In this ever-evolving land of search engine optimisation, new techniques and tools are being discovered regularly. Though some are ingrained, we should be looking at new alternatives to how we rank our websites ourselves, and gauge the performance of that website without simply only looking at the rankings we achieve in search engines. In other words, we’ve got to use as many Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as possible. We’re in an industry that sees and reacts to hundreds of algorithm changes a year and offers so much opportunity to boost your online presence with alternative methods.

A focus solely on search engine rankings is not only short-sighted, but harmful too, given the circumstances.

If the only goal is to obtain rankings, companies will often use risky SEO tactics to service this. The rewards may be sweet and quick; but it leaves them very susceptible to Google penalties and unprepared for algorithm changes. This goal also does nothing in helping to implement a long-term plan – search engines are only a mere reflection of performance in a single point in time.#

If rankings aren’t the key performance indicator of a successful SEO strategy, what other elements should you be drawing your attention to?

Organic Search Traffic Volume

Tracking the performance of particular keywords that are driving traffic through organic searches allows you to break down how you generate website traffic. You can gauge performance of these terms over a long period of time to understand seasonal differences, peaks, drops and patterns.

Google however is currently in the process of encrypting all keyword data, apart from paid search. This means that you will no longer have the ability to measure traffic by individual search terms.

Closed-loop Marketing

Closed-loop marketing software allows you to put quantities on the effectiveness of your digital marketing by gaining insight into the number of leads and sales you were able to generate through organic search.

In measuring your SEO efforts this is an ideal solution as it conveys the impact of those efforts on your company’s bottom line; something that tracking search engines simply cant do.

Track Your Content

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or have just remained extremely inattentive over the past couple of years, you’ll know that any talk of SEO now comes hand-in-hand with any talk of high-quality content creation. The less discussed matter is the fact that measuring content plays a critical role in your SEO efforts.

Content performance provides a good indication of your overall SEO performance because you can discern how your content has impacted lead generation and even how the leads you capture are translating to revenue. you can even look at what path your leads are taking on your websites and work out a way of optimising it so that content is delivered in the quickest, most relevant way possible.

SEO requires an abundance of time and resources. It’s an art, when it all comes together. It’s probably best-described as a marathon, not a sprint.  If you independently focus on search engine rankings, you are missing out on other important elements you should be measuring. Of course, keep an eye on rankings, but don’t let them control you.

Focus instead on other KPIs like those mentioned above. Not only will they give you a better indication of how your methods are doing, but will also give you the necessary information on how to go about making improvements to your website and your entire SEO strategy.