There aren’t any obvious metrics that indicate success or failure with SEO like there is with a lot of paid traffic.
With PPC, you can compare different keywords against each other, analyse conversion and click through rates, and easily identify areas of your account that work well, and areas that don’t
With SEO, you don’t have the same ability to analyse what is and isn’t working. It is also harder to make sudden changes to your SEO strategy & the keywords you are targeting, since it can often take a couple of months of solid work before any progress is made.
This means that you need to get things right from the beginning. You have to make sure that you are targeting keywords that your target market would actually search for.
The first step you need to take involves identifying your target audience. Dig deep into your market and work out exactly who it is that you are trying to target.
If you have multiple products or services you will have multiple types of target audiences. In this case, make sure that you work out which segment would be the most profitable, and start with that one. Once you have made progress, you can move onto the next.
After you have worked out who your target market are, you now need to figure out what keywords this audience are likely to use when using the search engines to search for something related to your product or service.
When doing this, it is important to understand the different layers of purchase intent. Once you understand it, you will be able to quickly differentiate between keywords that are likely to convert and those that aren’t.
For example, the keyword: “buy red shoes now” is far more likely to convert than the keyword: “should I buy red shoes”. It is easy to identify which keyword has a higher level of buyer intent.
If you can quickly look at keywords and work out the level of buyer intent, you will find it much easier to choose which keywords to target.
In some cases, it might even make sense to try and rank for a keyword with low level buyer intent, if the competition and search volumes make sense for you to do so.
There is no set in stone metric to help you determine whether or not your SEO traffic is going to convert. That’s why it is important to use your brain and really get inside the minds of your target market.