SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the idea of influencing your website’s visibility on results from searches conducted using search engines like Google or Bing. Generally, sites that appear higher in results (closer to the top of the page) receive more traffic. Many businesses have started to focus on how to scale the ranks, however they are unsure of how to exactly measure the success of their SEO operations.
Here are three ways you can judge the success of the SEO initiatives you have implemented.
1. Ranking based on keywords
You may hear SEO experts talking about ‘rankings’. What they are referring to is keyword ranking. This is where your site comes up in search results for specific keywords. If you run a restaurant business selling pancakes, a keyword you would use is likely ‘pancake’. Your rank is the result indicating where your restaurant’s Web page shows up on the search.
For search engine ranking, a lower number is more desirable, with the number one spot being the best. With your site coming up first for specific keywords. If your site is on the first page of say Google’s results, you will definitely receive more traffic than if you’re hidden pages down. A good place to start looking at the popularity of keywords would be Google Trends. You can enter search keywords and see how popular they are, and even drill down to find more local information.
To judge your success based on keywords, you should first define which keywords are important to your company, and ensure they are incorporated into your website and content. Then, you need to track them over time to see how they improve your ranking. From there you can tweak content to try and increase your standing. Or, if you notice that similar keywords are less competitive, maybe orient your content around those, with the aim of getting into the top page at least.
2. Conversions based on keywords
Another term you will hear SEO and marketing experts talk about is conversions. These are hard to pin down because conversions are actually defined by you and your organization’s goals. While to some businesses a conversion means a new customer, others may see a conversion as a potential customer merely contacting them by subscribing to a blog, email newsletter or even showing interest in an email after visiting the website.
With the sophisticated SEO tools currently available, you can actually track how customers found your site, and what keywords they used. From there, you can compare this number to the conversions based on specific keywords to see what are working, and what aren’t.
3. Overall website traffic
Most experts agree that there are two types of traffic that define successful SEO: volume and quality.
Traffic volume is the number of visits that come from an organic search, which are results that appear in relation to the search terms entered. This doesn’t include traffic from paid advertising. If your SEO is successful, you should see an increase in this kind of traffic over time.
Traffic quality is what the traffic does once it reaches your website. If you see that visitors come, quickly look at one page and then leave, this indicates a problem with your website and likely SEO. If you see users come to the site, click through a number of different pages, and spend a decent amount of time on your site (more than a couple of minutes), this is a fair indication of success.
When you combine all three values: Amount of traffic and quality, conversion level (as you deem it) and a keyword ranking, you should start to see a clearer picture of your overall SEO success. If the results are less than ideal you should look into making specific, targeted changes.
SEO can get very complicated, very quickly. We recommend that you reach out to SEO experts who can work with you and your website to ensure that your campaign is even more successful. If you’re wondering how to find them, or would like to learn more about SEO, why not contact us today to see how we can help.