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Measuring Success Part 1: Why It’s Not All About Organic Ranking

By Bethany Bloise

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Everyone wants to rank number one in Google, which is an understandable desire since links in the first position of Google results get an estimated 33% of all search traffic. But being number one in Google search results for a target keyword isn’t the only way to define business or marketing success.

Part of marketing is identifying your business goals and finding strategies and tactics to help you work toward them. Ranking in Google may be one of those strategies, but it does not qualify as a goal in itself.

Types of Marketing Goals for Your Business

Here are some examples of goals that your business might want to accomplish through internet marketing:

  • Improve Brand Recognition

  • Engage Your Audience

  • Convert Website Visitors/Generating Leads

  • Sell Products or Services

There are other ways to measure progress toward these goals besides just your Google ranking. Take a look:

 

1. Improving Brand Recognition

When people recognize your brand, they will search for your name and purposefully interact with you on social media. You will (almost) always come up first in Google when the search term is your brand name.

You can measure the results of your business’s branding by an increase in your website’s “unique visitors” and an increase in your social media following – this includes likes, followers, +1s, etc.

Read our blog about why building your brand is crucial to your marketing strategy.

 

2. Engaging Your Audience

When your content is engaging, you will keep site visitors longer and increase your chances of making a sale. It’s pointless to generate awareness if you can’t capture people’s attention once they make it to your site or social profile.

You know your audience is interested in what you’re saying when they comment on social media posts or share your content. You can also measure engagement with your website by metrics such as total pageviews, visit duration and a steadily decreasing bounce rate.

 

3. Converting Website Visitors/Generating Leads

What do you want your website visitor to do when they get there? For example, do you want them to fill out a form or download your information? This process creates a “lead,” someone who has performed a desired action on your website, and this is the point where you know someone is genuinely interested in your business.

Once you define these conversions, you can measure the percentage of people who converted into leads out of the total number of visitors to your site. Depending on the conversion type, you could measure the number of subscribers on your blog/email list or how many people converted through a social network referral. Conversions may also count order completions, which is addressed in the next section.

 

4. Product or Service Sales

An increase in sales means increase in revenue. If your sales are increasing with your marketing efforts, does it still matter so much to rank number one on Google?

Depending on why your sales are low, your agency can strategize how to improve web traffic, inform your website visitors more or improve your site’s usability (with clear navigation and calls to action) so the sales process is as simple as possible for your target audience. Being first on Google will not directly impact your sales if your website is not ready to receive and convert visitors.

 

Impact on Google Ranking

The easier it is for people to find, learn from and use your website, the more your business will benefit. It’s a combination of various marketing efforts that build your website’s authority (number of inbound links, content shares and mentions) and help you climb the search results. You may one day make it to the top of Google’s results, but the key to getting there is content and site usability.

What other metrics do you use to evaluate the success of your campaign? In Part 2 of this post, we will cover reasons why you can’t just focus on your Google ranking if you want to have success with your marketing strategies.

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