Okay, so you’ve created an SEO strategy and are starting to implement different methods to improve your website’s ranking – but you have no idea if your efforts are working. This is where SEO tracking comes into play. Without tracking your efforts, you’ll have no way of knowing if your hard work, time, and money are effective, and what tweaks you should be making to create a positive impact. Having a measurement strategy for your SEO efforts gives you the opportunity to clearly see how your strategy is working in regard to your specific goals. Learn how to track your SEO efforts and see how you can continuously improve your SEO strategy.
Before you start tracking different metrics in your SEO strategy, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of what your goals are. If your strategy has no goal, then you’re creating content that may ultimately have a negative effect on your business because it has no direction. The goals for your strategy will be different depending on the type of business you have, but they should be specific and measurable. This way, you’ll know exactly what you should be looking for and will be able to make changes accordingly.
Essential Metrics to Track
Now that you’ve set a primary goal, and maybe some secondary goals as well, it’s time to evaluate which metrics will be most beneficial when it comes to tracking your strategy. This can be overwhelming due to the number of metrics you can track, but there are a number of key metrics that should be tracked no matter your goals.
Attempting to track too many metrics may make it difficult to have a clear perspective on what’s actually important, so establishing which key metrics make the most sense for your business will not only save you time, but will also focus and guide your overall SEO strategy.
When an online user searches using a question, string of keywords, or phrase, they will see a results page that provides useful information. The search engine results page (SERP) on Google will also display Google Ads that are most related to the query. The number of visitors who find your website via the SERP is considered organic traffic, which is a strong indicator of SEO success. A high rate of organic traffic is good for businesses because users tend to be looking for a specific product or service, and if you fit their criteria, there is a high chance that you will gain a new customer.
A keyword is any term that’s searched for via a search engine and generates a results page. In order to have a positive keyword ranking, your content needs to be optimized to outrank other results for the same keyword. Tracking your keyword rankings can be done in a variety of ways:
- See where your website ranks in comparison to your competitors.
- Conduct a search on Google to monitor your progress.
- Make a Google search of relevant keywords.
For any keyword you choose to use, your goal is to rank on the first page of the SERP and as close to the top as possible. Many people click on the first result they see, so your proximity to the first result can have a huge impact on your organic traffic numbers.
For every keyword, Google will generate a SERP, which includes Google ads, organic results, and SERP features. These features often include:
- Image pack
- Knowledge panels
- “Also asked” questions
- Google Maps entries
These features on the SERP can lend authority to the searches where your website appears. You can track this metric by conducting a Google search of relevant keywords and exploring the SERP features that pop up.
Your click-through rate (CTR) is determined by the percentage of users who click on your website once they see it on the SERP. Monitoring your click-through rate is a great way to track engagement with your meta descriptions, gain insight into how to attract people to your brand, and determine how effective your title tags are.
The bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website without engaging beyond the first click. According to Google Analytics, a visit is when a user interacts with more than one landing page on a website. Tracking the bounce rate of your website can help demonstrate the positives and negatives in the effectiveness of your content and how easy your website design is to navigate. When you’re looking at your bounce rate, make sure to analyze engagement from both desktop and mobile users.
Backlinks are a powerful component when it comes to optimizing for SEO because they connect one website to another. For example, if someone links to your website in their content, you will have a backlink from their site and vice versa. Backlinks provide credibility to your content and show search engines like Google that you have informative and credible information to provide to users. Different SEO tools can be used to keep track of your backlinks and it’s a great way to optimize your marketing tactics to positively impact SEO.
Time Spent on Site
You should always aim to provide valuable content for the users visiting your site. One of the best ways to measure the impact of your content marketing is by measuring the average time that’s spent on your page. When a visitor spends a significant amount of time on your website, it means they enjoy your content, find the resources you have valuable, and are interested in what your business has to offer. The amount of time a user spends on your site depends on the type of content that’s on the webpage. For example, a minute or two on a lead magnet landing page is reasonable, but that’s too short for a blog page.
Page speed is often an overlooked metric to track, but it can be a major contributing factor when it comes to low conversion rates and high bounce rates. In today’s fast-paced world, users are quick to leave a site that’s taking too long to load. Google has a tool called PageSpeed Insights, making it easy to measure the speed of your site. Scoring with this tool ranges from 100, which is a highly efficient website, to 50 and below, which could mean you are likely losing visitors due to slow page speeds.
Your conversion rate is the culmination of your SEO strategy, making it arguably the most important metric for measuring your website’s impact on your business. A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that convert to paying customers. Conversation rates can be tracked through tools like Google Analytics and will allow you to see how your SEO strategy is working toward your conversion rate goals.
How Long Does it Take to Measure SEO?
As it is with any aspect of building a business, developing an effective SEO strategy can take time and it’s important to understand that a SEO strategy is never fully complete. Increasing visibility and rank in online search engines requires planning, monitoring, refining, and more monitoring.
Tools to Track SEO Strategy
There are a lot of different SEO tracking tools that exist, so it can be overwhelming to find what will work best for you. Here are some of the best tracking tools that are free or paid and help you track your SEO efforts and continue to grow your website’s visibility.
How to Use Google Keyword Planner for SEO
The Google Keyword Planner is a great way to start measuring your SEO performance and is a part of Google’s free suite of tools. This tool will help you take a closer look at keyword data and pick the right keywords to implement into your content. Through using this tool, you will be able to see approximately how much monthly search volume any given keyword gets, how competitive the keyword ranks, how the search volume changes, and similar keywords that may work better.
Get Started with Google Keyword Planner
If you’re looking to get started using the Google Keyword Planner, you’ll first need to make a Google account if you don’t have one already. Once you’ve logged into Keyword Planner, you will be able to either “discover new keywords” or “get search volume forecasts.” If you don’t know which one you want to start with, pick one and give it a try to become familiar with the tool. Discovering new keywords is a great option if you’re looking to expand the keywords, phrases, or topics that you’re currently covering in your content. This tool allows you to explore ideas for related keyword, the monthly search volume, the cost per click, the level of competition, and how the demand changes year after year.
The search volume forecast is a great way to conduct research on the current keywords you implement in your content. These searches will give you the search volume, three-month change, year-over-year change, low and high cost per click, and competition rating for every keyword you search. When you’re beginning your search, you can either search a specific keyword or start with a website URL, which may be a good option if you have a new site.
Checking out your competitor’s websites is a great way to determine what works and what doesn’t in your industry, and inform your strategy with their success. Once you started your search, you can get more detailed insights, change the location and date range, expand the scope of your search, and refine your options. Now that you have this detailed data, you can download the data via a CVS file or Google Sheets document.
How to Track the Success of Your SEO Efforts with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a great free tool that is especially useful for measuring performance over time. This tool will allow you to have access to a wide range of information about your website, including keywords, traffic sources, user demographics, conversions, and more.
Get Started with Google Analytics
Google Analytics has a variety of tools for you to utilize and track different aspects of your SEO strategy to figure out how to continuously improve your tactics. Between Google Analytics and Google Search Console, which is another tool that can be used to monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your website’s presence in the Google SERP, you’re able to track your SEO success. Google Analytics can help you understand the behavior of the people who are visiting your website and allow you to track on-page events and metrics. These tools allow you to track how many people visit your website and where they came from, which pages people view most often, how long visitors stay on the site or on a page, what people click on when visiting the site, audience demographics, and more.
When you’re working with Google Analytics, it’s important to create a reporting view of your site based on the information you want to track and an all-inclusive view to monitor the overall data. If you sync Google Analytics with Google Search Console, it’s easier to see the full spectrum of available data, giving you the opportunity to see the complete picture of your data. It’s important to regularly track the analytic data from your website in order to keep track of trends and understand the patterns of your audience’s behavior to better inform your SEO strategy.
How to Measure SEO Performance in Semrush
Semrush is a powerful paid tool that measures your SEO performance. This tool makes it easy to find, track, and utilize keywords, track your backlinks, and compare your SEO performance to your competitors. You can even use Semrush to get keyword reports and see if you’ve gained or lost rankings with particularly keywords. This is a great tool to use to continuously measure your SEO efforts.
How to Use Semrush for Keyword Research
The Semrush Keyword Research toolkit is equipped with rank-monitoring tools that track your rankings on different search engines. The Keyword Magic Tool can be used to identify your target keywords and can be added directly to the Keyword Manager to categorize or sort your keywords into lists. Semrush also has a Position Tracking tool that allows you to see how you rank for your current keywords.
The Keyword Magic Tool is the first step to start the process of monitoring your keyword ranking on Semrush and can also be used to discover potential keywords for you to target. Once you enter a keyword or phrase, the Keyword Magic tool will show you related keywords and their metrics, which include search volume, current CPC, and keyword difficulty. This tool can be used to develop a list of keywords to track, discover questions people are asking about your keywords, find keywords that have SERP features, and find related keywords that are less competitive.
The Keyword Manager tool allows you to track up to 5,000 keywords of your choice, giving you complete control to group them to track different campaigns or websites. Through this tool, you can track real-time metrics, import keywords from other Semrush tools, and track keywords of your choice.
The Position Tracking Tool is used to monitor the performance and rank of keywords that you have been targeting with new or updated content. This tool allows you to check and monitor the search engine rankings of your website in comparison to your competitors by giving you daily ranking data. The data allows you to monitor your chosen keywords and their performance over time. With the Position Tracking tool, you can get data on rankings, landing pages, competitor discovery, devices and locations, ranking distributions, and featured snippets. Combined, all of this information gives you the bigger picture of how your SEO strategies are performing.
Partner with a Website Agency & Start Tracking Your SEO Strategy
Now that you have a clear understanding of what it takes to track your SEO strategy, it’s time to explore how you can take your SEO efforts even further. At Americaneagle.com, we are a digital marketing and web design company with a team of SEO specialists who can help take your website to the next level. We partner with B2B and B2C businesses around the world to increase traffic, brand awareness, lead generation, conversions, and sales. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business soar.
Looking to improve your website’s SEO, but aren’t sure where to start? Talk to us about our web SEO services to start your comprehensive SEO analysis today.