Measuring SEO Success: How Is Your Site Doing?
Is Your Site Casting Its Largest Net? Discover If You Are Utilizing SEO to Its Maximum Abilities
This blog is provided courtesy of 9sail*
Everyone’s heard of SEO, but few people understand the effort and research that goes into search engine optimization. Tracking SEO success isn’t as difficult as you might expect.
There are many important SEO metrics, and by using a combination of keywords, site traffic, internal links, backlinks, blog posts, and user experience, you can gain a firm understanding of whether or not you’re using SEO to its fullest potential.
Think back to the last time you used a search engine. Did you click onto the second page of search results? Chances are you did not. Readers traditionally don’t venture past a search engine’s first page of results.
This makes it especially important for companies to get their sites to rank higher, so they can be on the first page, because if no one’s seeing the content, what’s the point?
SEO uses, among other metrics, keywords to indicate your site’s ranking. You want to not only predict what your readers will be searching for, but you also need to include those predicted searches throughout your web page in an organic way.
To find useful keywords, you’ll need to do some research, but it is worth your while to investigate which phrases are searched most often, which search terms have a transactional motivation, and which keywords are relevant to your business. You want to use keywords that will ultimately benefit your business and are not just included for the sake of having them.
You want to show Google (or your preferred search engine) that your site will have everything the reader is looking for. By meeting the intent of the user, search engines will reward your content with favorable positioning on the results page. Keyword rankings are paramount to your site’s success, so make sure to include the right keywords that are relevant to your business and help meet the needs of search engine users.
Whether you want to look at a specific page or your site’s homepage, site visits, also called site traffic, are another valuable metric in helping gauge whether your SEO efforts are yielding the desired results. Every time a user loads a page, that number is tracked.
In addition to the clicks being tracked, the amount of time a user spends on said page is also tracked. If you see that your page has a high quantity of clicks and that visitors are staying on the page for a considerable amount of time, your SEO efforts are going smoothly. If your average site visit is lasting for a very short amount of time, you may need to consider revising some elements of your web page.
Clicks can lead to conversions, which is another beneficial tool in measuring your success regarding SEO – how frequently are these visitors completing conversions such as filling out a contact form or downloading an e-book? In addition to generating clicks, these users navigating to your site should be interested in the products or services you offer. A handful of qualified clicks can create more business than hundreds of unqualified traffic.
Internal Links and Backlinks
They are both important, but there is a distinction between internal links and backlinks. To put it simply, a backlink is a specific kind of link that brings readers from another site to your site. Alternatively put, a backlink links readers back to your web page. Backlinks are a great indicator of successful SEO because they show that other websites trust your business enough to recommend their users visit your site.
It makes sense to assume that if your site is being linked to and referenced by a plethora of other credible sites, your site’s content is strong, accurate, and useful. By being linked to, you are establishing your domain authority, which is a measure of how authoritative and trustworthy your website is. Because of this, the more you are backlinked, the higher you will rank on search engines.
Internal links, or links that take viewers to another page of the same site, are also extremely beneficial. You can not only show that your content correlates into your other posts, but it only further increases your credibility and expertise. It allows users to easily navigate to relevant pieces of content and continue to find value on your website.
External links can lend credibility to your site as well. They provide additional context for search engines. However, when linking to another site, make sure it is a reputable source.
In combination, backlinks, internal links and external links are all incredibly important and can make a huge difference in your website’s organic traffic, average session time, and other key performance indicators of a successful website.
You want your site to be as user-friendly and appealing as possible. Search engines measure how long someone has been on your page, so you want them to stay for as long as possible. Don’t make them click back to Google and go to another option. You want your site to be the one-stop-shop for all of your reader’s needs. Whether that’s checking out a video on your blog page, or using an internal link to help user’s learn more about a topic, give site visitors as much value as possible.
Optimizing for the user experience ranges from using properly sized and formatted content that is easy to read to implementing images, videos, graphs, and other visual tools to benefit users.
When someone lands on your website, they will be coming with a specific mission in mind. Perhaps they want to learn something about your industry, or they are interested in the question that your blog will answer. Make sure your content meets user intent so that site visitors are satisfied and more willing to explore your site more or return in the future.
One solid way to assure your site’s success is keeping your blog regularly updated.
Up to date, current blog posts can significantly boost your site’s ranking because it can allow you to answer many different questions that people are looking to have answered.
If you include the correct metadata and keywords in said blog, your post can have the best chance at ranking higher for relevant search queries.
Whether your content is answering a common industry question, or addressing a very specific pain points common to your customers, each blog post becomes an opportunity to capture site visitors from search engines as they look to answer a variety of questions.
Chances are you’ve encountered an abundance of tools and analytics relating to search engine optimization. Whether you use tools that Google provides such as Google Analytics or Google Search Console, or non-Google tools such as Ahrefs’ keyword explorer or SEMRush’s Site Audit tool, there is great value to be found by using various tools.
Always remember to take a deep breath, and when in doubt, the search engines are your friends too! Don’t be afraid to use Google to come up with a strategy that works best for you. For example, use the “People also ask” box to find inspiration for new blog posts.
While these are some of the most important factors in measuring SEO success, there are many more KPIs to consider based on the unique goals of your business. Understanding how your business measures success from their online presence will play a huge role in creating an effective SEO strategy.
*9Sail is a search marketing firm that combines search engine optimization and pay-per-click management to help businesses solve their issues with lead generation, brand awareness, reputation building and management, and more. Visit our website at 9sail.com to learn more.