I know that as site owners we all want to see gargantuan jumps from our SEO efforts, right? Give me double the visitors, triple the conversion rate, ten blogs posts a week, and five times the social media followers…then, and only then, will I be happy with my SEO program. And over the course of my 13 years in SEO I have seen some sites skyrocket like that, but those tend to be the exceptions and not the rule. For most of us, we aren’t just going to wake up one day to 10,000 new unique organic visitors. We can definitely get to 10,00 new unique visitors but the change is going to happen slowly over time and be a culmination of a lot of little SEO wins. I’ve seen a lot of really great SEO campaigns get the rug pulled out from underneath them because site owners and marketing managers overlooked the little SEO wins. Are you one of them?
Little SEO win #1 – Increase in traffic to specific internal pages.
It’s important to remember that the search engines rank individual pages of a website and not the website as a whole. Each page on your site has the potential to rank well in the search engines for related queries and drive traffic through to your site, no matter how deep that internal page may be. One little SEO win that is often times overlooked is an increase in traffic to those internal pages.
For instance, one month one of my full service B2B SEO clients had 7 visitors arrive on page on their site using a keyword that had sent 0 visitors the month before. While 7 visitors might not seem like a lot on its own you have to realize that’s only 1 keyword on 1 internal page. Even if there were 10 more keywords like that driving traffic to various internal pages that’s an extra 70 unique visitors each month that arrived on their site. And since these deeper pages are targeting more long-tail keywords it’s not unreasonable to assume they are much more targeted visitors and more likely to convert. The site overall might only see a small rise in traffic but when you start to hone in on specific pages you can see the real growth.
Little SEO win #2 – Generating traffic from new referral links.
Next time you are in your Google Analytics account take a look at the Referrals tab under Traffic Sources. These are the referring sites that have driven some amount of traffic to your site in the last month. What’s the biggest referral site? For my B2B client I mentioned above it is LinkedIn but when I start digging a little deeper I find industry sites they’ve submitted white papers to that sent 4-5 visitors, a business bookmarking site where they publish their blog content sent 2 visitors that stayed for over 6 minutes, and even some traffic from a blog comment we’d written. Every month we are building new inbound links to their site (and attracting natural links thanks to their content marketing program) and every single one of those new referral links has the potential to send traffic through to their site. Without those thinks those 5-10 visitors might never have found their way to my client’s site. That’s a small SEO win that contributes to the big picture and gets us that much closer to our gargantuan goal.
Little SEO win #3—Brand new non-branded keywords that drive traffic.
In theory, there are an infinite amount of ways that two people could search for the same thing and arrive on the same page. You optimize your site as best as you can for your most important keywords but that doesn’t mean those are the only keywords driving traffic to your website! Another little SEO win is too look each month and see what new, non-branded keywords are showing up in your Google Analytics account. For instance, my B2B SEO client had one keyword that generated 12 visitors a month, another sent 8, and a third delivered 7 completely unique visitors right to their site when the month before those keywords were nowhere to be found. 27 visitors from completely just 3 new keywords is a pretty solid jump in my opinion. If I dug even deeper I’m sure there would be dozens of other brand new keywords that sent 1 or 2 new visitors each month as well.
If we tally up all the new organic traffic my client generated in one month by just looking at these three little SEO wins we come to a number somewhere around 45. Are 45 new visitors going to shatter any SEO records? Probably not. But it’s important to remember that any ground gained due to your SEO, no matter how big or how small, is a step in the right direction. Don’t lose hope if the big picture isn’t as impressive as you wanted it to be and look for little SEO wins to carry you through.
Nick Stamoulis is the President of Boston SEO agency Brick Marketing. With over 13 years of industry experience Nick Stamolis shares his SEO knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing Blog and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 120,000 opt-in subscribers.