Tracking SEO Success Tips
Continuous SEO Improvement
Using analytics is key to continuous improvement in SEO. You need to know who is coming to your site and how they are getting there.
An obvious place to start is by tracking things such as direct navigation (people who came to your site by typing in the address or using a bookmark), referral traffic (people who visited your site via links from other websites) and search traffic (those who found you by using a search engine.).
Tracking Marketing Efforts
Knowing both the percentage and exact numbers will help you identify weaknesses and serve as a comparison over time. You may, for example, see that your website traffic has spiked dramatically but it that comes from referral links with low relevance. This is not the time to celebrate. If, on the other hand, your search engine traffic falls suddenly, you are probably in trouble. You should use this type of data to track your marketing efforts and plan your traffic acquisition efforts.
It’s also important to know which search engines are being used to find you and the average percentage of visits you get from each site. In North America, over 80% of the traffic comes from three sites: Bing, Yahoo and Google.
If you notice that visits from all three of these sites drops around the same time, then it is a pretty safe bet that the issue has to do with the content or accessibility of your site. If however, you see a significant drop in the amount of visits coming from Google, while visits from the others sites remain stable, then it is likely that Google has penalized your site for something.
A spike in traffic from one search engine over another likely means that you have been using an SEO strategy that is more highly valued by that search engine than by the others.
Keeping track of key word referrals is another important step in tracking your SEO success. You’ll want to keep track of these on a regular basis to help identify new trends in keyword searches, and track your success on key terms in order to determine which keywords are bringing significant traffic that you can capitalize on.
Additionally, you should consider factors like which pages on your site are getting the most visits and if there are pages getting little or no visits, how can they be beefed up.
Bounce rates (visits from people who come to your page and then immediately leave) should also be considered. A high bounce rate may be an indication that a page is confusing or irrelevant to the visitor. If a lots of bounces are coming from the same referral site, it may be an indication of a poor backlink.
When looking at your return on investment, few metrics matter more than conversion rate – this is the number of visits that result in a sale. Keeping track of the keywords that send visitors to your site who then buy from you, is a great way to plan the next steps of your ever evolving SEO marketing plan and achieve even greater success.