CHAPTER ELEVEN

Tracking Results and Measuring Success

Because the nature of what SEO practitioners do is not clear to many people, the expert practitioner knows how important it is to establish quantifiable goals and demonstrate results. Expectation management is key, and effective communication of timetables for deliverables and improvements is crucial to the success of any SEO project.

Web analytics and other data-mining tools can provide a rich array of data that is invaluable to the SEO process. These include tools for discovering new links, finding long-tail search terms, determining the best links your competitors’ sites have, and more. All in all, a strong understanding of these tools will make you a better SEO practitioner.

However, thousands of tools are available, and it can be difficult to figure out which ones you need to use, which ones are merely nice to have, and which ones are not worth your time. It is a good idea to start simple and focus on establishing a baseline measurement of where you are before you begin your SEO efforts so you can better measure your results. A proper baseline should account for as many variables as are applicable to your business and industry—organic sales, indexing, crawl rates, conversion rate analysis, and so on.

In other words, you need to measure whether, and to what extent, you have been successful. The first thing you need to do is define the goal(s) of your site. Here are some possibilities:

  • Generating sales

  • Obtaining leads ...

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