Apart from Rankings, What Other Metrics Prove SEO is Working?

Sometimes we, as SEO people, get too focussed on rankings for this particular keyword, or that particular keyword and we forget about the bigger picture.  Obviously it is important to rank for your big hitting keyword, but what about all that other traffic that your site is getting.  I know so much seems to be hidden in SEO, but this really is the hidden benefit of SEO that we all too often forget about.

So here are some ways you can see improvement in your own SEO.

traffic improvements

Go to your Google analytics and drill down to Traffic Sources > Search > Organic.  In this case I selected the traffic for July and compared it to the traffic for June.  As you can see the traffic is up 18%.  This is a fantastic result in itself, but there’s more.  You can also see that the pages per visit has increased, and the average site duration has increased.  We can conclude from this that the quality of the traffic has also improved.

We now have more traffic, and better quality traffic.  Without even looking at the rankings we know that this is a good thing.

Next we can look at the number of keywords driving the traffic.

From June 2013 you can see that there were 859 keywords driving traffic to this site.

number of keywords june

From July 2013 you can see that there were 990 keywords driving traffic to this site.

numbers of keywords july

Again this is a “hidden benefit” of SEO.  Although we are only specifically optimising for 20 keywords on the website in this example, you can see in one month that the number of keywords it is being found for is up considerably.  This is because the websites general authority and visibility in Google has increased.

So there you have it – two more great metrics for determining whether your SEO is working.  Don’t get me wrong, rankings are important, but a holistic SEO approach is often better.