If you want to measure your content SEO strategy’s success, you first need to establish your goals. What’s the purpose of your strategy? Do you want higher rankings? More traffic? To evaluate your content SEO strategy, you should identify what success means to you! Once you’ve established your goals, you can measure the success of your strategy. This post will help you define your goals and give you tips on exactly how to measure those goals and your content SEO strategy’s success.
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What’s your ultimate goal?
What do you really want to achieve with your SEO strategy? Lots of people SAY that they want to rank higher in Google. But is that really what they ultimately want to achieve? Or do they want to attract more traffic from Google to their website? Perhaps, they actually want to sell more stuff. Or to have more return visitors. Signups to newsletters? These are all different goals, and these goals require different metrics to evaluate.
Ranking higher in Google for a particular search term will probably lead to more traffic. But that’s not always the case, and that traffic might also be of low value. For instance, we used to rank really high on the term [Google Analytics]. Most of those people were looking for Google Analytics when they typed in [Google Analytics] in the search bar, though – that was their search intent. So although we were ranking sky-high on a major competitive search term like [Google Analytics], it didn’t bring us any meaningful traffic.
In most cases, people probably want more organic traffic instead of higher rankings. And, if you have an online store, you probably want to make more money: you’d like to attract people to your website that have a larger intent to buy. Your content SEO strategy should focus on attracting those people to your website.
Set up a content SEO strategy that fits your goals
Once you’ve established your goals and know what you want to achieve with your content SEO strategy, you should develop a strategy that actually fits your SEO goals. If you want articles to rank higher, you should update and improve your best articles. If you want to attract more traffic to your website, you should consider a long-tail keyword strategy. And if your goal is to sell more items, you should think of ways to attract buyers to your website.
Read more: What is search intent? »
How do you measure those goals?
Once you’ve established your ultimate goal and figured out your content SEO strategy, you’ll be able to measure it. If you really want to know whether your content SEO strategy was successful, you need to measure at least twice. You need to know just how you were doing before your content SEO strategy kicked in, and you need to know how you’re doing afterward. Let’s look at various goals and ways to measure them.
Check the positions of your articles. For which terms are you ranking pretty well, and which articles need an SEO boost? Rewrite and update your most important content and write new content. Add links to other relevant content. Do your content SEO magic! After some time, you can recheck your rankings. If your articles appear in higher positions than they did before you started your content SEO strategy, your rankings will have increased. To keep track of your rankings, you can use Google Search Console. Improving your rankings might also increase your chance of getting a coveted featured snippet — which might be a goal in itself.
If your goal is to attract more traffic to your website, you should focus on the number of unique visitors you get weekly or monthly. If the organic traffic – visitors that come to your site using the search engines – increases, your content SEO strategy is paying off. It means more people click on your snippet in the search engines. You can use Google Analytics to keep track of the visitors on your site.
Increasing the number of purchases on your site could also be your content SEO strategy’s ultimate goal. It’s hard to measure the direct effect of your content SEO strategy on your sales. A decent strategy will need some time to affect. Still, Google Analytics has many options on just how to attribute the value of sales to certain pages. If you want to dive into that, read our post on how to measure the success of a Black Friday sale.
A content SEO strategy could have other goals as well. It could be aimed at making people stay longer on your website and read more articles. The time spent on site is the metric you need in that specific case. Perhaps you’d want people to come back to your website: measure the number of return visitors. A totally different goal of a strategy could be making sure people find the information they need on your website, so they don’t need to make a phone call to your call center anymore. In such a situation, you need to measure the number of received phone calls – before and after your strategy.
Always keep in mind when you measure something like this: try not to change other variables – things that influence, for instance, the number of calls you get – during your test period! Otherwise, your data won’t be reliable, and you’re still in the dark about the effect of your strategy.
How you should measure the success of a content SEO strategy largely depends on that specific strategy. What do you want to achieve? Specify your goals, find the metrics you need, define a test period, and determine whether your strategy was successful. Good luck!
Keep reading: Content SEO: the ultimate guide »