Now that you’ve learned more about SEO best practices, buyer personas, keyword research, and building a content blueprint, the next big question you might find yourself asking is “How do I know SEO is working?” In this blog I will explain how to quantify this and recommend some tools that help measure the data.
In marketing we know that that everything is a test until we have data, and SEO is not an exception. If SEO is done well, it is based on market research to identify a target keyword strategy. Once content is created, optimized, and implemented on your website, the next step is the measure the data. There are a variety of tools that can help to measure the impact of SEO. A few examples of these are Google Analytics, gShift, and SEM Rush.
One of the more important tools used to track website performance is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a web analytics service that measures and reports your website traffic. As long is Google Analytics is set up correctly, this is a great starting point. There are a few areas in Google Analytics that help to measure the impact of SEO. The first is Organic Traffic. You can navigate to organic traffic by going to Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels.
Organic traffic is a great place to start since the goal of SEO is to increase the number of site visitors via Google search. You can customize the dates of the report and compare traffic before and after SEO has been implemented. To adjust for seasonality, you should also compare organic traffic “Year on Year”. Before implementing your SEO, it is extremely important to have benchmark data to compare so you have an accurate before and after picture.
Another helpful way to use Google Analytics is by monitoring landing page traffic. You can navigate to landing page data by going to Behavior>Site Content>Landing Pages.
When conducting SEO, ideally you are optimizing each page with one target phrase. When visitors come to your site by searching on Google and click on a search result, the first page they are brought to is called a landing page. It is important to measure which pages in the site are serving as landing pages as this is an indicator that your SEO efforts are working. When looking at your website’s landing pages, you can see the specific performance of each of the pages in your site that are bringing in visitors.
In addition to Google Analytics, there are other tools that help to measure the impact of SEO. Some of these include gShift, SEM Rush, SpyFy, Serpstat, and the list goes on. The purpose of these tools is to measure how well a particular keyword phrase is performing on your website. Typically, you can enter a set of keywords for your website and track where you are ranking on a search engine results page (SERP), like Google. While these tools are helpful, they are not necessary to be successful in SEO.
An important question I often ask my clients is “What is your goal?” It is very important to define your goal for not only SEO, but all marketing initiatives. Ultimately, SEO helps to drive more traffic to your website, but what do you want your site visitors to do once they get there? There are a variety of conversions you can offer on your website and use tools to measure where those conversions came from, for example organic traffic (SEO). Site visitors could purchase a product if you have an eCommerce website, request a quote, subscribe to your blog, fill out a form, download a whitepaper, etc. Whatever your conversion is, make sure it is clear and that you are measuring it.
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