How do you measure the success of your SEO efforts?

Posted: 8/11/2011ICreated by: Paul Sideridis

Tracking the success of your SEO tactics has become quite a complicated process and many current methods are hopelessly outdated and inaccurate.

For instance, Google Ad-words determine key success indicators by impressions and click-through. Many sales and website analytic providers use variations of funnel conversion tracking and reporting to track conversions, generally based on identifying and classifying your ROI (return on investment).

However, a large number of companies still use keyword position ranking as indication of an SEO campaign’s success. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Put simply, keyword position rankings alone should never be your definitive goal when measuring SEO campaign success


Your website’s impressions, traffic and conversions may fluctuate depending on position, economic and seasonal trends.

And, when you consider these metrics alongside location data, you can get a much more comprehensive picture of your SEO success.

keyword position vs traffic & conversion

For example, a number one position for the keyword phrase, ‘house builder Melbourne,’ could garner your site 50 visits per week, with the majority of visits originating overseas or interstate.

Result? No conversions.

By contrast, if your site occupied position 7 for a slightly different keyword phrase – ‘home builder Melbourne’ – you’d actually get 75 visits per week with an estimated 70% coming from local traffic and an equivalent conversion rate.

So, regardless of its lower position, ‘home builder Melbourne’ is definitely a keyword phrase worth working on.

If you relied only on ranking perspectives, as many companies do, the first phrase is a clear winner. You’d probably be keen to put more resources into it to ensure it maintains its number one position.

But this would be a false economy.

Rather, you should target your resources at phrase 2 to raise its rankings. You would then see an even further increase in traffic and proven conversions.

criticone® key strength is that, among a range of other tools, it gives you tracking, reporting and auto-notifications that identify the rankings of your phrases and your competitors.

keyword traffic and position

It also shows you traffic & conversions received for each phrase along with its source, classification and geographic location.
traffic map
competitor ranking

And this is important because, as Google results and social media continue to evolve, knowing is half the battle.

Knowing which phrases are working for you on a weekly basis – and how your competitors are ranking for the same phrases – gives your business an unfair advantage.

criticone® saves you time, improves your efficiency and helps you fill any gaps in your SEO.

Its integrated tools are easy to use and they let you to fully understand and refine your online marketing initiatives in the one place.

That means you can spend less time worrying about your SEO and more time building your business to respond to those increased conversions.

Even better, criticone® is very affordable.

The monthly fee may be tiny in comparison to website and marketing expenses but it yields great results.

And, regardless of whether you’re managing a single site or a whole string of them, you can’t beat using the one easy tool to get seriously useful Intel on your competitors, keep track of social media, search rankings, and manage links.

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Amar    |    March 10, 2012
Thanks Matt - this is a great overview. From a keyword perspective, there are a couple other things worth focusing on.First, when people search for video do they search in the same way, using the same keywords, that they do for other content? Probably Google Trends and other tools can lead you astray. Therefore you must use judgment in optimizing for video search.Second, if you're like most of our customers getting your video watched on YouTube isn't the end goal. We help them drive that traffic from YouTube to the customers' own site. So since not all traffic is created equal, you need to focus on the keywords that drive the behavior you want - viewers who are willing to leave YouTube and are focused on something that fits the business goal, like making a purchase.
Petar    |    December 14, 2011
Convincing people that SEO success should not be calculated by Google ranking, but instead conversion is the key.
ana    |    December 13, 2011
nice article and something I always touch on with clients.
I like how you show ranking, traffic and conversion together.
We use Google Analytics which doesnt show position or provide info on competitors :-(
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