SEO may be the way to increase your search results ranking and attract new businesses to your digital presence. Here’s an important question to ask your internet people though: How do you know when it’s actually working? SEO doesn’t affect your site and traffic in the same way as Pay-Per-Click, so how do you measure the success of your SEO efforts? The signs and metrics are all there, but they are definitely more subtle than you might anticipate compared to PPC. Here’s how you track and measure the success of your website SEO:
Tracking SEO: Two Ways To Go
You have two options for tracking your SEO rankings: SEO tools like Ahrefs, and creating your own SEO dashboard in your Google or Facebook analytics account. Both are fantastic options, but if you are new to SEO and tracking website metrics, you may want to try one or the other first. Let’s get a quick overview.
This app has built-in rank tracking that allows you to configure notifications whenever your rankings rise or fall. There is even an option that allows you to track your progress compared to your competitors, providing you with a rating for your search visibility.
The metrics available aren’t necessarily 100% accurate, but they are great for showing you measurable progress for your SEO keywords over time. One caveat: you need to give the system time to collect data. You won’t see progress daily, but at least once a week you should check to see if there’s been measurable change. You can use this progress tracking to adjust your keywords and update your content SEO, too.
Google Analytics Dashboard
Anyone looking for a free way to track SEO metrics who are not concerned about a little DIY can use Google Analytics to check organic traffic and engagement metrics. Don’t just look at the direct ranking improvements though; instead, look at increases in search traffic and what landing page that search traffic reaches. Armed with this information, you can calculate what keywords are ranking you.
Double check your results by performing an incognito Google search, as this will prevent personal search history from affecting what comes up on the results page. This will give you your current search rank, and if you aren’t using a paid service like Ahrefs you’ll want to make a note of where you stand to track your progress over time.
Points to Ponder: Interpreting Your SEO Measurements
An important point to remember with all SEO tracking is you are looking for incremental changes, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t see sudden jumps either. For example, if you are page six at the start of your campaign and jump to page two a week later, something you are doing with your keywords is clearly working.
Additionally, you need to keep in mind that while keywords are integral to SEO, Google also parses content for matches, too. If you haven’t got strong, informative and useful content your keyword selection is not going to make any difference in boosting your search results ranking.
Furthermore, consider where your traffic is coming from: desktop traffic is traffic, but low volume mobile traffic means you may be missing an entire audience that finds your site difficult to navigate via mobile. Make sure that your content is optimized for viewing on small screens as well as computer monitors, or you may find that your reach is falling short of the results you need.
Ultimately, SEO is only part of the equation for increasing your search rank. You can do many things right and select different options that are more or less successful. The most important factor to remember is you can always tweak and adjust your SEO and your content to perform better. If you don’t see results right away, give it time and keep trying changes. Eventually, you’re going to make progress and rank up. Trust the process, and you’ll start to hit those ranking goals.
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