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Marketing in the Age of Google: Your Online Strategy Is Your Business Strategy by Vanessa Fox

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Chapter 8. How to Cut Through the Data and Get the Actionable Metrics You Need

There's no shortage of analytics data available. In fact, that tends to be the problem. So much data exists that it can be difficult to figure out what's important and actionable. Particularly from a search perspective, the key is remembering those goals you defined when building searcher personas. What metrics give you insight into how well you are reaching those goals? And just as importantly, what can you do with the data you're tracking?

Conversion Rates

Businesses are finally starting to break out conversion rates from search. But too many of them start and end there. At a recent tech event in Seattle, the CEO from Redfin noted that their conversion rate from search is low.[140] But "from search" is like calculating a conversion rate from TV ads with no interest in whether the commercials aired during a Friday night monster truck rally or a Saturday morning cartoon, or like only tracking the conversion rate for "advertising," when that might include TV, radio, print, and online.

Conversion rate is absolutely important to understanding how well a site is performing, but it's much more actionable when viewed by acquisition segment. Even better is if you can tie visitors to future behavior. Do visitors who come in through message boards talking about eco-friendly materials read an average of three articles on the site, share those links on two social media sites, which in turn bring in 12 visitors who ...

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