found on the internet (your NAP or name, address, phone number).
It is always a good idea to look at referral and direct traffic as well as organic traffic to understand your business’ site as a whole. Citations, for example, are a key contributor to traffic that may sometimes fly under the radar, so to speak. Referral traffic, especially from citations like Facebook and Yelp, can be a result of SEO efforts. Direct traffic, too, can sometimes be attributed to SEO efforts by way of brand awareness plays. For example, at G5, we help manage listings like Yelp and Facebook. When a user visits your site through these listings, it is counted as “referral traffic” even though it can actually be chalked up to SEO efforts.
Search Engine Visibility
While it’s natural to focus on ranking, it’s important to remember that search engine visibility plays a huge part in search, especially with branded search. For instance, the presence of the Google Knowledge Graph (enhanced information about your search alongside your results) allows customers to interact with your business through the Search Engine Results page (SERP). This “listing,” managed by Google My Business, is enriched with vital information, such as reviews. G5 manages and updates Google My Business pages to help our clients amplify their search engine visibility.
Here is an example of a Knowledge Graph on the SERP and the brand visibility it can bring to a location:
Queries and Pages that Lead to Conversions
Another way to hone in on performance is to take a look at which pages lead to conversions and whether your audience is visiting those pages. A better understanding of the audience journey translates to a better understanding of what your SEO strategy should focus on and what it can adjust.
Additionally, taking a deeper dive into which queries result in clicks and impressions on search engines and then looking into the conversion rates of those queries can also reveal if–and how–your SEO efforts are succeeding. With long tail searches (searches with multiple words with more specifics) becoming more and more popular, it is more important than ever to note individual terms as well as full queries.
We all know organic traffic and lead generation are crucial pieces of the SEO puzzle. But it doesn’t stop there. G5 SEO uses Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and G5 proprietary internal search tools to help give your business a better idea of the bigger picture of SEO performance.
Learn more about SEO with the Guide to Expert SEO.