Feature Article (Pub: February 07) The Optimisation Scorecard by Paul Rudman
The optimisation scorecard is an holistic methodology required for benchmarking and goal-setting in both your external search engine optimisation campaign and your internal enterprise search across your website, portal, or Intranet.
The success of an optimisation campaign cannot simply be judged on the number of well placed phrases your website has, or the speed and presentation of the results from your internal search. In order to measure the success and return on investment it is necessary to combine a number of different facets to see the whole picture.
External search criteria
- search engine placements (number + relevancy + which engine)
- searches done by users (number + relevancy + which engine)
- Project budget (determines resource dedication and link building budget)
- search engine referrals (number + relevancy)
- Activity on website from search engine referrals (stickiness + conversions)
The above factors - when combined in the optimisation scorecard - help assess the relative success of the search engine optimisation campaign.
Internal search criteria
- search usage (volume of searches + relevancy)
- actions following search usage
- usability of search
- presentation of search + results
- user feedback
The optimisation scorecard model proposed in this article is very much dependent on the integrity of the data being supplied from multiple sources. The issue with external search is that as I always point out, it's not a science, it's an art; search engines do not just provide you with all the information to analyse that they do for pay per click marketing.
We can only analyse the source phrases and their position in the search engine results, the end destination, how they enter the site, and what they do once on the site - although even today there is a still a strong argument for more natural SEO companies and campaigns to be better regulated and analysed and run more professionally, however that's an argument (and article) for the future!
Paul Rudman is the director and head of optimisation at CommerceTuned, he's been involved in developing search strategies and search engine optimisation for 7 years.