How to Measure Search Engine Optimization Success

By Ruth Hawk, Monday, June 4, 2018

When done right, search engine optimization has the potential to increase both traffic and leads to your website (in addition to raising brand awareness and trust among your target audience). Reaping those benefits is worth the consistent time and effort required to develop a robust SEO campaign. But, once you have a campaign in place, you will need to track certain metrics in order to determine whether or not your efforts are having the desired effect. If you are pursuing multiple channels for improving your website’s performance (such as pay per click advertising, or traditional paid ads), you will also need to differentiate between success gleaned from your search engine optimization efforts and the success of those other pursuits. In order to do so, consider evaluating the following metrics.

Examine the amount of traffic coming from organic search.

Increased traffic volume to your website is usually a positive thing regardless of what is driving it. However, for measuring search engine optimization success, you will need to see where it is coming from. In particular, you will want to find out how much traffic is coming from organic searches (i.e. the traffic that is coming from clicks within the search results instead of from other sources, such as advertisements). If your search engine optimization campaign is having the desired effect, you should gradually see traffic from these organic searches rising. This metric indicates that your presence in the search results is becoming more visible and effective, leading to more people clicking through to your website. And that is almost certainly the result of an effective SEO campaign.

SEE ALSO: 5 Tips for Creating Search Engine Optimized Content

Examine the amount of traffic coming from desired keywords to evaluate your search engine optimization campaign.

Enjoying increased traffic volume from organic searches is a strong sign that your SEO campaign is succeeding. However, not all organic traffic is alike. Another key component of SEO success is the search term or terms that are driving traffic to your site. For example, if the search terms driving traffic to your site are not relevant to your particular business, or are not as effective as the search terms you are targeting in your search engine optimization campaign, it may not be good news that they are sending visitors your way.

Chances are visitors will simply leave your website once they figure out that your business is not relevant to their needs. Instead, you want to see that your increased traffic from organic searches is being driven by the keywords you are targeting in your SEO campaign. That traffic is a sign that your efforts are succeeding, and that you are reaching your target audience.

On the flip side, information about what keywords are driving traffic to your site can give you insights into the keywords that you might want to add to your SEO campaign. You may find that certain search terms are sending people to your website and that you want to tweak your website or some of your landing pages to make them more relevant to customers looking into that search term. Your SEO experts can help you decide how to use that information regarding your keyword performance.

Examine the conversion rate of visitors to your website.

Welcoming more visitors to your website can be an exciting opportunity to increase your brand awareness and exposure. However, at the end of the day, what you want is to see more conversions from your website. This is the ultimate goal of improved rankings, increased traffic, and greater brand awareness. As a result, analyzing the conversions you are receiving from your search engine optimization campaign can be a good way to understand how that campaign is performing.

When looking at conversions, you need to examine not just the number you are receiving, or the overall percentage of visitors to your site who complete an action (such as filling out a form). Instead, you should look at the conversion rate for each search term. What percentage of visitors who come to your site from each search term convert?

If you find that the keywords you are targeting in your SEO campaign are enjoying a strong conversion rate, you know you are targeting the best search terms for your business, and that those search terms are bringing in qualified leads. If you find, however, that other search terms are receiving higher conversion rates, it may be time to consult with your SEO experts regarding how to either adjust your campaign to push your desired keywords more effectively or how to embrace the keywords that are performing well in order to earn even greater conversion rates from them.

Google SEO

Ensure that your Google rankings for desired keywords are improving over time.

Perhaps the most well-known image of SEO success is improved rankings in the search results. Seeing your website climb up the listings onto the first page, or even into the first few results, is often one of the stated goals of search engine optimization. Of course, rankings are not everything. For example, a business can do well without ever being in the first spot in the search results. However, if an SEO campaign is working the way it should, you will see your website moving into better positions than when you started.

In addition, you want to see that your improved standings in the search results are related to the keywords you are targeting in your SEO campaign. If your online visibility is improving because of your SEO campaign, it should be improving in the areas on which your campaign is focusing. Evaluating your search engine optimization success means paying attention to metrics that indicate whether your efforts are delivering results. By examining the amount of traffic coming from organic search, examining the traffic coming from targeted keywords, examining the conversion rate of visitors to your site, and ensuring that your Google rankings for desired keywords are improving over time, you can get a good idea of how your campaign is performing and of what changes may be required.

Posted in: How To, Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, WWW Learning Center

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