Last week Google announced a major change that shook most SEOs to the core: the encryption of all keyword searches. A.K.A. no more keyword data, unless they’re ad clicks.

We’ll give you a few moments to panic . . .

OK, now breathe. If I had a brown paper bag I might give it to you, but I’ll do you one better: I don’t believe this will drastically affect SEO. #doubletake

Search engine optimization has at times gotten a bad rap over the years thanks to keyword stuffing and links that are bought. But SEO is much more than linkbuilding and keyword placement. We’ll simply need to make a better case for its effectiveness. The only real negative from this change is that we won’t be able to track organic keyword traffic back to a website. When you step back and take a look at the big picture, you’ll see that this is actually not that big of a deal and will simply require companies to focus on other metrics and tactics.

We will, however, be able to run keyword ranking reports and see organic traffic data as a whole.

Metrics for Making an Effective SEO Campaign

Fortunately or unfortunately, marketers are constantly forced to justify their existence. During budget cuts, marketing seems to be the first thing to go, after all. This reality will become more acute for SEOs without that constant flow of Google Analytics keyword data.

All that means, however, is that we will need to focus on different metrics to help us make our case for an effective SEO campaign.

Here are some tools and metrics we will use to boost SEO effectiveness and maintain full transparency of results:

  • Search Query Report in Google Webmaster Tools
    • Provides a monthly total for the number of times a website shows up for a particular search query (similar to impressions for organic searches)

Search-Query-Report

  • Individual page traffic
    • Shows traffic to individual pages – if we optimize a page for keyword X, we can infer that an increase in traffic to that URL  will come from searches of that keyword

Individual-Page-Traffic

  • Conversion Metrics
    • Measure conversions/form-fills before and after an SEO campaign – this is the ultimate goal, after all

Conversion-Report

  • Paid Advertising
    • We’re still able to get 100% of keyword data from paid search so we can extrapolate that data
    • For example: higher conversion rates from certain paid keywords should yield higher rates for those same keywords in an organic environment

Paid-Advertising
The bottom line is that we will need to work harder to prove our worth and earn trust through nurturing, some hand-holding and more excellent customer service.

Sounds like things Dynamics Online has been doing for 16 years! So as you can see, not much will really change in the way we do business. We’ll simply have to reposition, refocus, and maintain full transparency in the things we do.


Keith-G+-ImageKeith Mayer is the Director of Search Engine Marketing at Dynamics Online.
You can reach him by calling (216) 292-4410.