How to Prove SEO Is Working For Your Website

Written by Brick Marketing

In today’s economy very dollar has to be accounted for. For many websites, they want to see that when they invest one dollar in their SEO campaign it’s going to bring a $1.50 or $2 back into their business. But in order to prove SEO is working for your website you need to know what to look for.

Here are three things you want to look at to be able to prove SEO is working for your website:

Is organic traffic from the search engines going up?

This is a very simple metric but it can speak volumes when trying to prove the value of your SEO campaign. Simply keep an eye on the percentage of traffic that is coming to your site from the search engines. Most sites, unless you have a huge brand like IBM or Apple and consumers search for you by name directly, are going to see that a lion’s share of their traffic is coming from the search engines. For instance, in the graph below you’ll see that for this site 73% of their traffic was coming from the search engines (for the set time frame anyway). If they compared that percentage to the same length of time to before they implemented their SEO campaign and saw that organic traffic account for 68% of their visitors they’d know that SEO was having a positive impact. A 5% jump might not sound like much, but it could mean thousands of extra visitors!

Just to make note–you want to make sure you aren’t accidentally counting any traffic that comes from your PPC campaigns in this total, as SEO is a different campaign. Depending on how much you invest in PPC this could be inflating your numbers and won’t help you prove SEO.

Are more referral links coming from your link building activities?

Referral links are any inbound links from another site that drive traffic your way. For instance, a link from a YouTube video is a referral link. Or a link from an industry forum or business profile is a referral link. You can zone in on traffic from your referral links in Google Analytics, which is a great way to find out if any of the new links you’ve built as part of your link building strategy are sending targeted traffic your way. Hopefully you (or your SEO partner) have kept track of all the sites you’ve created links on—are any of them in the top 500 referral links? Remember, a new referral link might only send a 5 visitors in a month, but if you multiple that by 10 more referral links that’s suddenly 50 more unique visitors a month that are highly targeted. Over the course of a year you’re looking at 600 extra visitors from 10 referral links (and more link building strategies will build a lot more than 10 links!)

When you’re trying to prove SEO it’s important to not pigeon-hole your numbers. One month’s worth of data might not look like much, but when you expand it to 3 or 6 months suddenly the numbers look much more impressive.

What new non-branded keywords are driving traffic to your website?

Even though SEO can help with branded search, the real value comes from the non-branded keywords. Keep an eye on the keywords that are driving people to your site. What keywords are slowly gaining more traction over time? Are there any new keywords suddenly pushing traffic that you never saw before? When one of Brick Marketing’s clients implemented their SEO strategy their organic traffic actually dipped down in the first few months because super broad and non-relevant keywords were no longer sending traffic their way (which was fine because they weren’t the right kind of visitors anyway) and over time that loss was recovered and actually improved upon as the newly targeted, non-branded keywords of their SEO program started gaining traction. More traffic is good, more targeted traffic is better. Being able to show a higher conversion rate with your new non-branded keywords is a fantastic way to prove SEO.

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