Search engine optimization—or SEO, as you likely know it—is complicated. It requires a good deal of effort to achieve, and the effort will simply not be worth the investment if you are not tracking your results. Sure, your end goal may be to see more business as a result of your SEO marketing, but how will you know that a change in your volume of customers is coming from your SEO campaign? Even more importantly, how will you know which aspects of your SEO marketing are reaching customers and which may need some tweaking to be more successful?
Without some basic analytics, you could be wasting a good deal of resources and failing to see the results you want from SEO. So, which metrics should you be paying the most attention to? There’s a few that matter the most, and we’ll help you understand each of them in this article.
How are people reaching your site?
And where are they leaving? SEO is all about organic search, or search results that you haven’t paid for. When someone searches for services that your company provides, your site may be among the first results displayed if you have a solid SEO game. When you rank well, it’s likely that more people are visiting your site, and they are getting there from search engines like Bing and Google. Here’s a breakdown of how you can see how people are interacting with your site:
By viewing your organic traffic through Google Analytics, you can see how many people are actually reaching your site each day as a result of organic search. You can look at traffic sitewide, but you might look for more specific sorting to gain more meaningful insight. Sorting by landing page, for example, can show you which pages are ranking well, and which ones are falling short—and this will give you an idea of where certain pages need improvement.
When people visit your site through organic traffic, you don’t want them to simply look at the page they clicked on and then click away. In fact, this behavior can cause your search engine rank to go down on certain pages, so you will want to check your bounce rate to see that people are sticking around. A high bounce rate indicates a problem, and it may be remedied with more enticing links on landing pages that aren’t performing well. This can encourage people to keep exploring and go deeper in your site.
Getting people to your site is only one step in the process of SEO marketing. Once they’re there, you want to see that customers are making conversions with purchases, form fills, or calls. You can sort conversion rate results by landing page, geographical location, or browser, so you can get an idea of what type of text and design is leading to consumer action and where you are making the strongest impression on potential customers.
Exit Pages for Organic Traffic
Knowing where people are leaving your site after reaching it through search is helpful for pinpointing the places where readers may be losing interest. If you have one or two pages that are topping out as exit pages for organic traffic, take a closer look at them and see why readers might not be inclined to stick around.
What are your keywords doing for you?
Keywords are critical to SEO, because they help filter search results and pair customers with the content that they want to see for given search terms. You should not only pay attention to the keywords you have chosen to prioritize in your SEO marketing, but you should know all the terms you’re ranking for as well, even if you aren’t necessarily focusing on those in your content. So how can you see this metric?
Google Keyword Ranking
Tools like SEMrush let you see which keywords you are ranking for on Google, so you have a total picture of which search terms are getting you the most traffic. In addition to a list of the keywords you rank for, you’ll see where you rank in search engine results for each keyword and how that figure has changed over time. With this information, you can boost existing success for terms where you are performing well and take note of any keywords that you want to rank for. This will give you an idea of where you need the most content to increase visibility.
Are you visible locally?
Because the internet is such a vast space, it’s important to focus in as much as possible when you’re trying to stand out in a search engine. That not only means optimizing for certain keywords, but for your geographical location as well. One of the quickest ways to see if you’re visible locally is by checking to see if your site is listed in the local 3-pack for certain keywords. If it isn’t, you should be doing more to optimize locally and drive people to your physical place of business.
If you are in search of content to round out your SEO marketing efforts, Pennington Creative can deliver the blogs, onsite copy, and email copy your business needs to stand out. To see how we can help, schedule a discovery call with us on our website.