To truly measure progress you need to collate clear and quantifiable data, the more data available the better. When commencing an SEO project it is good practice to get in the habit of:

• Firstly set out clear and measurable factors that will help not only show your client what progress has been made but also, to tell you as the SEO’er how successful this campaign is in comparison to other projects.

• Start the project by recording all available data at that point. Decide on what sort of time period you are going to leave before the next update. Relate this periodic update to the complexity of the project and how much time you are willing to invest. Sometimes recording data after only a short period can often be a waste. Many SEO strategies take patience and time to see noticeable changes.

Keeping a consistent measure of your Search Engine Optimisation efforts is always going to come in handy. More data will allow you to pick out certain trends and highlight potential downfalls within your process that can be improved upon. SEO is a constantly changing field and as a result the best method of running a successful SEO campaign is to ALSO move, grow and adapt to the changes around you.

The following quantifiable data streams are useful to include within your initial and continued analysis:

• Organic Search Traffic from various search engines. Focus on the top few keywords.
• Measure which keywords are currently most effective if any. A useful tool for gaining this data would be through ‘Google Adwords’
• The analytics report will be able to provide you with some useful information. Look closely at which sections, pages, links are the most popular.
• Likewise with the point above, make a point of the worst performers and least popular.
• If the site in question has stipulated conversion goals be sure to record these.
• Record crawl frequency and the number of indexed pages. This gives a good bearing of how much activity search engines are paying to an online property.

An important factor to bear in mind when dealing with any SEO campaign is the following. If you haven’t got any data to record, you have no possible means of measuring success or failure. The key to making improvements is to look at past data, draw a conclusion and form a plan of action.

Without past records of measurement to draw from, improvements cannot be made.