How to track and monitor your SEO efforts
It is important to always monitor your SEO performance in order to keep track of your wins, and be able to recognize and fix whatever isn’t working. In this post, we’re going to show you ways to track and measure your SEO activities. If you monitor your results, you could identify simple changes that can improve your website ranking. It will also allow you to assess the performance of the agency which SEO services you are using.
Use Webmasters tools to track top SEO metrics
We recommend to use Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tool. Sometimes tools that work for Google don’t work well with Bing, therefore you need to optimize for Bing in order to improve your Bing referral traffic (Amazon’s Echo voice search, DuckDuckGo, and Ecosia). To analyze traffic from Baidu or Yandex, use their Webmaster dashboards. The choice depends on which search engine your customers prefer.
Why should you use webmasters tools from search engines instead third-party tools?
Only Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster show you the actual searches (however incomplete) that people are using to find your sites in their search results. Third-party tools use their own pre-selected keywords, which they improve to provide better results. This method is still far from properly measuring your search results.
So, you can use Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster, or Yandex Webmaster. These are free,easy to use and provide adequately accurate results.
These tools allow you to monitor 3 top SEO metrics
- Impressions or search visibility
- Clicks from organic searches
- Average position
If you want to measure positions more accurately, use single-day reporting windows and plot your own trend lines. You can also check your metrics specified by device, country, and page.
Use Google Analytics to know more about your audience
Google Analytics is a free tool that was developed for the sole purpose of tracking metrics.
The main cons of Google Analytics are:
- Limited reports
- Traffic-faking bots that distort reports
- Google Analytics user interface is very badly designed
But the number of pros compensates for these disadvantages of Google Analytics.
You get a detailed report about your website audience, and can decide for yourself if it is what you expected.
Next, you can assess the channels of traffic. You get to see a progression or regression of organic traffic.
Analyze your organic traffic users through landing pages reports. Which pages are leaders? Which pages need improvement to increase traffic?
Many SEO specialists believe that the bounce rate affect ranking. It is a SEO myth. You can read our article about the bounce rate and how this metric can help you to improve your website.
User behaviour flow. This report shows you how visitors use your website content.
You can import data from Google Search Console to Google Analytics. It helps you to better understand data and compare metrics.
The key feature of Google Analytics is the ability to track events and conversions on the website. There are ecommerce reports for estores. Setting up a conversion isn’t as straightforward as it may sound, however it is not so difficult that you should avoid it.
If you set up Google Analytics properly, you will get accurate (almost) data.
You can check Google Analytics code with Tag Assistant.
Now website owners can use Google Tag Manager which allows you to set up events and conversions without developers. Honestly, if you have never used Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager it can be pretty difficult to set up some conversions or events. That is why we recommend to hire specialists.
It is better to use less scripts on your website to reduce page load speed.
Additionally we recommend that you use server log files to track SEO metrics. These report are more accurate than Google Analytics or similar tools.
If you don’t have access to webmasters tools you are holding yourself back understanding search referral traffic and visibility. You shouldn’t rely on beautiful SEO reports. Knowledge is power, and monitoring SEO performance is a necessity if you want to succeed.