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One of the most common questions that small business website owners ask when entering into a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign is, “how can we measure the return on investment?”

While there are so many tools available for implementing and monitoring an SEO campaign, measuring the campaign’s return on investment (ROI) isn’t always easy. The main reason why measuring the ROI is so difficult is because it requires a measured revenue to create an accurate picture and, as most business owners know, SEO doesn’t always result in a direct revenue increase.

For example, your SEO campaign may result in a high rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive new traffic to your website. However, if that traffic doesn’t convert into sales, there is no correlation between the campaign and increased revenue. This, of course, doesn’t mean that your SEO campaign was a failure and that you have not gotten your money’s worth. Often, the problem has nothing to do with the campaign, but with the website itself.

SEO should be part of a company’s overall inbound marketing plan, used to drive traffic, lead conversions, and customer conversions. However, there are certain metrics that can track a company’s SEO efforts that have nothing to do with revenues.

SERPs

A website’s position for certain key search terms is a great measure of success. Business owners should compare their rank to leading competitors both before executing the SEO campaign and after.

Site Traffic

The ultimate goal of an SEO campaign is to garner more website visitors and continually increase visitor volume. By analyzing a site’s traffic on a monthly basis, a business owner can determine which search terms are performing well and which should be reconsidered or modified. In addition, when you monitor traffic, including traffic sources, you can make better link-building and off-page optimization decisions.

Inbound Links

The number of credible inbound links that a site receives is one of the best measurements of an SEO campaign’s success. Major search engines see credible inbound links as votes of confidence for a website. The more quality links pointing to a website, the more likely search engines are to positively rank that site.

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