It’s pretty easy to tell if a flashlight is working:
Turn it on.
If it lights up, you’re good to go!
If only it were that easy to tell if your SEO is working …
Tired of being in the dark?
Let’s face facts: Even if your website is beautiful, you blog religiously and you understand your buyer personas to a “t,” it doesn’t guarantee you’re dominating search results.
SEO is a continually evolving process, and it can be tough to determine how effective your efforts are. But while you can’t simply flick a power switch to tell if your SEO is on track, certain metrics allow you to see if your SEO strategy is properly implemented, while identifying areas for improvement.
How can I tell if my SEO is working?
Tracking these key performance indicators (KPI) will shed some light on how well your SEO is working:
- Organic sessions. Organic traffic comes directly from search engines like Google and Bing. It’s incredibly important for measuring SEO – because at its core, SEO is about getting more eyes on your website. To measure it, use Google Analytics to filter your traffic by source. If your traffic from search engines is increasing year-over-year, it’s a strong sign that your SEO is working.
- Organic keyword ranking increases. Organic keyword rankings are the terms and search queries your site shows up for when a user performs a search in a search engine. While you may not rank #1 for “best [insert your product or service],” the higher your website ranks for a range of relevant keywords, the more organic traffic you’ll receive.
- Leads/Conversions. Once a visitor lands on your site, what do they do while they’re there? Ultimately, your website should generate new sales leads and/or convert shoppers to buyers. If you set up goals in Google Analytics, you can track performance indicators such as: which pages drive the most leads; whether conversions are higher on mobile or desktop; and which demographics have the highest conversion rates. Define and track lead/conversion metrics that make the most sense for your business. If you’re falling short of your goals in any of those areas, consider ways to adjust your content, design and CTAs to keep more prospects in your sales funnel.
- Bounce rate. This KPI measures the percent of sessions in which a user loads a page of your site and then immediately exits – without taking any action. Bounce rate is an important SEO factor, because it tells search engines how well the content on a page satisfies a user’s search. Check the bounce rate for key pages on your site, looking for opportunities to improve content, keep visitors on your site and improve leads/conversions. Writing short, compelling copy, adding internal links and strengthening calls to action (so they clearly state the next step) will all reduce bounce rate.
- Dwell time. As the name implies, dwell time measures the length of time a user spends on your site. The longer someone stays on your site, the clearer it is to Google that users are consuming your content – and finding what they need. The “Avg. Time on Page” statistics in Google Analytics help you gauge dwell time on individual pages. If users spend less than a minute on key pages, consider re-optimizing content by adding rich media (e.g., infographics, video and slideshows) and interesting images, or by reworking the copy.
Related post: Bad Marketers Think SEO Lasts Forever
Not measuring your SEO? You could be losing business!
At BARQAR, we use a strategic six-step approach to keep your SEO on target – and keep you ranking above your competitors.
Let our experts conduct a free audit of your SEO strategy. We’ll review what you’re doing right and provide practical suggestions for improving your search rankings and driving more qualified leads.
Get your free SEO audit from BARQAR.