Guest post by James Daily
Anyone familiar with online content management and marketing is familiar with Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short). This optimization procedure is done to ensure search engine visibility whenever someone looks up a term related to our content.
However, many administrators and content creators are unfamiliar with the way SEO is measured. Recent studies have shown that topically relevant content always leads to more traffic and engagement.
If that’s the case, how can we effectively track, measure and analyze the effectiveness of SEO done on our website? Let’s take a look at some of the most useful tools which can help us do that as well as which metrics we should pay special attention to.
Before we get into the specifics of SEO, let’s take a look at what defines it. Search Engine Optimization can help make content relevant and trending. It can also make your site disappear from the face of SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Depending on the type of optimization work you do on your content, you will likely get better or worse ranking rather soon. But what are the benefits of bothering with SEO implementation in the first place? How could this procedure be more important than the content we create in the first place?
- SEO can effectively increase site traffic and conversion rates. People generally search for content through relevant terms. For example, if someone searches for “marketing tips”, you will naturally want to appear on their search engine results page.
- SEO can provide a good Return on Investment (RoI). The amount of people that SEO can bring to your site is far greater than the payment you might have made to a SEO specialist. Investing into proper web optimization is just as important as creating a piece of content to begin with.
- SEO increases your sites usability in general. The more optimized your content is, the more people will want to experience it and share it with their friends. A site-wide SEO optimization can help your rank high in any search engine.
- Lastly, proper SEO increases your brand visibility, the buzz surrounding your company or a blog as well as the incoming collaboration offers. People want to work with successful individuals. It’s only natural that SEO can bring new partners and clients to your doorstep without you investing into marketing beforehand.
SEO tools implementation
Using specialized tools for SEO measurement is the most direct method of gathering feedback. You can easily track different stats and compare them to your previous performance.
That way, you will be able to improve on your SEO strategy in an organic, straightforward way. Let’s take a look at the most representative example of a SEO tool that can help you out:
- Google Adwords & Analytics
The way Adwords works is simple. You can use the platform to find keywords and elements relevant to your niche. Implementing these elements into your site will instantly improve your SEO optimization and allow you to be seen by more people.
As the second step of the process, you can move to Google Analytics. Google’s own analytical tool is the perfect partner to Adwords since it works according to the same principles. Tracking organic traffic and CTR (which we will get to in a moment) is easy if you use the tools provided by the SEO origin platform. If that wasn’t enough, Google’s tools are free to use and open to anyone, so there is no reason not to give them a shot.
There are numerous other tools that can help you track and analyze SEO but they are all derived from Google. As Susanne Douglas, a marketing analyst from Flash Essay, put it: “The best marketing tool is usually the most obvious choice at your disposal.”
Seeing as you are only dipping your toes into SEO measurement, the best idea is to stick to the original tools available. Every SEO measurement factor we will take a look at now can be tracked and analyzed through Google Analytics, so let’s dive right into it.
Main attributors to SEO optimization
- Organic traffic
Organic traffic represents your site-wide traffic coming from search engine result pages. This means that any traffic (a visitation) made on your site will be logged as organic. Organic traffic is different than inbound traffic which is defined as a hyperlink to your site from a different site.
Think of it as a professional courtesy of someone who found your content interesting and decided to link to it. Organic traffic is achieved purely through SEO, meaning that your efforts should be focused on optimization of individual pages. Your landing page (a hyperlink without any additional subpages) will always be more important than any article or page on your site.
The majority of your traffic should and will come through the landing page. You can easily determine the optimization of your pages by doing a Google search of your own content and seeing how close or far your pages are from the top. Pages that rank far lower than others need some extra tweaking before they are viable for organic traffic.
This is also where international SEO comes into play as most of your traffic will come from abroad (hopefully). You can use Google Analytics to filter through different countries and continents to see which audience is the most interested in your content. As such, it can help you direct your content creation efforts into things that are suitable to your target audience.
- Conversion rate
Organic traffic brings people to your website. However, that doesn’t mean that they made a purchase or interacted with your content in any way. This is what we call “conversion rate” and it represents the percentage of people that made some kind of an action on your site.
Conversion rates play a huge role in businesses that emphasize sales or email subscriptions. In order to promote their main goal, these sites usually write article pieces, offer discount codes or do anything in their power to create a connection to their visitors. One of the most obvious and easiest solutions is to pay more attention to overall SEO optimization.
If your site is visible in itself, chances are that people will interact with you in some way. Your landing page plays a huge role in whether or not someone will “convert” into a customer or a subscriber. You can track conversion rates through individual pages and per location, just like with organic traffic.
- Click-through rate
The best way to measure the appeal of your content is by measuring overall CTR on your site. We have mentioned CTR before but let’s define it and explain what it can do for us. Click-through rate represents the percentage of people that clicked on one of your links on Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine.
This percentage is indicative of how much interest people have in your content. For example, if you offer a “never before seen marketing guide” people will naturally be intrigued. If you repeat the same line of content a few times, people’s interest and CTR will fall drastically. Measuring CTR can be a great way to easily determine whether your current content plan is viable or should you change things up.
These are the most important SEO metrics to pay attention to. Measuring SEO goes far beyond simple charts and analytics however. As trends change, so does SEO and the way you need to optimize your content. As an aside, let’s take a look at some useful tips and guidelines that can help you optimize your content for maximum exposure and traffic.
SEO optimization tips
- Keyword optimization
As you can see, keywords play a huge role in whether or not you are seen by your target audience. Make sure to implement the right terms and phrases as seen in Google Adwords. Search for the terms your audience might “Google” for and apply them to your content. If their search terms and your content match up, you will gain traffic.
- Multimedia content hosting
It’s rarely a good idea to upload images, videos and animated files directly to your site. These files can cause serious slowdowns for people with limited internet connectivity.
Worse yet, SEO will drastically fall as a result of your inability to carefully optimize content. Make sure to always upload these files to a third-party hosting service and link them back to your site. This can greatly speed up your site and make it easier for people to share that content with others.
- Eliminate duplicate content
Duplicate content is anything that resembles the same content on your site. For example, if you post an article about marketing expertise, make sure that the title and the content don’t resemble something else on your site. When we say “resemble”, we mean “duplicate”.
Posting the same content over and over again will never go under SEO’s radar. Your audience might be fooled at first, but your ranking will reflect your inability to produce original content. Focus on fresh ideas and new perspectives on popular topics – not on simple reposts of old content.
Don’t lose focus (Conclusion)
The most important factor of SEO optimization measurement is not to lose focus. People tend to lose sight of optimization tools as soon as their traffic becomes stable. Constant monitoring and analysis of your SEO is just as important as content creation.
Trends tend to change drastically and overnight, so don’t get caught unprepared. Keep an eye on your SEO’s effectiveness and do everything you can to make sure people notice you. Everything else will be done by search engines.
Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/macbook-air-beside-printing-paper-893896/