One of the most challenging aspects of my job is helping clients make good decisions about their websites. The typical challenging conversation starts something like this:
I had a friend who knows a lot about SEO take a look at my site and they said you guys have got it all messed up! I want you to give them access to the back end so they can fix it for me!
If our conversation starts like this, just know that I have put my phone on temporary mute, banged my head against the desk, rolled my eyes and heaved an exasperated sigh. I want to hang up, but I won’t. I’ll un-mute my phone and ask, in the most pleasant voice I can muster:
What makes you think your SEO is “messed up?”
The story usually starts at a cocktail party where some self-proclaimed expert who once built a website on WordPress was trying to show off. Unfortunately, the details of the criticism have been lost in translation. And no, I am not going to give this total stranger, who lacks any sort of credentials or qualifications, access to destroy all of the hard work we have put in to get your website ranking well on Google search.
Let’s Not Jump the Shark Here
If you’re having questions about how well your website is performing, or whether it needs a facelift, a refresh, or an SEO upgrade, please just give us a call. After all, we are the experts you are actually paying every month to do this work for you.
Before you call, or even during your call, take a look at the FACTS about your website. In this digital age, we no longer have to rely on gut feelings, intuition or even the personal opinion of our friends at cocktail parties. We have these wonderful things called ANALYTICS that tell us a very truthful, accurate and informative story about how well your website is performing.
You Don’t Have to Be Certified in Google Analytics
Your personal account manager here at Integrity Marketing is already certified, so you don’t have to be. But honestly, it does not take a certified analyst to understand the most important metrics about your website. In fact, you can learn a lot from a single, monthly email.
Your E2 CRM and The One Minute Manager
Every month your E2 CRM automatically delivers a performance report directly to your inbox. You don’t even have to log in (or remember passwords, etc.) to read it. And you sure don’t have to get certified in Google Analytics!The email gives you an at-a-glance summary of your website, blog, email marketing and automation activity for the current day, the past week and the past month.
Here are the sections you’ll want to quickly review:
Number of Contacts in Your Marketing Database
Does this number look “right” to you? It should include all of your clients as well as your leads, prospects, and referral sources to whom you market, including everyone who subscribes to your e-newsletter and blog digest.
This number should steadily increase month-over-month. Keep track of it. If it’s not growing, this means you are not adding any new clients or subscribers to your database. It should grow.
Warning Flags. Call Your Account Manager Immediately if:
- This is a very small number, say only 10 or 15. There may be something seriously wrong with your database.
- This is an extraordinarily large number, something you don’t recognize as legitimate. You may be the victim of a hacker or a SPAM attack.
Website Page Views
While this number is not the same as website visits, it’s an important number to know. Not only would you like to know how many website pages were viewed, but this report will tell you which pages get the most views. This shows you which sections of your website and blog are most popular and the typical customer path through your site.
You’ll also know if your website is averaging 50, 100 or more page views per day. This is a good gauge of how well your website is performing in terms of traffic and engagement.
Conversions and Website Signup Forms Submitted
Here is where the rubber meets the road. How many people submitted website forms (requesting a consultation, a personal contact, a download offer, etc.) or completed one of the other conversion goals established for your website? If you’re getting a steady number of website conversions, then you should be seeing the results in your appointment book. (Remember that this particular summary does not include phone calls generated directly from your website, these conversions are tracked separately.)
If You Have Workflow Automation Set Up
This email also summarizes your automation activity – showing how many times each of your workflows were activated. This gives you an idea of how well your marketing activities are integrated into your practice, how well you follow up on web leads, and the true impact of your online marketing.
Email Marketing Performance
These are your at-a-glance performance statistics for all your email marketing efforts. You’ll see how many emails were sent, how many were read, the click-through rate, exactly what links were clicked on, and how many times.
Who’s Working for You?
The email is also a very nice management tool. It shows which of your staff members logged into your CRM, when, and how often. You can see if all scheduled workflows were successfully completed … or not. Sometimes the primary reason a CRM is not working is … well … no one is using it! You’ll want to know if your staff are making an honest effort to make this work, or just hoping you will forget about it.
But What About Google Rank?
I knew you were going to go there. Google Rank – or how Google ranks your website on the results pages for various searches – is a moving target. Search results are increasingly personalized and influenced by your own online activity. In other words, if you search for yourself on Google, your results will be very different than mine, or your cocktail-party friend’s.
And here’s another hint: Results depend on the search.
That’s right. If your friend searches for estate attorney in upper New York State, and you search for estate attorney in Buffalo NY … you are likely to get somewhat different search results.
And finally: Results depend on location.
If you search for estate attorney from your office in Buffalo, and I search for estate attorney from my office in Colorado Springs we will get very different results, even though we’re both using the same search terms.
So … we send you a monthly average web ranking report, generated by a third-party (not us) that specializes in aggregating your search results on Google and giving you a general idea of how the search engines display your website. We pay for this service on your behalf to ensure you get the most accurate, objective reporting available.
There’s More to That Iceberg than You Can See on Google
Above all, remember this: Your goal is to grow your practice.
Our goal is build a digital marketing engine to do that.
Getting SEO right is one of our specialties – we have a staff full of folks who are certified specialists working hard every day to get your website front-and-center for the searches that matter most to your practice.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We also work hard to make sure people click-through on your listings and actually visit your website … and to keep them engaged when they arrive. We build the path to conversion with nurturing points all along the way – from your social media to your blog and content marketing to email marketing and even automation to ensure your firm has the best possible chance of converting website visitors into delighted new clients.
So the next time one of your friends gives advice about your website, please – thank them nicely, refresh their drink, and give us a call the next day. We actually would love to hear what they had to say. Sometimes friends give great advice and you never know who will have the next great idea! (And if they are really good, let them know we're always open to hiring great minds!)