Most companies today want to be “thought leaders.”
That’s a great aspiration, but it’s hard to quantify either “thought” or “leadership.” Even though “thought leadership” falls under the purview of data-driven SEOs and marketers, it’s a rather non-data-driven pursuit.
So how do you measure whether your efforts are working?
To answer this paucity of data, I’m proposing four free and easily-available metrics that can help a company understand its position in the indefinable field of thought leadership.
1. Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries
One way to figure out what people think of you is to find out how people are searching for you online. Google Webmaster Tools is one of the best ways to get this data.
To view the data, go to Google Webmaster Tools Search Traffic Search Queries.
There are several things you want to look for:
- High number of branded queries. Branded queries indicate that your company’s brand name is recognized, and people are looking for your company. Branded queries (e.g., a query for “Quicksprout”) are known as “navigational queries”
- Branded queries combined with informational queries. When searchers look for your brand plus an informational query, this is a signal that your brand has higher thought leadership. Why? Because they are searching your site for what you have to say on a particular topic. An example of this would be “quicksprout online checkout tips” or “moz dealing with duplicate content.”
- High avg. position for informational queries. The column, “Avg. position” indicates how your site is ranking in the search results. First page results (1-10) for informational queries are a good sign. Obviously, you’ll gain first page results for your own brand name. The true sign of success, however, is gaining first-page results for non-branded/informational searches.