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Definition of key terms and metrics used in SEO SEM CPC reports

Definitions of Common Terms: To further assist in reading SEO, SEM and CPC Advertising reports, here are definitions for some common terms.

  • Bounce Rate: The rate at which people exit the site after the initial landing page without exploring additional pages. A lower bounce rate is better.
  • Sessions: When a user is actively engaged in your website (or app). Any usage data is associated with a session.
  • Goal Completions (or Conversion): An action performed on your website that we’ve defined as being more valuable than other actions. These may include clicking a phone number or submitting an online enquiry. These are usually separate from Ecommerce transactions.
  • Transactions: An Ecommerce transaction, usually a purchase performed for an online store.
  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate: The rate at which a visit to your site resulted in an ecommerce purchase. A higher percentage is better.
  • Desktop Speed / Mobile Speed: Google’s score (out of 100) for how quickly your website loads for a user. A higher score is better.
  • Impressions: The number of times an ad or a link has been seen.
  • CTR: Click through rate, or the rate at which people click an ad or link after seeing it (clicks divided by impressions). If you have 100 impressions and 20 clicks, your CTR is 20%.
  • ROI: Return on Investment, or the net amount an advertising effort delivers in profit (Revenue less Cost) divided by how much it costs. This ratio is expressed as a percentage, and the higher the ROI the better. As an example, if you spend $10 in advertising and you have $30 in revenue as a result, your ROI is 200%. One of the best features of digital advertising is its ability to account for the exact ROI for any given advertising effort.
  • Traffic Channels: Here are the most common traffic channels for any website and their definitions –

1. Organic Search: Sessions from free searches performed on search engines (such as Google).

2. Paid Search: Sessions from AdWords or other paid platforms. We often group Facebook Ads in this category.

3. Social: Sessions from social channels such as Facebook or Twitter. We only group “organic” sessions here, meaning those that weren’t a result of paid ads.

4. Email: Sessions from links contained in emails.

5. Referral: Sessions from links contained on other websites.

6. Display: Sessions from display ads on other websites, such as Google Remarketing ads.

7. Affiliates: Sessions from affiliate network marketing (such as Commission Factory).

8. Direct: Any session without a digital referrer. These may have come to your site from offline advertising (print, radio, TV, etc.) or a previous visitor who had the site bookmarked or typed in the site directly in to a browser.

  • 301 Redirect: Put simply, a 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. This is the best way to ensure that users and search engines are directed to the correct page from the one they originally requested.

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