How do you know if your efforts in SEO are paying off? You need to track your rankings.
In SEO you need to be able to track your rankings and also know when you gain a new backlink or loose a few backlinks. It’s also good practice to keep track of how well your website is performing on the social side of things too.
At the end of the day, when you select a keyword the end goal is to achieve a top search engine ranking. This could be to be shown in the local 3 pack, or just to sit at the top of the organic results.
Remember that if you are not tracking your results then you can’t do anything about it, taking action is just the first step to success. Being in the game gives you a chance, tracking and tweaking what you do helps you get there.
Write down on paper or on a notepad what you are looking to achieve, this will make it stick in your mind and give you the boos to make it happen.
Keep an eye on the end goal, work towards that and try not to get side tracked. If you never quit the chances of success are improved, if you quit there is only one thing guaranteed, you will not succeed in what you started out to achieve.
Remember everything that has been covered in our guide, use your Google Webmaster Account as much as possible to discover which keywords are ranking and how visitors have interacted on your site. Knowing your bounce rate can help you establish what it is so high, which could be down to slow loading speeds.
Remember when we worked out the value of a keyword? Keep that in mind to keep you motivated, this will also help you get that ROI you are looking for. If you conversions are low, look into it, don’t just accept it. Move things around, keep testing and things will evolve, if you do nothing, nothing will change.
Be wary of the following and keep an eye on them:
- Time on page: This is related to the page and its content, if the page is a short content page then time on the page will be low and will not be logged as a negative ranking signal. However, if the page has 5000 words and the time spent on the page is 5 seconds then it sends a negative signal to the bots that it did not fulfil the users requests.
- Pages per visit: If a visitor will be left satisfied by viewing the one page then that will be a positive signal, if the person is supposed to move through the site for more details and they don’t, it could hinder rankings.
- Bounce rate: This is when a user comes to your site from the SERPs and returns to the SERPs. This metric is something that has a negative effect on rankings depending on your website content, if a site has supermarket opeing times on it and the user comes on the site and gets what they needs quickly and resturns to the SERPs for something else then it will not have a negative impact.
- Scroll depth: This is the measurement of how far down a user scrolls down the page, if they don’t get to the end of your content it’s a big signal that they have got bored and decided it does not give them what they need.
- Conversion rate: A conversion could be a sale, a click on an advert, or an email capture, or even a download. Keep track of this stat and work on improving it to make the most of your website traffic.
Your rankings are one thing, but your website traffic and conversions are what really matter. There is no point in ranking top for a keyword if it does not bring your website any traffic at all. Be careful about which keyword you choose, pick your battles well and never quit on them.
If you want specific information about your website traffic stats sign up for a Google Analytics Account. I also find it valuable to add a chat agent to your website, you can see the live traffic on your site and interact with them too.
Google Analytics is a free tool that will help you understand your website traffic. You can track traffic coming from a channel be it a paid one or from organic rankings.
In the account you can view the page views, sessions, and much more. This can be shown over specific dates, you can see when and where your site performed best, and if you have logged how and when you have changed your site over time it can be very useful indeed.
You can also view click through rate data, this will give you an idea of what Title and Description tags work the best. This data is also available in the Google Webmaster Account.
Check keyword rankings
To track a websites position in the SERPs for specific keywords you can use a free tool at serpsurf.com. You simply enter your website URL, choose your region, select the device, then click to see where you are ranking. You can keep these details in an excel file with dates and times next to the rankings and keywords, this will help you see if you have gone up or down over time. Be sure to also note any on-page changes you have made, with time and date stamps, this way you can correlate the data to know what has worked, and what may have caused you a keyword ranking loss.
Check the number of backlinks
There is a free online tool that you can use to check the number of backlinks that point to a whole URL, or even a single page. The tool even shows you the anchor text used and the page/domain where you will find the link. To get started using the tool head on over to backlinkshitter.com. Again, take notes in an excel file, list the backlinks and the dates they were discovered, this will help you track backlink gains and losses over time.
Conduct and SEO website audit
Now you know pretty much everything you need to know about SEO, you can have a bot analyze a full site and give you details of what is wrong from an SEO stand point. There is a great tool that you can use completely free, it is called Website Auditor by Link Assistant. This can help you discover faults on technical SEO issues, and other details regarding your Meta Data and content in comparison to your competitors sites.
Test and log everything
Every great SEO professional will be constantly testing and logging. To give yourself a chance at a top Google ranking you need to be in the game. The next step is to keep at it and log what you do, put everything you change into a file and give it a time stamp. As you check your keyword rankings you will discover what works, and also what does not work. Do not be afraid to make mistake, just don’t make the same mistake again and you will be good to succeed online in the SEO field. As you know, the algorithm is constantly changing, so keep testing and logging, doing nothing at all is not an option.