The best search engine optimization tactics may continue to change, but SEO will always be an important part of online marketing.

SEO helps you to get more visibility in search, which will help you create more brand exposure and get more traffic. The goal is to convert that traffic into qualified leads and actual sales.

These benefits are even more important as a B2B brand since it is harder to reach your clients.

Having a clear way to measure the success of your SEO will help you save time and money and ensure that you get the results you need. Otherwise, you will toil away for months or even years without really knowing for sure if what you are doing is working.

Here are a few things you need to know about the top SEO metrics – B2B marketing edition:

Search Position

Ranking #1 for a search term is good, but it doesn’t always mean that you’ll get the traffic you need.

Instead of focusing on the specific position of search terms, you should focus on ensuring an upward trend across the board for all your search terms.

Google is moving its focus to intent-based search, which will consider numerous keywords when returning a site in search results. That means that you’ll need to be ranking higher for multiple terms in your niche to get a higher search ranking.

Just make sure that your movement is on the upward trajectory once you start your SEO strategy to know that it’s working.

Organic Traffic

Of course, the primary goal for any SEO strategy is to get more traffic. So one of the first things you’ll need to look at when measuring the success of your strategy is whether you are getting more traffic.

Look at your analytics to make sure the traffic is coming from search and not some other sources, like your advertising or some recent links.

Pay attention to the behavior of those visitors once they are on your site. If visitors from organic search are leaving your site quickly, you may be targeting the wrong keywords. Your content needs to be relevant to the keywords you are targeting. If you have the right keywords and the right content, consider other aspects of your site that might need work, like the loading time or the navigation.

Leads and Sales

The point of getting all that traffic is to make more sales.

Are you getting more leads or sales after you implemented your SEO strategy? If not, you need to take a second look at what you’re doing.

Not all leads are created alike, so make sure you are qualifying them when evaluating your strategy. Look to see that you are getting complete information from your contact form and that you are getting leads that are in your target audience.

If you are getting more sales, compare the profits you are getting to the expense of your SEO strategy to make sure you are getting the ROI that you want.

Again, if you aren’t getting the results you want, you’ll need to refine your strategy. You may need to target new keywords, or you may need to make tweaks to your site, such as the content, the layout, or the offers.

Customer Engagement

Not all of your visitors will make a sale or become a lead right away.

Some may need to visit a few times and establish a relationship with you before they do either.

A good sign that your SEO is still having an impact is that you are getting more customer engagement on your site and your social networks.

Signs of customer engagement on your site include comments on your posts, people sharing your posts, and analytics that show your readers are going to numerous pages on your site during their visit.

Signs of customer engagement on your social media channels include increased likes, comments, shares, retweets, mentions, and pins.

You should see this increased engagement on your social channels even if you aren’t targeting your SEO strategy at your social profiles. When more visitors come to your site, they should also be clicking through to your social channels and being more engaged there.

Using Advertising

Advertising is a great way to enhance your SEO to boost your numbers.

Paid search can improve your organic search, and vice versa.