▷ Measuring the effectiveness of SEO: The method of professionals | The USA Print

We’ve all searched Google to find a website that meets our needs, but do we really know how those results are ranked? It depends on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a method that optimizes the referencing of websites in search engines…

THE SEO thus makes it possible to obtain visibility on search engine. Whoever and wherever : within your e-commerce, your social network, App Store or of course general search engine.

However, SEO is often measured in terms of position, i.e. the position a website is in the search results pages (SERPs). However, this measurement method is not always reliable.

Positions that are not always reliable

Indeed, the positions do not take into account:

  • The space occupied by the features the search engine (the standard example of Google with the weather, the stock market, the apps, the image module, the other questions asked, the video module… up to 47 “SERP feature” can appear above the organic results.
  • The advertisement : it shifts down the natural positions of a site or product.
  • There competition for each keyword : Having few results on SERPs makes it easier for the Internet user to choose… and vice versa.
  • User preferences.
  • THE geographic location differences : On “Pizzeria Marseille” Is this a menu that appears or my site? and at what position?
  • There waterline : Do I have to scroll to see my result despite a “good” position?

To illustrate, here is an example:

The 1st organic result invisible on Google, because below the fold line on the keyword Valentine's Day gift
The 1st organic result is invisible on Google, because below the fold line on the keyword Valentine’s Day gift

Thus, a website for example can be ranked first for a certain keyword for a user, but invisible and not necessarily for another keyword that brings up a SERP with the famous 10 blue links (search intent “Knowledge”).

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In addition, positions can fluctuate significantly and quickly depending on multiple factors such as news or competition, which makes it difficult to accurately measure the effectiveness of an SEO strategy.

A more reliable visibility index

But how to do it ? What do professional SEOs do?

This problem was solved about ten years ago with a visibility index. Indeed, faced with all the challenges represented by measurement by position, the use of a visibility index is essential, because it is more reliable, to measure the effectiveness of an SEO strategy.

Visibility index for URLs positioned on the acrylic paint keyword
Visibility index for URLs positioned on the acrylic paint keyword

We clearly see in the example that we can have better visibility than a world leader in e-commerce with a specialized site. The site URL giant-beaux-arts.fr has been more visible since at least 2021 than that of its competitors.

This index takes into account the number (and volume) of keywords for which a site is visible, as well as the position in pixels from the top of the page, to which it is for each of them, in addition to weight result type on the page and competition.

The percentage of URLs placed on the first page of Google

Another factor is increasingly emerging. This is the taking into account of the percentage of URLs of a site placed in search result pages.

Indeed, a site that has a large number of pages on the first page of SERP will have greater visibility than a site that has spread it over the first 10.

Breakdown position by Google deezer page
Position distribution by Google page of deezer.com.

In the example of the animated graphic above, we see how Deezer’s visibility in Google’s SERP has increased, bringing more and more keywords to the first page of search results.

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This indicator also measures theeffectiveness of the SEO strategy implementation across the entire website, rather than just focusing on a particular page or keyword.

Measuring its effectiveness is essential

If we want to measure the effectiveness of an SEO strategy, as we have demonstrated, it is preferable to use a visibility index rather than focusing on positions.

Moreover, it is important to take into account the percentage of URLs of a site placed on the first page of a search engine if one wants to demonstrate its effectiveness in visibility.

Thus, with good measures, such as a stock index, SEO efforts will be better evaluated and will improve our actions which induce to optimize the visibility of a website more effectively.

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