Web Analytics in the Search Personalization Era

One of the challenges SEO’s and marketers will face as Google increases the personalization of it’s search results is determining exactly WHERE in Google search their clicks are coming from.  As Shopper A sees your product or service in the 3rd natural position, Shopper B might see it 10th.

SEO is in the bath water, and Google is taking a solid look at throwing it out.

So how do we measure the success of our marketing efforts in Google for non-paid searches?

Google Search Personilization and Web Analytics
Google Search Personilization and Web Analytics

Measuring Organic Results Post Search Personalization

I’m thinking about this in a number of ways.  First would be Trends we should be looking for:

  1. Am I getting increased return visits from regular customers for key terms they haven’t bought from me before on?
  2. Am I seeing less new traffic from Google when my Rank Checking tools are telling me nothing has changed?
  3. Since Amazon and/or eBay might benefit greatly from personalization, am I seeing increased sales through these channels, and less in my own cart?

As I approach this challenge in 2010, these are going to be my three benchmarks.  I’ll develop more as time goes on and we study the first three, but this is my jumping off point.

Steps to Take to Better Prepare Yourself

  1. Make sure you have a Google Webmaster Account.  It will be interesting  to see how Google starts to report those results post personalization.  Currently, they report where certain keywords rank and are shown for specific searches.  Are they going to start reporting a baseline or average?  Time will tell.
  2. Tag your Google Base feed using the format listed in the GA URL Builder tool.  This will help you separate clicks from your Base/Shopping SEO efforts as opposed to the true natural SERPs. (I got this idea here: http://www.searchcowboys.com/seo/256)
  3. Sit down and figure out your baseline metrics now:
  • How frequently are your visitors returning in the first 3 quarters of 2009?
  • What percentage of your Google organic traffic is currently first time visitors?
  • What is the split of your own cart sales as opposed to shopping aggregators that might benefit from this change?

Clearly, Google search personalization is going to be a hot button in 2010.  Your analytics are one thing, and we’ll continue to discuss that here.  If you haven’t discussed this with your SEO yet (be it in house or outsourced), you need to.

About kevin

I work as an internet marketing manager in domestic (US) manufacturing, and blog about B2B web lead generation, CRMs, web analytics, and a little bit about affiliate marketing. I also am an avid Kayak Fisherman.