Tracking Your SEO
As we reach the end of our SEO series, here’s a quick recap of what we’ve covered so far:
In Part 1 (What is SEO?), we discussed keyword research. Keyword research is an essential aspect of SEO, and it can be intimidating to those new to the field. However, understanding the basic concepts and metrics is a must for every website owner who wants more organic traffic. After you figure out the keywords for which you want to rank and what searchers are expecting to see when they type them in Google, you need to assign those keywords to the pages on your site.
In Part 2 (On-Page Optimisation) we spoke about the need for on-page optimization. Your optimization efforts should start with making sure that your visitors are enjoying the user experience (UX) your website provides. Use design and typography that makes it easy to consume the content, and remove any unnecessary elements such as pop-ups, opt-in boxes, etc. that can annoy your readers. Even targeting the most profitable keywords with the “best” content won’t help you if your pages are not optimized for search engines.
In Part 3 (Website Accessibility) we touched on the importance of creating ergonomic and thoughtful experiences for both humans and SEO bots.
In Part 4 (Backlinks) we spoke about the importance of backlinks. Backlinks are links from one website to a page on another website. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks “votes” for a specific page. Pages with a high number of backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings. Link building is critical for the success of your SEO strategy, so if you’re prepared to spend resources (time, money, etc.) on producing content, you should also be prepared to commit at least as much time to promoting and generating links to your content. Come back next week for part 5 in our SEO series.
This week, our final installment in our series, we are discussing tracking your SEO success. The final step in setting up your SEO strategy is figuring out how you’ll track your performance. There are many methods and metrics you can use, so it’s easy to get confused.
Our advice is to focus on the basics. The most important metrics when it comes to SEO are a) organic traffic, and b) the average ranking position for the keywords you’re targeting.
Tracking Your Traffic
A direct consequence of your keyword rankings is your traffic. Gaining traction on keywords with high competition should mean an additional inflow of traffic. Without an increase in traffic, your SEO efforts are ultimately ineffective.
Traffic increase depends on the website’s niche. Whatever the increase in traffic is, what’s more important in the end-game is the revenue it brings in.
If you’re using Google Analytics, you can quickly view your organic traffic by going to: Reporting -> Acquisition -> Overview -> Organic Search
There are many services available which help you track your Organic Traffic. Another of these, along with Google Analytics, is Ahrefs Site Explorer, which will help you track your organic traffic along with the number of keywords your website ranks for, the organic positions it holds for various keywords and more.
Tracking Your Rankings
Another important thing you should measure in your SEO strategy is how your content ranks on over time. Knowing where your keywords are in the search results is the main indicator of your SEO efforts. Movement indicates positive feedback on your SEO. You should aim to have made it to the first page of search results within 6 months. Not reaching that means your strategy may need reworking.
There are services that help you track your rankings such as Aherfs, SERanking, and Google Rank Checker. These services (some of which offer monthly email updates) are especially helpful in keeping tabs on your target keywords and where they are in the search results.
Search engine optimization (SEO) can be competitive, but it is still by far the most effective way to drive sustainable traffic to your website. Moreover, the efforts you put in optimizing your website for search add up over time, helping you get even more traffic as long as you’re consistent with SEO.
To achieve this, remember to follow the five steps of good basic SEO:
- Find relevant keywords with good search traffic potential
- Create and optimize pages for search engines and users alike
- Make sure your website is accessible to both bots and humans
- Build relevant links from other high-quality websites
- Track what matters
Over time this process will help you build up the authority of your site and you will be able to rank for more competitive keywords with high search volumes.
If you’d like to find out if your business has an optimal SEO strategy, get in touch with one of our digital marketing consultants.