SEO Tracking: Metrics to Monitor and Tools to Use
It isn’t enough to invest time into search optimization and hope for the best. You also need to measure your results to see if your actions are working and adjust your strategy as you go. That’s the key to improving your website’s visibility on search engines.
Your site’s search engine visibility can make the difference between success and obscurity. Even if you’re on top of the world right now, SEO is constantly changing. SEO tracking will help you spot potential issues and help you course-correct before it’s too late.
If you’ve never tracked SEO performance before, don’t sweat it. In this guide, we’ll share the tips and strategies you need to enhance your website’s performance with SEO tracking.
SEO Examples: What Is Considered SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses various tactics that serve one goal: boosting your search engine presence.
Here are just a few ways businesses do SEO:
- Keyword research: This is when you identify target keywords with a high amount of search volume that are relevant to your content.
- On-site optimization: Businesses optimize meta tags, meta descriptions, alt text, and more to boost their average positions.
- Link building: Link building is all about strategically earning links to your site from other high-quality sites to boost your domain authority over time.
- Technical SEO: You’ll need programming chops for this one. With technical SEO, you optimize website performance, mobile responsiveness, and overall site structure. It also involves tweaking your robots.txt file and other back-end components of your site.
- Content marketing: Sure, content marketing is great for generating leads. But it’s also essential for matching content to potential users’ search intent and attracting more organic search traffic to your site.
What Is SEO Tracking?
SEO tracking is the process of monitoring and analyzing various SEO metrics to understand how effective your SEO efforts are. By keeping an eye on these metrics, you can:
- Identify trends: Understand how search engine algorithm updates affect your site’s visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Optimize your strategy: Refine your SEO strategies based on what’s working and what isn’t. Tracking these important metrics will help you spot opportunities to optimize existing content.
- Measure return on investment: Every digital marketing decision comes down to ROI. Tracking SEO metrics helps you determine the success of each SEO campaign in terms of organic search results, conversion rates, and other key metrics.
Whether you’re a business owner, a marketer, or a content creator, tracking your SEO metrics over time will give you a better idea of how to come out on top in the search engines.
SEO is a long-term strategy. It can take time to see meaningful results from your hard work. Even so, monthly SEO tracking will help you get more out of your SEO efforts.
After all, don’t you deserve to see some payoff for your hard work?
How Do I Track Google SEO?
Analytics tools help assess SEO performance, but a single tracking tool won’t tell you the entire story. For a holistic understanding of your SEO performance, you need to monitor:
- Keyword rankings
- Organic traffic
- On-page elements
- Competitor performance
You don’t need to be an SEO wiz to do this, either. Let’s look at how you can do DIY SEO tracking.
Monitor Keyword Rankings
When you monitor keyword rankings, you regularly check where your site or specific web pages rank on the SERPs for particular keywords or phrases.
Keyword rankings are a direct reflection of your SEO efforts. So, if you’re ranking highly, it means you’re making good SEO progress. But a drop in search engine rankings might mean it’s time to return to the drawing board.
SEO tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz allow you to track keyword rankings and pull data on search volume and difficulty. With this data in hand, you can update target keywords, create new content, and tweak your page copy to rank for specific keywords.
The only downside is that these SEO tracking tools won’t provide direction. You can still misuse tools, which could hurt your SEO presence.
Check Organic Traffic
SEO is all about drawing people to your site who are genuinely interested in your content. Organic traffic won’t appear overnight, but once you start ranking well, it’s the Holy Grail of marketing. Since you don’t pay a dime for organic traffic, it’s the most cost-effective method for generating leads and sales.
Google Analytics is a free tool for checking your website traffic data. Go to Acquisition > Channels to view information on organic sessions, average session duration, and bounce rate.
Google Search Console is a helpful addition to Google Analytics. Instead of providing insights into user behavior, it shows you how search engines view your site. You can see referral search terms, click-through rates (CTR), and your average SERP positions.
Encourage and Monitor Backlinks
Backlinks are links from one website to another. In the eyes of Google, a backlink is like a vote of confidence. It’s a signal that your site content is credible and valuable. This is why websites with many high-quality backlinks tend to rank higher on the SERPs.
Log into Google Search Console to monitor your backlinks. The Links section of your account will display all backlinks to your site for SEO tracking purposes, as well as which pages of your site people link to the most. If a spammy, low-quality site links to yours, tell Google to disavow that link so it won’t factor into your search engine presence.
Tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz also have comprehensive backlink analysis tools. They display new backlinks, lost backlinks, and the domain authority of linking sites.
Track On-Page Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Content optimization
- Meta tags
- URL optimization
- Internal links
- Image alt tags
After optimizing your site, check Google Analytics to see if those changes made a difference in the user experience. You should see improvements in time on page, bounce rates, and other metrics in your SEO reports.
It’s also a good idea to check Google Search Console to see if you have mobile usability issues and your click-through rate for search engine users. Google Pagespeed Insights is another helpful free tool for measuring your site’s speed.
On-page optimization has many moving parts, so if you aren’t sure where to start, get a full site audit from Growth Machine. Our SEO experts know what it takes to take a site from zero to 150,000 monthly visitors in just a few months.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
You can’t do SEO tracking in a bubble—you have to consider what other websites are doing, too. You’re competing against millions of websites in the SERPs, after all.
Competitor analysis is a must for SEO tracking because it helps you:
- Identify gaps in your strategy
- Capitalize on opportunities your competitors overlook
- Benchmark SEO performance so you know how you stack up against other sites
During SEO competitor analysis, look at your top three competitors’ keyword rankings, domain authority, and backlinks. Visit their websites and assess their content quality, site speed, and overall user experience. You might learn a few things!
Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz all offer competitor research tools. However, if you’re also doing paid ad campaigns, go with Spyfu: This platform compiles competitor data for both organic SEO campaigns and paid campaigns.
Simplify SEO Tracking With Growth Machine
If you’re investing in SEO, you also need SEO tracking. Otherwise, it’s nearly impossible to know if your SEO efforts are actually paying off.
Investing in the right mix of SEO tools will get you far, but you still need time, expertise, and resources to mobilize these tools. Save time and focus on your most important work: Rely on Growth Machine for SEO audits, content management, and link building to boost your SEO rankings.
Optimize your site for greater SEO success than you’ve been achieving on your own. Contact Growth Machine today.
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