Understanding what metrics to focus on and what they mean can be difficult. Here's a brief tutorial:

Search Engine Rankings (SERPs):

  • What it means: Search engine rankings tell you where your site is showing up on search engines for the keyword terms we are tracking for you. In the dashboard and on your reports, you'll see metrics for the following:
    • #1 Rankings - The number of keywords for which you're showing in the 1st position of Google
    • 1st Page Rankings - The number of keywords for which you're showing on the 1st page of Google (positions 1-10)
    • 2nd Page Rankings - The number of keywords for which you're showing on the 2nd page of Google (positions 11-20)
    • Keywords Tracked - The total number of keywords we're tracking for you.
  • How do you measure success? Typically, you want to see that your search engine rankings are either increasing or remaining consistent month over month. However, measuring success varies depending on several factors, including how long the site has been up and running, how long since it's been optimized, etc.
    • Brand New Sites: For a brand new website (new site build and/or new domain), it can take up to 6 months to see increases in search engine ranking positions.
    • Site Just Starting SEO Services: It can take up to 3 months to see increases in search engine ranking positions.
    • Site That Has Been Optimized for Several Months: Sites will not increase in rankings indefinitely. If your site has been optimized for some time, the goal is to maintain rankings.

SERP Rankings Bar Chart (on monthly reports):

  • What it means: This chart shows how your site has been ranking for #1, 1st page & 2nd page rankings over the past 12 months.
  • How do you measure success? See above.

Keyword SERP Rankings:

  • What it means: On the Keyword SERP Rankings report, you'll be able to see what your search engine ranking position is for each keyword we are tracking. On your monthly report, you'll also see how those rankings compare to the previous period and previous year. In the dashboard, you'll see this data for both Google and Bing/Yahoo, and how these rankings have increased (+) or decreased (-) for the period of time you're comparing to (previous day, previous 7 days, previous 30 days, or previous 90 days). On the dashboard, you'll also be able to view the average monthly search volume for each keyword.

Traffic Overview/Web Analytics

  • What it means: The Traffic Overview or Web Analytics sections of your reports and dashboard provide you with details about the traffic to your website

Sessions:

  • Organic Sessions: the total number of visits to your site from organic search engine results (Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, etc)
  • Total Sessions: the total number of visits to your site in the specified period of time
How do you measure success? Typically, you want to see your organic traffic to your site increasing. However, there are a couple of things to consider:
  • Seasonality: The multifamily industry is greatly affected by seasonality. In a typical calendar year, we tend to see an influx in traffic and conversions in January, then traffic tends to decrease in February & March, and then starts increasing again come April, with the strongest months typically being June/July. Traffic generally begins to subside in August, and this trend continues through the end of the year, with December typically being the slowest month.
  • Traffic Can't Increase Indefinitely: If you've had SEO services for a long period of time, at a certain point you will reach your maximum market share and you may not continue to see increases. The goal at that point would be to maintain traffic year over year.
  • Competition: Have several new properties recently opened in your market? If so, this may affect the organic traffic to your site.

Users:

  • Organic Users: the total number of people who have visited your site after finding you in organic search results. This number is generally lower than organic sessions due to the fact that the same user may visit or search for your site multiple times
  • Total Users: the total number of people who have visited your site. This number is generally lower than total sessions due to the fact that the same user may visit your site multiple times.
How do you measure success? The same way you measure the success for sessions.

Pages/Sessions:

  • Organic Pages/Session: The average number of pages viewed by each organic visit to the site. Typically, organic visits result in more page views on average.
  • Total Pages/Session: The average number of pages viewed on each visit to the site
How do you measure success? The more pages a user visits on your site, the more likely they are to convert. A good goal is to make sure that users are visiting at least 2 pages on your site before leaving. If they aren't, you may want to improve your site's navigation.

Session Duration:

  • Organic Avg. Session Duration: The average amount of time a user spends on the site after finding you organically
  • Total Avg. Session Duration: The average amount of time a user spends on the site, regardless of how they find your site.
How do you measure success? The longer a visitor spends on your site, the more likely they are to convert. Aim for a session duration of at least a minute.

Bounce Rate:

  • Organic Bounce Rate: How quickly someone leaves your site after clicking to your site from organic search results. If someone leaves after arriving on your landing page, the bounce rate would be 100%.
  • Total Bounce Rate: How quickly someone leaves your site, no matter what the source of the visit.
How do you measure success? A good target bounce rate is 50% or lower.

Conversions:

  • What it means: Respage counts a conversion as someone who clicked on your ad and did one of the following:
    • Called the property (phone)
    • Submitted a contact form (web)
  • Total Conversions: The total number of conversions received from visitors who found your site organically. This includes both phone & email/web conversions.
  • Phone Conversions: Any time someone finds your website in organic search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL or any other search engine, and then calls the property, this counts as a phone conversion.
  • Unique Phone Conversions: This means that this is the first time the caller has called the property since we've been tracking phone conversions for you.
  • Web Conversions: Any time someone finds your website in organic search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL or any other search engine, and then submits a contact form on your site, this counts as a web conversion.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of people who have converted after finding your site in organic search results.
How do you measure success? Typically, if these numbers are increasing, you're in good shape. However, there are several factors to keep in mind when evaluating your campaign's conversions:
  • Seasonality: The multifamily industry is greatly affected by seasonality. In a typical calendar year, we tend to see an influx in traffic and conversions in January, then traffic tends to decrease in February & March, and then starts increasing again come April, with the strongest months typically being June/July. Traffic generally begins to subside in August, and this trend continues through the end of the year, with December typically being the slowest month.
  • How Long Your Site Has Been Optimized:
    • New Sites: You may need to wait a few months before you see increases in conversions
    • Older Sites: If your site has been optimized for some time, you might not see dramatic increases year over year. 
  • Website Structure: Being able to easily find information on your site, including how someone can contact you, is important to capturing conversions.
  • Rental Prices & Specials: If you're seeing a significant amount of organic traffic to your site, your website is structured well and you're still not seeing the number of conversions you'd expect, you may want to consider comparing your rental prices and specials with your competition.
  • Increased Competition: Is your rental market oversaturated? Have several new properties recently opened in your market? If so, this may affect your conversion rate.