A friend of mine was looking for a SEO agency, and was casually mentioning to me about the different views the managers had about how to measure the performance of the new agency. The first view was measuring based on Google Search Rank position for the selected keywords (ie: page 1 for “Buy a boat”), and the second was total ROI for engaging the agency (ie: total value of sales from web generated leads vs. agency cost).
To his surprise, I strongly agreed with the second view. The purpose of SEO is to generate business, not to achieve rankings. What would be the purpose of achieving page one rankings if it didn’t get you any business?
The purpose of SEO is to generate business, not to achieve rankings.
There are lots of ways to track the performance of your SEO agency on a technical and ethical level, but when you’re thinking about delivery against targets there are only three things to watch out for:
- Google Analytics Goals (when visitors achieve specific objectives on your website)
- Total number leads generated from your website (how many qualified leads your website is generating for you every month)
- Total revenue from web leads (how much money you made from your web leads)
You need to setup a baseline for comparison. This allows you to compare your current website performance, vs. the performance after your agency has started work. Even if you’re not tracking these details at the moment, it’s easy to start. Send your website leads to a specific mailbox so you can count them seperately, or use a lead management tool such as Sales Gorilla (Disclaimer: I’m affiliated with this product). Your agency can setup your Analytics Goals, their lead gen work will take time to start working, so your’ll be able to establish a baseline in the first month.
What about all the other website metrics? Things such as bounce rates, time on site, visitors, etc.? They’re all secondary metrics. Great indicators as to what your visitors are doing, but meaningless if your primary lead & revenue goals aren’t being met.
For clarity, you should still track the other indicators & check your agency is doing the right thing (ethically). Just don’t lose sight of the main goal in the process. Effectively your SEO agency is part of your sales team, so I prefer to track, manage and reward them in the same way.