How do you measure SEO success?
The methods for measuring the success of an SEO campaign can vary depending on the type of business and its objectives.
Generally, there are three main key performance indicators (KPIs) that you should look at when measuring success: rankings, traffic, and conversions.
As one of the most important KPIs, rankings should be a top priority to analyze when measuring SEO success. Tracking keyword rankings can give you a clear picture of how well your campaign is performing, along with ideas for keyword targets to optimize around. You can also determine which keywords are too competitive to be worth the effort of optimizing for them. However, tracking rankings isn't the only task you need to perform.
You should make sure that you're getting the kind of traffic volume you want to your website, and that traffic should be of a consistently high quality.
You can track the traffic volume coming from organic search, and if your campaign is successful, you'll see this increase over time. Volume will also differ depending on the industry; some will have more prospects than others, depending on the popularity of the product or service offered.
Quality is slightly more difficult to measure, with multiple metrics you need to analyze such as pages per visit, average visit duration, and bounce rate.
If you experience low pages per visit and average visit duration, while the bounce rate is high, you should consider reworking your keyword strategy to attract more relevant traffic that's likely to stay.
Conversions mean everything to the success of your SEO efforts. If you're ranking well and getting ample traffic while your conversion rate remains low, you'll need to figure out how to revamp your efforts to encourage more conversions. The kind of conversions you want will depend on your company's specific goals. You should note that not all visitors are ready to buy, and in many cases prospects will go through several steps of the sales process before making a decision. Conversion measurements may include newsletter subscriptions, social shares, white paper downloads, and other actions that visitors will perform.
These conversion metrics can also help indicate traffic quality.
Using these three central KPIs, you can measure the success of your SEO campaigns and use the data gathered to further improve your campaign.