SEO and the Ways in Which You Can Measure Its Success
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is, in a nutshell, ensuring that your website is optimised so it can be more visible to search engines – mostly Google and Bing. If search engines view your website more favourably, then they are more likely to show it as an higher option in search results when a user types in a search query that is relevant to your website.
Increasing your online visibility on search engines is a key way to help you engage with customers, especially during a worldwide pandemic like COVID-19. There are numerous different ways of increasing presence with search engines – in fact Google weighs up over 200 different factors before it decides whether or not to place your website in top place.
How Do You Measure SEO?
We can measure SEO in a variety of ways and it’s important that before you start engaging in SEO activity, you set clear objectives for what you want to achieve. We imagine that your overall aims would be to increase organic traffic and enquiries but in order to do this there are numerous other metrics to consider on on a regular basis.
Organic Traffic Behaviour
On a weekly, or monthly basis, measure the number of organic visitors visiting your site, and their behaviour and actions once there, especially compared to traffic that you’ve gained from other sources. That way you can understand further the value of your SEO resource, and perhaps more importantly justify this to senior management. We suggest putting clear goals in place, such as ‘grow Organic traffic by 10% in the next year’, or ‘increase enquiries from Organic traffic by 5 every month’. For this to be possible ensure that whoever is responsible for your analysis is tracking effectively using Events or Goals in Google Analytics – preferably via Google Tag Manager.
Number of Keywords Ranking
An important way to measure SEO is to track the number of keywords that you have ranking with Google. That is the number of keywords for which your website shows up in Positions 1-100 in the search results. Even more key is to measure how many words you are ranking for that are relevant to your business. As a company offering life coaching specifically to over 40s in Manchester, you may want to rank with Google for ‘life coaching’, ‘life coaches in Manchester’, but you also may want to rank for more specific keywords such as ‘changing career paths over 40’, ‘guidance on midlife’ or other more specific keywords that will draw qualified traffic to your website. Whatever you choose, make sure that your keywords are searched for on Google.
Is your content useful and informative to the reader? So much so that other websites are linking back to your content from their site? This is what we mean by ‘backlinks’ and for SEO, they are gold dust. For backlinks to impress Google and increase your reputation with them, they must be from websites with strong domain authority. It’s important to audit backlinks every month to ensure that you don’t have spammy backlinks for which you will be penalised by Google. Decent backlinks can be difficult to obtain, though. We suggest marketing your new piece of content far and wide, sending it to key stakeholders and asking them to do the same and also using your relationships and contacts. You could even use Google or Social Media advertising platforms. Backlinks remain one of the most important ranking factors for Google – they really can make a difference to your Organic numbers.
Technical SEO should be kept track of on a monthly basis and there are numerous tools that you can use to do so. Do all your pages have meta descriptions? Consider your meta descriptions to be like a call to action to your website. If your page ranks with Google for a particular keyword, what text is going to entice the user to click through and find out more as opposed to all the other options on the page. Meta descriptions are important to convert an impression to a click. Also H1 headings, image tags, broken links. There are numerous ways to tweak your website so that it looks reputable with Google and there are tools available to help you with this.
One point to remember is that SEO is a medium to long term strategy and you won’t reap the rewards of your efforts immediately. We suggest combining SEO with advertising (Paid Search) to reach your goals more quickly. Good luck, and let us know if we can help!