Back in the 1990s and even into the very early 2000s, SEO was measured by rankings – how high your website appeared in the search results after a search query was performed. But, search engines have changed considerably over the years making the “ranking” measure obsolete. Factors such as personalized search (e.g. someone who has visited your site previously, someone in a different geographic location, someone using a mobile vs. desktop device, etc.) impact the order in which websites are displayed in search results.
Today, we use metrics that track the progress of the SEO efforts in a way that is not influenced by factors such as personalized search or algorithmic changes. Specifically, we use the following measures:
- Search engine visibility – based upon all the keywords in your keyword portfolio, how visible is your website
- Domain strength (or domain authority) – how strong is your website perceived by the search engines based on the quality of third party websites that link to it
- Mentions/shares – how frequently is your brand mentioned or your content shared in social media
- Trust – how well is your site (and brand) trusted online
- Click through rate (CTR) – when your website does appear in the search engines, how often is your listing clicked on
- Conversions – where closed loop reporting is available (such as with an ecommerce site) conversions indicate whether someone has made a purchase or has entered into a marketing funnel