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The SEO Basics for Insurance Agents and Agencies

Insurance agents discussing SEO

As an insurance agent, you likely use a set of online tools to manage clients, track sales, and organize your own schedule. But what tools are you using to attract new clients? Your email marketing and social media likely come to mind, but did you know that insurance agency SEO can be one of your most powerful lead generation tools? 

The majority of people use search engines when seeking out new products or services, and SEO is all about improving where your insurance website appears in those search results. With the right set of SEO practices, insurance agents can amp up lead generation and enjoy a steady flow of clients. 

The key is getting started. 

While the world of SEO services can be daunting, there are some key strategies you can implement to get your website off the ground. By knowing some best practices of SEO and applying them to your niche, insurance agents can boost online visibility and lead generation over time. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind.

Find Insurance Keywords that Bring Leads and Conversions

Keywords are the fuel you need to launch your business’ SEO strategy. By targeting the right keywords on your website, you can boost your visibility in the search engine results and show up more often in front of potential clients. 

Insurance agents will need a strong set of industry keywords that reflect the search terms their clients are using. Remember, keyword research doesn’t need to be difficult. Start by thinking about who your target client is. Then jot down a list of terms they might be searching for when looking for an agent. 

If you’re selling car insurance, some of your target keywords might include “car insurance agent,” “auto insurance agent,” and “car insurance near me.” Once you have some keywords in mind, you can use a keyword tool to understand how many people are using those terms, how difficult they are to rank for, and what their conversion potential may be.

insurance industry keyword metrics
Insurance industry keyword metrics

In the above example, “insurance companies near me,” would be a great keyword target for insurance agents or agencies that are attempting to rank in what is a very competitive market. Here’s why:

  • High search volume shows that searchers are indeed using “companies,” rather than the more common “agencies”
  • There is also strong conversion potential (because of the high CPC cost)
  • Compared to other insurance keywords, the competition for ranking is rather low

Most keyword lists will include what are called long-tail keywords, which are keywords containing three or more words. These keywords help you get closer to your target client. A long-tail keyword in this niche might look like, “small business health insurance agent,” for example.

A specific keyword like this will likely have less competition and be more specific to your target market.

Set Up a Google My Business Profile for your Insurance Agency

A Google My Business (GMB) profile embeds your business information right into Google’s search results. Putting your info in such a convenient location can yield significant results. As of 2019, 64% of consumers have used Google My Business to find a business’ contact information. 

A detailed GMB profile can boost your organic clicks on a local level, while making it easier for clients to contact you. So, what information should you include in your Google My Business profile? Here are some essentials:

  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Website
  • Phone number

When you have all of this information filled out, your customers will see your office location on Google maps and clear links to reach you. Another perk? Clients will be able to write reviews on your profile and add images. This can boost business credibility. 

Google My Business Profile for an Insurance Company

It’s important to note that some agencies will need to go through a process to claim their business address. This may occur if another business formerly used your address in their Google My Business profile. Fortunately, it’s quite simple to claim a listing and verify that you operate at the location.

Optimize your On-Site Content for Local SEO

Local SEO is especially important for insurance agents who primarily serve local markets. With big brands dominating the national landscape, local SEO can help your insurance agency connect with searchers who include geographic language in their queries.

Your agency will get one step closer to boosting leads from local clients by optimizing your on-page content for local search.

The first step for optimizing for local SEO is to make sure physical address and contact information is displayed prominently on the web page, like this insurance website does in the below example:

Example of insurance agent website with local SEO optimizations

If your agency covers multiple cities, it can be helpful to create a separate page for each location. You can then optimize each page to reach customers in each geographic area.

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to local SEO, including this element in your overall SEO strategy can help you reach a local audience.

Ask Happy Customers to Leave Client Reviews on Major Review Platforms

Referrals are often the backbone of local businesses. And with today’s online tools, you don’t need to hand out business cards and hope for recommendations.

Your satisfied customers can leave glowing reviews on platforms like Google My Business and Yelp. These reviews can encourage website clicks and boost your online credibility.

Insurance Agency Yelp Profile

So how do you get clients to write these reviews?

There are a few different ways that you can encourage your clients to leave reviews. But one tried and true way is to simply ask.

If you have a particularly positive experience with a client, you could reach out to thank them and invite them to write a review. You can also make this an automated part of your follow-up process. 

And of course, the process doesn’t stop there. Insurance agents need to respond to these reviews once they’re posted.

Insurance agent responds to Yelp review

Responding to reviews will show prospective customers that you’re invested in client satisfaction, while showing search engines that you’re an active business.

But what if I get a negative review?

Encouraging happy clients to leave online reviews is a great way to boost online credibility and visibility. But what about negative reviews?

Every business owner knows that the stray negative review is bound to pop up occasionally. And while these reviews can sting, they’re also an opportunity to show your professionalism. 

Think of negative reviews as a free PR opportunity. Taking the time to respond and address the issue is a chance to show your customer service skills to prospective clients. A negative review is still an engagement data point and business insight, so be sure to treat it as such.

Create Blog Content to Leverage your Insurance Industry Expertise

When you’re running a busy insurance agency, keeping up with a blog might be the last thing on your mind. However, your blog is another key aspect of SEO for insurance agents. There are a few key perks to blogging that insurance agencies should know.

Optimize for More Keywords

Every blog post adds another targeted set of keywords to your website. So, you can optimize for more keywords by maintaining your blog over time.

A blog is also a great opportunity to rank for keywords that might be trending in your city or industry at a particular point in time. And remember, you don’t have to write every blog post yourself. Hiring content strategy experts is a great way to outsource high-quality, optimized blog content.

Create More Indexed Pages

Google indexes every page on your website, so you can show up on search results. Every blog post on your website has a unique URL, so that’s another page to index. Optimizing every aspect of the blog post, including features like the meta description, photo alt text, and headlines are just some of the ways to ensure that the post is ranking and indexed over time

Capitalize on Internal Linking

Internal links add zest to your website’s SEO juice, but there’s only so much you can do with website pages alone. That’s why a blog is so effective. You can include several internal links in each blog post, which direct existing and future clients to other pages on your website and boosts page authority. 

Overall, blogging is a great way to provide useful information to your clients while supporting your SEO strategy. You can increase the power of your blog posts by cross-promoting the content on social and taking advantage of guest blogging opportunities. Blogging can be part of a larger internal and back-linking plan that supports your business growth.

Launch a Link Building Campaign to Improve the DA of your Insurance Website

Link building is another pillar of SEO that every insurance business should implement. But what exactly is this strategy?

The goal of a link building campaign is to increase the number of links to your website. These links are called backlinks. 

By peppering backlinks across the web, you can increase your site’s domain authority (or DA for short). Your DA is basically a score that indicates how likely your site is to rank in search engine results. Backlinks also bring in organic traffic and improve overall search rankings. 

When launching a link building campaign, your objective will be to get pieces of content, called assets, published on websites around the internet. Guests blogs are a popular example of assets and can be a highly effective link building method for insurance agents. 

There are a few basic steps that you can expect during the link building process.

Asset Creation

Before you can get started on a robust backlink profile, you need to create your first asset. In your case, this could be a stellar piece of blog content that’s relevant to the insurance industry.

You should add a link to your website to relevant anchor text. Since you want industry websites to publish your content, be sure that the blog post is well researched, well written, and provides useful information to your target audience.

Pitching

Once you have a flawless piece of link-building content in your hands, it’s time to pitch it to industry websites. Remember, websites with higher domain authorities are more likely to boost your rankings. Try to personalize your pitches as much as possible and be clear about why your content provides value. While you might not earn a placement on every site you pitch to, the first few placements can launch your campaign.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging provides you the opportunity to create an informative, useful piece of content for another webmaster in exchange for a link to your website. That link can either be in the article (linking back to an informative article on your own site) or in your writer bio.

The reality is that contributing thought leadership takes time and hard work, but it can bring loads of value to your backlink profile and improve your SEO rankings by building your site authority in the long-term.

Monitor your Search Results Using Google Search Console

You created a website for your insurance agency, optimized it using keywords, set up a blog, and started a link building campaign. 

But how do you know if your efforts are working? This is where learning how to use Google Search Console comes in.

Once you set up your account and prove ownership of your domain, this platform allows businesses to monitor their search results, ranking data, and user behavior. 

You can also receive alerts about errors on your site, so you can address issues quickly. And above all, businesses can confirm that Google has located, crawled, and index their site. 

To break it down even more, Google Search Console allows users to monitor:

  • Indexed links
  • Search appearances
  • Position value
  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Click through rate (CTR)
  • Referring domains
  • Domain rating
  • Security problems
  • HTML errors

And this is only a handful of the information you can gain from this platform. By monitoring Google Search Console consistently, you can learn which aspects of your SEO strategy are working and which might need tweaking.

Team up with an SEO Agency that Understands the Insurance Industry

If this list makes your head spin, you’re not alone. Busy insurance agents may have trouble finding the time to manage their SEO strategy. This is why many agents will hire an SEO agency to implement a strategy for them. 

However, you need to do your research and choose wisely.

Why? All SEO agencies aren’t created equal. An SEO agency without insurance knowledge might not have the experience necessary to drive an effective SEO strategy. You want to choose an experienced SEO agency that understands the insurance industry and your unique goals as an agency. 

When searching for an SEO agency, there are a few key questions you should ask.

Have You Worked With Other Insurance Agencies?

While the general principles of SEO apply across most industries, each industry also has its own best practices. Choosing an SEO agency that has experience working with insurance agents means that the experts have performed industry-specific keyword research, onsite optimization, and link building.

Can You Show Results?

If you find an SEO agency that has experience working with insurance agents, be sure to ask for results. The agency should be able to show their success rate with past clients, such as cutting cost-per-lead metrics. See our health insurance company SEO case study for an example of what improved metrics and rankings can look like when teaming up with the right SEO partner.

How Can Your Services Support My Business Goals?

Most SEO agencies will offer a consultation to discuss their services, as well as your business goals. Don’t be afraid to get specific during this conversation. Ask which services would best apply to your business needs and what approach they would take to deliver results. 

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, so you should expect a long-term partnership with an SEO agency. This makes it all the more essential to choose an agency that has experience in the insurance industry and puts your goals at the center. Once you find the right fit, you can launch a strategy and watch your lead generation improve over time. 

14 SEO Tips for Accountants and Financial Advisors

Accountants and financial advisors need better ways to develop leads. With increased competition in highly saturated markets, it’s often difficult to stand out. But the right accountant or financial advisor SEO strategy can be the difference that helps your financial or accounting firm earn the quality clicks that generate increased leads and revenue.

As a business owner, you need to consider what tactics you’re using to protect your business’s health. Since so many potential clients depend on the internet to find an accounting firm or CPA, brands need a mastery of local SEO and other digital marketing concepts to ensure continued growth and development.

Why is SEO for accountants and financial advisors so important?

accounting documents

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the cornerstone of many digital marketing strategies. Whether you’re a member of an accounting firm, a broker, or an investment advisor, SEO is necessary if you want your business to flourish. Even if you’re not on Wall Street, SEO can help you find a high-prospect client, direct traffic to your firm’s website or homepage, and increase the value of your blog posts. After all, you want to show up on search engines when clients are looking for financial advice and services.

On top of that, many customers depend on the top results of a search engine result page (SERP) to find a new business. Some customers turn to social media profiles, as well. Many searchers only click on the first three page titles shown to them in the SERPs. If you want your accounting practice to snag one of those spots, you need to master your SEO strategy.

If you’re ready to improve your rank in the accounting industry or you’re looking for the best way to help your CPA firm stand out, here are 14 SEO tips that benefit small business entrepreneurs and larger bookkeeping organizations alike.

1. Research financial or accounting services keywords

SEO is all about the keywords. Whether you want to appear in local search or source organic traffic from around the world, you need a way to appear in relevant search results. 

Keyword research is one of many best practices for any national or local SEO campaign. It involves finding the right keywords that connect financial professionals or accountants to their target audience. A keyword, in and of itself, relates to what people are typing into their search engines. Keywords can be single words or entire phrases that tell search engines the purpose of a page. Here are some examples of keywords that people use when searching for financial and accounting services.

financial advisor seo keywords
accountant seo keywords

You can find crucial information about keywords using a keyword tool. Many keyword tools like Google Analytics help you narrow down the right keywords for your target market or local area. Google also offers planning tools that many professional services and SEO companies rely on to build robust campaigns for financial institutions. 

With the right keywords, it’s easier to hit your top marketing goals for your business niche. Search volume, cost-per-click, and keyword difficulty are the metrics that will help you determine the best keywords to select. Brush up on your SEO keyword knowledge before choosing the keywords you want to optimize your financial website for.

2. Create high-quality accounting and financial advisor content

Many small business owners overlook content marketing because it requires a fair amount of effort and upkeep. However, your website’s content is critical if you’re running an SEO campaign to boost your online presence. While engine optimization depends on choosing quality keywords and keyword phrases, you also need to consider how you use those words or phrases. This means creating relevant, informative, and valuable content that speaks to those keywords.

For example, Goldman Sachs creates videos from experts discussing current market trends and news. Using rich media is great for engaging users and showing off your brand authority and expertise.

example of financial advisor content strategy

Having a blog or resource center is both helpful for ranking for more keywords and for showing off your authority and trustworthiness in your financial or accounting space. This accounting firm offers a resource center with helpful articles on fiduciary accounting.

example of accountant content marketing

The topics you choose to create quality content about will depend on the size of your accounting business, the services you offer, or the markets you serve. These posts should include relevant keywords and phrases to help search engines understand the page content and to build your authority and expertise in your niche. They should also meet Google’s quality guidelines by being informative, original, useful, and having a lot of topical depth. 

Another bonus is that a quality post is also ripe for sharing across social media platforms and in earning backlinks from other URLs. The great thing about great content is that other people want to share it (and link to it!)

3. Don’t forget about the user experience

If you want good online reviews on Yelp or think you can generate some referrals, you can’t neglect your user experience. This also impacts how well your website ranks on the different search engines. Many sites have issues with loading speed. While some of these cases can be attributed to browsers with slower computers or bad internet connection, often the problem lies with the website itself.

Not only search engines value page speed, either. Users tend to “bounce” from different sites if they’re too slow to load. So, while it’s possible that a potential accounting client clicked on your site, they may have left just as quickly.

The good news is that you can check your page speed whenever you want. Even Google has its own tool that will tell you how fast your site loads.

It’s a good idea for any local business or national organization to invest in a few page speed upgrades. Google and its counterparts tend to value pages that load quicker.

4. Prioritize the mobile experience

Google uses mobile-first indexing, which means that any time the search engine crawls your website, it’s specifically looking at the mobile version. You need to keep in mind that many of your potential clients might not view your website from a desktop computer. As a result, you must create a mobile-friendly user experience. You can optimize your site for mobile performance and even create a mobile application if you’re so inclined.

As long as you create a user experience that works across all devices, you’re on the right path. It’s important that your financial advisor website is responsive and adjusts it’s display depending on the device the searcher uses.

Here’s a desktop version of a private wealth management website:

desktop version of financial advisor website

And here is the same website displayed on a mobile device:

mobile version of financial services website

Of course, this is easy enough to say, less so to implement on your own. Not as tech-savvy? An SEO agency can help you make the right changes to your website so it’s ready for mobile-first optimization.

5. Make sure your financial advisor or accounting website is secure

A massive part of an accountant or financial advisor’s job is gaining and maintaining trust. After all, if a customer doesn’t trust your services, they’re not going to have you handle their money. 

However, you’re not the only one who has to be trustworthy. Your site needs to be as well. Think of it this way: You wouldn’t put a client’s sensitive financial information on social media, would you? Then it would help if you also didn’t go without the proper security designation.

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a verification tool that shows that a website has proper security and can keep your data safe. Though you can’t tell if a site has a current SSL by its page title, you can go through the URL. A site with an active SSL has HTTPS in the URL. A site that doesn’t only has HTTP. 

Many search engines prioritize added web security and aren’t as likely to offer high rankings to unsecured sites. It’s something you need to consider, even if it’s not the time for your domain renewal. Whether you’re on Wall Street or work with individual investors, enhanced security is practically a fiduciary rule.

6. Set up business profiles for your financial firm or accounting business

A big component of SEO is making your brand easier to find, whether on Google, Bing, or another search engine. That’s part of why it’s so important to have active business profiles for each of the major search platforms. 

Google My Business gives your customers click-to-call capability and provides a snapshot of your online reviews, location, and your business hours.

Google My Business page for accounting firm

The same applies to similar platforms on other engines. Plus, some of these general citation pages offer valuable links back to your homepage. It’s a great way to catch the attention of a passing client.

If you’re unsure whether or not you have citations on various pages, you can run an audit to check. Based on the audit results, you can manually input your information on the different sites, or you can use a managed service or SEO agency to do so for you.

7. Invest in the right backlinking opportunities

Once you’ve developed a stellar piece of financial or accounting content, don’t you want it to perform well? Of course you do. That’s why you need to set aside resources to help generate links to that content or landing page.

Backlinking opportunities also show how many different websites view you as a trusted source. Google and Bing take that into account when they’re assessing ranking potential. Of course, you don’t want to pay for bulk links that are placed on spammy websites. While it may produce a quick SEO boost, it’s ultimately going to harm you over time. 

Low authority and low-trust websites don’t have great reputations on different search results sites, so invest in white-hat platforms instead.

8. Remember your internal links

While every SEO expert is sure to tell you the value of backlinks, you need to consider your internal linking structure as well. Your website is, in fact, a web. For accountants and financial advisors, it’s your goal to keep a potential client on that web as long as possible. 

This is because the more time a customer spends on a website, the more likely they are to convert. If you tend to neglect internal linking opportunities, write yourself a memorandum or craft an executive order.

You want to pick links to high-performing pages so you can direct customers to valuable content, optimized service pages, and other blog posts that showcase your brand’s value. However, you don’t want to rely on the same links over and over again. Switch things up now and again, so you’re spreading the link-building potential across your entire website.

9. Consider guest posting about your accounting or financial expertise

man typing on computer

Guest posting is a great way to secure some valuable backlinks from trusted sites. It involves creating a piece of content for a site that accepts posts, pitching that content, and writing the article. 

Of course, it’s not quite that simple. To start, you need to find sites that accept guest posts. Luckily, you can turn to the SERPs for that. Do searches for a relevant keyword followed by phrases like “write for us,” “guest posts,” or “contribution.” This will help you find applicable guest posting opportunities. Once you’ve found a few potential sites, you want to vet them for quality. Audit each site to determine its relative domain authority ranking, monthly traffic, and posting frequency. These factors should all be weighed before you pitch.

Here are just a few examples of websites that accept blog posts from financial experts:

And some publications that are looking for guest posts from accountants:

Before you pitch a guest blog, look at the site’s recent posts. Go through the past few months of a guest posting site’s history and look for content and knowledge gaps. This will help you when you’re ready to start pitching. Once you’ve found a few gaps, you can do keyword research to help you generate topics. 

For your pitch, you should think of three potential ideas to pitch to the site. You could write about E&O, the exchange commission, fiduciary rule lawsuits, or anything else as long as it offers valuable insights to the target site.

Then you can start reaching out to different sites with your ideas. If someone accepts, you’ll write the article, go through the revision process, and secure your backlinks. Guest posting is a great way to get some quality traffic from other websites. It’s the ideal tool to have at hand.

10. Develop your local citations

While your Google My Business page is important, you need to invest in other local citations, especially if you’re trying to assert yourself in your local area’s market. 

Many CPA firms with in-person locations depend on citations to boost their overall rankings. It’s a great way to secure an easy link, but it also shows Google that you’re easy to find and you provide a good amount of relevant information to your would-be clients. 

For CPAs, financial advisors, or accountants, you’ll want to look for different financial services directories. These are the most relevant to your field, and you should think of them as another channel for client acquisition. Here is an example of an accounting directory where you could add a citation for your accounting business.

accountant directory website
accountant directory listing

11. Get more reviews on the appropriate pages

online reviews

Online reviews are one of the easiest ways to secure new clients. Most people rely heavily on word-of-mouth referrals because it often skips a good amount of the trust-building brands have to do to secure a purchase. A good referral is golden for your business. However, it’s often more difficult to get reviews than you’d think. 

Luckily, there are a few tried tactics that make this easier. To start, you can ask some satisfied clients. Did you recently have a client that was satisfied by your omissions insurance recommendation? How about one who appreciated your explanation of the Dodd-Frank Act? If you have a handful of customers that you know are satisfied, draft up an email. Thank them for their business and see if they’re willing to post a review on your preferred platform.

You can also include simple review links on your website. These direct customers to exactly where they need to go, so there’s no confusion about the review process. Even some tools can help automate customer feedback collection, which makes for less time and resources spent securing reviews.

12. Optimize for local searches

For financial advisors and accountants who primarily serve a local geographic area, local SEO best practices are essential for showing up in the Google Map pack and local searches. If you’ve earned some local citations from tip #10, that will help your local signals grow, but it’s also important to include location information on your website.

It’s also a good idea to have multiple location-specific pages. If you run a CPA firm with multiple locations across the region, you want to optimize for each local area. It’s a better way to reach more relevant and qualified customers. Your local citations also need to make it clear that your business has multiple offices. 

Getting in the coveted Google Map Pack can be extremely beneficial in improving calls and requests to your office. The Map Pack makes it easy for searchers to immediately reach out to your financial advisory or accounting firm.

Google map pack for local financial advisor search

Here are a few additional tips for increasing your accounting or financial services website’s chances of getting into the map pack:

  • Optimize your Google My Business Listing
  • Earn more local and business citations
  • Have a responsive website

13. Optimize for stronger lead generation

In many ways, SEO is the ideal lead generation tool. Instead of spending excess time and money manipulating ads and pushing for conversions, SEO brings new clients to you. 

However, if you’re not generating any leads, your SEO campaign probably isn’t doing much for your site. To start, you want to make sure that each page has a lead generation form and an appropriate call to action (CTA). This accounting website immediately prompts users to submit an email address in exchange for a useful content marketing item.

lead generation form on accountant website

Other strategies for improving lead generation include implementing chat functionality. Many clients want to work with brands that are constantly available. The same goes for the accounting industry. Live chat functionality might not be as manageable for a small business, but you can invest in some programs and chatbots that make it easier to provide 24/7 service. Chat services have a good record of securing leads, so you don’t want to release a site iteration without one.

It’s also a good idea to run tests and make ongoing adjustments. Even if a landing page or a contact form starts performing well, that doesn’t mean that will always be the case. You need to regularly maintain your pages and lead generation forms to ensure they continue to draw potential clients. A/B testing helps you collect data for page performance metrics, so it’s a good idea to develop multiple versions of any service page or the contact page to determine what performs better.

Lastly, you should continue to measure your lead generation and invest in channels that succeed more frequently. In many cases, your homepage will drive a good number of your leads. However, certain blog posts, social links, and ads can generate leads as well. Review the data to see which channels need the extra attention.

14. Be patient

In almost all scenarios, SEO is a long-term investment. It requires a fair amount of experimentation, adjustment, and patience if you want a successful campaign. Whether you’re a startup CPA firm that’s looking to make waves or you’re an established brand that wants an added digital push, SEO can help over time. However, it often takes time and resources to do so, and instant results are a rarity. The right SEO strategy can enhance lead generation and conversion for years to come as long as you maintain it. As long as you continue to move the needle in the right direction, you know your SEO campaign works as intended.

patience GIF

Accountants and financial advisors rely on SEO just as much as other industries. While search engine optimization sounds complicated, the learning curve is worth it when you start to see results. For professionals who don’t want to handle engine optimization with an in-house team, the best way to increase your online presence is through an SEO firm’s assistance. The right agency can help you clarify your goals and implement effective changes. It also makes it more intuitive to track progress and results and make the necessary adjustments your brand needs to flourish.

If you’re ready to take over your market, reach your target audience, and find new potential clients, it’s time that you gave SEO a closer look.

9 Metrics to Evaluate and Measure SEO Success

measure SEO graphic

Any business owner investing in SEO wants to improve their website’s chances of appearing at the top of the search engine result pages. But how do you measure SEO success? 

Because SEO is not as immediate as other digital marketing channels like PPC or social media advertising, it can sometimes feel difficult to measure its impact. But it is incredibly important for site owners to understand how to evaluate and measure their SEO results in order to see what optimizations are working, what they need to improve upon, or what tactics they should retire. Also, understanding whether your SEO is effective is essential to quantifying the ROI of your digital marketing spend. 

Measuring the impact of your SEO optimizations is actually very simple if you have the right tools. You can also start measuring the impact of your optimizations within 1-2 weeks. Here’s how to accurately evaluate and measure your website’s SEO performance as a whole.

Why Site Owners Need to Measure their SEO Results

dog measuring gif

If your business advertises a service but then fails to deliver on your promises, you will likely lose clients. Everyone wants to see results, because results prove the value of your efforts. This is just one reason for site owners to be closely monitoring the impact of their website optimizations, but there are several more.

Organic Search is Often the Largest Source of Traffic

Google owns about 75% of the Internet’s search market. Additionally, Google averages over 400,000 web searches every second, which equates to a whopping 1.2 trillion searches every single year. All of these statistics just go to show that your potential customers most likely will go to the Internet to find you first, making it incredibly important to ensure your website follows as many search engine optimization best practices that you can.

Because Google will most likely be your primary source of website traffic, taking the time to understand the details of how each page of your website is performing will give you the data you need to refine your SEO strategy and make improvements. The more refined your strategy gets, the more organic traffic that Google will drive to your website.

Good SEO Results in a Positive User Experience

Sure, you want to make sure your website shows up in search engines. But that is the first half of the battle. Once potential consumers land on your website, you’ll want to do everything in your power to keep them there and ultimately convert them. Tracking your SEO performance not only helps you understand how Google sees your content, but it gives you a lot of information about whether users are finding your content valuable. 

It is important to understand how Google works when deciding what to implement in your website. Google’s overall goal is to provide consumers with the best experience possible, so they have an army of website crawler robots that index every single website out in the World Wide Web. Those web crawlers then figure out what the website is about, and match up the content of the website to match search engine inquiries in order to provide the most relevant websites for the user. 

With this in mind, it is important for a website to have relevant, informative content for its users, not only for Google to find and index, but for your users to learn about you! With the right SEO metrics, site owners can understand which pages of their website that users are finding the most valuable, and then use those pages as models for other pages on their site.

SEO Changes as Google Changes

SEO best practices don’t really tend to change drastically, but Google updates its ranking algorithm several times a year. Having a more granular understanding of your landing pages’ performance will help you ride those waves of Core Updates without drastic changes to your keyword rankings. If you are consistent in evaluating your SEO strategy, you will be able to more easily find those components that need to be changed or tweaked as Google improves on its algorithm from year to year.

How to Measure SEO Success: The 9 Definitive Factors

person calculating gif

Keep the following factors in mind when you create a plan for measuring SEO success. You can access all of the below SEO metrics for your website in Google Search Console or Google Analytics.

Keyword Rankings

Keyword rankings are the basis of any SEO strategy, simply because they are what users type into the search engines to find your website! So it is safe to say that a website’s keyword rankings offer a great snapshot into how your website is performing within the search engine result pages. 

Usually, the first thing any website owner does when creating their website is to complete keyword research. Well, the same goes for measuring if your digital marketing is working or not– keywords say it all. 

Keyword rankings are as followed:

  • Ranking from 1-10 means that page is showing up on page 1. 
  • Ranking from 11-20 means that page is showing up on page 2. 
  • Ranking from 21-30 means that page is showing up on page 3.
  • And so on and so forth.

Under the “Search Performance” tab in Google Search Console, you are able to see the queries users made that allowed your website to show up in the results. It is a good practice to take a look at these every month, and make sure that you use this extra information to your advantage.

Maybe there are keywords you didn’t expect your landing page to rank for — that can be a good or a bad thing! If the search intent is related to your content, that’s great, But if not, you may need to rework the on-page content or HTML tags to communicate more clearly to Googlebots what the content is about.

When looking at keyword performance, it is important to look at growth over time. SEO is a long game, and it takes, on average, about three months to six months to really see significant fluctuations after making a change. You can monitor the progress of certain keywords and phrases, and these insights will be able to tell you what content is working and showing up in the SERPs, and which content may need a little extra TLC.

Having the most relevant content for what your users are looking for is essential to seeing all of your SEO metrics improve. There is a lot that goes into using Google Search Console to track keyword rankings, so take the time to familiarize yourself with the “Search Performance,” section of this tool.

Organic Traffic

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Organic traffic is the traffic that comes to your website solely from search engines. It is a powerful metric that can tell you if your website is not only performing well, but if it is worthwhile traffic that has a higher potential to convert. 

Consistency is key when it comes to SEO, so it is common to expect a consistent source of traffic, no matter your digital marketing efforts. However, if you notice a huge change, such as an influx of traffic, chances are Google may have discovered a few new pages and is starting to rank them within the SERPs. On the other hand, if you notice a big decrease in traffic, your website could have been penalized due to an algorithm change. 

Ideally, the more keyword rankings that your content earns the more organic traffic will continue to grow. However, if you are seeing your organic traffic stay the same despite additional keyword rankings, your landing pages may just not be ranking high enough, or maybe your page titles or meta descriptions are not enticing users to click. Paying close attention to which pages are not only ranking, but also getting clicks, will help you hone in on those on-page elements that seem to be satisfying both Google and users.

Economic Value of Traffic

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Not all traffic is created equally, and some traffic channels are more expensive than others. If you’ve ever run a PPC campaign on Google Ads, you know it can be expensive to generate clicks. Economic value of traffic helps you understand how much you would pay for those organic clicks if you had targeted them in a Google Ads campaign. 

CPC often correlates to conversion potential. If advertisers are willing to pay a high price to target that keyword in a PPC campaign, it’s likely because the users who click have high search intent and are likely to convert. If you secure organic rankings for keywords with high CPCs, you are getting those same high-quality clicks, but at a much cheaper cost. 

As you evaluate the economic value of your traffic, It is important to crunch the numbers and ask yourself the following questions. 

  • Which keywords are driving the most valuable traffic to your site? Can you work on improving the rankings for the landing pages that are ranking for those keywords?
  • Once users land on your page, are they converting? If not, you may need to improve that page with CTAs or lead capture forms. You can use your Google Analytics account to understand whether or not those organic clicks are actually converting on your website.

Yes, SEO requires a lot of work upfront and regular maintenance, but it is ultimately much cheaper than PPC and longer-lasting. You can incorporate these costs into into your metrics and get a better grasp on the true value that organic traffic brings.

Conversions

A website’s ultimate goal is to make sure the traffic you’re getting is traffic that actually converts. You need to view your conversions in the lens of quality vs. quantity, while it is always great to have a bunch of new users on your site, if you only have one person convert out of 100, then there is a bigger problem to solve here. 

If this is the case, take a step back and look at your website from the lens of a consumer. What is getting in the way of them converting? Could it be lack of information, a slow website, problems checking out, or your contact information being hard to find? Just determining the cause of the problem can be the difference between a handful of conversions a quarter and hundreds of conversions a month.

Other Key Metrics to Measure your SEO Efforts

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While the above factors are very important when you measure SEO success, the following metrics should also be taken into consideration as well.

Domain Authority (DA)

Domain Authority (DA) is a metric developed by large SEO company Moz  that predicts how likely a website is to rank on the search engine result pages. A DA is ranked on a 0-100 algorithmic score, and while they are not a metric used officially by Google, keeping tabs on your own website’s ranking can show you how you stand compared to other websites in your industry. 

There are a lot of separate factors that go into compiling a DA score, including the number of linking root domains, the total number of backlinks, and the overall strength of a website’s backlink profile. Domain Authority is a great benchmarking tool and a good overall metric for your website’s ranking potential. You can check your domain authority score with our free tool.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

A website’s click-through-rate measures the percent of people that clicked onto your page from the search results. A high click-through rate provides insights on if your page title and meta description are properly optimized and are enticing to potential customers. The higher the click-through-rate, the better chances are that you are getting engaged, ready to convert customers landing on your page.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of users who visited your website and left without interacting anywhere on the page. A high bounce rate indicates that users visited your website but then didn’t find the information they were looking for, so they left. This can be due to a variety of different reasons, from having a poorly mapped site structure, to not including informational content that answers user’s questions before they get a chance to ask them. 

To prevent a high bounce rate, do what you can to create content that grabs potential customers the minute they land on your page. Use multimedia and graphics to add some extra visual appeal.

Scroll Depth

A scroll depth is exactly what it sounds like, it measures how far down visitors scroll on each webpage. You can monitor each page’s scroll depth to see if users are actually getting to the most important content, and if they are reading what you have to say.

A way to encourage long scroll depth is to add pictures, graphics, larger headlines, and omit blocks of text. The more pizazz you can add to the page, the better!

Backlink Profile

Google views a link as a measure of authority leading to your website. This means that every time another website links to your website, Google sees it as a measure of trust, and that your website should show up in search results. 

A healthy backlink profile includes backlinks from a variety of websites, with a variety of differing DA scores, as this shows versatility and your links were acquired naturally and organically. It is a SEO best practice to gain links from other websites, and a diverse backlink profile shows that multiple websites see you as an authority in their space.

How to Evaluate SEO Progress Over Time

Again, the most important part SEO measurement is what the data is telling you about what you are doing right. If you don’t take the time to measure SEO efforts with as much detail as possible, you will never have an accurate picture or understanding of the value of your SEO efforts.

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It is normal for your SEO strategy and goals to change as your business ebbs and flows. But as long as you stay consistent in your SEO efforts, your website will become a reflection of your business online, and you will be able to build a strong presence in the digital world.

You do not have to do your entire SEO strategy by yourself. Our SEO experts here at LinkGraph are here to understand your business needs and goals, and our team is here to see your business thrive online. Give us a call and we’ll get started creating a comprehensive SEO strategy to bring your business to new heights.