Is your SEO really working?

08 December 2017

Is your SEO really working?

These days, successful promotion strategies are generally based around three elements: content marketing, paid advertising and search engine optimisation (to garner organic search results). Even though the importance of content marketing is now widely appreciated, realistically, you may wait a long time if you rely on that alone for results.

Paid advertising can help get your company moving quickly, but, of course, it comes at a price. Organic search traffic, therefore, is the gold dust of promotion, which means that SEO should still be front and centre in an organisation’s concerns. That means not just doing your best to get to those powerhouse top rankings, but having a system in place to track how well you’re doing in reality so you can have a clear view of what’s working and what, if anything, is not.

You can then adapt your strategy as required.

Here are five points to creating an effective monitoring system, which tells you what you actually need to know.

1. Don’t get hung up on keywords

For the record, keywords are indeed still an important feature of SEO, they just aren’t the lion’s share of it the way they used to be. In simple terms, Google caught on to the fact that any algorithm based purely on keywords was open to being exploited to the point where it became useless, so it now uses a much wider range of criteria to generate its rankings.

2. Do track all your traffic sources (and keep an open mind when you see the results)

There are essentially five ways you can acquire traffic to your site. These are:

  • Paid adverts
  • Affiliate links
  • Social media referrals
  • Organic search traffic
  • Direct links.

Even if you are implementing a superb SEO strategy and getting to the top of organic search results, there’s still a good chance that paid adverts will recoup their costs, in fact they may well be even more successful because users will see the advert at the top of the screen reinforced by the organic result slightly further down.

Affiliate links and social media referrals are also likely to be an important source of. None of this means that your SEO is bad, it just means it is one part of your overall traffic-generation strategy.

3. Make changes one at a time and measure results

If you’re not doing as well as you expected, you may be tempted to undertake a complete overhaul of your strategy. There may be some cases where this is justified, but it’s usually better to make one change at a time and see what happens.

4. Monitor changes in traffic

If the nature of your traffic changes, you need to investigate why and see what this means in practical terms.

5. Remember quality matters at least as much as quantity

Ultimately, your aim is to sell your goods and/or services. While it may seem logical that getting more people to your site will increase your chances of being able to sell to them, this only actually applies in real life if you attract the right sort of people.

Therefore, you need to monitor your conversion rates to ensure that your strategy is bringing in people who are at least reasonably likely to become paying customers.

Use Google Analytics to quantify what your visitors from your different sources of traffic are doing when they get to your website, and adapt and further monitor your strategy accordingly.