Additional Metrics That Measure SEO Success
The primary metric that we use to measure the success of an SEO campaign is the number of visitors delivered to a site through organic search over time. There won’t be a quick jump overnight at the onset of an SEO campaign but gradually that number should increase. Unfortunately, that increase isn’t a given within any sort of time period and it comes much easier for some sites compared to others. For example, if your product or service offering is extremely niche, there is likely a low search volume overall for what you have to offer or you might be in an extremely competitive industry and competitors may have been working at SEO longer than you have. Just because the number of visitors from organic search isn’t trending the way you want it to in the time period that you want it to, there are other metrics that you can look at that will justify an investment in an SEO program.
Referral link sources
The goal of an SEO program isn’t just to improve the number of visitors from the search engines, it’s to improve the visibility of your website across the whole web. Link building remains an important component of SEO. Every month as part of your link building campaign you should be seeking out link building opportunities on high quality websites that are related to your niche. Links from these sites will help to improve your SEO trust factor, but should also be generating traffic. When you look in your Analytics, be sure to look at the list of referral links. If your link building is on track you should see visitors coming to the site from those links. Even if it’s a small number, it’s more visitors than you would have had if those links didn’t exist and there’s a good chance that it’s a quality visitor that has a good chance of becoming a conversion.
Traffic to individual pages
Instead of focusing solely on overall organic traffic to the site, take a look at organic traffic that drove visitors to individual pages of the site. A comprehensive SEO strategy includes optimizing every page of the site for relevant keywords, which means that it isn’t just the homepage of your site that should be gaining traction. Take a look at your main service and product pages to see if there has been an improvement in the number of visitors to those individual pages coming from the search engines. An increase, even if only by a few visitors, to each of these pages means that the optimization of those pages is working.
Additional long tail keywords generating traffic
In many cases, it’s the long tail keywords (or niche keywords) that are going to deliver the best visitors to your site. Why? Because they are looking for something very specific and know exactly what they want to find. If your site is a match for a long tail keyword search, there’s a good chance that you will have what that visitor wants. Broad keywords on the other hand can bring in traffic from visitors that might not be the best match. Seeing additional long tail keywords generating traffic to the site is another metric that means that the SEO of the site is working properly.
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