How To Quantify Success in SEO

SEO is a means to an end, not the end itself. You want your site to rank higher so you get get more traffic, but what use is more traffic if it’s unqualified traffic? Traffic that just bounces and whose intent doesn’t match your website’s purpose? I believe that the biggest mistake in SEO is that we are far too obsessed with ranking instead of focusing more on what the business impact of our SEO efforts are.
Here are a few tips in Google Analytics to see if SEO is paying off:

1. Log into Google Analytics and click on the Advanced Segments box in the right hand corner. Create a new segment for Organic traffic.
Then go to Content > Top Content and apply the Advanced Segment. Stretch the timeline back to when you first started your SEO efforts. Do you see your segment line going up and to the right? Then something is working. You’ll want to see if organic traffic is improving on the pages of your site that you are optimizing. You can drill down to these pages in this report and see how your organic segment looks.

2.When looking at a specific page’s traffic, next to Analyze:, pick Entrance Keywords from the drop down. Do the keywords match the intent of the page? Do they contain keywords you were specifically using to optimize the page? No? Why not? On the other hand what are the surprises? Is there customer intent contained in the keywords telling you how to change or improve the page? Re-evaluate your list of most important keywords for this page with this report.

3.Change the view to the Comparison View and then change the dropdown to Bounce Rate. This will compare these keyword’s bounce rate to your site’s average. If you are pushing keywords that have a bounce rate in the red you might consider choosing different keywords for this page since they aren’t a good match with the customer’s intent.

4. Go to the Ecommerce report and apply your organic segment, stretch the time period, and report how well your SEO efforts are delivering value to the business.

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