Earlier this month, I ran a half marathon. (Yay carbohydrates!) After weeks of training, I found myself at the runners expo waiting in line to pick up my packet and bib for the race. If you’ve ever run a race and/or visited an expo, you know the lines can be excruciatingly long. And even worse, everyone in the venue–20,000 registrants to be exact– is trying to look up their bib number using the onsite wireless.
Fast forward 30 minutes and I’ve finally accessed the event website (via clicking on a paid search ad, FYI), but I can’t get the search feature to work on the site. After numerous attempts, I go back and click on one of the organic listings and I’m directed to an area of the site that’s mobile and tablet friendly. Hooray, I convert!
As a runner, all I cared about was finding my bib number and carbing up, but for those managing the event, I’d imagine they’d be interested in learning about the interactions all 20,000 runners had with their site that day — for both paid and organic listings.
Enter the Skai SEO/SEM Performance report. It’s one of my personal favorites for a number of reasons, many of which apply to my running expo experience. The report allows me to analyze paid and organic search terms and channel level data side by side to better understand their interactions. I can also look at my SEO rank separately and identify areas for improvement.
With the ability to see converting terms unique to only SEO (meaning search terms with performance in SEO and no SEM equivalent), I can tap into new revenue/conversion/click streams that haven’t even seen the light of day. I can quickly and easily harvest those key terms and add them to my Skai account.
But how do we apply this report to a real life example? Let’s take the runner expo and the 20,000 users who had trouble accessing bib numbers. As the race manager, I could use the report to immediately see that conversions for my bib look up page through natural listings were incredibly low. When pairing that up with my analytics, I may also see that the abandonment rate on the page was high during that particular day of the week — even down to the hour.
At next year’s event I may consider setting up a separate URL for registered runners to get their bib numbers quickly and easily as well as ask them to opt into my newsletter, redeem a discount on the race, or like the race on Facebook.
On the positive side, if I’m a race organizer trying to get sign ups for my event, I would be able to use this report and see what search terms converted on organic listings more than paid. I’ll use these terms in my paid search campaigns for next years race in an effort to get more people to show up on race day.
Finally, I can also see what channels perform most efficiently for me. During next year’s race, I may choose to allocate more budget to Google if I find my paid search campaigns perform better there and optimize my Bing organic results if I get more conversions from its natural listings.
The beauty of the SEO/SEM Performance report is that not only can I fuse together what’s happening between paid and organic, but I can also align more closely with other teams in my organization. Now my paid teams and SEO teams are connecting the dots in a way that ultimately drives more business and efficient search programs.
As it turns out, all was not lost at the race packet pick up a few weeks ago. In addition to tackling 13.1 miles, I also re-discovered a way to evaluate search programs using the power of Skai.
On your mark. Get Set. Skai!