Wondering if your SEO efforts are paying off? It’s a common question among website owners and marketers alike. SEO can often feel like a guessing game, especially when you’re just starting out.

There are clear signs to look for that can tell you if your SEO is working. This article will go through the things you need to look for that mean SEO success. 

Monitor Keyword Rankings

Monitoring keyword rankings is a clear-cut way to gauge the success of your SEO efforts. Keyword rankings refer to the position of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs) when a specific term or phrase is searched. If your rank improves for certain keywords after implementing SEO techniques, it’s a strong indicator that you’re on the right track.

Rankings can fluctuate daily due to many factors, including algorithm updates and competitor activities. So, don’t be disheartened if you don’t see immediate improvements. Checking your site’s keyword rankings should be a consistent activity to have an effective long-term SEO plan. Many specialized tools like Google Search Console, Semrush, and Ahrefs can help you with tracking.

Keep in rhythm with the practice of tracking important keywords relevant to your business or industry. If you’re just starting out, focus on less competitive, long-tail keywords to gain some traction. Over time, as your site grows stronger, you can aim for high-demand, competitive keywords.

Most importantly, remember that it’s not about having the top spot for every keyword. Success lies not only in ranking highly but in gaining visibility and traffic for a variety of keywords, and ultimately driving visitors to take a desired action on your site.

Lastly, don’t overlook local SEO if you’re a local business. Local keyword ranking is crucial because customers are often more likely to seek services near them. Monitoring this could result in a significant increase in your website traffic.

Analyze Organic Traffic

Shift your focus to organic traffic as you assess the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. Organic traffic refers to visitors who land on your page throughunpaid search results. These visitors are highly essential, as they are often the ones most interested in your offerings and hence can translate into potential leads or sales.

The primary way to track organic traffic is through Google Analytics. This tool breaks down traffic sources, enabling you to discern how much of your traffic comes from organic searches. You’d want to see a steady or preferably increasing trend in this segment.

It’s also useful to keep an eye on new vs. returning visitors. While attracting new visitors is the sign of successful outreach, returning visitors indicate that your site provides value, boosts your reputation, and increases chances of conversions.

Bounce Rate

It’s the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate often signifies irrelevant traffic or poor user experience on your website. Engaging content, intuitive navigation, and fast page-load speed can help improve the visitor-retention rate.

Average Session Duration

It enlightens you about how long, on average, visitors are staying on your site. A longer session duration signifies that your content is engaging and significant to the users.

Pages Per Session

The more pages a visitor views during one visit, the better your internal linking structure likely is. It is also an indicator of a user-friendly site that encourages easy navigation.

Subsequently, check out your top exit pages via Google Analytics. These are the last pages users see before they leave your website, and they may be indicative of a problem. It might be that the content on these pages does not meet your visitors’ expectations or that there isn’t any clear call to action driving visitors to the next step.

Using these metrics, you’d not only be keeping tabs on your organic traffic but also identifying areas for improvement. Remember, Google doesn’t just want to see high-quality content but also values a positive user experience. Incorporate these insights into your SEO strategy and aim to create a better experience for your users. It’s a continual process of optimization aimed at better performance and reaching your SEO goals. Let’s now shift gears and dive into another vital aspect of SEO – conversion tracking.

Track Conversion Rates

While analyzing organic traffic is crucial, you can’t ignore the significance of conversion rates when measuring SEO success. After all, attracting visitors is one thing. Converting them into customers is a whole different game.

To track the conversions, you first need to set up goals in Google Analytics. These can take different forms, ranging from a user staying on your website for a certain duration, visiting a specific number of pages to more concrete actions like making a purchase or filling out a contact form.

Once you’ve set these goals, you can then monitor how frequently users accomplish them. Tracking the percentage of visitors who meet your goals gives you the conversion rate. This rate is an invaluable metric in determining how effective your SEO efforts are in motivating your visitors to take the desired action.

Remember, the higher your conversion rate, the more impressive your SEO strategy is. However, industry specifics can significantly affect conversion rates. For example, a niche B2B website might have a lower conversion rate compared to an e-commerce site but still be successful because of the value each conversion represents.

And don’t forget about micro conversions. These are actions that users take before the final conversion, like signing up for your newsletter or downloading a free resource. Monitoring these will give you insights into visitor behavior and customer journey stages.

Conversion Rate by Channel:

This metric offers insights into which marketing channels – organic, paid, social, or referral – contribute to your conversions most effectively. Comparing organic vs. paid traffic can guide your SEO and PPC strategies optimizing your overall marketing budget.

Conversion Rate by Keyword:

To get a granular view, you can measure your conversion rate by keyword. This helps identify the search terms that not only bring visitors to your site but also compel them to convert. Keywords with high conversion rates are your gold mines.

Next to conversion rates, investigate closing rates too. Closing rate is the ratio of leads that eventually end up becoming paying customers. A high closing rate signifies that you’re attracting quality leads, possibly through efficient SEO tactics.


SEO success isn’t just about boosting traffic. It’s about enhancing user engagement and creating a more rewarding experience for your visitors. Key engagement metrics – Bounce Rate, Average Session Duration, Pages per Session, and Returning Visitors vs New Visitors Ratio – are your guiding lights. They’ll help you understand user behavior, fine-tune your content, and improve site navigation.

Remember, patience is key. SEO isn’t a one-and-done deal. It’s a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort. So, if you’re not seeing results right away, don’t be discouraged. Keep refining your strategies and tracking your progress. With time, you’ll start to see the fruits of your labor.



Kristine is the Director of Marketing at Boostability. She brings a decade's worth of communications strategy work to the company. Kristine has a Masters Degree in Leadership and Communications from Gonzaga University and graduated from BYU with her undergrad in Broadcast Journalism. She's worked in television news, public relations, communications strategy, and marketing for over 10 years. In addition to being a part of the marketing team, Kristine enjoys traveling, sports, and all things nerdy.