What to Know about SEO Metrics

Learn the facts about SEO metrics…

SEO metrics are ubiquitous and every single person that’s paying to have their site optimized for search is monitoring them–obsessively. Everywhere across the internet, there are sites competing to get your attention, with optimization advice, SEO tutorials, insights about search engine algorithms, and some offer wonderfully aesthetic interactive SEO metrics which are “guaranteed” to be accurate.

Outside the search engines’ primary proprietary analytics, there’s not a whole lot of useful information you’re going to find. Even then, you’re getting an “opinion” and not necessarily a comprehensive, unbiased, objective analysis. This is true especially in the case of third-party software, which is specifically designed to elicit an emotional response from their users. The aim is panic, doubt, anxiety, and just plain upsettedness.

The purpose of some (certainly not all) of these analytic measurements is to lure visitors into a false sense of trust. And, because search engine optimization is the stuff of mystery and esoteric knowledge, it’s easy for visitors looking desperately seeking some type of foothold and perhaps, validation.

What to Know about SEO Metrics

Okay, so you’re wanting to get more visitors to your lonely site. You have read and read, consumed an extensive amount of free advice, and sought out reputable sources to tell you how to interpret SEO metrics and put the best optimization elements into your site. It contains high quality content, loads quickly, uses responsive design, and so on. As a result, you see a steady uptick in visitors, but, keep visiting various sites–which are telling you that nothing is really happening.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can sometimes focus too much on metrics, resulting in a complex series of measurements and calculations that provide little meaningful data about a website’s success. Measuring your conversion rate or number of top 10 rankings can tell you a lot about how well your website is performing. Obsessing over your social influence, on the other hand, isn’t as productive. —Entrepreneur.com

You don’t know which to believe and still want big, leaps-and-bounds results. That’s the essence of SEO. It’s part science, part art. And, it’s chock full of experimentation, because once there’s a known method to gain results, the wrong people are going to hijack it to try and manipulate the search engines. In response, that valid method will be downgraded in effectiveness, and eventually be rendered useless or harmful.

Here’s a good example. Back in Web 1.0, the early years of the internet, all you had to do was stuff your meta data and pages with relevant keywords. That got replaced by link building, which then was set-upon by black hat and grey hat types. They devised a scheme in Web 2.0 called a “link wheel”. They’d create a bunch of different sites under different domains and put copious amounts of links on the pages which would funnel back to the target site.

Today, link building, though not dead, is free of schemes like link wheels because the search engines punish sites for taking part in such campaigns. And that’s the pros and cons–you might have it right today, but the rules can change. Just stay the course, publish holistic, useful content, share across social media and use your site as a marketing tool.

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Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search and like news. History buff, movie and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband. Owen is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.