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Search engine optimization metrics

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I have been investing in SEO for about three years. During that time, our measurements to determine the success of our program have changed at least three or four times. Initially, we were highly focused on our keyword visibility—especially on garnering first position and in the top 10 listings. We added emphasis on generic traffic directed to our websites by search engines, including the percentage of total traffic. We watched our bounce rate and other Web metrics related to generic search.

Over the last year, we have been tracking goal conversions, and we continue to make this our primary metric of the success of our SEO efforts. Recently, we also initiated tracking of the market share of keywords compared with a select group of competitors. We are even now tracking the estimated CPC (cost-per-click) value of our organic keywords.

There does not appear to be a well defined or accepted standard to measure the success of SEO efforts. What are the readers of BtoB using effectively? What are they considering to track, measure and determine the ROI of their SEO investments?

We at Makino are constantly being asked to use our marketing dollars effectively and wisely, and this lack of a well-defined standard adds pressure to our ability to illustrate the effectiveness of our SEO investment to the C-suite. I think our very well-defined goal conversions are still the most important metric for determining SEO effectiveness. Yet we continue to track and monitor keyword visibility. What do you think? What are the key performance indicators (KPI’s) of your SEO marketing? 

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