Person Checking a Pulse

Established Ecommerce Companies: Four High Level Search Engine Performance Metrics to Monitor

If you’re running a campaign to drive more traffic via search engines (organically) and ultimately dollars, there are four metrics you’ll want to keep an eye on. 
  1. Search Engine Keyword Rankings
  2. Organic Traffic
  3. Transactions originated from search
  4. Revenue from organic traffic

1 - Keyword Rankings

While all companies want sales from the search engines, the first step to making it happen is knowing where you stand with Google and Bing (the largest search sites). With keyword tracking, companies have visibility of how quickly their business shows up for their target keywords. 

Knowledge is a great first step, but to take advantage of the information requires intentional effort to improve how often your company displays when people are searching for relevant key phrases. These efforts will include the optimization of the technical elements such as title, headers, and URLs, and the depth and quality of your content. 

When companies take the right actions and increase how often they show up when people search, they’ll increase the number of visitors to their website. This is what we call organic traffic. 

2 - Organic Traffic

Traffic originating from Google, Bing and the up and coming DuckDuckGo are search engine sources and the bedrock of building a highly trafficked website. 

While intentional work and research are required to establish quality rankings and drive traffic to your website, it acts like an investment with dividends pouring in indefinitely (or at least until someone takes over the hills we’ve conquered). 

While the focus of keywords rankings is geared towards improving them upwards by improving the page content and technical elements, once people arrive on your website, the goal shifts to optimizing for conversions. And the easiest conversion (email collection) is likely the best first option. When we convert focused traffic into sales, we’re in a sweet spot for growing an online business. 

Transaction Volume & Organic Generated Sales 

When it comes to tracking actual paid customers sourced from the search engines, there’s two metrics worth keep an eye on and that includes the number of shopping experiences (transactions) and the dollar total (revenue) of them. 

While you may think the revenue numbers are the only necessary number to watch, it may not be super helpful if your store offers a large number of products at different price points. Large sales can easily swing the numbers up and down from month to month making it hard to understand the correlation between an increase in traffic and more sales. 

For this reason, we want to keep a pulse check on the less volatile number of transactions as well as revenue. 

Monthly or Weekly Search Engine Monitoring?

If you have the bandwidth in your company, a weekly pulse check of these four metrics will allow you to view and adapt your efforts quickly for improved results. 

But, I’d recommend at least a monthly (no less than quarterly) view of these four numbers so you keep SEO activities top of mine while also watching over any trends that may require addressing. Because the search engines can be slow to act, it’s best to act quickly if we want to see a change in ranking or traffic trajectory. 

Monitor these KPIs, but don’t stop there. While this high-level pulse check is important to review regularly, it’s the subsequent deep dive into these data points that will lead to the important improvement actions required for additional growth. 

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