Every site owner likes to see tangible proof that their SEO campaign is doing what it’s supposed to. However, since SEO is so long term it’s important to remember that you might not see the results of your SEO efforts for several months. Many site owners have pulled the plug on what could have been a very successful SEO campaign because they got impatient. If you are willing to strap down for the long run, here are three things to look for when measuring the success of your SEO campaign.
1. Increase in visitors
This is the easiest way to tell if your SEO campaign is working—are more visitors finding your site? Keep in mind that you are looking for overall trends, so don’t get bogged down in the daily data. Your site’s traffic is going to fluctuate from month to month, so don’t panic if one month it teeters a little downward. Take a step back at look out for real trends (3-6 months) in your traffic. A strong SEO campaign is going to show an uptick in traffic over time.
Remember that there are no guarantees in how much of an uptick you might get from month to month. Right after onsite optimization and all your new pages have been indexed, you might see a big spike in traffic, but that hardly any gains the next month. There are a lot of factors that can impact how much traffic is being sent to your site, which is why it’s so important to not panic at losses. It’s only cause for concern if your traffic tanks one month and doesn’t recover. This might be a sign that you’ve incurred a penalty.
2. More non-branded keywords driving traffic
In your site’s analytics, you should be able to see what keywords are driving traffic to your site. There should be a good mix of branded and non-branded keywords (Brick Marketing vs. Boston SEO company), but a great SEO campaign will ultimately help your site drive more traffic from non-branded keywords, including ones you aren’t actively targeting on your site! The search engines understand that if you are targeting “SEO company” on your site, it’s probably still a good result for someone looking for “SEO firm” or “SEO services agency.” Just because it’s not an exact match to a user’s search, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a valuable synonym. Not every user is going to search for the same thing in the same way, but it’s not physically possible to target every potential variation of every possible keyword that you could be targeting on your site. That’s why it’s important to pick the best 2-5 keywords per page. If you get those right, the related non-branded keywords will follow.
3. More online brand exposure
When you do a search for your company, what kind of content is being listed in the SERPs? Hopefully your website’s homepage is at the top, but internal pages of your website can rank just as well. Are all your social profiles showing up? Are recent press releases being displayed? Are guest posts on industry blogs, white papers, videos and e-books all being indexed and properly tied to your brand? Make sure that the search results are filled with positive mentions of your brand. More online brand exposure is great, but not if it’s all bad news and angry customer reviews. You want to make sure branded searches only lead to positive results.
Make sure that if you are searching in Google you log out of your Google account and clear your browsing history and cookies. Since the search engines are trying to create a more personalized search experience, what you see from your work computer might not look the same as what you see on your home computer, which is still not what your target audience sees.
Keep in mind that the goal of SEO is to drive more targeted visitors to your site. If all of the above are happening but the number of leads/sales has stayed the same, don’t automatically assume your SEO is at fault. Take a good look at your website and see if there are any conversion elements you could tweak to help increase sales. Consider the seasonality of your site, as well as the search behavior of your target audience. There are a lot of factors at play that could be affecting your conversion rate.
About the Author – NickStamoulis
Nick Stamoulis is the President and founder of Brick Marketing (http://www.brickmarketing.com), a full service Boston SEO company. With over 12 years of Internet marketing experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO tips to his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal and by publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers.
Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or email@example.com