Is Your SEO Working?
How do you know if your SEO is paying dividends? There are several metrics and reports you can pull, but a very straight-forward and transparent aspect to analyze would be your branded vs non-branded traffic. If your non-branded traffic is increasing month over month, than it is likely that your SEO efforts are working and you are moving the needle. Sometimes marketers will focus on the total number of organic visits and not realize that their branded traffic is increasing while their non-branded traffic is steady or decreasing. If this is the case, then typically other marketing efforts are increasing your brand awareness while your SEO is stagnant, which results in more people looking for you directly and less people finding your after a non-branded search.
How To Find This Goodness?
Great question. I will be honest, this used to be much easier before Google revoked our keyword data privilege; however, we are still able to use various metrics to pull branded and non-branded keyword data. In this post I will show you an accurate, simple way to pull this information, and in a follow up post I will discuss other possibilities including the use of landing page data.
Webmaster Search Queries
You want to make sure that your Webmaster and Google Analytics accounts are synced. Regardless if it synced at this point or not, you can still go to your Webmaster account and click on Search Queries which is under the Search Traffic drop-down menu. Next, select the date range that you would like view. See below.
Record the total number of search queries, and then click on Filters and select “not containing” from the drop-down menu. Here, you will want to select your branded terms that you want to exclude. For example, I would input “AdLift” to get rid of any branded search queries.
Now, you want to record the number of these non-branded visits. You can divide this into your total to get a percentage of non-branded vs branded data and use this information as a benchmark moving forward. It is important to record these numbers each month, because unlike keyword data, this only displays up to three months of search queries.