By Bruce Clay

Besides watching your conversions, you still need to keep an eye on the big picture: Is the time, effort, and money you are putting into your SEO project actually bringing you a return? You need to know whether the keywords you are using are actually working out for you. Are they affecting your rankings in the search engines? Have your rankings gone up, stayed the same, or actually gotten worse? And in particular, has your traffic increased as a result of search engine traffic?

Determining success relies on tracking your keywords more effectively. Keywords are the search terms that users put into the search engines. When you are tracking keywords in order to see if they’re working out for you, remember that the broad phrases aren’t all you should be looking at, but also the more specific keywords and longer keyword phrases, called long-tail keywords. Keyword phrases are groups of three or more keywords that users put into a query window, such as [classic car customization Poughkeepsie].

By using analytics data in conjunction with ranking reports and keyword data provided by the search engines, you can keep track of which keywords are working for you to gain more conversions and which ones are just not working out at all. You can keep track of how much you are spending on these particular keywords and whether the ROI is really worth it.

Remember, if a keyword is not working out for you, don’t be afraid to get rid of it and find a keyword that does.

SEO is much more nebulous when it comes to identifying and tracking the metrics. A good keyword might bring you more traffic, but if those users aren’t giving you conversions, they’re just using up server space and costing you time and money. That’s why it’s essential that you have relevant keywords and that you provide your users with the information or products you are advertising. For instance, if your keywords are [Classic car customization], your site should provide information on classic car customization.

There’s also such a thing as too much information. The longer a person stays around your site, and the more she explores it, the more likely she is to provide you with a conversion. So do provide people with information, but don’t do it all on one page. Spread it around your site, and make sure that your users have access to it.

Also keep in mind that SEO takes a while to fully work, so give it a decent amount of time before you really start to worry if you don’t see a whole lot of change. The changes take time, so be prepared to be patient, and know that putting in the time and the effort is truly worthwhile.