Analytics tools can determine if SEO is working for a website but there are other factors to consider as well. Here are 5 key performance indicators or KPIs that will tell you if SEO is working for your website:
- Website traffic
If a website is receiving higher organic traffic over time (the key word being organic) then you could say that SEO is working. This indicator is a direct result of another indicator which is keyword ranking.
- Keyword ranking
Knowing where a website’s golden keywords rank in search engines is very important. This is the main indicator of whether SEO is working or not. If there is no movement for a certain period of time, it means the SEO was unsuccessful.
- Time on page
The amount of time a user stays on a site’s page is also an indicator of great SEO. When a website is still new, it is only normal to have low views. But with good content creation, the time on site metric should increase over time.
- Bounce rate
Bounce rate refers to how many users leave the website as soon as they open it. If there is a high bounce rate present, it means that users did not find what they were looking for on the page.
- Conversion rate
Quite possibly the most important KPI, conversion rate refers to the result of all the other indicators working together. The main goal of SEO is to increase the leads or sales of a website. A high conversion rate ultimately means that SEO is working.
However, there are four fluctuation factors that can make it hard to determine if SEO is working or not for a website. These are website changes, Google algorithm changes, competition, and searcher behavior changes.
- Website changes
Any kind of changes done on a website whether it is a design revamp, back-end changes, or in the meta-tags, will affect the optimization. These on-site changes should be monitored to see if they could have impacted the sites search engine optimization.
- Google algorithm changes
Google constantly changes its algorithm in an effort to fight against spam and improve its search results for all users. While this might not directly affect a website, monitoring SEO results and following modern guidelines will minimize the effect of a Google update.
The competition is also evolving. When they make changes, it will also affect a website’s ranking. To combat this, study their backlink profile and their on site changes.
- Searcher behavior changes
As time goes by, search engine users have changed how they behave online. It’s estimated the voice search will continue to grow in the future and websites that capture this trend will benefit.
Rank Tracking Tools
Keyword rankings can’t be used solely in isolation to determine whether SEO is working or not. Keyword rankings must be considered in combination with organic traffic stats and conversions
There are three main types of rank tracking tools:
- Web Browser Plugins. These are browser add-ons which mask the scraping tool as a web browser e.g. Mozbar
- Desktop Applications. These are the programs which are directly installed in the computer e.g. WebCEO
- Web-Based SaaS Applications. Also called as web-based software as a service, this rank tracking tool is run by a third-party provider which makes it available to those who have Internet and a web browser e.g. Authority Labs
Organic Traffic Stats
Organic traffic refers to the visitors that visit a website through a search engine excluding paid ads. Monitoring these stats is a great indicator that SEO is working.