Whether you are considering implementing an search engine optimization strategy for your business or if you have already done so, it is important to understand how to effectively measure SEO results.
Search engine placement and performance has traditionally been measured by rankings, supplemented by a ranking report. This does provide an overview of your website’s positioning in the search engine results pages however ranking reports do have their flaws. They depend on everyone seeing the same search results, which is affected by personalisation, search history, geographic location and being logged into a Google account, etc.
The search results are fairly dynamic and will fluctuate slightly.
Excellent SEO placement should be measured by the increase of organic traffic to the website while performance is indicated by the increase in overall conversions.
Measuring SEO success
The way in which traffic should be measured is by comparing a year-over-year increase in organic traffic levels to the website, via the keywords that have been selected within the SEO strategy.
In order to measure your SEO success you need to ensure that Analytics has been installed correctly on your website. This can prove to be a serious problem, especially when you are required to provide a report on the impact SEO has had on your company’s ROI, only to find that the data you thought you were collecting is not there at all. Months of lost data cannot be recaptured, so prior to commencing the SEO implementation ensure that all relevant tracking has been set up and tested.
Once you have started to follow traffic reports rather than focusing on the little arrows and numbers on ranking reports, the next step is to pay attention to conversions. An SEO strategy does not simply encompass increasing rankings on the search engines, at its core lies the usability of your website.
Should you be receiving high levels of traffic that is bouncing or not converting at a particular step, it is important to closely analyse these problems and test solutions to fix them. Do not evaluate your SEO strategy and your website strategy in isolation because they should be working towards achieving the same goal and only by ensuring cohesion between these two elements will you achieve SEO success. A great website cannot convert if it cannot be found, whereas a rubbish website will not convert no matter how many times it is found!