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In Whiteboard Friday this week, Rand discusses the changing focus of SEO. The focus within the SEO world has definitely shifted away from performing small tactical tasks, like link building, to taking a broader, more holistic approach to inbound marketing. The following metrics tend to be used to indicate success.

Leading Indicators

These tend to be the things that clients look for improvement in through using SEO. However, by questioning clients about what they are aiming to achieve with the improvement in these metrics, we can lead into the business KPI’s.

  • Links

  • Rankings

  • PageRank

  • Domain Authority/Page Authority

  • Crawl Rate/Depth

Marketing KPI’s

These KPI’s show how the business is successful over social media, and engagement levels. They’re handy to know for consulting and in-house work.

  • Visits

  • Tweets/Shares/+1’s

  • Followers/fans

  • Brand mentions

  • Pre-conversion Actions

Business KPI’s

These metrics indicate the performance of the business, and should provide the lead for strategic marketing efforts.

  • Conversions (though can also be a marketing KPI)

  • Transaction value

  • Lifetime value

  • Retention

If you focus on moving the needle on the Marketing/Business KPI’s, you can work out which of the leading indicators to improve. It can also be helpful to compare each category of KPIs with the numbers from last year and against the competitions metrics, though those may not be available for the business KPI’s. This is best done in an easy to read chart or spreadsheet, or similar format.