Knowing your KPI is essential online marketing and SEO knowledge
KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, sometimes Key Success Indicator, is the means, process, or tool that helps organizations, companies, or any group that has a key goal to measure its progress or determine the factors that aid their goals to achieve success. It can be a physical tool (a software or a set of methods) or a system (study, research, survey). KPIs are selected according to the selector’s goal.
KPIs not only measure success, but also eschew marketers from repeating past company errors over and over again. Knowing your business’ KPIs is important, for it lets you to gain a deeper understanding of your trade.
KPIs in Search Engine Optimization
SEO is an arithmeticesque industry. It’s all about numbers. Well not everything is, but most of it. And a lot of SEO guys fall short on tracking the right entities to measure their success. Most look on the other sides of numbers, which are ranking, traffic, and others—things that are part of a requirement to understand your business well, but not the most important ones when it comes to giving your success a rank.
Rankings are important, but the deadliest as well. Important because it increases online reputation, because it somewhat acts as your site badge across the Web. Or, if you are handling multiple clients, giving each of them high rankings can pull you out of disaster because it can easily change clients emotions, since most clients look for ranking improvement first before anything else.
On the other hand, as I’ve said, it is deadly. Because rankings can be a factor of obsession for providers and business owners like us, because it easier to track and see compared with other KPIs—since rankings can be viewable even without an aid from your desired analytics service provider. And yes, it is nothing but an online badge, if not for your clients but for yourself. It guarantees nothing, not even traffic, loyal customers, and sure conversion.
Aside from obsessing over ranking, being overly consumed with traffic is every website owner’s common pitfall. I can still remember when I opened my first blog four years ago (it was a gadget review on Blogspot), checking my traffic every hour or two derailed me from my daily tasks. Add to it the time spent on how long people stayed on my site and which page/s they visited. However, as time passed by, I’ve learnt that an overflowing traffic is useless and nonsense if it is not being converted into real sales and loyal customers.
Conversion, in some ways, is a deadly way to measure your success. If your conversion costs ( or basically the amount of money you spent to achieve the conversion) are higher than the price of products this conversion has resulted to (or the product the customer purchased from your site), then it means one big loss, a financial deficit.
You can only look at conversion as your yardstick for success once you’ve assured yourself that the purchase is enough to cover and out-price your conversion costs.
• Internal reputation
Many marketers—especially new ones— think that having a good online reputation is enough to call themselves successful. Well, theoretically and emotionally (and to be a bit corny and mushy), yes, it can somehow let the business owner to feel happy and contended with his trade if there are millions and quintillions of people “liking” and “believing” it on Facebook and Twitter. However, aside from the fact that we aren’t a contestant in Xfactor or any of Simon Cowell’s corny and mushy talent endeavours, having positive public image isn’t enough to gauge one’s trade’s performance and success. Having 900 billion ‘Likes” and “Followers” doesn’t mean having 900 billion buyers as well. Let us admit it, most of the time, we “add” or “like” a certain company’s fan page without any deep reasons at all—perhaps it’s a mechanical move for us to just like something/someone that will not harm either our page or self if we add some famous brands.
Also, accepting no bad mouths and negative issues from other people or competitors can sometimes be a sign of being a “nonexistent” or being a “non-threat” business in the niche where you belong to. Therefore, having a positive image on the Web doesn’t mean success.
Measuring ROI is essential to SEO work
Why ROI should be every marketer’s success yardstick?
Indeed, ROI should be every SEO practitioner— SEO Resellers marketers, firm owners— yardstick for success. Not only because it sounds good (joking), or because it lies on the reality of money as every business owner’s reason for doing a certain trade, but because it is the sum of all KPIs, or, it is the totality of every KPI the marketers chose for his business. Rankings, traffic, online reputations, together with proper use of keywords and apposite utilization of all SEO processes, are all useless if these will not be converted into real monetary gain or cash flow—in other words, ROI.
The first method is the act of common sense. Since doing business is an act of gaining profit, the very first thing you should do is calculate all the money you spent for all operations and the end sale you have gained for that particular month. Subtract it, then voila!—your elementary Mathematics teacher will burst into tears since all the efforts she exerted just to teach you addition and subtraction hasn’t dumped into waste.
Well, what I mentioned may sound elementary, but it is not a piece of jest, nor a process a 5th grader can perform. If you really want to get the exact amount of your ROI, then you should be exert painstaking efforts on determining all the costs and expenditures you’ve done just to achieve that final income, for missing a centavo or a detail will distort your ROI equation.
To do it, you can also use Google Analytic to project all the organic traffic you’ve gained on a specific date and time; this will help you create a timeline of your sales that will avoid you from being mixed up and disorganized.
Be sure to breakdown your costs from leads to sales level; all the time and money you’ve spent on conversion rates per keyword, organic traffic, and other KPIs you’ve used along the optimization process.