What Are Your SEO Numbers YoY?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Since SEO is such a long-term process, it’s important that you take in the big picture when trying to measure the impact of your work and evaluate your SEO success. Month over month you might not see much growth in terms of organic traffic or link earning, but comparing three months to three months, or even year-over-year, you get a better sense for how much of an real impact your SEO program has had on your website. Take a look at this graph below and see that one client’s SEO numbers have changed YoY:

What Are Your SEO Numbers YoY?

For the record, a 210% increase in organic traffic in just a year is a HUGE jump, especially for a B2B website. Please don’t look at that SEO number and think it’s the norm.

The homepage of this site saw the biggest growth in organic traffic, but of the top ten pages with the most organic traffic, 6 of them are actually blog posts! This is a great example of how much of an impact business blogging can have on your SEO numbers. Without those 6 blog posts the site would have seen probably 3,000+ fewer visitors YoY. When you consider it takes about an hour or two to write each post and just a few minutes to promote them the time invested for those 3,000+ visitors is well worth it! That’s an SEO number you can take to your management team and really make the case for more blogging as part of your ongoing SEO program. “We spent approximately 10 hours writing and promoting these 6 posts, and each hour is worth nearly 500 organic visitors over the course of the year!” When you break the numbers out that way suddenly blogging is an incredibly time-effective way to build your brand online!

This particular client wasn’t tracking their conversions in Google Analytics, but I’d be willing to bet that YoY those numbers have increased at well. With so much more organic traffic finding its way to the site you are bound to see some kind of influence on your sales pipeline, and ultimately your bottom line. The thing to remember is that you can’t tie your SEO efforts to final sales right away. It might take several months for your SEO to really ramp up and starts pulling potential customers to the site and then you have to give those visitors time to work their way through your usual sale cycle.

For instance, if your sales cycle is typically 6 months long and you don’t notice a real uptick in organic traffic until 6 months into your SEO program (blogging, social media, link building, etc.) that means you need to give it 12-14 months before you say if your SEO program has impacted your bottom line or not. Many websites pull the plug on their SEO program too soon because they are expecting to see big numbers right out of the gate. That’s why looking at your SEO numbers year-over-year is so important; it gives your website time to actually convert those newly acquired organic visitors!

Other SEO numbers to look at include number of quality links earned YoY (as well as number of junk links removed), percentage increase in social followers/fans and shares per blog post, and which particular pages jumped in traffic. Data is only as useful as the way you interpret it, so be careful that you don’t pigeonhole your reports and hide your true success. On the flip side, don’t take data at face value. Sometimes dashboards paint too broad a picture and you miss the real story.

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