If you are like most business owners, you probably get at least 100 emails and five phone calls from proposed search engine optimization (SEO) gurus promising to rank your website at the top of Google. If it isn’t painfully obvious from all the jargon used in online solicitations that these SEO Firms are run by a bunch of techies that know nothing about sitting in your chair or about your business.
These guys have no idea how to obtain their own grow margin, let alone why they need to know yours to improve your roofing websites performance. It should not come as a surprise that the vast majority of these SEO firms focus their clients’ attention on the wrong metrics.
The typical SEO lives in a world of Keywords, backlinks, algorithm updates, and trust flow metrics. As a business owner, getting to this level of granularity isn’t just unnecessary – it’s distracting. The most important measure of SEO effectiveness is revenue and gross profits from organic search.
Revenue and gross profits from organic search are almost certainly the one metric not found in that massive monthly report of data that is clogging your inbox or sitting under a stack of papers on your desk. Most roofing contractor websites that I see can find a large percentage of the site visitors coming from overseas and outside of the marketing area.
If this sounds familiar to you, then you have a problem. I am going to provide a walkthrough of the SEO metrics that matter and how you can track the greatest metric of all – PROFIT!
The Value Pyramid of SEO Key Performance Indicators
You need to align your SEO investments with the correct metrics. To better understand this let me explain, that think of a website as sales funnel. Rankings, impressions, clicks are what I consider top-of-funnel (TOF) metrics. Leads, appointments, and sales are the lower funnel (LF) metrics.
As a business owner or manager, you must familiarize yourself with all the important SEO Key Performance Indicators (KPI), but you should use the LF metrics as your primary measure of SEO success. Here is what you should to know about each KPI.
Top of Funnel (ToF) KPI
How you rank for various keywords is the least important SEO metric. It is virtually impossible to determine how your site will rank for each searcher because Google has personalized search results based on past behaviors and physical location. Regardless, many SEO companies and business owners still fixate on keyword rankings.
If somebody searches “roof installation + City + State” and your site comes up at the top of the organic results on the first page of Google; your site is said to be the top-ranked search result and achieved number one ranking. If you are the type of entrepreneur that enjoys being in the details, you can track your rankings independently from your SEO firm. You can do this through doing this through Google Search Console, formally Google Webmaster Tools, or use a subscription software like SEMRush.
While keyword and phrase rankings ought not to be your primary measure of success, you do need them to generate impressions, which is the next level of the SEO funnel.
If someone searches for “roof replacement, city state” and your website shows up on the first page of organic search results, and an impression is generated. An impression is made each time someone searches for a keyword phrase, and your website appears on the page. If someone searches “roof repairs, city, state” and your site doesn’t appear on the page; you have very little hope of winning that job. Even if you do surface and an impression is generated, little value is created unless the searcher clicks on the hyperlink to your roofing website.
Whether a ranking and an impression turn into a click or site visit depends on two things. First is site visibility, think about your search habits, when the last time you clicked on a website on the second page of Google was? For 80-90 percent of consumers, the answer is never. If you are not ranked on the first page of Google, you are probably not going to win the click. But even being on the first page of Google isn’t going to win you that visitor. The top search position generates 30 – 45 percent of the clicks and the second listing generates about half of the number of clicks as the first position.
Lower Funnel (LF) KPIs
The difference between a good and bad SEO report is whether or not it includes the number of leads generated from or likely attributed to your SEO campaign. In the roofing and home remodeling industry, leads are typically new customers that contact you interested in some service (repair or replacement work). They can come from someone visiting your website and picking up the phone and calling you. Accurately tracking web leads from organic search require that you have Google Analytics installed on your site and customized and that you’re using a call tracking number.
Appointment & Sales
Tracking SEO results down to appointments and sales is where we separate the wheat from the chaff. To capture and report these KPI your SEO consultant will need to examine every lead form and tracked phone call from organic search. For the inexperienced, this process is tiresome and time-consuming; but, it’s an entirely necessary component of the process. In my experience, Roofing companies that manage their SEO campaigns this way measurably outperform their competitors.
Turning the Data into Information
Rankings and impressions mean diddly-squat if you’re not targeting the correct keywords and phrases or you’re not generating the right type of visitor. Having site visitors doesn’t equal success and doesn’t equal more profits. Clicks and website visits are worth little if your site doesn’t convert the click into a phone call.
I talk to many of SEO consultants you think that that isn’t their job and think that their only job is to get their client to rank. When I get calls from SEOs that promise page one rankings without tracking real results, it drives me bananas. You want to grow your business is why you are investing in search engine optimization and marketing.
SEO technicians who think their job is to get you ranked simply have missed the mark. They’re not thinking like a business owner, they are thinking like an employee.
Accurately tracking your SEO investments will help you better understand which aspects are working and which components need to change to get better results. Tools, technologies, and companies exist to help you translate data into action, and increasingly, the Roofing Companies winning the online marketing battle are those with superior data and insights.