Key(word) Benefits: What Does a Successful SEO Campaign Look Like?

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Is search engine optimization important for your company's overall marketing strategy? Of course, it is! SEO is all about positioning a company's content and ads at the top of search results so more consumers find that needle in the virtual haystack and convert. Using SEO isn't a quick and easy scheme, however. Marketers have to make the right investments for the long term to experience great SEO marketing traction. Using the right keywords is essential, but what are the other components of a successful SEO campaign? How do you know a campaign has been successful? Examine those aspects below.

Successful SEO

Recent statistics show that 60 percent of all clicks happen on the top three sites in searches, and three-quarters of web users never scroll past the first page of search results. As a former colleague once joked, "The best place to bury a dead body is on page two of web search results."

So this leads to an understanding of the success factors in a modern SEO campaign. Rather than achieve high rankings in search results for particular keywords, businesses should aspire to move their search results toward more leads and conversions for the business.

Keywords are still important factors in today's SEO campaigns, but that's evolving. Natural language search is becoming a key component of all searches, as more users search by verbally asking mobile devices questions. In fact, researcher comScore expects voice search to account for half of all searches by 2020. That means marketers will need to focus on voice searches with greater clarity in the coming years.

Take a look at some key components marketers should use when assessing the success or failure of an SEO campaign.

Increases in Direct Navigation, Referral Traffic, and Search Traffic

Good SEO webmasters should routinely track overall web traffic, including traffic from search engines (from search queries), referral traffic (from email, promos or campaign links) and direct navigation traffic (typed in searches, bookmark links, etc.).

Increases in Conversion Rates by Search Term/Keyword Phrase

Conversions from search terms is a very important metric, but it's just a start. SEO pros can use conversion rates to extrapolate more data and deeper information about how conversions start and end on your site.

Examining Indexation by Tracking Which Pages Are Receiving Search Engine Traffic

This is one of the absolute metrics to overall great SEO. Marketers should know which pages are gaining SEO traffic from search engines. Analytics will yield this information, and that will then lead to understanding indexation, or which pages from your site search engines are still indexing. Having this number from indexation is a very good indicator of SEO success or failure.

Comparing Performance and Market Share

Large increases in web traffic as a result of performance or market share is usually a good sign of SEO success, but marketers should look for high-level links rather than a lot of traffic from low-level links. That in itself could be a sign of something amiss with your site or page links.

Implementing KPI for Earlier Indications of Campaign Success

Key Performance Indicators, or KPI, for successful SEO campaigns should include the overall awareness or impact from search on organic traffic, the engagement levels of the traffic and if the overall traffic might lead to a lead or conversion over time. Other KPI might include the value of content on your site contributing to increased traffic and the use of more traditional SEO keyword traffic via high-performance links.

Paying attention to these criteria can help most marketers understand the immense value in understanding SEO and its crucial position in the marketing alchemy.