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Monthly seo reports - what to show
client doesn't like rankings or traffic reports

 11:07 pm on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've got a client that doesn't want to see target keywords rankings as in if they improved and where their site shows now.

I've been showing him total number of keywords being used to find his site- it's been increasing. Traffic going up. But he's not sure it's from seo or his tv ads, billboards, etc.

Seriously, it's rankings and traffic from search engines on your targeted keywords, and total increase in keywords surfed in on. Other than I don't know what else matters.

What else can I show this guy?



 5:19 pm on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well, the ad campaigns should have had a crafted URL that's not linked to, such as example.com/tv-offer for the TV ads. This would allow you to collect some sort of metric on the origin of external advertising.

But you should be able to examine the referrers in your stats to determine the source and the ones that come from search engines are the result of indexing.


 6:16 pm on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Actually the tv ads are promoting the main domain, same with billboards. To show proof of seo work I'm showing the increased search engine traffic via keywords not including the company brand name (to avoid those seeing the tv ad and typing in the domain name).

However the client wants more info. I'm at a loss what to show other than increase of keyword traffic and increase in # of keywords bringing traffic.

Any ideas?


 6:58 pm on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is what I'm saying - since the TV ads went to the main domain, there's no way to sort out direct requests as to their origin. If the TV and radio ads where crafter like this,

(or something)

You could separate those out from the others. True, there's always the rogue user who wouldn't use that URL, and applies to the info below as well - but it's something.

However, what you can do, is sort out the ones with referrers, right? Anything in your stats that says "Network" or "direct request" or "none/undefined" for a referrer is just that, someone punching in the URL directly. But all the links from search engines and ad campaigns will have a referrer. It's the ones with referrers you can compare against old statistics to show a change.


 7:34 pm on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Non-branded organic search traffic is the measure that will isolate SEO traffic from offline Marketing based traffic. I compare non-branded organic search traffic to a historical baseline.

Searchers who don't include the brand name as part of their search are not looking for your site and not intending to land on your site as their destination. They don't have a specific destination in mind at the time of their search. If they intended to visit you and your marketing was effective, they would have included your brand name as part of their search.

SEO can effect branded traffic as well, but that's much harder to attribute to SEO.


 4:59 am on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

You could use a .tv domain for TV campaigns and 301 the URL to the .com site. That will isolate the TV ad traffic.


 6:59 pm on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is what I'm saying - since the TV ads went to the main domain, there's no way to sort out direct requests as to their origin. If the TV and radio ads where crafter like this,
(or something)

If you do this, how many tv and radio listeners will memorize the whole url and type it in verbatim?

Versus how many will just type in example.com and figure it will get them there?


 7:46 pm on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)


One of the things you need to know about your advertising dollar is collecting how effective a campaign is. "10% off on orders placed HERE" is a pretty decent motivator for them to get it right . . . . especially if there are no internal links to this from the site. This is how adWords landing pages work, right? :-)

I typed this in haste, of course a better choice would be a subdomain like tv.example.com, tv-offer.example.com.

But we're off topic, and it's too late for all of that anyway . . .

Fortune Hunter

 3:24 pm on Dec 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Traffic going up. But he's not sure it's from seo or his tv ads, billboards, etc.

I think this is an interesting observation. I am wondering if your client has asked his ad agency if the increased traffic is being caused by your SEO or their ads. I can already tell you the answer. NO!

I find it interesting that ad agencies are never asked to justify their effectiveness, or at least very rarely, but Internet marketers are asked to justify every click. There is an old saying in advertising where the client says "half of my advertising budget is wasted, unfortunately I don't know which half" meaning there is very little way to track if tv, radio, etc. is effective. Direct marketing is, but a lot of the tv, radio, billboard, etc. aren't set up to be direct response.

This issue tracks itself back to the dot bomb era. I was a consultant during that era and I can say nobody ever asked for justification of their marketing dollars spent online. After the crash everyone did. It has never changed since.

I am not saying it isn't a good idea to track your marketing, it is and you should, but I am intrigued by the double standard that ad agencies seem to never have to justify their fees and effectiveness but online marketers must justify and prove effectiveness on every dollar invested.


 3:27 am on Dec 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

assuming all and only canonical urls are indexed, i would focus on analytics rather than rankings.


 3:07 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hmmm... What about "example.com/discountX15" -- and advertize that URL gives you 15% discount -- even the most rogue customer would think twice whether to cut off the discount part :-)

P.S. Of course that URL should know how to give the actual discount, too.

Additionally you can collect other data originated from that URL--time to order since first visit, total amount of cashflow generated etc.

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