3 Ways to Show Your SEO Success

Written by Nick Stamoulis

As frustrating as it is to hear (and say) not every website is going to grow their organic traffic by leaps and bounds through their SEO program. Even if you did everything “right” there could still be a number of factors working against you. For instance, if you work in a highly niche market there just might not be that many searches each month for your products and services. And how can you triple your organic visitor count if there is a cap on search volume? Contrarily, if you work in a highly competitive market there might be a lot of websites competing for the same visitors, making it that much harder for your website to rise above the fray. That being said, that doesn’t mean you can’t measure and celebrate your SEO success; it just means you might have to look for SEO success in ways other than strictly organic traffic growth.

In an interview I did with SEM expert Kevin Lee he said,…in SEO, there may be some smaller “wins” in the long tail and therefore some level of investment is almost always appropriate if only to determine what wins are achievable…The key is the have reasonable expectations given the competitive set (SEO competitors) and the level of current investment. .”  I think he makes a great point about having reasonable expectations and looking for the smaller wins in order to show your SEO success. Here are three ways you can do just that:

1. Are any new referral links driving traffic?

If Google vanished off the face of the Earth tomorrow how would people find your website? Hopefully through the hundreds and thousands of high-quality and well-targeted links you’ve built as part of your SEO program! While 15-20 visitors from 5 referral links might not seem like much of an SEO success, when you expand that out across several months and few dozen more referral links suddenly you’re looking at several hundred extra unique visitors in a relatively short amount of time. Great traffic doesn’t just have to come from the SERPs, nor do you have to limit your SEO success to organic search traffic.

2. Are certain pages seeing more traffic than in previous months?

So maybe organic traffic overall didn’t grow very much this past month, but sometimes the little SEO wins are buried so a few clicks away in your Google Analytics account. Take a look at the landing pages data—did any particular page see a spike in traffic this month? For instance, one client of mine had an internal product page go from 24 organic visitors from Google to 52 month over month (a 116% increase). Additionally, the number of visitors coming from their priority keyword for that page increased 1,000% (1 to 11)! While 10 visitors might not seem like much, considering it’s an extra ten visitors coming from one of their top keywords to a deep page on their site I’d say that’s an SEO success forth mentioning!

3. Are there any new long-tail keywords in your organic visitor report?

In most cases branded keywords out perform non-branded keywords (unless you’re a brand new website with no strong brand to rely on), but always be on the lookout for new non-branded keywords that are driving traffic to your website. For example, another one of my clients had a long tail keyword that generated 2 extra organic visitors one month, but those visitors spent over 9 minutes on the site! Again, 2 visitors doesn’t seem like an SEO success that anyone is going to get that excited over but when you look at how long those visitors spent on the site (and the fact that both converted) it’s a pretty good sign!

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