How Do You Measure SEO Success?

There are many ways we can measure SEO success.

Keyword Rankings
This is a very popular measurement to determine success of an SEO campaign. Why? Simple. It’s easy to do (just feed your selected keywords on a software, select search engines, input client website, press the”Go” button and voila, you got a report) and easier to explain to client who thinks a top ranking is all that matters.

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Visitor Number
Keyword ranking may be something someone can brag about. But does it really indicate success? Top rankings are good but if these keywords selected are so unpopular they are seldom ever used, they would hardly deliver any traffic to a client’s website at all. If a website is ranked well on popular keywords, it almost always follows that these rankings translate to visits to the website. So maybe a better indicator of successful SEO is through improved visitor number.

Number of Leads, Sales, Downloads, Etc
An improved number of visitor traffic could indicate that the client’s website is now more visible on search engine results. But what if most of these visitors leave the site the moment they reach the landing page? There may be issues in terms of usability, content and other structural problems that information architects need to fix. The ultimate goal of a website is to gain more leads, sales conversions, subscriptions or downloads. So if client’s website has one of these goals in mind, don’t you think this is better than just measuring the number of visitors a website has achieved?

Cost Per Acquisition and ROI
A client does SEO campaign, but also does other marketing efforts like paid search, affiliate marketing, banner ads and email marketing. A sale conversion on client’s website from organic search is always good, but how does it compare with other marketing channels in terms of cost to produce the conversion? What if email marketing cost less than SEO to deliver sales, do we still think our SEO campaign is successful?

These are samples of how we can measure success in SEO. In case you’re a client and is approached by an SEO vendor offering search marketing services, you should screen and prequalify this vendor by asking the very same question: How do you measure success of your SEO campaign? The vendor’s reply should hopefully help you decide if this is the service provider you’re looking for.

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