A common query is how to determine whether SEO is effective, particularly given that SEO effects don’t always manifest themselves straight away. When done effectively, search engine optimization (SEO) is an investment that keeps paying off, and who doesn’t like getting more back than they invested? But it does take time for SEO to show results.
It actually depends on how crowded your market and keywords are. A realistic time frame for SEO outcomes is often 3 to 6 months; however, if you’re in a market with intense competition, it may take up to a year. Due to the importance and possibility for a significant return on investment, many organizations adopt a long-term strategy for SEO. When SEO works, you can expect to see an increase in traffic, leads and sales on a more consistent basis.
Don’t worry if you’ve been performing SEO for a month or a few months and you’re not yet ranking for your keywords on page one; it doesn’t mean that your SEO is ineffective. You need to monitor a few key SEO performance metrics to determine whether your SEO strategy is effective.
The number of times that your website appears in search results without being clicked on is known as impressions. Impressions are an excellent place to start because, in most circumstances, when you start optimizing for keywords, you won’t immediately appear on the top page. Since you’ll probably start off on lower pages, you have a lower chance of being clicked on even though you may appear in searches. The most crucial thing is that you are aware that you are starting to rank for those keywords so that you may continue working toward the top of the page. Your organic impressions can be checked using Google Search Console.
To do so:
- Login to Google.com/webmasters
- Select the website you wish to check your organic impressions for
- Click on search traffic
- Click on search analytics
- Check the impressions box. It generally shows you data for the last 28 days or as much as 90 days.
- Review total impressions (note it is important to benchmark these numbers at the start of your SEO project so that you can compare and track progress)
2. Traffic from Organic Searches
Rankings are not the primary objective of SEO, let’s face it. The ultimate objective is to boost traffic and sales. Consequently, a rise in organic traffic is a fantastic indication that your SEO strategy is working. Due to potential effects from activities other than SEO, it is crucial to focus only on statistics related to organic traffic and not traffic in general. On the other hand, a decline in organic traffic can be a sign that your SEO strategy isn’t working out too well. To accurately assess your SEO success, it’s critical to compare the current period to the same period last year while examining traffic.
To view your organic traffic via Google Analytics.
- Login to your Google Analytics account for the website you wish to analyze
- Go to Acquisition
- Click on Channels
- Review Organic Search Traffic
3. Number of Pages Ranking
The quantity of pages you rank for is another excellent sign of your SEO performance. A rise in the number of pages you are ranking for indicates that your SEO strategy is effective; on the other hand, a decline could indicate that you are facing difficulty, which could be caused by penalties or indexing problems. If you have a problem with indexing, it indicates that some of the pages you have optimized are not appearing in search results.
Read Also: How do I Choose a Company for SEO?
This could occur as a result of search engines’ ineffective crawling of your website. Even if you only receive one hit per page, the more pages you optimize, the more pages you should rank for. You can also track the number of pages you’re ranking for in Google Search Console.
4. Number of Backlinks
Link building is equally crucial to on page optimization. It counts how many high-quality backlinks you have pointing to your website. This is a crucial performance indicator as well. A rise in the number of backlinks to your website is inevitable if your SEO efforts are successful. This is another indicator you should monitor if you outsource your SEO to ensure that they are taking the proper steps to improve your rankings and achieve positive SEO outcomes.
Keep an eye on your backlinks to see if they are growing or shrinking, or if the quantity of links you have and the number of root domains from which they are coming is staying the same. Keeping an eye on the caliber of those links is also crucial. Low-quality links are potentially harmful and are just as bad as receiving none at all. You can track the backlinks to your website using a number of programs, including Majestic SEO and AHREFS, which also rate the quality of your links.
An easy way to monitor your backlinks is to go to www.opensiteexplorer.org
- Enter your website address
- Review your established links
- Total links refers to the number of backlinks you currently have
- Root domains means the number of individual websites that are linking back to you
5. Referrals from other websites
An important part of SEO is your link-building strategy. If you are following link-building best practices and you’re seeking out links from reputable, relevant websites, naturally you should see referral website traffic from those websites as well.
To check referrals from other websites in Google Analytics
- Login to Google Analytics
- Select the website you wish to analyze
- Go to acquisition
- Select channels
- Review referrals
6. Domain & Page Authority
The domain authority and page authority of your website are early indicators of how well it compares to its rivals. The strength of your website’s overall domain and individual web pages will be rated from 1-100 using a logarithmic scale by Moz, an SEO software business. Your site has greater authority the higher your score is. Your backlink profile plays a key role in determining your domain and page authority. Therefore, your domain authority is likely to rise if you’re using good on page and off page SEO.
To track your website’s domain authority and page authority:
Go to www.opensiteexplorer.org
- Enter your website address
- Review the scores under domain authority & page authority