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SEO Key Performance Indicators for your Dashboard
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Carrying on our discussion with dashboards and reports, I thought that we would revisit some common key performance indicators that should be considered in SEO/online marketing dashboards. Of course the KPIs and metrics that you measure depends on the type of site that you have. There are different KPIs for different type of sites. Examples of the different type of sites include:
  • Information Portals/Educational Websites
  • E-commerce Websites
  • Lead Generation Websites
  • Support Sites
What is a KPI?

Remember that a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is:
  • a metric that an organization measures to help determine its progress towards a goal;
  • a reflection of the tactical performance of an organization;
  • is used to substantiate an organization’s objectives.
In essence, a KPI is a quantifiable measurement that can be tracked and evaluated, based on the objectives that what you want to achieve. KPIs will change depending on the industry that you are in and depending on the type of site that you have; they cannot be universally applied.

Depending on the type of site that you have, there are various SEO performance indicators that you may want to track. These performance metrics may include:

* New account sign-ups
* Contact Us form completions
* Number of PDF or brochure downloads
* Number of reviews submitted
* Article views
* Press Release Views
* Case Study downloads
* Online Sales/Conversions
* News Letter Signups
* Page Views
* Returning Visitors

When it comes to your SEO dashboard, ideally there should only be four or five metrics that you will need to communicate. Again these will depend on the purpose of your site. These metrics will revolve around organic traffic, conversions and your return from your SEO through a dollarized value. Common performance indicators may include:
  1. Percentage increase of natural search (organic traffic)
  2. Percentage breakdown of non-branded vs. branded keyword traffic
  3. Percentage of revenue generated from natural search vs. paid search vs. other medium
  4. Revenue generated from SEO (natural search revenue)
  5. Overall revenue generated from online marketing activity
There are a ton of metrics that can and sometimes should be measured. However at the end of the day, you need to communicate the bottom line and how SEO has contributed to it. If you are an e-commerce site that means tying in your organic search traffic to conversions, sales and return on investment. Comparing this with your entire online portfolio and revenue being generated through sponsored search and social media efforts, email marketing etc.

In order to track your progress, you need to ensure that you have established clear business objectives and clean online objectives. Once these objectives are defined, keep your performance indicators simple. You can track all of that other stuff internally to help identify trends and forecast recommendations, but again at the end of the day, it is about meeting your business objectives. Your dashboard is a simple tool to communicate whether your objectives are being met.

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posted by Jody @ Sunday, July 26, 2009  
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