Chapter 7. Measure Your Search Marketing Success
It might seem backward to talk about how to measure the impact of your search marketing at this point. After all, don't you do that after the campaign? Well, yes and no. Certainly, you cannot measure what happened until after it has happened, but you must focus on measurements up front to justify the initial investment in search marketing. Unless you can project the value, you will never get that investment funded in the first place.
Defining your search metrics from the beginning helps you justify the investment, and it also focuses your activities. Too often, search marketing is treated as an art rather than a sciencea set of arcane incantations that when repeated with fervor (and mixed with eye of newt and toe of frog) will somehow magically lead to success. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Although intuition is a normal part of anything you do, it should be the exception rather than the rule. Without measurable results, you cannot tell a skilled practitioner from a quack, or a successful campaign from a flop. When you painstakingly measure everything you do, you can do more of what works and less of what does not. You make these adjustments every day and gradually improve your results. Intuition can still be important, but even then, informed intuition is the best kind.
Enough philosophy! It's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Instead of just listing the search metrics and explaining them to you, we walk you through an example. At the same time, we encourage you to choose your own exampleyour first search marketing campaignand work through the measurements in your own business.
In this chapter, we take several steps to understand search metrics:
There are many more search metrics than we cover in this chapter, so we return to the subject of metrics in Chapter 15, "Make Search Marketing Operational." In this chapter, however, we focus on the basic metrics required for you to show the business case for search marketing. Your first search marketing campaign is the place to start.