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  • 11 August 2015
  • Eric Michaels

10 ways to tell if your SEO strategy is working

The power of Internet search has not diminished by any means. When customers are interested in topics and services related to your business, most are likely to type in a few relevant words on Google and see what they find. Does your content appear in search results when those customers press enter?

Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques exist to improve your rankings when search engines such as Google or Bing list your business website in search results. If you put an SEO strategy in place, make sure you are getting your money's worth. Here are 10 ways to tell if your approach is working:

A quality search engine optimization strategy will increase the number of referrals you get.

1. Keyword rankings improve
Every business owner needs to know the keywords customers are searching for in relation to his or her website. Once you have a targeted list of keywords and try to improve them through optimization, track their progress online. Using this system, you can tell which keywords you need to give attention to. But remember only to invest in the ones that are actually leading to conversions.

2. Conversions progress
What is the purpose of your marketing strategy? Without having a goal—increasing sales, subscriptions, downloads, or reads—you cannot be sure you are making any progress with SEO tactics. Know which conversion points you hope to increase, and track them as you implement your strategy.

3. More referrals from other websites
Getting referrals (i.e., links to your content) from websites in your field increases your site's rankings in search. That is why making the effort to create strong content is important. Once you are an authority on topics relevant to your business, people will link to the pages on your site. A quality search engine optimization strategy will increase the number of referrals you get.

4. Increased engagement
Deploying tactics to increase search rankings should bring more customers and other interested parties to your website. Find out if they are visiting more pages than before and staying on your site for a longer period of time. These signs indicate that your keywords are attracting the right crowd, and that your content is keeping them on your site.

5. Lower bounce rates
You know your search efforts are working when people come to your page and stay there longer. (a metric known as the "bounce rate"). By creating a constant stream of fresh content on your site, optimizing it for relevant keywords and using meta data to accurately describe content to search engines, you can improve these bounce rates.

6. Keyword counts increase
Once you compete in the keywords essential to your business, the next logical step in your SEO strategy is finding secondary and/or longer keyword phrases to test. You will notice traffic from a larger set of keywords as you implement your strategy over the course of several months.

7. Searches for your brand increase
Small business owners typically do not have big budgets for marketing, so you are likely getting the extra search queries from your optimization efforts. This metric offers a very compelling case for continuing on the same path. Your brand is gaining exposure.

8. New pages are indexed on search engines

Most small business owners will continue adding content to a website as their lists of products and services grows. Make sure your SEO efforts include getting these pages indexed in search engines so customers can find them when searching for relevant terms.

9. Repeat visits occur throughout the site
Newly indexed pages getting hits online will be a positive step forward. Repeat visits throughout your website show that your strategy is coming together and your new content is right on target.

10. You have learned the basics of search engines
Though search engine optimization remains elusive to many business owners when you start out, several months of trying these strategies usually yields results and even helps you master the basics. If you have picked up what moves search engines, then it has been a worthwhile experience.

Deploying a successful SEO strategy begins with a quality website. Let Marketing 360 help you launch a site that customers find online. See the special offer available now in The UPS Store.

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