Measure SEO Success – Tracking Performance Of SEO With Tools & Metrics
Most small to mid size businesses are skeptical of search engine optimization (SEO). The growing concern is three-fold. First it takes time to rank for those contextually relevant keywords related to a business (3 – 6 months on average). Second, it costs money to invest into this marketing channel, and companies may not get the immediate benefit of those advertising dollars. Lastly, the business may not understand how to measure the success of an SEO campaign. Out of the three concerns, learning how to measure SEO performance is the most critical to any business. It is that measurement that speaks to the return on investment (ROI) that companies need to track across all investments (including marketing investments).
Top Metrics For Tracking SEO Performance
We wanted to supply the top 4 metrics business owners should use to measure SEO success within campaigns ran by companies internally or by external digital marketing agencies:
- Page Authority – This refers to the authority your website or webpage possesses in the search engine ranking pages. This is important because the higher the page authority, the stronger and more authoritative your website is from a search engine optimization perspective. This also makes performing off-page SEO easier and simpler. Finally, this metrics allows for competitive analysis and looking out how you compare against your local competition.
- Total Number Of Links – Companies want to know how many pages are linking to theirs. In the world of SEO, 15% of SEO effort should go to on page SEO work while 85% should go to off page SEO work. Tracking the number of backlinks (websites linking back to your website/business) is the metric vitally critical in the SEO world).
- Anchor Text Diversity – In the world of Google Penguin & Panda updates, companies should not attempt to stuff keywords in anchor they think are contextually relevant. Diversify the anchor text and make it appear natural. For example, if you are a furniture retailer in New York City, do not use the anchor text “NYC furniture retailer” over and over again in anchor text on your website. Instead, diversify with furniture store, modern furniture location, NYC retailer, etc… Tracking this information will help keep you from falling victim to the recent Google Algorithm updates.
- Adwords Keyword Data – for Que Commerce, this remains one of the best SEO performance measurement tools we leverage. Google Adwords top benefit is it drive immediate (day 1) traffic to a businesses website. But just as important than that is the data you collect on it. If you are using conversion tracking and other tools to measure the success of Adwords campaigns, you can extrapolate that data into SEO success metrics. Companies can make an initial $300 – $500 Google Adwords test investment. There remains a high likelihood you will acquire customers via this method.
SEO Measurement Tools
At Que Commerce, we use a host of SEO and analytics tools to measure our digital marketing efforts. But these are the top 5 tools we frequent on a daily basis.
- Google Analytics – This tool allows companies to track statistics and performance on the actual website and various web pages. You can track organic searches (must link to webmaster tools in order to do this successfully), ongoing bounce rate, page views, and view which buttons and actions were performed on the website. Go here to learn more about Google Analytics Software. It’s Free.
- Moz Analytics – Moz (formerly known as SEOMoz), offers both a community to SEO companies but also a suite of tools for SEO measurement. Some tools you must pay for but other are free including Followerwonk, Open Site Explorer, and Rank Tracker.
- Webmaster Tools – This is a must for any website owner. It essentially helps website owners get a sense of how Google and other search engines view their website.
- Google Keyword Tool – This remains an incredibly powerful tool to determine search engine traffic, competitiveness of keywords, and similar keywords related to the seed keyword. This is one of the first places SEO companies start to begin building out keyword ideas for content and campaign creation. But other tool great tools are Ubersuggest and Wordstream.
- Google Adwords Platform – Finally, the Google Adwords Platform remains an amazing tools for lead generation as well as tracking keywords for SEO efforts. For example, if you know that your collecting 400 impressions for a particular keyword and the average cost per click is over $1.00, you have a pretty good sense this could be a great SEO keyword worth targeting.
Measuring SEO efforts use to be a daunting task. But as more companies hire digital marketing agencies or hire people internally to manage this process, most are building the sustainable SEO advantage they need to measure their performance and ultimately acquire more customers.
by “Justin Croxton”