In my last post, I talked about Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and how that metric can be used to determine if lead generation tactics are profitable and worth continuing and/or adjusting. Now, I realize that for some industries it's nearly impossible to assign hard numbers (in the case of average lifetime client value and average customer cost, for instance) due to a variety of factors. Personally, I enjoy that challenge, as there is ALWAYS a way to put numbers to digital marketing efforts. Some ways are more accurate than others, but all should provide a good marketing compass.
One oft-overlooked metric is an oldie but a goodie—organic search traffic. This is one of my favorite digital metrics not only because of its simplicity, but because of what it represents. Organic search traffic can be one of the strongest vital signs regarding a company's overall digital marketing efforts. If traffic from organic search is faltering, that often means key marketing channels like blogging, social, and content curation and distribution are either being neglected or done poorly.
We have one client whose organic search in for July-Oct of this year has exploded in Google (up 146%), Yahoo (up 138%), and Bing (up 145%) over this same time period last year. The reason for this? Blogging, social media activity, improved on-page edits geared toward improved rankings, and other recently implemented strategies. While some search purists still argue about the true impact that social has on SEO, there is no evidence to show it can be a detriment. Even our own site, www.clickrain.com, is up 39.97% in Google organic in 2012 compared to 2011 thanks to more consistent blogging and social media optimization (as well as overall social activity) and some key on-page changes.
There's an old saying that you can tell a lot about a man by looking at his shoes. Well, give me a peek at his organic search traffic and I'll tell you everything you need to know about his online marketing efforts.