Something that we’re well aware frustrates clients more than not understanding some of the technical particulars of SEO methodology, is understanding whether or not they’re receiving quality service in the field. Obviously, we’re confident that we do, but we don’t take the question personally given the abundance of cowboy agencies out there winging it and doing damage to the reputation of the profession.
So in that vein, we’re jumping right into it! Here are the things to measure if you want to be sure that you’re receiving quality SEO.
Increased organic traffic
You’d think that this is a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people engaged in search engine optimisation aren’t measuring it. Far and above “page one rankings”, which is honestly a bit of a dated metric given how interconnected the entirety of your various marketing efforts are (which makes rankings far too isolated a metric with which to measure success), seeing month on month increases in organic search traffic is a surefire way with which to measure the success of your project. Far from being an isolated metric itself, organic traffic can originate with your paid campaigns, social media platforms, or many other places, making it a much more well-rounded way to measure.
Firstly let’s be clear about what we might mean here. If you’re an e-commerce site (meaning you sell products online), then conversions mean money in the bank and can be measured as such. However if you’re not selling products via your website then conversions will essentially mean “qualified leads”. This makes it harder o manage monetary return as you need to continue to track offline, so the best way to have a good idea of the best amount of “conversions” to aim for is to understand what percentage of leads you tend to convert into business on average. Once you know that, you know how many leads you need in order to stay profitable.
This is one of the most important things to measure in any campaign. Simply put, what we mean by attribution is that Search Engine Optimisation is not an island. It feeds into all of your other digital marketing platforms and they feed into it. And thanks to the tracking technology of 2019, you can actually know if your SEO is just the beginning of an experience that is driving sales on other platforms
such as Facebook or Google Ads. The same is also true vice versa. So in this way you can know the true value of your efforts as part of the bigger marketing picture.
One thing we recommend is to always double-check on the proposed methodology of any agency you engage in. It’s important to make sure you understand the difference between black hat and white hat methods and why that matters, but once you have that understanding it’s easy enough to research what has been put to you and understand where the provider you’ve engaged lands on the spectrum. It’s also handy to get your info straight from the horse’s mouth provided it’s understood that Google will often overstate the dangers of SEO.
Lack of penalties
Okay so this is a bit facetious, but seriously if you’re not getting penalised for your efforts, that’s at least a good sign that you’re doing nothing wrong. Check Google Search Console often. Look for penalties (particularly manual ones) and make sure that everything looks good. It’s there to help with exactly this sort of thing.
Again, this is obvious, but if you’re not checking out how everything is affecting your actual sales then what is the point of what you’re doing? It’s important to remember again at this point organic traffic is not an island. It can contribute to conversions further down the track on other platforms (which you can track as outlined above) and likewise, the journey that ended in a sale through organic search may not have started there, so be sure you have a very clear picture on how it all fits together. But with that said, when SEO is working, you should find it noticeable.
This is a quick one but a good one. It’s an extreme example to use but something we have seen in action believe it or not. If someone is promising to get you ranking immediately, run the other way. NO white hat methodology exists that can make this happen. Anyone promising results quickly is peddling something underhanded. The above board methodology should have you seeing noticeable movement around month three. Sometimes sooner but not often, so be sure to ask questions if you see faster movement. There is no magic bullet here. It takes the time that it takes unless you cheat, which will see you penalised at some point.
But that’s it from us for another day! As always please feel free to leave a comment below if you’d like to contribute and if you’d like us to elaborate and/or answer any of the other common questions such as “how much is SEO worth” or “do SEO services work” then please feel free to get in touch!