Why you shouldn’t dismiss ‘vanity’ SEO metrics

Content Marketing

If you’ve ever sat in a room and been pitched by an SEO agency, or any agency that’s offering marketing or PR services, you’ve probably sat through their customary five minute rant against ‘vanity’ metrics.

It’s all part of the process.

“You shouldn’t pay attention to web traffic because it’s a ‘vanity’ metric that doesn’t impact your bottom line”.

“Never mind those fluffy new user stats or time on page numbers or bounce rates, they’re not really what you’re interested in”.

The main reason they do this is to try and convince you that they’re different to everyone else.

“Everyone else looks at these numbers but we don’t because we’re so much better.”

Which would mean something if it was actually true.

But they do look at web traffic increases.

And new users. And bounce rate. And social media interaction.

They look at all of it.

If they don’t, you should be seriously worried.

Because while stats like web traffic numbers, new users or search rankings don’t tell you how much money your marketing has made, they’re reliably key insights about how close you’re getting to the money coming in.

So, here’s why you shouldn’t dismiss those vanity SEO metrics just yet.


More web traffic means more visibility

I really don’t get how getting more website traffic became something to be dismissed out of hand. But often it is.

Something like 150% increase in year-on-year traffic brushed off like it’s one extra sit up after a year of effort.

Yes, there’s something to be said for generating 1,000 more users and converting none of them.

But that’s a better problem to have than having no web traffic and still no conversions.

At least if you’re getting people to your site, you’ve got a chance of converting them.

If you’re doing content marketing right, then over time you’ll start to see more conversions coming from those new web visitors.

If you don’t see conversions, then you know that you need to work on your website content to angle it more towards conversions.

You’d be surprised how effective moving a CTA into the top right position of a web page can be on conversions.


Popular content gets links

If you write an article that attracts 100,000 views from Google, then it’s obviously a case study in how to create a successful piece of content.

Which is something other websites are always linking to.

You’ve probably seen the type of article I mean:

  • 101 really successful landing pages
  • 15 SEO articles you should copy for the best results

And these mentions on other websites usually come with links back to your website, which is good for your SEO, which is good for your search ranking, which is good for web traffic, which can be good for revenue.

See how it works?

Plus, if your content is aimed at things your customers are interested in, then it will be attracting your ideal audience and the sales are going to follow.

After all surely no-one in their right mind is reading an article about automated accounting software unless they’re interested in it, right?


Vanity metrics are a precursor to sales

We all know that person in the business who is obsessed with nothing but sales metrics.

Often, it gets in the way of good work. Because immediate sales rarely happen in most marketing – PPC is different.

The truth is, it takes time for SEO to work. It takes time for search engines to recognise that your content is proving popular, is answering questions and is something users are interested in.

But seeing green arrows pointing up on all your website stats can be taken as a precursor to the fact that you’re doing something right and getting naturally closer to those much desired sales.

Remember, if you’re selling £250,000 bits of machinery, you’re not likely to get a sale on the first visit.

But stick with it and you’ll soon see those vanity metrics turn into solid sales figures.

In the meantime, just enjoy the ride that comes with creating great content that keeps your customers coming back until they’re ready to buy from you.

The alternative is a website full of content that no-one knows about – and that definitely won’t help your bottom line.

If you want to start seeing better results from your SEO and content marketing, get in touch.

You can get a free SEO audit of your website and then we can help with the ongoing improvements to get you more money from your website.

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