• Todd McDonald

    Love this post. Especially this shift –

    “January 1, 2013: Stopped creating non-branded profiles and switched to reporting on just overall organic traffic and landing page reporting.”

    …and your final paragraph. The industry is twisting and changing and those that have been aiming at achieving business goals and continually talking to clients that way are much further along than agencies that have isolated themselves in tactical metrics. Looks like SEER will continue to see success!

  • Michelle Noonan

    Thanks, Todd! It’s amazing how many things fall into place when you put understanding your client & their business goals first.

  • Sergiu Draganus

    Google want us to think we get a benefit from this but, Secure Search & keyword encryption has nothing to do with the non-provided issue . Google Analytic is not a third party server, it is also a Google server which can see ( decrypt ) the keywords, but probably this decision will drive more and more users to pay for keyword data by running AdWords campaigns to test CTR and conversions.

    Monitoring Rankings seems to be a good alternative, but now over 75% of the keywords are generating different rankings on Google SERPs based to the user IP address. Same site can rank in NY on 1 st position and in LA – not listed in Google top 100 for the same keyword.

    One of the best approaches to keyword data as a KPI is to compare the no of local searches for a certain keyword provided by the Google Keyword Planner tool with the Local Rankings ( GeoRanker can provide this ) and try to figure out an algorithm to estimate traffic as 1st position 50% of the traffic, 2nd position 20% and so on.

    Would be nice to brainstorm on this idea. Any other thoughts about it?

  • Michelle Noonan

    An interesting concept to build out the estimated volume with local rankings, but at the same time, may be too complex, and costly for regular reporting. I find the ranking tools helpful for getting insight (even if results differ), but the landing page data in GA is what tells you what traffic you’re really getting.

  • Sergiu Draganus

    GA traffic insights are amazing, but you need to know which are the kwds providing traffic to the landing page in order to estimate conversions and focus your resources in the right direction.

    Also having a generic approach on all organic traffic is easy to say but very hard as the SEO resources are limited and they must be used to bring traffic with a good conversion rate, otherwise all you’ll get will be a nice traffic volume increase without creating more conversions ( many SEO clients are tricked by this method )

    Best approach for now is to build keyword insights ( CTR + conversions ) via AdWords PPC campains targeting specific landing page and focus SEO resources only for the ones with the highest conversion rate.

    This will bring the highest margin to the agency as the generated benefits for the site owner will have a good ROI with a limited amount of resources used.

  • baldjake

    Sergiu – While I do like this approach in theory, if your PPC campaigns are underperforming due to competition or just crummy campaigns that can skew your SEO. I’d stick to creating content campaigns around pain points you know exist and just track conversions around those landing pages and conversion paths.

  • Em

    I just wanted to say thanks for writing such a great post on this.