Unless you have a deep understanding of SEO, you might be finding it difficult to know if your Search Engine Optimization efforts are paying off or not. Meanwhile, SEO results do not come immediately, so it might be frustrating for business owners who do not know how to measure SEO progress but only wait for their desired expectations to generate traffic or convert leads.
Every business owner needs to know about how SEO works – at least, the basics. Else, you will be running at a loss while you keep funding your SEO agency’s online visibility in the name of making SEO efforts for your business.
Before we talk about measuring your SEO agency’s performance, you need to know how long it takes for SEO to start yielding results.
How long does it take to start seeing SEO results?
Search engine Optimization takes up to 3 – 6 months before it starts bringing progressive results. However, depending on the competition of your keywords and the market, it might take longer than that.
For instance, if your business is in a competitive market, it might take as long as a year before your business begins to rank on every search engine. Meanwhile, the results are worth waiting for. When your SEO efforts start to pat off, your business will enjoy a consistent increase in traffic and lead, definitely boosting sales and bringing a high return on investment.
Hence, if you hire an SEO agency and it seems their SEO practices are not meeting up to your expectations within the first few months, don’t fret. It does not mean that your SEO agency is not competent.
To keep your hopes and trust in your SEO agency alive, here are a few SEO metrics you can use to measure the performance of your SEO efforts.
Impressions refer to the number of times your business website appears on search results when people use your keywords in searches. Note that impressions do not have anything to do with clicks. It’s all about showing in searches for people to see.
However, strong impressions neither mean you are generating traffic nor converting leads. Nevertheless, it is a good way to start. Impressions show that your business is ranking for keywords. That alone is a sign that your SEO efforts are yielding results.
How can you check your impressions? Google Console is one of the best tools available to see how your impressions are doing organically. To check it, follow the procedure below:
- Login to Google.com/webmaster
- Select your website
- Click on search traffic
- Click on search analytics
- Check the impressions box. From there, you can see your site data for the last 28 days and up to 90 days.
- Review total impressions.
You need to note these figures at the beginning of your SEO project to help you have a detailed track in the long run.
2. Organic Traffic
In reality, SEO is not all about ranking. The ultimate goal of every SEO agency is to drive traffic and increase sales. Hence, when you notice your organic traffic increases, it is a good sign that your SEO is doing well.
Meanwhile, make sure that you contrate more on the organic traffic data and not the overall traffic results. On the other hand, if your organic traffic data is not encouraging, it means your SEO is not performing well.
To check your organic site traffic through Google Analytics, follow the procedure below:
- Open your Google Analytics account for your business website
- Go to Acquisition
- Click on Channels
- Review Organic Search Traffic
3. Number of pages ranking
The number of pages you are raking for is another way to measure your SEO performance. If the number of pages increases, it means your SEO agency is performing well. But, if it decreases, it means your SEO agency is not getting something right. The problem can either be a result of penalties or indexing issues.
Your site is said to have indexing issues if a page you have optimized does not show up in search engines. That issue mainly occurred when search engines were unable to crawl your website appropriately.
You can also check the number of pages your website is ranking for in Google Console.
4. Number of Backlinks
Backlinks are links that direct users to your website from other websites. Mind you, link building is as much crucial as page optimization. The number of backlinks you get counts in measuring your SEO performance.
You need to work with your SEO agency to keep monitoring your backlinks to know whether there’s progress in your site’s ranking or not. More importantly, you need to check the quality of the links. Low-quality links yield no result at all and could hurt your business in the long run.
A few standard tools you can use to monitor your website backlinks include Majestic SEO, AHREFS, and more. These tools are not only for tracking backlinks; they can also help you score the quality of your links.
To monitor your backlinks, follow the procedure below:
- Log in to www.opensiteexplorer.com
- Put in your web address
- Review your established links
- Total links mean the number of backlinks on your site presently
- Root domains refer to the number of websites that link back to you
5. Referrals from other websites
A link-building strategy is an essential part of SEO. No SEO agency can gainsay that. If you want to get it right, you need to be sure you follow the best practices and seek out high-quality links from the relevant websites. You may get huge referral traffic from those websites too.
You can check referrals from the reputable website in Google Analytics; you can follow this procedure:
- Login to Google Analytics
- Select your website
- Go to Acquisition
- Select Channels
- Review referrals
It is good to take a proper measure of your SEO to know your SEO agency’s performance. Besides, you cannot improve what you can’t measure. Hence, monitoring your SEO performance is critical to getting the best results.