Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO
SEO is a long term process. It takes time to see results from efforts, but as long as you did a good job of optimizing your site and are regularly building links and keeping active in social media you should begin to see an improvement. What many businesses make the mistake of doing is putting too much emphasis on rankings and it’s the only metric that they really pay attention to or care about. The thing about rankings is that they fluctuate and don’t provide an accurate picture. Your rank is going to be different based on things like location and personalized search.
Instead of ranking, focus on these 3 things to monitor SEO success:
Increase in non-branded keywords generating traffic
Branded search traffic is great. It means that you have a strong brand that people recognize and remember. People use branded search terms when they already know about your business but are just looking for more information. The goal of an SEO campaign is to deliver traffic to your site from people that don’t yet know about your company and are searching using keywords that your SEO campaign is targeting. Compare the data from before you started an SEO campaign and about 6 months into the campaign. If you see a steady increase in non-branded keywords it means that the campaign is working. It probably won’t be a significant spike within the first few months but over time it will continue to go up.
Increase in visitors
Visitor growth is an important metric to pay attention to. Again, there isn’t going to be a 50% improvement from one month to the next, but there should be an increase. In addition to organic search visitors you should also start to notice visits coming from a larger variety of sources due to your link building efforts. If you’re actively submitting guest blog posts and press releases and commenting on blogs, those links should generate visitors. Of course, traffic can vary month to month. Unless there is a drastic drop off there is no need to panic if things move slightly up and down. It’s best to look at a trend over multiple months and compare the data to before an SEO campaign was implemented to get an accurate picture.
Increase in time spent on the site
The purpose of SEO is to generate traffic to a website but more importantly, to generate the right kind of traffic. This is why it’s so important to target the most appropriate keywords in the SEO process. Targeting the wrong keywords will result in the wrong traffic that won’t convert and will probably leave the site quickly once they notice that it’s not what they need. If you see that time spent on the site is improving, it means that the right audience is landing on the site which is half the battle. As long as the content on your site is good and you offer a good product or service, there is a higher chance of conversion.