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How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Organic SEO Campaign

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Published: September 11, 2014

Successful organic SEO is not a “set it and forget it” proposition; like a high-performance engine, it requires constant tweaking and adjusting to achieve optimum results. The only way that you’ll know exactly what to tweak and adjust is by monitoring and analyzing how your organic SEO efforts are impacting your website’s key performance metrics.

While every business is unique and may have specific numbers that are worth tracking, there are a number of key metrics that are critically important and applicable to almost any website. One important concept to keep in mind when evaluating the effectiveness of your organic SEO campaign: search engine rankings are not the only, or necessarily the best, way to measure your progress; tools are readily available that provide a full range of data that will help you pinpoint the adjustments you need to make to maximize your SEO results.

Organic SEO Performance Metrics that You Should be Watching
The number of visits to your website attributed to various sources of traffic. These typically include search traffic referred by a search engine, direct navigation such as a visitor typing your website URL directly into the query box, and other referral traffic including various links from other web resources, trackable email links, and any other promotion or branding campaign links that you have created.

The number of website visits referred by specific search engines. Google alone accounts for an estimated 67 percent of the search engine market; all the other search engines share the remaining 33 percent. By comparing your traffic from specific search engines with the corresponding shares of market, you can see which search engines you need to focus your optimization efforts on.

The number of visits attributed to specific keywords. Tracking the specific keywords that drive traffic to your site can help you evaluate how your present keywords are performing, identify important keyword demand trends, and uncover keywords that are driving traffic that your site may not be optimized for.

The percentage of conversions attributed to specific keywords. Once you identify the best-converting keywords, you can focus on improving your ranking for the keywords that are converting the best, and replace the poorest converting ones.

The number of website pages that receive at least one search engine referral. This is a valuable indicator of how successful you are at getting your web pages indexed by the search engines. As you continue to improve your site, more and more of your pages should be showing up in the search results.

Suggested Tools for Measuring Your SEO Performance
Sometimes the best things in life really are free, and these great no-cost tools can help you analyze and improve your organic SEO campaign:

Google Analytics: Highly recommended by just about everyone, Google Analytics is one of the best analytic tools, free or paid, available. Easily integrates with other Google applications such as Webmaster Tools, AdSense and AdWords.

  • Clicky Web Analytics
  • Woopra Website Tracking
  • Piwick Open Source Analysis
  • AWStats

Some of the most-recommended paid analytic tools that you might want to take a look at include:

  • Coremetrics
  • Clicktale
  • Fireclick
  • Sawmill Analytics
  • Unica NetInsight