How to Measure SEO Success in M&A

For many M&A firms, SEO is mysterious.  Many firms know that they should optimize their sites and that competitors are doing the same but are unclear on how exactly to tell when an SEO campaign is working.  If your M&A firm is considering improving SEO, be sure to consider the following:

Search is important but can be misleading.

Tracking search results can be fun, even a little addicting.  Knowing that you gained three rank positions for M&A San Diego can be exciting, but how can you tell if the information is accurate? And does it even matter?

Accurate SEO rank tracking is key to understand how your market views your firm’s website online.  When you search for something on your computer Google very often influences these search results, tailoring them to your interests, geography, contextual search history and more. Because of this, no two Google searches are alike.  To mitigate this information variance we use special tools that normalize search, removing personal preference etc.  This gives us a master control metric that should be used as your primary benchmark.  These tools are auditable, so even when you search and find different results, we should be able to prove your search ranking results.

So, assuming you have the ability to normalize your search results and look at good source data – does the information even matter? The answer is yes and no.  If you are ranking highly for keywords that simply do not drive traffic you are focusing on vanity metrics.  High-value keywords will be more important so always remember to view your ranking in the context of your prospective viewer’s behavior.

So is traffic…

M&A websites do not generate a lot of traffic, that is just a reality.  Naturally, most firms want traffic to increase but the reality is that the inventory of sellers is fairly modest and static.  That said, as the old adage goes – more is not better, better is better. Never solely focus on traffic increases – it is too easy for SEO providers to pump up your traffic with junk visitors that provide no real opportunity to convert into paying business.

In the end, engagement is king.

If traffic quality can be tricky to quantify, and search results can be interpreted all sorts of ways, how do you know if your SEO effort is paying off – engagement metrics.  The below engagement metrics can quickly give you context for the success of your M&A firm’s SEO campaign:

Bounce rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website that leave without any further browsing from the point of entry.  You want as low of a bounce rate as possible.  In M&A, the average firm has a bounce rate of more than 80%! This means that 8 out of 10 of your visitors drops off on the page they entered on. Lower bounce rates mean that more visitors are exploring your site more deeply which typically is a result of improved traffic quality.

Visitor mix

Understanding how often a visitor returns to your site is also key.  Junk visitors may visit once and never again.  Real M&A clients will visit, on average 3 times before reaching out to you or filling out a contact form.  That said, look for your return visitors metrics to be improving over time.

Time on site/Page visits

The longer visitors stay on your site, and the more pages they view, the better.  This usually means your audience is reading your content – things like blog posts and case studies.  If your traffic is up, but the time visitors spend on the site is dropping, the quality of the traffic is poor.

Geo data

Are you a regional M&A firm looking to target a very specific geographic market? If so, a significant portion of your traffic should be coming from your area of focus.  SEO firms can not control where your traffic comes from, but the better traction you have with regional keywords, the more likely your traffic will be coming from said region.  Big spikes in international traffic from places like India, China, and Russia often prove traffic quality is low and can even expose a security risk.

 

Wondering if an SEO strategy will help you grow your M&A firm? Please feel free to reach out to us at hello@mergerlabs.com to discuss.

Posted on
July 5, 2017

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