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February 17, 2010

Successful SEO Strategies – What Should You Be Tracking?

This might seem like a bit of a strange question but what should you be tracking as the measure of success for your SEO campaign? The success of a well executed SEO campaign can and often should be down to much wider considerations than the performance of a single or small basket of initial keywords in the search engine rankings. Typically though this is what some business owners tend to focus on and by perceived market demand what some SEO companies will lead the business owner to measure as the success metric.

The reality though is the success criteria will vary depending on each individual business and the aim of the site but without an initial consult with the site owner or business marketing manager this important metric is often overlooked.

For example an informational or charitable site may only want an increase in exposure, the same could apply to a promotional site also. But an e-commerce site may need to see both tangible and non tangible results.

A tangible result in most cases could be a seen or measured return on investment from the SEO campaign by the generation of increased sales activity of either the target product and/or associated products, and non tangible success factors could be an increased public awareness of the business or brand awareness, and additionally lead generation from client capture that could lead to future sales and/or customer referrals.

In reality whilst the success of a campaign can come down to the increased ranking of a particular single target keyword or phrase resulting in increased visitor numbers or increased sales additionally, a successful campaign will also increase the site authority in the search engines as well.

Site authority can be gained from a short term campaign but in reality is often the result of a longer sustained and well planned campaign that not only targets a small keyword basket but also a diverse one.

Typically reporting only measures targeted keyword/phrase results but often a sites biggest boost in performance comes when it starts to develop authority.

So how do you know when your site is getting authority?

Simple, not only will your site rank for primary keywords but you will also start to rank for a whole bunch of keywords and keyword combinations especially if you have good on page optimisation or have had optimised copy written for you.

In addition to this you will also notice when checking your stats that search engines will send you traffic for phrases you have not even promoted and ultimately for phrases that may not even be on the page.

What happens here is the search engines surmise from your link popularity and on page factors that your site will most probably the site (or one of the sites ) most likely to provide the searcher with the answer they are looking for.

Some typical factors that help site authority are the quality, diversity and spread of the links to your site (not only the front page), new discovered link activity, new relevant pages on your site, on page optimisation and internal linking as well as a few other factors.

So in summary not only track your initial targeted keywords carefully to ensure the results are consistent with your success criteria, but also pay close attention to other keyword traffic that the search engines send you. If the search terms are profitable then develop additional optimised content and pages to grow your site organically and further develop your sites authority.

Author: Dave Talbot: Correct search engine optimisation and search engine marketing are vital ingredients for any websites success in todays online world. Without them most websites will simply not be found and as a result will never be successful visit =>> SEO Southampton for information on effective website marketing strategies