Web Design – 3 overlooked SEO conversion metrics to consider


SEO conversions and tracking go well beyond a direct sale or lead in your pipeline. 

They can be:

  • Newsletter and SMS subscribers that turn into sales.
  • Win-back campaigns where customers haven’t shopped yet or rediscovered you.
  • Bringing job seekers to your job listing pages, resulting in lower costs of hiring new employees.

If you only focus on direct conversions, the whole picture of your impact on the company has been missed. 

Here are some examples of metrics you may not be using but could be a good way to show your true value as an SEO to your organization. 

1. CPM revenue

If you’ve worked on news sites, are a blogger, or produce video content, then you know how important CPM and CPC revenue is. 

Although bringing eyeballs to the site or channel is important, there could be bigger wins. Increasing pageviews per visitor is the first. 

And this is an easy win for SEOs making your job easier if you don’t have to go after the big phrases that are harder to compete on.

Here’s an example. Suppose there is a phrase that brings 1,000 visitors to your site and one that brings in 600. 

The ads team is going to want that bigger number because it is more eyeballs and that means more CPM money. But that could be the wrong move.

If the 1,000 visitor term has a page view rate of 1.25, and the 600 has 2.5 pageviews, and the CPMs are equal, the 600 phrase is the better one as it is more profitable. 

The 1,000 visitor phrase term drove 1,250 pageviews, while the 600 phrase term drove 1,500. 

And if the phrase is less competitive because there’s less traffic, your job may be easier to get the ranking. And don’t stop there. Look at the actual CPMs.

If they both had a 1.5 pageview per visit average, look to see what the CPM rates are. Maybe the 1,000 phrase has a $5 CPM, but the 600 phrase has an $ 8 CPM. 

Those extra $3 add up. And it can go one level further. 

Does your publication use affiliate links? 

Look to see what the intent of the user on the page is. 

Let’s assume the CPMs are equal, giving the advantage back to the 1,000 phrase.

Maybe the 1,000 phrase is entertaining or a fun fact-reading article. That could be why the CPM is the big revenue driver. 

If the 600 phrase traffic is a “how to” or a shopping guide, or something where the user will need a product or service, then there is likely affiliate revenue on top of it. 

Instead of making the decision on traffic, pageviews, and CPMs, talk to the affiliate relationship manager and ask what revenue comes through the affiliate links. 

A $5 CPM is nothing when adding eight $20 or 20 $200 commissions. The smaller phrase has a higher appeal as you get both CPM and affiliate commission revenue.

And we can go five layers deeper, but you get the point. This is something we help the affiliates in the programs we manage so both they and our clients can grow. 

If publishers look at pageviews and CPMs to sell ads and make money, they’re going after big phrases and not the big picture. 

There is a lot more to be made. And don’t forget visitors to these pages could turn into email and SMS subscribers for long-term revenue.


Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.


2. Candidate acquisition

Recruiting talent is expensive and competitive. The job posting has to reach the right eyeballs and stand out on the job boards. 

But what if you could eliminate some obstacles and bring candidates directly to the HR team or hiring manager? That is another metric overlooked by SEOs.

Look at your website’s Careers page and set up a conversion in your analytics package for applications and submissions. 

Then begin optimizing the section of the website. It should be fairly easy to include location-based information if the job is regional, job posting schema, and category-based content about your hiring industry.

You can write about marketing jobs in the marketing portion of the careers section. 

Mention local meetups or communities to engage with and how your company sponsors and supports employees actively learning through this. 

It bulks up the copy and gives candidates a reason to apply as the company supports their career growth.

Tip: If your company is an active member in some of these groups, ask them for a backlink to the careers section for members looking for work.

Now, watch as the traffic increases or decreases with the optimizations and which job types begin filling out more submissions. 

Ask the recruiters, hiring managers, or HR team to let you know the quality, and then work to adjust the pages to get more qualified candidates. 

Lastly, ask the hiring teams to mark the database for who made it for an interview and how many candidates got hired. 

Present this quarterly to your boss or the organization and show how you saved the company money and time so these resources can be focused elsewhere. 

By bringing candidates directly to the website, HR doesn’t have to spend as much on job boards.

And by helping HR to build a backlog of resumes, it becomes easier to find passive candidates once a job opens up. This also saves them time and money.

3. Win-back campaigns

As SEOs, we regularly update the content on website pages and have access to data. This includes customer service logs and product managers.

And as an SEO, you’re part of marketing, giving you a big advantage over other employees. 

You can combine product and customer service data, then create an integrated marketing plan for the email and social media ads teams to get win-backs going more effectively.

To do this:

  • Talk to customer service and find ways that customers use the products or when customer service lets them know that the product can be used for more than they thought. 
  • Verify with the product managers that these uses are ok to say publicly. If you get the OK, go into the product pages and specs sheets and add the features or functions that customers did not know your company provides. 
  • Share how often people ask about these with the social media ads and email teams. 

Have them try running win-back campaigns for customers that match the demographics of the people asking and responding but have not converted yet. 

This can also apply to people that haven’t shopped in a few years and didn’t know the product or service has advanced. 

If you have exit surveys, look to see if the use was one of the reasons they left your brand. 

And these talking points can be used as “bait emails” to try and get someone who started checking out but never converted. 

As a bonus, if these features and services are in demand, you may find a higher conversion rate on your product detail pages.

This can happen when you share relevant uses for your product or service that the consumer may have wanted and did not know you provide. 

You can then create blog posts and a new content silo to build authority on the subject and drive traditional SEO conversions. 

The overlooked conversions here are email and win-back sales that came from the work you did as an SEO and potential conversion rate increases from the product pages and spec sheets you had updated.

Looking at the bigger picture

SEO conversions are more than just sales, leads, and traffic for CPMs.

Think about how your skill sets can benefit the rest of the company and begin measuring the full impact of your role as an SEO. 

You may find yourself with more budget for tools and engineering allocation if you do this well.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *