How do you know if SEO is successful?

Search Engine Optimization consultant touching SEO button on whiteboard

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a mystery to many business owners. You may hear it’s a powerful digital marketing strategy. However, you may not understand if it’s right for your business.

One of the stumbling blocks is to understand what is successful SEO. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Obviously, earning new business is our initial reaction as to why we might want to begin an SEO campaign. Yet, this is not the roll of SEO in marketing.

Wait! — then why would anyone bother to optimize their website if SEO is not about new business? The reason is that SEO has a different core objective. Fortunately, there are three metrics which will let you know if your SEO campaign is successful.

The role of search engine optimization is to drive traffic to your website. If done well, quality traffic will convert into new customers. However, it’s the job of the content on the company website to turn the visitor into a loyal customer.

When you drive traffic to a website which offers a poor customer experience, the chances for conversions or sales are low. If people don’t find quality answers or solutions on your website, the site is not living up to its end of the bargain. Google will most likely notice the poor signals which makes it harder for your website to rank well.

Nonetheless, it’s important to understand what metrics to look for in assessing if your SEO is a working portion of your marketing campaign. The first success metric is common knowledge. It’s simply, where does your website rank in the Google search results for your target keywords.

Although ranking for keywords which are important to you doesn’t by itself guarantee traffic, it does give you an easy-to-understand measure of progress.

The second statistic to review is your year-over-year search traffic analytics. I consider this the most important metric. SEO is about driving traffic. So check and see if Google is driving more traffic than the same period a year ago.

To measure your traffic year over year, you will need to have Google analytics ( installed on your website for at least a year.

It’s not fair to compare search traffic month to month because each month has a different season, weather, holidays and cycles which can affect your business or industry.

The last success factor is similar to the second. However, it takes the question to the next level by asking how much opportunity does Google give your website to earn traffic. To find out how often Google shows your website as an option in search, you can find the information in Google Search Console ( in the performance section.

Although you may focus on specific keywords, Google will test your pages to find relevant traffic from similar or related search queries. With good SEO, this can dramatically increase the chances people will find your website.

If Google shows your website to more people over time, you have a greater opportunity to earn additional traffic. In turn, with the help of your website, you can convert your traffic into new customers.

If your product or service solves a problem, then people are looking to the search engines to find your solution. The search engines will serve the best answer they can offer, whether you are listed or not. If not, your competition earns the opportunity. Yes, even the specialty products and services with a niche clientele have a search audience.

Now that you understand how to measure SEO success, you can better implement the strategy with your marketing and with the proper expectations.