The True SEO Metrics That Indicate Success

The True SEO Metrics That Indicate Success

The SEO industry is constantly evolving, and with that evolution comes the need to constantly stay up to date on the newest trends, and find ways to encourage your clients to move right along with you.  While your clients may be focused on their weekly ranking reports, and the number of links they are getting, for true success, you may need to provide them with a more holistic approach that utilizes a specific strategy for increasing website traffic.  A holistic approach to SEO includes utilizing all inbound marketing tools, such as search engines, content marketing, and social networking. Certain SEO metrics have been ingrained into our minds and sadly that’s not how we do our job successfully. Let’s drill down and see what some of the leading indicator metrics are.

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A Creative Approach To A Logical Problem

In the past, SEO was all about numbers. How many links your website has, how many viewers visit that site, and where your client’s website ranks in the SERPS.  With the industry changing, it’s become necessary to approach SEO from an entirely different standpoint, while at the same time, keeping clients happy who are still mostly concerned with numbers.

Once you’ve perfected the art of numbers, being successful at inbound marketing strategies becomes a matter of looking at WHY your techniques are working, and finding ways to tailor all of your content and efforts toward these ideas.  The key to achieving this goal is to ask questions of your client about what they are hoping to accomplish, and why they want more links and their rankings higher.  This forces the SEO expert and the client to really focus in on what the website is hoping to accomplish, and gives you the chance to set some clear goals for optimal success.

Leading Indicator Metrics

Your clients may respond by saying that they are hoping to get people signed up for an event, or trying to provide leads for the sales department, or simply obtain more data for comparison searches.  This is referred to as leading indicator metrics, and provides valuable information for you about how the performance of the specific business is measured.  This, in turn, helps you to do your job by providing the right kind of traffic to your client’s site.

Business KPIs are the tools that are used to indicate the business performance, and should be the cornerstone to any SEO strategy.  The elements that make your client's business successful should be a key factor in developing an SEO plan.  Whether you are using PPC, SEO, or another type of advertising, all of your efforts should be focused around this information.

Once this information has been ferreted out of the client, and you have a good idea of what they want to accomplish, then you are better able to use regular SEO techniques to determine if you are meeting these goals.  Performance indicators like rankings and links can give you an idea of whether or not your techniques are moving the needle the right way, or if things need to be adjusted.

Dive Deeper With SEO Strategy

For those firms who are looking to provide links and numbers for their clients, simple SEO strategies will be sufficient to accomplish this goal. But any reputable SEO firm who is looking to provide a deeper experience for their clients, and participate in the process of making the business more profitable rather than simply providing numbers for a website, a deeper and more in-depth approach is necessary.

The Ultimate Goal

For clients whose ultimate goal is to get more links, then traditional SEO techniques are probably sufficient to meet their needs.  Clients who are unconcerned about establishing a brand or getting a bad mark with a search engine can benefit from older techniques that are effective at simply driving traffic to the website.

If your client’s goal is conversions, this is where you will need to get creative.  Conversion rates refer to the ability of the website to transfer the average viewer into a profitable sale for the company.  At this point, simply providing a link for your client’s website isn’t enough; you’ve got to find a way to draw the viewer in and get them to stay until they spend some money.  Most businesses are looking for ways to get visitors to their site, get them to sign up for something or make a purchase that will lead to increase revenue, and therefore accomplishing their goal. The key to success is to determine the goals of your client, and find SEO tools that can be used to meet those goals.

How do you use metrics to improve your SEO strategy?

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  • avatar

    You might be a little hesitant to pay a professional for SEO services, although you likely already
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    you want your own site to be successful. Although you might be thinking about tackling the effort on your own, you
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  • avatar

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  • avatar

    Exactly, traffic per se isn´t good, you need good traffic. I had a terrible experience promoting my business Facebook page using Facebook ads. I kept getting clicks and likes (that I had to pay for) from people way out of my target audience, and very little actual customers coming form that page.
    I´ll be looking forward to more of your articles.

  • avatar

    @runejet Thanks! It’s important to remember ranking reports aren’t the only performance indicators, which vary from client to client.

  • avatar

    Great article Dorian! Most people involved in SEO focus on just driving traffic to their sites and do not think more on the type of traffic received. With some of the specifics you mentioned, like websites with lead generation in mind, your articles gives people more to think about when they drive traffic.

  • avatar


    My original impression on SEO is that it’s a very difficult and intimidating topic. I know that it requires a lot of research and experience to master the art of effectively optimizing search engine results. With this, I’d like to thank you for posting this since it widened my knowledge about the said topic. Keep on posting!

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