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Five Ways to Gauge the Impact of SEO Services
Search engine optimization services are designed to bring visibility to a companys website. A high-impact website is todays equivalent of a coveted address on Main Street. Of course, gaining that position isnt as straightforward as signing a lease contract. The metrics of success in todays e-conomy define visibility in terms of public interaction with the business website.
Measuring SEO Impact
How can a business know whether their search engine optimization strategies are working? The following key metrics indicate whether the SEO service is getting results:
1. Page Rank
Page rank is the most immediate sign that an SEO campaign is succeeding. If a business site is in the top five positions for its most relevant keywords, it has achieved visibility and is likely to garner traffic. SEO companies have a number of strategies for signaling the relevance of a sites content to particular keywords. These strategies optimize the sites content, form, features, and meta-data to attract the attention of the search engines algorithm.
2. Monthly Site Visits
Increased web traffic is the essential goal of search engine optimization. SEO companies focus on two sources of increased traffic: organic search and paid advertising. The first is the bread-and-butter of SEO. Search engine optimization designs the site to appeal to the standards codified in the search engines algorithm. Successful SEO raises a sites page rank for important keywords, drawing more web traffic. Many SEO companies combine these strategies with a pay-per-click service, bidding on relevant keywords to ensure their clients top billing in search results.
3. Page Views
What do visitors do once they arrive at the site? A successful SEO campaign qualifies the web traffic by optimizing the site for relevant keywords. By targeting the right keywords, the SEO service ensures that the visitors are indeed interested in the site. They stay, explore the site, and ideally, make a purchase. The number of page views per visitor is one way of measuring the interest level of visitors and the exposure the site is getting. Poorly executed SEO, by contrast, may net high traffic on a broad array of keywords but lose visitors instantly once they recognize that the site doesnt meet their needs and click away.
4. Average Time Spent on the Site
How long do visitors stay? The average time each visitor spends on the site is another metric for gauging the quality of the web traffic. SEO companies may use this data to optimize the sites content and format for usability in addition to search. For example, reporting programs may drill down deeper and measure the length of time spent on different pages, offering insight into the utility and relevance of different sections of the website.
5. Inbound Links
How many external sites link to the clients website? Inbound links are a valuable source of high-quality web traffic--and they may increase a sites page rank in the search engine algorithm. SEO services are skilled in placing or convincing external sites to place links to the clients site. Reciprocal linking, social networking, article submission, directory submission, press releases, and blogging are all powerful techniques for building relationships between the business website and other sites across the world wide web.
Businesses working with a professional SEO company can use these five metrics for holding their partner accountable. There is an element of mystery to search engine optimization--its never entirely clear what factors the search engine algorithm is taking into account. But ultimately, businesses can count on clearly defined results to gauge the impact of their SEO services.