Admit it: the trend has always been about traffic and page views. As SEOs, we have been training ourselves, our clients, in fact, the whole industry to think that these two key metrics are the most important things, the Holy Grail that measures internet success. But the times have slowly and surely changed. First of all, our thinking in terms of getting more traffic and page views has lead to habits and practices that have been limiting. For example, keywords have become so overused and we have been creating content just for the sake of hits and not for the sake of actually enticing users to find our content and read and stay. And Google has been cracking down on these habits. Of course traffic and views are very important and there is no denying that fact. But the thing is, it does not always lead to the most important effects aside from untargeted brand awareness.
Find What the Business Truly Needs to Measure
In the end, the most important factors for a business or brand should be what define the goals of their content creation team. Is it important for the business to build deeper relationships through engagement of its community? Or is it important for them to increase awareness and broadcast? Or is the main thing conversion rates and not much else? Or maybe it is a mix of these things? One thing is for sure, sometimes, increasing one thing can increase another. For example, increase reach and targeting and you may increase conversion.
Analyze the Correlations Between Metrics
So as an SEO expert in charge of creating content for example, one of the most vital things you can give your client is clarity: clarity in terms of knowing what their brand really should be targeting first. This is the new trend that is taking over the primitive traffic-only-goal that used to dominate the field. The best strategies almost always go for a mix of these metric goals. Another important factor to consider here is not just the hierarchy of importance but also the hierarchy of what the brand can afford. If the brand has a limited budget for example, it could play on its strengths first in order to reach the other metric goals. If it is a small brand that has good engagement with its community, that strength can be tapped first in order to reach the other goals such as return rates, then eventually, conversion
Some brands will, for example, need a mix of organic traffic plus the rate of visitors returning and also the bounce rate. This can for example lead into the insight that if viewers go to the site and get what they need quickly, the bounce rate might be forgivable or understandable. Really, once they get what they need quickly and go out quickly, the only thing you might want to consider is their rate of return. In this view, the page, despite the quick bounce time, would be a success wouldn’t it? Metrics should be understood and analyzed more closely.
In conclusion: if you really want to measure success, do not look only at the conventional metrics. Truly, nothing is ever simple, and that is always the case in SEO.