How to Measure SEO Success
SEO is one of those topics that immediately prompt anxious and distrusting looks from novices. It’s not that people and companies don’t believe in SEO, rather, they can’t decide if their efforts are making or costing them money. As a SEO agency, we know proper optimization has the potential to produce not only positive, but hefty ROIs. But for many companies trying to solve the riddle on their own, the intricate wheel of off-page and on-page factors becomes too much. They’re looking at so many areas and aren’t sure how to correlate the money they’ve spent back to a proper success metric.
So what ends up happening?
They throw in the towel claiming SEO is bogus, or they plod on unaware if their campaign is actually worthwhile or not. They don’t stop to think if they’ve narrowly defined their target customer enough, or if their campaign has even been running long enough to see real results.
There are specific areas you should look at when deciding if your SEO efforts are working, whether they need adjusting or if you’ve simply knocked it out of the park.
Let’s have a peek at how to go about measuring your SEO success below.
The Nuanced Look
As we said above, SEO contains all kinds of factors and signs of success or failure. For the big picture to make sense, you have to know how all the littler things are going, too. Factors like keyword rankings, the amount of engagement you’re seeing on pieces of content, your domain authority, as well as the number of quality sites referring back to you are all important indicators of how your campaign is faring. Pay attention to these metrics but don’t get too fixated. Let’s move on to the high level view of analyzing a search campaign.
The High Level View
If you’ve been stuck on the fifth page for a particular keyword phrase and after three months of your organic search campaign you’ve moved to page two, that’s an improvement! While you shouldn’t run around the office pounding your chest and proclaiming your expert SEO prowess just yet, more people will undoubtedly find you if your site appears earlier in their searching process.
Searchers must first navigate to your site before they find out about you, take a look at what you offer, and ideally, convert. Since traffic can sometimes fail to tell the whole story, it’s helpful to dig a bit further into the quality of the traffic you’re seeing. Take a look at the amount of pages per visit, average visit duration, as well as the bounce rate. Each of these metrics will indicate if there are problems on your website keeping people from converting.
To many people, there’s only one way to measure SEO success, and that is based upon conversions. They’re not wrong. High rankings and increases in traffic don’t mean a whole lot if people aren’t converting. However, you need to define exactly what conversions mean in your campaign to evaluate your success accurately. Does converting simply mean buying a product? Are you trying to get visitors to sign up for your email newsletter? Download a whitepaper? Or maybe you want them to fill out a contact request form? Knowing exactly what you want visitors to do will help when deciding if your SEO efforts are proving worthwhile.
The Hard Numbers
SEO is constantly knocked for its gray areas when it comes time to analyze investments. But the truth is, most companies don’t take the time to create a definable, clear system that tracks their conversions against the amount of money they’ve invested in organic search. Knowing exactly what you’ve spent and what you’ve taken in is the only way to know if your SEO campaign is working. If you want to go a step further, calculate the potential revenue worth of a customer for their lifetime, as opposed to a one-time purchase, for a more accurate breakdown of your SEO ROI.
In the end, anything marketing is an iterative process. If your SEO efforts aren’t making you money, trim the fat and tweak your campaign.
Or you could speak to one of our SEO specialists to see what how AdLift can boost your presence so you can achieve your brand. Call us today at: 1-650-409-1500 or send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org to get your online marketing efforts started!