Why Measuring SEO Performance is Important?
Since SEO is one of many digital marketing channels you will probably use, it is very important that you do measure your SEO performance. This will allow you to carefully plan how you allocate your future marketing budget in order to direct your resources to what works best for your specific business.
Some Tools You Can Use To Measure Performance
The most obvious step in measuring your SEO and other channels performance is to have a good analytics solution installed on your site. Here are some of the most popular analytics solutions:
- Google Analytics: free with a Google account.
- Webtrends Analytics
- Adobe Analytics
It is important that you properly configure your web analytics to track goals and business objectives. Also, you need to establish SEO objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). Monthly organic search traffic is one example of SEO KPIs. Another example might be nonbranded keyword searches.
Furthermore, you can measure how your search engine ranking change in relation to your SEO activities by using tools like Moz Rank Tracker and Ahrefs Rank Tracker.
Analyzing Keyword Performance
Since keywords are the foundation of your SEO efforts you need to be tracking how your target keywords are performing. Tracking keyword performance used to be very easy as this data used to be available in your analytics software. Unfortunately recently Google stopped passing any keyword data to organic traffic referrals. This means that you only see “Not Provided” in your analytics software organic traffic referrals. Analyzing the performance of keywords is a challenging task, and it requires that we look at multiple tools and sources of information and try to anticipate the actual performance of keywords.
Unfortunately, it is not an exact science!
To analyze the performance of your pages in relation to the target keywords you may:
- Look at which landing pages have the most organic traffic referral in the context of the keywords for which they are ranking.
- Link your Google Analytics with Google Search Console. This will allow you to view some limited query reports data. This includes data on the number of impressions, average rank positions, clicks, and click-through rate. Keep in mind that this method offers relative accuracy!
Analyzing Link Performance
Since links can be considered votes of trust on the internet you need to track the performance and effect of your link building and outreach effort. To do this you need to track the effect your efforts have over your domain name and pages authority. Thankfully, there are a lot of tools out there to help you out. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Raven Tools
- MOZ Link Explorer
To track the performance of your efforts you need to pay attention to the number and quality of backlinks you get, as well as how your domain name and page name authority change over time.
You can even automate the monitoring process by using tools like the MOZ Campaign Tracking function. Additionally, you can look at your Google and Bing Webmaster Tools backlinks reports. When using all those tools it is important to identify any low quality and unwanted links because they can hurt your rankings, and may even result in a penalty.
What to do with unwanted links?
If you do find unwanted backlinks coming from low quality/spammy sites there are a few things you can do:
- Request the site owners to take those links down.
- Disavow those URLs through the search engines webmaster tools. To do that follow the instructions from Google and Bing.
- You can hire a professional agency to remove bad links and help you recover from penalties like Google Panda and Penguin.
There are hundreds if not thousands of SEO tools which can help you measure the performance of your efforts. The bottom line is to always consider these results in relation to your business objectives. In other words, look for ways to check how your SEO and other marketing channels drive revenue.
SEO is an ongoing process, you need to measure the results, learn from them and take action based on what you have learned, then repeat the process!