How to Measure SEO Success

If you asked 5 people how to measure SEO success you would get five different answers. There is no real right answer and on the flipside there is no real wrong one either. The success of SEO lies in what you and your company truly deem important for you to measure SEO success.

As I mentioned before this is no right or wrong answer on how to measure SEO success. Below are some goals people aim for with their SEO campaigns.

Organic Traffic

When people ask a question, search for a word(s) in the search bar of a search engine, they will get a set of results showing ads and pages related to the search words or questions. Organic traffic are those visitors that land on your website from unpaid sources; essentially free traffic. Organic sources such as search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

You would want organic traffic because it’s targeted. The person searching is looking for something specific, perhaps a product or service you may offer on your website. The key to more organic traffic is getting your keywords to rank higher since the majority of users never go past the first or even second page of the search results.

Keyword Ranking

A keyword is a word or phrase that encompasses anything searched on a search engine. The more keywords you rank for the more chance you have to gain organic traffic based on what people are searching for.

The tricky part with keyword ranking is what terms or words to use. The days of being generic like car or sneakers is long gone. Long tailed keywords work the best. Instead of car you can 2018 Nissan Altima with sunroof etc. People want to filter out unnecessary results with their searches so they get real specific with what they’re looking for.

Click-through Rate (CTR)

The click-through rate (CTR) represents the percentage of users who clicked on your website from the SERP. An example would be if your CTR is 10% if your website appeared on a results page 100 times in say a week, and 10 people clicked on the link to your page or website. The click-through rate is often used to measure advertising and PPC campaign success.

To help build up your CTR you can always try to optimize your titles, meta descriptions or even some of the keywords in your advertising or PPC campaigns.


Backlinks are links from one website to a page on another website. Pages or websites with a high number of backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings. Backlinks are one of Google’s top-ranking factors for websites. The more you have from highly reputable websites, the better.

How do you get quality backlinks? You have to create quality content that people want to link to. Simple as that. Whether it be a compelling video or a detailed document, it needs to be something that people want to share.

How Long Does it take to Measure SEO Success?

SEO isn’t something you flick a switch on and overnight you’re a success. It takes time and sometimes you won’t see any measurable success within a 6 month time frame. Every website is different and you can’t compare one website’s time frame to anothers.

SEO isn’t a one time fix either. You constantly have to be working on it. Whether you’re updating your meta descriptions or adjusting the keywords in your PPC ads; SEO is always constant. Don’t forget to factor in all the algorithm changes as well. The more things change the more you will have to adapt your website and your SEO strategy to those changes.

While some people want more organic traffic or more keywords to rank, the strategy shouldn’t be just to focus on keywords or organic traffic. Work on your backlinks, work on your page speed and SERP placements. All of those together with your keyword or organic traffic strategy will ultimately help bring your closer to what you measure SEO success as.

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