Ideas, insights and inspirations.

At Elliance we are in the process of overhauling our clients’ monthly SEO reports – an effort which involves sifting through the mountains of data we collect on a regular basis, and identifying which metrics are most interesting and most valuable to our search clients.

In this process, I realized that there are really three distinct actors in any SEO campaign, identified by three sets of interconnected activities:

A) Our clients’ marketing efforts
B) Our own SEO efforts
C) The impact of external forces

It turns out that during the course of an SEO campaign, and in our SEO reports, we define success by measuring the blending of these three efforts in four different ways:

A) Elliance-Client Outcomes
B) Elliance-External Outcomes
C) Client-External Outcomes
D) Elliance-Client-External Outcomes

Since each of our SEO metrics measures a portion of one of these outcomes, we can place each metric at the intersection of two or more actors’ efforts. Take a look:

SEO Metrics by Effort and Outcome

SEO Metrics by Effort and Outcome

The result of this newfound clarity is that we will be more precisely segmenting our SEO metrics inside our new client reports. For example, now that we have articulated how overall website analytics are (for the most part) unrelated to Elliance’s search efforts, we’ll be demoting website traffic totals beneath more relevant metrics, like conversions or non-branded traffic. The other side to this story is that we are now more eager to take the credit for those metrics which we know we affect.

The intersection of those three circles makes up the most important metrics to both us and our clients. Perhaps unexpectedly, search positions and halo keywords might be less important to our clients than they are to us. Instead, clients want to see the results of obtaining top positions, since that coincides with their own marketing efforts and outcomes.

There are dozens of other metrics imaginable that are not listed in the Venn diagram, but in each case it is incredibly intuitive to place those metrics in one of the four appropriate outcomes. Give it a try with your own SEO reports! You’ll be well on your way to presenting data in a more meaningful, targeted manner.

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