If you have a website, then you are no doubt looking at your metrics. Your metrics indicate your site’s success or lack thereof. By measuring key performance indicators and reading your site’s metrics, you can determine how well the audience is responding to your content. Is your content converting visitors? Are they completing your call to action? Where is most of your traffic coming from? Is your site ranking on the front page of the search engines? If your metrics are in line, then these will be easy questions for you to answer. Unfortunately, that is often not the case and one must go on a virtual fishing mission to decipher critical performance elements in an SEO campaign.
Your search engine optimization allows visitors to find your site. The more visitors you have, the more likely they are to convert and so on. All too often you’ll find one or two metrics that aren’t quite up to snuff. It only makes sense that you should concentrate on improving them. However, you must proceed with caution. SEO is a tangled web of trial and error, cause and effect. That means that as you focus your efforts on data from a singular metric, others could easily fall by the wayside. In fact, that is what typically happens. Before you know it, improvement efforts actually end up hurting your site’s performance. Why is that?
Although many people do not realize it, search, visibility and content are chronically interdependent. That is to say that the success or failure of one directly impacts the others. Concentrating efforts on singular data often fails to account for how other metrics will be affected. All too often, the impact is not a positive one and the entire site suffers. Understanding the interdependence of key performance indicators is key to ensuring that improvement efforts don’t blast the other metrics. When attempting to improve singular data metrics, site owners must take a cause and effect approach. This is similar to the quality versus quantity approach for content since many are only now acknowledging this approach.
Any successful website likely has multiple campaigns running at any one time. There are typically marketing campaigns, SEO campaigns, social media campaigns and so on. Site owners must look at the entirety of the SEO campaign before attempting to improve any of the metrics. Cause and effect are at the core of all fundamental metrics. Webmasters determine that doing this will cause that and increase overall SEO performance. Focusing on a singular metric without considering how it affects others is like shooting yourself in the foot to show you aren’t scared. It doesn’t really make much sense.
When attempting to improve any aspect of SEO, you must first determine how it will affect all the other elements. If there will be a positive effect, then you may have the right answer. Unfortunately, that often isn’t the case. Webmasters must walk a fine line when tampering with SEO metrics. Putting a band-aid on a big problem won’t solve it. They must decide why they are having this problem in the first place and how corrective action may or may not affect other metrics on the site. In the end, visitors are looking for quality and transparency. The search engine’s core algorithms are supposed to help ensure that is what they get. If you have an SEO metric that is underperforming, you must take action. However, using a cause and effect approach will ensure that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Step back and look at the big picture before making changes. Consider the ripple effect that will likely come from those changes and how many of your SEO metrics are interdependent. In the end, you won’t be caught off guard and chasing your tail.