You may not want to take a course in statistics, but understanding how statistics work is critical when you are trying to analyze basic performance metrics. Interpreting the results of these metrics can be problematic if you do not understand how the metrics relate to the “big picture,” and statistics is a large part of understanding that.
Start With A Baseline
No matter what you want to show improvement in, you must have a “before” and “after” picture to show the client. One of the basic tenets of statistics is that you have to know where you start and where you are going. You may not find the answers you expected, but how do you know what to expect if you do not know where you came from?
Perhaps an example is in order here. Suppose you were told that someone added $5,000 to a savings account. That may sound like a respectable amount of money, but it is relative to the size of the account. For someone who had $5 in his savings account, $5,000 is a 1000-fold increase. For someone who had $50 million in his account, $5,000 is a drop in the bucket. Everything is relative, so it is important to know where you are starting in order to be able to show real results.
Use Analytics Wisely
It is very important that you understand what analytics mean. It is easy to think of things in simple terms, so someone might see a jump of two spots on the Google search pages as a “positive.” However, a jump from position #5 to position #3 is much more positive than a jump from page 7 to page 6.
In order to really measure the impact of your work, you must learn what the various analytics available to you actually mean so that you can explain them to your clients. Common metrics used are search engine share, visits referred, keyword referrals, conversion rates and page visits. Learn what these metrics mean if you want to talk to your clients sensibly.
Interaction is the Key To Success
No matter how great your SEO metrics, if your website visitors simply look and leave you are not going to be successful. Getting them to the website is one thing; converting them is another.
Conversion rates are the bottom line. Be sure you understand how to show the impact of social media, web design and other factors on conversion as well as SEO.