With the huge investment required to run a successful SEO campaign, knowing how to correctly measure your SEO success is important to your business survival.
Most small business will fail with SEO, not because it was not done according to a rigid set of established guidelines although this is one major reasons most campaigns fails, but simply they are not sure what results they should track even before signing up for their SEO Service.
Should you be obsessed about your ranking or should you watch over your traffic like a hawk? How do you know what to look for in an SEO report with all the technical jargons contained in it? What things should you watch to know if your SEO campaign is on the right track or soon to hit a rock?
Most of the metrics we will discuss will usually be contained in your SEO report but you don’t have to wait for the bi-weekly or monthly report. You can actually tracks a lot of these metrics yourself and we will discuss how in this post.
6 SEO metrics to measure:
1. Your SERP ranking
Website ranking on Google is the movement of a website on the Google’s Search Engine Result Page and the main aim of any SEO activities is to influence this result. Your Google ranking is usually the first indication of a successful or unsuccessful SEO campaign. With your SEO in full throttle, your website should start ranking higher. You should go from invisible that is from above 200 to less than page 5 within a short period. The challenge with Google ranking is that it is a very flimsy way to measure your success. This is because your ranking can disappear overnight due to Google’s update or due to any other combination of different factors. You might also end up being a victim of negative SEO. As a result, while ranking is a good measure of what a good SEO is all about, it should not be the only metric.
How do you check Your SERP?
There are a lot of tools you can use to track your website ranking position. Just go to your Google webmaster tool, sign in and look for the tab Search Traffic. Under the search traffic is the Search Queries and once the results are displayed, this is a sample of what you are likely to see. You can see your keyword ranking by looking at your Avg Position column as shown below:
2. Increase in targeted Traffic
Search Engine Optimization is actually about getting targeted traffic to your website. A good SEO campaign will place your website in front of the people who needs it through the implementation of a good technical on page optimization. Therefore, measuring your traffic level during your SEO is crucial. If your traffic increases as your SEO progresses, you might actually be on the right path. If your traffic reduces, then you might want to audit your process to ensure that you are on the right track. More traffic does not mean you are doing the right thing especially if you are heavily involved in paid marketing or buying traffic but at least you get an indication of a glimpse of being on the right path.
How do you measure your website traffic?
The Google Analytical Tool is a great tool that gives you an overall situation of what is happening on your website. When you login to your Adword, you are presented with an summary report of your website. Right on the home screen, you can view your Audience overview. This will give you a summary of your total website visits.
3. Increased Sales
While there must be an increase in traffic as a result of a good SEO strategy, there should also be a corresponding increase in the number of people requesting for your services or a greater number of people out rightly buying your goods or products in the case of an ecommerce website. Increase in targeted traffic is not the sole aim of any of any SEO campaign. There must also be an increasingly increase in sales. While B2C websites might be able to measure their sales directly, B2B have an hard understanding how more traffic can translate to sales. This is where setting up Goals for your website becomes very important. Goals are measurable actions you want to visitors to your website to take after landing on your website.
4. Higher Authority
People trust the results they see on the organic listing of Google’s page. They therefore see the website listed on Google as good authoritative sources of information regarding the product, services or information they are looking for. With Google authorship, you even get a chance to put a face to the information you supply to them. This gives your website more brand visibility. People will start seeing your website as an authority in that niche.
5. Increased in Quality Links
Links earning is the backbone of Google’s algorithm and according to a recent article, even Google acknowledges that links are not going to disappear in the nearest future. To lend support to Matt Cutts post, Moz CEO, Rand goes further to explain why links still holds much value and what you should be doing when link building. Because links is built into the DNA of Google, for you to outrank your competitors, you need to have more relevant quality links that will make your website perform better on Google search engine result page.
While link building is a game of number, since you can be penalized for buying links, it is important to understand how you or your SEO company will be getting these links for you. Most brands that disappear from Google SERP have usually been involved in link manipulation scheme. You there want to watch how many links you are getting and where those links are coming from.
6.Repeat Visitors Vs Unique Visitors.
During the stage of your SEO, you want to measure the number of unique visitors that you get versus the number of repeat visitors. Unique visitors are the number of people that are visiting your website for the first time. Repeat visitors are returning people to your website. If you are aggressively producing new content, being active on online forums and on social media, you will find out that the percentage of your unique visitors tends to increase more than your repeat visitors. In the early stage of your SEO, your unique visitors should be more than your repeat visitors. Having a high percentage of repeat visitors is good, it means people who have discovered your content or website find it content useful and therefore may be buyers, if new people are not finding your content, then you might need to worry. This means you are not picking up new traffic and as a result, your growth will slow down and until it declines.
The kind of metric you measure will depend on what is most important to you as a business and the stage at which your SEO is. If you are just starting your SEO, you might want to focus on increasing your website’s ranking and traffic. As you progress you should start worrying about your sales. After all, we are in the business of making money.
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