I was reading an article this morning on SEO and found myself scratching my head by the end of it. The focus of the entire article was on traffic and how to increase the number of clicks to your website. The disconnect for me came from the word “to” in that sentence…the number of clicks to your website. Yes, traffic to your website is important, after all it’s where everything begins. However, it’s the traffic through your website that makes the phone ring. It’s having the right visitor show up and actually read your content…sign up for your blog (hint! hint!)…purchase your product…fill out your contact submission form…take action…that makes a difference.
Let’s put it this way. Suppose I told you that I could get you 10,000 new hits to your website every day, would you be interested? I’ll assume you emphatically said “yes” because everyone always says yes when I ask the question in my seminars. Great! Did I forget to mention that those hits would be coming from an intern who’s job it is to hit refresh on your website 10,000 times a day? Wait…now it doesn’t seem like such a good deal, does it? Of course not, because there is no chance any of those hits will convert into anything more than a blip on your analytics chart. It means nothing. You can’t pay your mortgage in clicks.
You see, when you are measuring and relying on specific data that does not give you the whole picture, you end up with a false sense of accomplishment which leads to your being completely unaware there is even a problem to fix. Monitoring your traffic and looking for an increase is a good thing…as long as it is accompanied by other measurements:
- What specific pages are people going to?
- How long are people staying on your site?
- What is the average number of page views per visitor?
- What is your bounce rate?
- Have you set up specific conversion goals? Do you even have a clear goal for visitors?
- How much time are people spending on your site?
- What are the referring websites and search engines?
- What location is the traffic coming from (country, state and even town)?
All of these metrics and MUCH more can be found by using Google Analytics. If you don’t already have it installed on your site, get to work on it as soon as you finish reading this. But really, the biggest measure of your SEO campaign is this…is your phone ringing and are people buying from you online? Without that, the rest doesn’t really matter!