The Complexity of Measuring SEO Strategy

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Long gone are the days when an SEO strategy consisted of merely keyword research and content creation targeting those keywords.

It is much more complicated these days, and so it measuring the effects of each strategy.

To discuss the complexity of Search Engine Optimization Jim Boykin, CEO of Internet Marketing Ninjas, and Ann Smarty, IMN’s analyst, invited Duane Forrester, a well-known SEO expert who has over 20 years of direct search and digital marketing experience, including content development, planning ad campaigns, managing ad buys, running e-mail and social media programs and more.

Duane Forrester is VP of Industry Insights for Yext for over 5 years, and prior to that he was the Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Bing. He was responsible for launching Bing’s updated version of Webmaster Tools. Duane is an author of two business books about digital marketing and conversion optimization, published by McGraw-Hill.


Duane describes an SEO strategy as “ripples in the pond” meaning that one (even tiny) change may impact all kinds of areas of your strategy.

Nowadays, an SEO strategy includes:


And all of these areas may impact the whole picture.

You cannot change one thing within one area and then see a clear result represented in reporting somewhere.

It means that it has become much more difficult to measure this as things are never in a vacuum. Different SEO areas and elements impact one another.

Your SEO strategy should be on-going: You need to keep making those ripples to move forward.

One thing to factor in here is growth over time.

No change (“ripple”) causes an immediate impact

Let’s say you had low-quality content on a page and you change that content to become in-depth and authoritative. You will unlikely see a quick rankings improvement.

To put it simply: Your page had a certain score assigned to it which reflected the low quality of that content. Once you change that content, that score will slowly be changing to hopefully reach that optimal score which will start impacting your rankings.

Trust must be validated and the validation process may take a long time.

If you had thin content for five years and then one day you decide that you need depth and authority. You can change your content and put depth into it, but you need time (and trustworthy links) to earn that trust.

Hire ninjas if you need help creating an integrated and well-planned SEO strategy that will include ongoing analysis and monitoring.


My Dad was a Creative Director all his life. I spent my youth working in the agency, and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. All those experiences made me into a thinker, dreamer and doer that specializes in integrated branding, marketing, digital and public relations services. I feel my key value to clients is the ability to turn creative concepts into analytically driven marketing plans and tools with greater stopping power & relevance, leading to greater results.