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Progress is hard to define for SEO because it has so many independent variables (on-site SEO, content, links, etc.) and so many independent variables (keyword rankings, search impressions, organic search traffic, etc.). If you want a good understanding of where your SEO campaign is and where it’s heading, you need to examine these 10 factors.
1. How many people find the site through organic search? This is the single best indicator you have to the overall performance of your campaign, so let’s address it first. You can find this under “Organic Traffic” in Google Analytics; it will tell you how many people found your site through search. This is more important than your keyword rankings (we’ll touch on those later) because it tells you how many people actually clicked through to your site. This number should grow steadily over time.
2. How many people find the site through referrals? Referral traffic is the traffic you’ve received through external links pointing to your site. This has nothing to do with search engines, but speaks volumes about the quality of your link building strategy, which is crucial to any SEO campaign. If you’re building high-quality links with good content on high authority sites, this number should grow alongside your organic traffic.
3. How many pages get at least some search traffic? It’s possible to opt for aspecialized SEO strategy, optimizing one or a few pages more than any others, but generally it’s better to spread your efforts across your domain. Check out how many pages of your site have gotten at least some organic traffic; this will tell you how effective you are at optimizing every page of your site (as well as how good you are at targeting your search audience with new content).
4. How have my rankings changed? Though organic traffic should still be a more significant indicator of your overall success, it’s also important to pay attention to your keyword rankings (even with today’s Hummingbird/semantic search-driven engines). Noticing a sudden drop in one niche due to an emerging competitor can help you redirect your strategy to a more competitive target. You can track rankings automically using software like AgencyAnalytics, AuthorityLabs, orAdvancedWebRanking.
5. What new links have I earned? You can use any link profile tool (such as Open Site Explorer, Majestic, or Ahrefs) to examine what links are pointing to your site; do this often, even if you keep strict tabs on what links you build manually as part of your ongoing strategy. You can also use BuzzSumo to get notifications in real-time whenever a new link is found pointing to your site. You’ll find that, as you gain prominence and authority, you’ll naturally attract links you haven’t built yourself. Evaluate the quality and quantity of these links to gauge your authoritative strength.
6. How is my content performing? Take a look at your content performance using comment threads, social activity, and traffic data from Google Analytics as your guide. Which topics are performing well? Which ones are underperforming? Are you seeing a gradual rise in overall effectiveness? Learn from this information and adjust your strategy accordingly.
7. What social signals am I getting? Social signals are not as important to your rankings as some people might claim. Getting lots of social shares does little for your rankings directly, but it does serve as an indication of your content’s strength, and does carry peripheral benefits (like earning your brand more visibility and links). Pay attention to which pieces of your content get the most social shares, and how those shares grow over time.
8. How many conversions am I getting? An SEO strategy by itself doesn’t guarantee conversions (even if it’s top-notch); for that you’ll need a dose of conversion optimization. However, the number of conversions made by your organic traffic can give you an indication of that traffic’s relevance to your brand. If your conversion rates suffer, it could be due to inefficient audience targeting in your SEO strategy.
9. How have I grown since the beginning? This question can apply to all the metrics we’ve seen above–how have these metrics changed since you’ve started? They may have gone up since last month, but what about the months before? Where are you now compared to a year ago?
10. How much am I spending? This may be the most important question of all, since it determines the value of your SEO campaign. You know how your results are changing, how much traffic, and how many conversions you’ve received, but how much did you pay for those results? After the first year or so, your benefits should start handily outweighing your costs.
This list isn’t comprehensive; there are several factors I haven’t examined ranging in importance from trivial to marginal. Depending on the goals and structure of your campaign, these questions may be of little use to you; I tried to select the questions that are most important for the greatest number of people. With them, you should be able to gain a firm grasp on your strategy and where it’s headed, and make changes as necessary to improve your standing.
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According To Robert Carr, who writes for the National Real Estate Investor- There are some “new kids in town” when it comes to cities that lead the US, and world in commerce, tech, jobs and real estate. I tend to agree with these choices. I see many of my new clients and contracts coming from these areas of the country. Let me know your thoughts below. Here is a copy if his article.
The traditional hierarchy of global cities is breaking down, according to experts, as technology, globalization and urbanization trends have started to attract real estate investment on a broader scale.
According to a new report by commercial real estate services firm JLL, the new trends have allowed some small and midsize cities to rival the larger, more established cities in drawing investment capital. These “new world” cities score high with residents and businesses for livability, sustainability and fast adaption of new technology and transportation infrastructure, says Jeremy Kelly, director of global research programs at JLL. Basically, people and companies want to move to those cities, whether it due to a strong spike in jobs, as is the case with San Francisco, or mild climate and high quality of life, such as in Denver.
“There’s increasing evidence that these ‘new world’ cities are attracting a disproportionate level of real estate investment,” Kelly says. “While global real estate volumes have been flat as a whole, investment into ‘new world’ cities is up about 73 percent in the past 10 years, and about 20 percent in the past 12 months. They’re really starting to punch above their weight.”
‘Old world’ cities would, of course, include the established “big six,” he says, including New York, Tokyo, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore. That makes sense, as property fundamentals in those cities are far better than in the rest of the world. ‘New world’ cities, are smaller cities with high income levels, efficient infrastructure, high quality of life and fewer social, environmental or economic drawbacks such as crime, pollution, congestion, high cost of living or high income inequality, Kelly notes.
Globally, these cities include Brisbane, Hamburg, Helsinki, Munich, Melbourne, Vancouver and Vienna. Below we list (in no particular order) the top five ‘new world’ cities in the U.S, according to Kelly and JLL.