If you’re hoping to rank organically on Google and co, the simple fact is you will need SEO to get you there. You can be selling the best products or services on the planet, but if you’re not visible online then reaching your target audience becomes increasingly more difficult.

SEO is not just about keywords – it requires a multi-faceted strategy that taps into every aspect of your site, from the aesthetic to meta data and site speed.

How to tell if SEO is working for your site

The obvious yardstick is increased clicks and conversions. These are certainly strong indicators that your strategy’s working well, but there are additional ways to know if SEO is working for your site.

1. Increased traffic volume

Traffic simply means the number of users who have visited your site from organic search. If your website isn’t getting traffic, your SEO strategy is ineffective and needs a revisit. Tools such as Google Analytics can help measure traffic volume, although it’s worth bearing in mind there are other analytics platforms out there too!

2. Improved conversion rate

Conversion rate reflects the percentage of organic visitors who have completed an action on your site, such as making a purchase or booking, completing a form or signing up to a newsletter. If your site is not seeing an improved conversion rate, you will need reevaluate and adjust your SEO approach accordingly.

3. Improved rankings for keywords

There’s a saying that goes ‘the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google’. There’s a lot of truth in this, sadly. Take a look at the graph below from Backlinko which demonstrates a breakdown of Google organic click-through rates (CTR) by position:

Backlink CTR Graph image

The sharp drop in CTR from position 1 is significant. Realistically, if you’re not in the top three spots, you may need to rethink which keywords you want to target. Remember – targeting high volume keywords is typically not a recipe for success. The misconception that high volume = greater reach is flawed because you’re likely going to end up competing with some major industry game players (e.g. for travel, think Expedia or TUI, or for ecommerce, think Amazon). The quality of your keywords is far more important. This means ensuring you’ve picked the right terms which align with your target audience’s search intent and will drive organic traffic to your site. Tools such as Semrush and Google Keyword Planner can help you with this as can asking your current clients who have already bought from you.

4. More time and interaction on page

The more time a user spends on your page or site, the greater the indication is that your SEO strategy is working, meaning you have engaging, relevant content and your site is easy to navigate. This in turn suggests to the search engines that your E-E-A-T credentials are shipshape, which, although not a ranking factor per se, do feed into Google's Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEG).

If your site has a low engagement rate, this is a sign that your website's content isn't giving your users what they're looking for. It may also mean you’re trying to rank for the wrong keywords.

5. Increased quality backlinks

Backlinks are essentially votes of confidence from other authoritative websites, indicating to users and search engines that your content is relevant, valuable and trustworthy. If your site has a lot of good quality backlinks (i.e. ones that have been earned naturally and not procured using black hat techniques), this signifies your SEO strategy is working and your content marketing efforts are gaining traction.

What to ask your SEO agency

If you are using an agency to look after your SEO, you’re well within your rights to ascertain if they are using strategies best suited for your brand. Whether you’re already working with an agency or thinking of approaching one, here are some questions to consider posing to the account manager:

  • When can we expect to start seeing results?

No agency worth its salt will tell you SEO is a quick win. Unlike PPC, which can earn you instant clicks, SEO is a waiting game and is dependent on how competitive your niche is. As a general rule of thumb though, it can take around three to six months to start seeing results.

  • Can I expect regular communication / reports?

At the very least, you should expect regular communication with the SEO account manager and receive updates on the impact of your organic search campaigns either in the form of weekly or monthly progress reports, highlighting latest metrics and analysis of work completed.

  • What SEO tools do you use?

SEO specialists will be used to using a range of tools to track keywords and analyse traffic and they should be able to explain in simple terms what each tool is used for. Typically, the main platforms tend to be Google Search Console, GA4, Screaming Frog, Semrush and Ahrefs, to name but a few.

  • What is your specific SEO strategy for my website?

SEO can often feel overly complex, but a good agency will be able to offer a clear break down of their processes, detailing the steps involved and how they will monitor and report on each one. As the client, you should come away from the conversation with a clear understanding of the strategy and be able to hold the agency to account if they aren’t delivering.

Need help with your SEO strategy?

SEO is not a one-stop shop quick win. It requires constant management to keep on top of shifting trends, ranking factors and competitor performance. To keep all the plates spinning and make sure SEO is working for your site, why not let the Adido SEO team take care of it for you? Our team of SEO specialists have the tools and expertise to make sure your SEO strategy is match fit. Contact us today to learn more!

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Meet the author ...

Anna Heathcote

Content Manager

Based way up on the Northumbrian coast, Anna uses her creative copywriting expertise and SEO experience to ensure clients have fresh, relevant and optimised content on their ...