ImageHere’s a statement that can potentially confuse every search engine marketing company out there – search engine rankings are no longer the most important metrics in SEO. Let us qualify this statement. “Normal” search engine rankings don’t matter as much as they did.

This is precisely because of the many sensational changes Google implemented over the past couple of years which totally reinvented and redefined search engine optimization services. One of these game-changers is the introduction of Search Plus Your World or mnemonically known as Search+.

Essentially, what this means is that Google takes into consideration a plethora of “personal factors” when returning search results which may include your social media activity (primarily Google+), your geographical whereabouts and your search activity just to name a few. In short, different searchers may get different SERPs even if they are using the same keywords or search terms.

This is why “normal” rankings won’t work as an indicator of success given this development. So, if it’s not rankings, what should you look out for?

Average Rankings

Search engine optimization services are all about rankings and it would not be easy to disregard rankings altogether. However, since Search+ has changed the industry landscape, Google has also provided tools on how to measure SERP performance in a different way and this is where average rankings come in.

Since different searches yield different results, Google computes your average rankings based on your site’s highest ranks from different queries. For instance, if you are selling coffee and Customer A typed “coffee” in Google and your site’s URLs ranked at #1, #5 and #6. Customer B did the same search and your URLs ranked at #3, #7 and #11. Google will only take into consideration the highest ranks, in this case, #1 for Customer A and #3 for Customer B giving you an average ranking of #2.

Visitor Growth

What’s great about this metric is it’s pretty straightforward. You want it to go up, not down, not even plateau. You can also use this number to compute for projected qualified leas, vis-à-vis your site’s traffic or reach.

One thing a search engine marketing company should do is to clearly make a distinction between repeat visitors and new visitors. You want to have a good balance of both. If you have more new visitors and a paltry number of repeat visitors, this means that you peak their interest enough for them to go to your site (good headlines), but your content is not that persuasive and compelling to encourage them to visit your site again.

Impressions

The number of eyeballs a site is getting or simply called impressions has been a wishy-washy metric for quite a long time. For sure, some of your clients couldn’t care less how many people are seeing your site because they are extremely focused the click through rate.

However, since Google Search Plus Your World was launched, the importance of this metric has become more apparent in personalized searches. With tailor fit SERPs for different searchers, you have to ensure that your site is even appearing and where it appears.

Conversion Rate

Many would argue that conversion has been the holy grail of search engine optimization services. What good is site traffic if no action is taken? The conversion report in Google Analytics will basically show your clients how eyeballs become site visitors and how many site visitors are responding to your call to action.

There are two different conversion measurements and which one to use depends on your call to action. If a visitor can respond to your call to action with a single click (i.e. subscribe to your newsletter, download your free white paper), you or your partner search engine marketing company should one-per-click conversion. If your call to action entails going through a process (i.e. e-commerce sites) in order to be completed, you should use the many-per-click measurement.

Exact Match

This is a great metric to look at as it targets specific URLs and allows a search engine marketing company to set goals specific to those URLs. For example, if you want to generate a report specific to your blog, you can configure your site’s Google Analytics to ignore metrics related to yourcompany.com/blog and you can create separate goal for this page.

SEO Success Redefined

Search engine optimization services are very volatile in the sense that no one really knows what changes Google with implement next and when it would implement these updates. With Google Search+, the way SEO success is measured has once again been redefined and this guide was made to help you identify the metrics that matter.