SEO Reporting: More Than Rank

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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In order to be successful with SEO long term, it’s necessary to get out of the “it’s all about rank” mindset. We’re not saying that rank doesn’t play a role, of course it does, but it isn’t the be all, end all metric to pay attention to during SEO reporting. Ranking fluctuates based on too many factors that are completely out of the control of website owners (location, search history, competitive landscape, etc.). That’s why, in addition to keeping tabs on rank, it’s important to also report on the following on a regular basis (typically monthly or quarterly):

Organic traffic growth

It’s easy to get wrapped up in paying attention to the ranking of a handful of priority keywords, but it’s better to look at the overall picture. When a website is properly optimized and publishing new content on a regular basis, there are going to be plenty of keyword opportunities that can drive traffic outside of the priority keywords. Long tail keywords might not have a high search volume, but they’re still helping to drive traffic. Overall organic traffic growth should slowly improve throughout the course of a white hat SEO campaign.

Keyword impressions

Improved keyword impression data is another indicator of a successful SEO campaign. An increase in impressions typically results in an increase in clicks and traffic. As an SEO campaign rolls on and more and more optimized content is added to a website, the number of keywords generating impressions should grow along with it.

Website conversions

An increase in traffic is great, but what’s most important is that it is translating to additional sales and leads in the form of website conversions. When launching an SEO campaign, it’s important to set up conversion tracking in Google Analytics in order to track website sales or lead form fill outs. Google Analytics will tell you what the source of the leads is, whether it’s organic search, paid search, email, etc. If for some reason traffic is increasing, but it’s not correlating with an increase in website conversions, it’s time to revisit the strategy. It’s possible that the wrong keywords are targeted (more informational as opposed to transactional, for example) or there is a conversion issue with the website that needs to be fixed.

Technical health of the website

Google Search Console provides a great overview of what’s going on with a website from a technical perspective and will alert a website owner when there is a problem such as a hack or if the website has received a penalty. This information is extremely important to review regularly because technical website problems can result in huge organic search traffic losses if they aren’t addressed quickly.

If you’re investing in an SEO campaign, it’s important to be reporting on it to ensure it’s on the right track. Sure, rank is important, but there are many other metrics to review that can help gauge the success of the campaign over time.


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