Small Business SEO: Starting with the Right Success Metrics

Search-engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for businesses or individuals with websites to which they need to direct traffic to generate revenue. It comprises a combination of criteria aimed at making your website rank higher on search engines, thus increasing the chances of customers visiting it. However, it is vital for small businesses to know whether or not their SEO efforts are making any progress. SEO, and actually search-engine marketing (SEM), is a unique marketing channel in that it is measurable, responsive, and flexible in a different way from other channels.

Small Business SEO

Ranking is heavily emphasized

Many clients usually tell the SEO experts when contracting them that they desire to be ranked in such and such position for some particular keywords. However, what the clients do not know is that the search is not always about ranking, and ranking is attained over time—not instantly. As such, there ought to be other indicators to measure the success of SEO efforts. There are several metrics that we can use as indicators, and most of them are crucial in determining SEM success for small businesses. As much as ranking is essential for driving high traffic, it may generate little sales. On the other hand, getting the top position for a niche for some keywords may deliver fewer visitors but better sales, and may even be easier to attain in a shorter lead time. While focusing on attaining real success, especially in cases where sites do not generate as much profit as expected, it would be prudent to engage experts such as seoanalytics.pro to help optimize them in the best way possible.

More specific success metrics

Here are some interim success metrics that small businesses can use to gauge the success of their SEO activities. Some specific metrics can include the following:

  1. a)          Keyword Coverage
  2. b)          Keyword Variance
  3. c)          Call to Actions

Keyword variance

Coverage and variance are somehow interlinked, however slightly. Keyword variance refers to the “variety of root terms” or the most widely used top-level keyword sets for which the site attracts traffic. For instance, when focusing on a parent keyword, like “Designer Watches,” the variety would be concerned with the major brands like Gucci, Armani, and so on. With such a variety, the success metric would be focusing on whether there is an adequate variety of root keywords in the referrer traffic.

SEO for small business

Keyword coverage

On the other hand, coverage in relation to the same parent keyword “Designer Watches” would be the long-tail of the root key phrases. Some examples would include Cheap Gucci Watches, Golden Gucci Watches, and so on. The success metric in such a case would be concerned with whether there is coverage of a sizable portion of long-tail extensions of the roots in the referrer traffic.

Call to action

The call-to-action metric is meant to persuade site visitors to perform an expected action, such as buying, inquiring, signing up for a newsletter, etc. So, the measure of success would be the number of visitors who took action.

SWOT Analysis for SEO

Having looked at the interim SEO success metrics that small businesses can use to gauge their sites, it is crucial that SEO experts carry the SWOT analysis for a website to identify potential issues that are hindering its success. Also, the audit will check the site’s standing in relation to the industry and competition. From the review, the metric indicators’ decision can be put into two groups:

  •  Things that need to be done on the site, such as cleanup, adding content, and link building.
  • Identification of metrics for site’s success, which may include visibility, sales, enquiries, brand building, and more.

After identifying the two categories, the next thing is to determine the metrics that are achievable within your projected timelines and as per the SEO work you are doing on the site. You will then put efforts into achieving those short-term goals, which will help realize the longterm ones.

Other success metrics

Here are more interim success metrics to measure SEO success:

  • Local search visibility
  • Global search visibility
  • Cross search engines visibility
  • Number of indexed pages
  • Increase in the number of backlinks
  • Higher indexing frequency

Lynne Huysamen

Mommy to a pigeon pair, blogger and online marketer. Lover of chocolate, good books and buckets of coffee.


  1. Your article reminded me of the truism that “Thought precedes action.” Applying the principles laid out in your article, we can all remember the acronym GIGO: Garbage in, garbage out. If our initial driver is not based on a high quality notion, the end result will not look like success. Good reminders!

  2. Hi

    I think the question most businesses have is ‘How do I maximize profits in this competitive field, so that my costs are low and my revenues are high’. I think they are thinking about what the customer wants and needs, and not necessary about keywords. Most online businesses are thinking about survival and not necessarily about any strategies they may use.

    Thank you


  3. Hi Lynne. Thanks to you for writing this great and educative article about Seo. I really learnt a lot from this great piece, I’m currently working on my first website but I was confused on Seo. Well this post just changed that, I have noted 3 tips you gave and I’m definitely gonna try my best to be successful. I’ll be looking forward to new posts from you. Thanks for sharing 

  4. Nice article there on small business seo.firstly am grateful to you for writing this article on seo,because am always happy any thing I read article from an experience person like you on business,Many people think they know what SEO is but it is much more complex than it appears on the surface. For instance, although keywords and content are a big part of SEO, there are many other elements involve.like On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.You can also improve SEO by taking action off your website

  5. This is quite amazing seeing this wonderful post on Small Business SEO review. I suppose the fact that Search-engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for businesses or individuals with websites to which they need to direct traffic to generate revenue. All this steps and hints in this article is all inclusive and I really find it helpful.
    I will like to recommend Wealth Affiliate. I love the community and it’s features of which one is best keyword research tool that helps a website Search Engine Optimization (SEO), by connecting visitors to your high-quality content and also of marketing research tool . There are always improvements being made and always having our best interest in mind. Thanks for sharing this helpful information.

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