When it comes to a website’s conversions we are conditioned to think of the end result. That means that we tend to focus on the website’s leads and generation of sales forgetting what is happening or what might happen before even a potential visitor reaches a website.
Likewise as SEO practitioners we tend to give too much weight on:
The more backlinks (Yes, only high quality backlinks) we get for our website or our client’s websites the merrier we think.
On the other hand if we imagine for a moment a website as a live organism that must find its place into a particular niche ecosystem then we will begin to grasp the multiple needs (goals) our website must fulfill (achieve) in order to reach success.
So, I’m now hearing you thinking: “What conversion “points”, micro conversions, should I take into account in order to be successful as an SEO practitioner?”
Great question! Unfortunately it can’t be answered by a single blog post. But what I can offer you today are several micro conversions examples that you must track through your Google analytics platform so as to get one step closer to SEO success.
We can split the micro conversions that we would like to examine into two broad categories:
- Acquisition – Micro Conversions (e.g how many unique visitors reached a website during the last 30 days).
- Engagement – Micro Conversions (e.g a website’s avg. bounce rate during the last 30 days).
Acquisition – Micro Conversions
If you wish to quickly increase the organic traffic on a website the two micro conversions you should monitor very closely are:
- CTR for high volume queries that you are already ranking well for. As we have seen in our last post about the “Soft” factors that can boost your rankings, the two ways to influence current CTRs for each search result is to optimize each page’s title tag and meta-description and to implement rich snippets. To access CTR data through the Google analytics platform you have to go to Traffic Sources > Search Engine Optimization > Queries (Note, that for this report to show up to your website’s profile you must be connected to your site’s webmaster tools account with Google analytics profile).
Engagement – Micro Conversions
After the visitor comes to the website, then your focus must shift to help this visitor find what he is looking for. Maybe he is just looking around for more information or on the other hand he has a credit card next to him and he just needs a little more reassurance so as to complete a transaction.
At the same time while your end goal is to increase conversions (leads and sales), you should also take into account your website’s engagement with its visitors. So, some of the best engagement micro conversions that you should monitor very closely are:
Bounce rate. This is one of the classics when it comes to engagement metrics. But be careful because as we have discussed previously you must find out what a high bounce rate really means and what you can do in order to fix it.
Social engagement metrics such as content shares and Follow us or Like us actions to social media sites that directly and indirectly have an impact to your website’s SEO performance (Read our former posts about the importance of social SEO and social signals). The best way to log actions like content shares to social media sites is through event tracking implementation. After that you will be able to locate the exact content on your website that has the biggest impact (engagement) to your own audience and then build the same kind of relevant content in the future.
So, as we have seen today the key is to shift our thought process in order to avoid obsessing with the obvious macro conversions (leads and sales). Instead we must focus our efforts to well manage the “hidden” micro conversions, which as long as we improve their performance, will also lead to the desired macro conversions.