How Online Marketing and SEO Specialists Use Share of Voice and Click Through Rate

For webmasters, marketers, and small business owners alike, online marketing is a monumental endeavor.  Enough research into SEO and Online Marketing will reveal a library worth of knowledge on the subject.  You’ll be inundated with tips and tricks, guides and graphics, software and statistics.  With the unending stream of metrics available when reviewing your own campaigns, which is the most important?  Well that depends on the specific information that you are seeking.  If you’re evaluating content, use dwell time and bounce rates.  If you are evaluating your site versus your competitor, use average position.  What this article focuses on are the two metrics you should be using to evaluate your campaign’s effectiveness with regards to your keywords.  The metrics we will be discussing are ‘Share of Voice’ and ‘Click Through Rate’.

What is Share of Voice?

Share of Voice, or (SOV) is the percentage of an opportunity held by a given brand.  For example, if a radio station offers 12 advertising slots from 5pm to 6pm, and a company runs its ads on 3 of those slots, then that company has a 25% Share of Voice.  It’s an old marketing and advertising term, but it still applies today.  SOV can be applied to print advertising, tv commercials, online advertising, etc. but we are focused on what it means towards organic search engine results.

How does SOV apply to Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)?

Let’s first define the opportunity associated with a SERP.  The opportunity isn’t about the placement, it’s about the total traffic that a SERP could potentially bring your site. Let’s say you have a website about awesome coffee mugs, and we’re going after the keyword “custom coffee mugs”.  Let’s evaluate the opportunity from “custom coffee mugs”.  We start at Google Adwords Keyword Tool, and we find the Local Monthy Searches for that keyword. We come up with 27,100 searches, but that isn’t the opportunity.  The opportunity is the most amount of traffic we can possibly draw from a single spot on a SERP.  The average percentage of traffic that goes to the top ranked site is 18.2% (according to extensive industry research).  Remember, it’s not about how many people search for “custom coffee mugs”, it’s about how many people can potentially come to your site after searching for “custom coffee mugs”.  The number one position can hope for 18.2% of traffic, so for this keyword, 18.2% if 27,100 monthly searches is 4,932.2 monthly visits. Now we find out our monthly traffic for that keyword using Google Analytics.  If we find that we get 250 visitors from that keyword, we have a 5.06% SoV for “custom coffee mugs”.

Why you should use SOV instead of Plain Old Traffic Stats:

At this point, you may be wondering how SoV differs from run of the mill traffic stats.  SoV is relative to the monthly search traffic.  The market affects website traffic statistics, in that, if your business experiences a slow season and a busy season, it may very well reflect in your website traffic statistics.  Since SOV is a relative figure, if it stays steady or even rises during periods of low overall traffic to your site, you know that your marketing efforts are maintaining or improving despite low traffic.  This is important to conceptualize, because the simple line graphs that show traffic reports may reflect declines that aren’t necessarily a result of inconsistent or ineffective marketing efforts

What are impressions, clicks, and click-through-rates?

Impressions are the number of times your site has shown up in a search query.  Clicks are the number of times your site has been clicked.  Like SoV, Click Through Rate (CTR) is a relative metric.  CTR is the number of visits your get to your site relative to the number of impressions your site receives in the SERP’s expressed as a percentage.  For example, if your site shows up on a Google search 1000 times in a month, and the link was clicked 100 times, you’ve got a CTR of 10%.  You can use Google Webmaster Tools to see the CTF for the keywords you are appearing in the SERPs for..

The Author:

Christian Chung

Christian Chung

On Topic: Christian is Vice President of TG Web Media, and also serves the local business community as an Ambassador of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce and as a member of other business oriented organizations. A dedicated collector of online marketing knowledge, Christian brings a business oriented focus to each project. He graciously invites you to tap into his expertise in the field anytime, and would love to help you on your way to a successful online marketing campaign.

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