Excellence is not a destination; it is a continuous journey that never ends. -Brian Tracy
It’s with this philosophy we’ve been at working implementing improvements to our Christian and Church SEO services. We grouped them into 3 categories…
I wrote last week that many organizations that invest in search marketing don’t know what kind of a return they are getting on their investment because they’re not tracking metrics. We have seen organizations that were experiencing great success cancel their SEO service because the person responsible for online marketing could not prove it was working to the people in charge of the budget. They just weren’t tracking the right numbers. So, we’re going to do additional data tracking for our SEO clients.
1) Track search traffic – Our experience is that Google Analytics provides best and easiest way to track the number of visitors a website is getting from search engines. We are going to make sure all of our SEO clients have Google Analytics set up on their websites. For many this is already in place. For the rest we will set this up for you. If we need help with access, we’ll let you know. We are now including this data in the monthly SEO report we send each client.
2) Track online and offline goals – Better search rankings and growing search traffic are great, but they are only a means to an end. The ultimate goal of SEO is to help your organization reach its goals. What are you trying accomplish this year? More church members? More students enrolled in your school? More sales for your business? To really know how well your SEO is working, you need to know how many of these came from search engines.
We can’t do this on our own; it’s going to take a cooperative effort with our clients. For those clients who are willing to put in the effort, we will work with them to develop a customized plan to measure online and offline goals and spreadsheets to track progress. There’s no extra cost for this.
Setup Websites in Google and Bing
When an organization starts a new SEO service with us, one of the first things we do now is set up their website with tools that help us understand how search engines see the website and indicate if there are any problems reading or indexing the website. Some of our clients started with us before we began doing this, others redesigned their websites and removed the necessary codes or changed passwords. So, we’re going back through the process of setting up and verifying all our clients’ websites.
3) Setup/verify websites in Google Search Console
4) Setup/verify websites in Bing Webmaster Tools
5) Setup/verify websites in Google Analytics
Simplifying SEO Reports
I have a confession to make… we are addicts… data addicts, that is. Given the option to get our hands on more data, we almost always say, “Yes!” Track search rankings on 1800+ keywords for a single client? Um, yeah we’ve done that. Check rankings in more than 2 dozen search engines? Yeah, that too. But we have come to realize not everyone is wired like this and often too much data can be overwhelming. So, we’ve tried to simplify things a bit for our clients. Here are some of the changes:
6) Removed redundant search engines from reports – For some clients we were tracking rankings in “Google,” “Google Mobile,” “Google Organic” and “Google Universal.” I don’t want to try to explain here the differences between each of these, but we’re now just tracking “Google” and “Google Mobile” and no longer tracking Google Organic” and “Google Universal.”
7) Removed irrelevant keyword combinations – Part of the way we help our clients reach the specific people they’re trying to reach is by choosing relevant adjectives and targeting longer phrases. For example, a church may not be able to rank #1 for “church in [their city],” but it perhaps it could be #1 for “non-denominational church in [their city]” or “multicultural church in [their city].”
At some point data addiction caused us to go a bit overboard with this by monitoring search rankings for combinations of these adjectives like “non-denominational multicultural church in [their city]” and while we’re at it, let’s monitor “multicultural non-denominational church in [their city]” and “[their city] non-denominational multicultural church” and so on. The end result was many clients were getting reports with rankings on 800+ keywords some of which probably ever actually get searched for. We cut that down dramatically.
Note that for many clients this caused the number of “Top 10” and “#1” rankings shown in the reports to drop from thousands to hundreds. Rankings aren’t down; fewer search engines and keywords are in the report. (Another reason why search traffic and conversions are a better measure of SEO)
8) Added mobile search engines – We’ve been helping some clients with their SEO since before the search engines started showing different results to mobile devices compared to desktop computers. We made sure we’re tracking mobile search rankings for all clients.
9) Made monthly SEO report emails easier to read – In the past we’ve included lots of data in the monthly emails we send to our SEO clients. We’ve changed those emails to be more of a dashboard, providing a few key metrics with links to more data if you want to go deeper.
If you’re interested in growing your church, school, ministry or business by connecting with people searching online, please check out our Christian SEO services and fill out the form to request a free consultation.
- Which improvement do you think is most significant?
- What improvements are you making to your SEO this year?