Brand vs. Non Brand Search

When it comes to attracting and increasing traffic from search engines, it’s imperative to understand why the traffic is coming to your website in the first place- especially if you are measuring conversions. Not just that, it could help you identify what the rest of your marketing mix is delivering and whether you are getting value for money on each campaign.

Drilling into where traffic is coming from and, arguably more importantly, the keywords that are delivering traffic can often show some interesting trends that prove whether your campaigns are working or not.

For example, a trend on a recent web marketing project I’m working was showing a very flat chart in terms of numbers of monthly unique visitors.

increase website visitors Basingstoke

Even when we drilled down into where the web traffic was coming from, search engine traffic was also looking relatively flat.

increasing search engine traffic

Non Branded Search – Product Search

It’s only when you take away any brand-related search phrases that you see the trend on search traffic for products and services. In this instance, there was an initial impact of around 200% growth in the first three months, which has continued to rise throughout the year:

SEO for products and services Basingstoke

What Does This Show?

To some respect, there are a number of reasons why this may be the case and for me, there’s always a strong indication of other marketing that drives brand related traffic. You would also combine these figures with traffic from referring sites and direct traffic.

Taking this into account (along with other data I have) I can see:

  • The ongoing SEO campaign has (and continues to) deliver an increase in traffic.
  • Brand search is static – ongoing marketing is retaining brand awareness. This would need to be judged against whether the client would expect a rise.
  • Direct traffic clearly outlines specific months where campaigns took place.  A good example is that in the early stages of this project, the company in question were doing a local launch in Basingstoke using a combination of other marketing activities, including a brochure, tele-sales campaign and a meet and greet.

Summary Of Findings

For me, I tend to always look through this data towards conversions and I can only measure either online enquiries or with feedback from the client, sales leads.

Ultimately, I still believe that when it comes to SEO and analysing the traffic data, it’s not an exact science. But, it can show trends. The key is to tie the data together rather than getting a potentially incorrect assumption by focusing on one graph… like so many people seem to want to.

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