Here we are, final talk at ThinkVisibility, and we’re here with everyone’s favourite Panda and she’s talking to us about clever things, like….

KPI’s, Data, Reporting and Communications

Stop Pandering to Others, Start Maximising your Relationships

The bigger picture

  • keep your actual business objectives in mind (it’s not just ranking number 1 for laptops, or pandas)
  • dont be the only person who knows what’s going on
  • delegate!
  • don’t control everything
  • the quicker you accept this, the more efficient you will become

Pro tip – brainstorm

  • put aside a whole afternoon
  • collect a team of relevant people (bring baked goods = cakes are a winner)
  • present to them and get feedback
  • issues / opportunities / implementation


  • project management tools (like Basecamp) do have their uses
  • you can never cc too much
  • learn to let go – you might do it ‘better’ but you just don’t have time

Pro Tip inbox categorisation

Create rules in Outlook

KPI’s: what are they actually about?

Wordle cloud of KPI’s – so many possibilities!

Does ranking still matter? Yes and No. See the SEO Dojo Poll 2010.

So – what should we be focusing on?

  • a KPI is not only something that can be measured with analytics or a ranking toll
  • differentiate between qualitative and quantitative goals
  • dont forget personal and team development goals
  • don’t hide it because it isn’t pretty.


Branded v non branded –

  • brand to non brand comparison
  • returning visitors on a brand term

Click through rate –

  • webmaster tools
  • not ideal but an area to consider
  • PPC


percentage increase in organic traffic

  • top pages generating organic traffic
  • top entrance pages : top entry pages

search landscape visibility – % of times the site is visible for top keyword positions. Panda shows a bubble graph from some software made by Rob Hammond, it’s nice.


  • quality vs quantity
  • speed of link growth
  • anchor text data (internally and externally)
  • link churn – high link churn = BAD
  • link diversity
  • geographical link location

Pro tip – look beyond the obvious

Common KPI: measure the number of pages of your site now indexed in Google

Take it one further – check the number of landing pages actively bringing visitors to your site

Common KPI: measure traffic generated by new content pages.

Take it one further: add $ value to each new content page and assign real value to that content / visitor. Understand what the pages are actually doing for you.

Reporting – it doesn’t have to be a chore!

  • don’t manipulate data to paint a rosy picture!
  • shit happens, don’t pretend it doesn’t
  • working on favourable KPIs now is more likely to make work more difficualt tomorrow

What’s in a report?

  • ask – why am I producing this?
  • who is it for?
  • what so they want to learn from it?
  • what do they not want to see?
  • have you actually asked them what they’d like to see?

Make it meaningful.

  • keep it simple
  • executive summaries
  • highlight trends
  • it’s not just about numbers
  • consider the rest of the market – did the same thing happen to them?
  • get feedback!

Simple Tools

  • use a traffic light system
  • use comparisons – areas improved AND areas dropped
  • summarise in your email – don’t just attach the report
  • use a NEXT STEPS approach

Bigger tools

  • understand what you need
  • automate and or build your own
  • Google Analytics API = A gift

Pro tip

Keep it simple, but don’t underestimate the power of transparency, use appendices.

These appendices don’t neccessarily get read, but means you have covered it (and yourself).

Maximising relationships – getting more for everyone

The holy trinity of education, communication and information:


  • speak to people in person
  • clearly differentiate between ACTUAL & OPINION
  • collate information from other sources – like offline and social


  • why have one person doing your job when you can have 10? get them to understand what it is that they are paying you for.
  • can offer training sessions to clients
  • hold training days / immersion sessions
  • spare the time


  • kill with kindness – deal with things even when you don’t want to. Keeps everyone happy.
  • nothing is too obvious
  • you can never over CC
  • don’t abandon face to face

Straw Poll – common complaints

  • stakeholders changing mind at last minute
  • developers not seeing the bigger picture
  • clients asking for impossible forcasting requests
  • repeated reiteration (esp in emails, asking the same thing over and over)
  • making bad changes because a client has told you to

What can you do about it?

  • remember – YOU are the specialist
  • if in doubt – summarise
  • pick up the phone
  • push back on with valid explanantions

Pro tip – partnerships

  • discuss internal partnerships with all new clients
  • the easiest place to leverage content / link / commercial potential
  • keep a list of possible interest areas for each client

And finally….

If you haven’t already contributed to the Jaamit fund – do it here on the ThinkVis Jaamit donation page

PS Annabel and I DID dance the conga on stage, but fortunately everyone had left. Join us next time!

Find the panda on Twitter (@searchpanda) on