A well-planned SEO strategy can significantly increase a website’s visibility, traffic and ultimately business results. However, for an SEO strategy to be truly effective, it needs not only to be implemented, but also to be measured for its effectiveness.
But how do you actually measure the success of an SEO strategy? In this article, we will cover the basics of SEO effectiveness and measurement, key indicators and best practices to help you optimise your website. But first, a quick word about what SEO is.
SEO basics and objectives
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of getting a website to rank better in search engine results (and here we’re thinking mainly of Google), thus increasing the traffic to the website. SEO consists of several elements, including keyword research, content optimisation, link building and technical SEO. Each element is key to the success of your SEO strategy.
Otherwise, setting specific goals is an important step in measuring SEO effectiveness.
These objectives may vary depending on the main purpose of the website or business. For example, it could be to increase traffic, improve conversion rates, increase brand awareness or improve keyword rankings in search engines.
However, it is important that these targets are measurable and specific so that they can be monitored effectively.
Tip:T to read more about the basics of search engine optimisation , click on the link.
SEO key performance indicators (KPIs)
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential to measure the success of search engine optimisation. These indicators help you to assess how effective your SEO results are.
Some of the key KPIs include.
This is perhaps the most important KPI for SEO. Organic traffic shows how many people are coming to your website through search engine results. An increasing organic traffic indicates that your SEO strategy is effective.
Keyword ranking is key to measuring the success of SEO. Improving the ranking of keywords targeted by your website in search engines is another sign that your SEO strategy is working.
It’s not just how many visitors come to your website, but also how those visitors act. The conversion rate shows how many visitors end up becoming customers or clients.
The bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave a website without visiting other pages. A high bounce rate may be an indication that the content is not relevant or attractive to the target audience.
The number and quality of inbound links has a significant impact on the ranking of a website in search engines. A good quality backlink profile will help increase the credibility and visibility of your website in Google.
Tools and techniques to measure SEO
There are many tools available to measure and analyse the results of SEO. These tools help you monitor key indicators and refine your SEO strategy.
Here are some popular tools.
Google Analytics is one of the most widely used (and free) tools for analysing website traffic. It helps you understand where visitors are coming from, what pages they are viewing and how long they spend on your website.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is also free and provides key information about your website’s visibility in Google search. It helps you track your keyword rankings, number of clicks and organic search performance.
SEMrush or Ahrefs
These advanced SEO tools provide a comprehensive analysis of keyword rankings, backlink profiles and competitors’ SEO performance. However, these are paid tools.
Moz offers a range of SEO tools, including keyword research, link building and website auditing. It is particularly useful for measuring Domain Authority and Page Authority. It also charges for most of its services.
Heatmap tools such as Hotjar
Heatmaps such as Hotjar create visual maps of clicks, scrolls and interactions on your website to help you understand how visitors interact with your content.
SEO measurement strategies and practical examples
Measuring the success of SEO is not only about the tools, but also about the approach. A well-designed measurement strategy will help you understand which activities are delivering the best results for you and where you need to refine.
Set specific, measurable goals, such as reaching a certain number of visitors or ranking for a particular keyword. For example, “Increase organic traffic by 20% in the next six months.”
Use tools such as Google Analytics and Search Console to regularly check your KPIs. For example: look at the number of visitors and new conversions every week.
Use the SEMrush or Ahrefs tools to analyse your competitors’ SEO performance. For example: see what keywords your competitors are performing well for and where you can improve your own strategy.
Focus on the most valuable keywords and optimise them. For example: if a keyword performs well, create more content related to it.
Backlink profile development
Monitor the quality and quantity of incoming links. For example: if a website has a lot of low quality links, try to get higher quality links. At the same time, pay attention to internal linking: link to the same, relevant content.
Common mistakes in measuring SEO effectiveness
There are common mistakes that you can easily fall into. Avoiding these will help you get a clearer picture of how effective your search engine optimisation is.
Excessive focus on keyword ranking
While keyword ranking is important, it should not be the only focus, as SEO is about much more than that. Pay attention to overall organic traffic and conversions as well.
Overestimating short-term results
SEO is a long-term strategy, which is why it should not be analysed in the short term and should not be subject to fluctuations. Analyse and focus on long-term trends and growth.
Lack of interpretation of data
It’s not enough just to collect the data; you need to understand it. Try to determine what is causing the changes in the data and how they are affecting your website’s performance (for example, an algorithm update may cause you to rank lower for a shorter period of time, but if the drop is persistent, you need to investigate what may be causing the problem.)
Overly general metrics
Every website, every market is different. Do not rely solely on industry averages, trends or “best practices”. Apply the metrics to your own goals and circumstances.
As mentioned above, SEO is a long-term process, so changes need much more time to take effect. Be patient and don’t expect immediate results, especially when introducing new strategies or changes.
What is effective SEO?
Judging the effectiveness of SEO is not easy, as the client often expects short-term, immediate results, such as an immediate increase in traffic or sales conversions. In contrast, the professional focuses on long-term strategy and the overall health of the website.
So, to bridge this misunderstanding and prevent any confusion, here are some key factors that can help you understand what constitutes truly effective SEO.
The true effectiveness of SEO is in its long-term growth and stability. This can include a gradual increase in organic traffic, better keyword rankings and increased brand awareness.
Quality traffic growth
It is not just the volume of traffic that matters, but also its quality. An effective SEO strategy attracts visitors who are genuinely interested in your products or services.
Conversions and customer acquisition
Although conversion rates are not directly within the remit of SEO, a well-optimised website certainly contributes to higher conversion rates and customer acquisition.
Another important aspect is the technical state of the website, including loading speed, mobile-friendly UX design and improved user experience.
ROI (Return on investment)
Customers often focus on ROI. Effective SEO increases website traffic and improves conversion rates, which has a positive impact on ROI in the long run.
It is important that clients understand that SEO is a long-term investment, the results of which are not always immediately visible. However, professionals must also communicate results and progress so that clients can see the ongoing impact of SEO.
This is why it is important to measure the effectiveness of SEO, without it the whole search engine optimisation process can go wrong.
And we’re constantly reporting, monitoring and intervening in trends, so we don’t let the SEO train go off the rails. And if you’re looking for just such a team, feel free to contact us at one of the contact details on the link.