Google will look at the traffic that a document gets and changes to that traffic over time. It will also consider seasonal, daily or other timely changes to see if a document receives more traffic at these times and is therefore more relevant at these times. Any significant drop in traffic may indicate that a document is stale. Google may also consider ‘advertising traffic’ separately.
Is your primary goal in a search engine promotion campaign to increase overall traffic or to increase sales? The determination of your success will depend on your goals.
You will need to have the following statistics or metrics available to analyze your success:
- How many unique visitors you get each week
- The specific search engines that are sending you traffic
- How many hits each search engine is sending you
- The keywords people use to find your site
- What your ranks are for certain keyword phrases
- Sales per week
In order to get the above information you will need a traffic analyzer that will report your site statistics. We recommend the free Google Analytics.
You will also need to be able to integrate your site statistics with your sales/week. You can use Microsoft Excel for this purpose. You can transfer some of the information from Advanced Logger into an Excel file that also contains your average sales/day over a week. This will give you some revealing statistics about the relationships between search engines, visitors, and sales.
Over a period of time, you will be able to see the emerging relationships between keywords, search engines and sales. Analyzing these relationships will show you where you need to improve your site.
Track visitors with a traffic analyzer
A unique visitor is a person that visits your site for the first time. Some statistical reporting programs will tell you unique visitors per 24 hour period. This means, if the visitor returns the next day, they are counted again as a unique visitor, even if they have already been to your site.
When you start to analyze the data, you will be exposed to a lot of numbers. Make sure that you know the difference between the unique visitor and total hits on your site. Total hits can be anything from hits on every page to hits on every page and every graphic (total accesses).
You will need to know the number of unique visitors in order to track your sales success.
Simple site statistics usually provided by your host will tell you how many unique visitors your site is
Track Search Engines with a traffic analyzer
Depending on your site statistics program, you may also be able to see which search engines are referring traffic to your site. Google Analytics will provide graphical charts to represent site traffic.
Don’t expect to get every page ranked in every engine. Some search engines just naturally pick up more pages than others. Search engines are always in a competition for who has the biggest database of web pages. You may find that one search engine may be picking up and ranking almost every page of your site, while another engine only likes your home page. It is also dependent on the popularity of the specific search engine.
We’ve dealt with the statistics for many web sites over many years. We believe that Google sends the most traffic. But that doesn’t mean that Google always sends the most quality traffic. Quality traffic (traffic that produces sales) can vary by search engine. One important variable would be the product.
For instance, traffic from MSN may bring many sales for your product, whereas traffic from Google may yield you less sales per unique visitor.
You will need to look at your statistics over many months to determine which engines are bringing you sales and which keywords are producing traffic and sales for your specific product.
Track keywords with a traffic analyzer and a ranking report
Again, an advanced program will be very useful to help you accurately track the ranks of specific keyword phrases in the engines. You’ll need to get the free version of WebCEO which will provide you with plenty more analytical tools as well.
When you start getting a good amount of traffic (at least 500 unique visitors per week) you will start to understand that the keyword phrases people use are wide and varied. You will notice that you’re getting traffic from search engines on phrases that you never thought of. The essence of a good search engine promotion campaign is that you see a nice spread of traffic from ALL engines and a
nice spread of keyword phrases.
Some equations that may help you analyze traffic
Percent Increase of Unique Visitors:
- UVB = unique visitors before a promotion campaign. They should be over a specific period of time, like 4 weeks.
- UVA = unique visitors after or during a promotion campaign. This should be over the same period of time as UVB – 4 weeks.
- UVA – UVB = difference
- Difference/UVA = percent of visitor increase
Percent Increase of Hits from Search Engine(s):
- HB = hits from search engine(s) before a campaign over specific time
- HA = hits from search engines after a campaign over same time period as HB
- HA – HB = difference
- Difference/HA = percent increase of hits from search engine(s)
Percent increase in sales:
Sales/Unique Visitors = percent of sales/visitors
On the same day of each week (or month) you should calculate your sales/unique visitor ratio. This will tell you if your promotion campaigns are increasing sales, not just visitors. (We’ll venture to say that 1% is a good ratio. That is one sale per 100 visitors. If you see anything over 1%, you should examine the campaign and try to replicate it in any way possible.)