How Do You Know if Your Search Engine Optimization Program Is Really Working?
Measure your SEO success based on results, not rankings.
As part of our PracticeProfs marketing management services for law firms, we have to evaluate existing tactics and vendors when we start managing a new client's marketing program. Diving into actual results and cost-per-call analysis, we normally find some activities that can be immediately cut to save money. Stand-alone search engine optimization (SEO) programs are often the first to go.
SEO has changed dramatically. Has your SEO vendor adjusted?
While the story was different five years ago, today SEO is no longer a stand-alone effort. It's actually a byproduct of everything you do each day, week, and month to educate your audience and enhance your internet presence. Many SEO vendors optimize your current website (hopefully) to match current guidelines and trends – and that's it. You continue to pay your long-term contract, but little or no incremental effort is expended on your behalf.
Ranking reports tell only a partial story
If your SEO vendor provides monthly reporting, you may see a list of keywords and rankings. It's great if you rank #3 for Atlanta XYZ Attorney, but how many people actually search on that term? What about the hundreds or thousands of people who search hundreds or thousands of other words or phrases? How can you tell if they are also finding your firm? Here's how.
Use SEO Triangulation to pinpoint your marketing results.
Just like there is no single magic SEO tactic, there is no single measure of SEO success. We use a proprietary process called SEO TriangulationSM to analyze the ultimate desired results – more relevant visitors to your website. Together, these three metrics provide a much clearer indication of overall SEO program success:
- Total Google impressions. This is the measure of how many people see links to your firm on Google (or other search engines), regardless of how they are searching or the terms/phrases used. You should expect consistent growth from consistent marketing effort.
- Organic search traffic. As more people see those links, you want a growing volume and percentage to click and visit your site. This is a measure of relevance, and good check-and-balance to the raw impressions in #1.
- Top term movement. Keyword rankings are still important, but you want to see positive movement in the terms that attract the most interest. If no one ever searches on Atlanta XYZ Attorney, the ranking is irrelevant and there is no need to focus on that term.
Why doesn't everyone do this?
The tools and expertise to run an ongoing marketing program are expensive, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Ask your marketing vendors to list what they did for you last month, and the results that were generated from those efforts. If you're not sure what you got for the money, contact PracticeProfs and we'll help you figure it out.
If you can't measure it, don't do it.SM
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