How to measure the value of SEO with CTR


“I keep seeing that customers need to evaluate the value of making this [SEO] change that change at the ticket level, ”said Jessica Bowman, the company’s SEO consultant and author of the Executive SEO Playbook, in her presentation at SMX Advanced.

While all SEO Tasks are important to the success of your site, there is a key difference that needs to be drawn: those that can increase revenue and those that are designed to prevent revenue reduction. SEOs who do not differentiate between such tasks often find themselves burned out and unable to show how their work affects the end result.

“It usually happens that SEO managers get entangled in this vortex when they try to generate positive revenue for all the tickets they have,” said Avinash Conda, director of organic growth at Williams Sonoma Inc., in the same presentation. “But it’s not something you have to use for all the tickets.”

Marketers should give preference to those tickets / orders that will prove to be the greatest value of SEO. However, they must also choose which measurements to report.

Bowman and Conda say detailed clickthrough rate (CTR) metrics for your brand’s targeted keywords are a simple yet effective way to prove that your SEO efforts are worth the effort.

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Data needed to measure the impact of SEO on CTR

To set the impact of an SEO template on CTR, Conda suggested that marketers first compile a list of specific URLs.

“It can be a subsection of a website, a folder on a website, or just a list of URLs that are affected,” he said. “Second [step] is to get a list of keywords mapped to these URLs. “

This basic information will serve as the basis for the formulas in the table (see template below).

Source: Jessica Bowman and Avinash Conda

To ensure that your team gets the CTR measurements it needs, SEOs should also consider adding the following data from Google Search Console (last 12 months) for URL / keyword combinations:

  • Total number of impressions.
  • Average rank.
  • Total clicks.
  • Current CTR.

Once this data is added to the template, the formulas will help you calculate the increase in CTR and forecast growth in the business year from the search. However, there are some additional manual entries that marketers will need to include to ensure proper operation:

  • A list of URLs that will be affected by the SEO task.
  • A list of keywords that each URL targets.
  • Expected increase in CTR based on high- and low-ranking keywords.
  • Average revenue per visit.

Use a CTR template

Marketers can use such a template to calculate alleged CTR, clicks, and revenue increases. This is a great way to link URLs / keywords to your organization’s end result and help teams better anticipate the impact of these efforts.

a table showing the alleged increase in CTR and revenue
Source: Jessica Bowman and Avinash Conda

However, as most searchers probably know, not every aspect of SEO value can be measured in such a clear way.

“There are some tasks that cannot be quantified at the traffic level,” Conda said. “Website speed [tasks] are a good example … We know they will have a positive impact on traffic because website speed is a big ranking factor, but I don’t think we’re there yet when it comes to [quantifiable] methodology. “

Trying to predict traffic using CTR in such a scenario may not be the most effective plan. In these cases, Conda recommends estimating SEO profits with conversion rates.

For example, the Portent study found that sites with a 1-second load time had such a conversion rate three times higher as sites that loaded in five seconds. Linking less measurable SEO tasks to important metrics like this can largely prove their value.

Nevertheless, CTR is a solid metric that SEO can use to show the value of their work, especially if the data is accessible through templates like Conda and Bowman’s.

“This model is an easy way to see the updates we’re implementing that we know will have a direct impact on rankings,” Conda said.

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About the author

Corey Patterson is the editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With experience in SEO, content marketing and journalism, he covers news from the SEO and PPC industries to help marketers improve their campaigns.


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