There is a really easy way to tell if your SEO strategy is working: organic traffic is flowing!
Now, while that’s all wonderful, it does take time for all of your time, effort and money to start opening the traffic gates to your site. Expect at least 6-12 months.
Monitoring your SEO strategy is not just about ‘Does it work?’, it is about ‘How can it work better?’
There are a variety of tools that you can access to analyse your SEO strategy. Analysing your strategy isn’t something to focus on daily, but something you check-in on weekly/monthly and keep working at in the mean-time.
What you should be assessing
All of the following pieces of information are relevant to your SEO strategy analysis. All of them are easy to find through online tools and your digital tracking systems:
- Ranking position changes for your target keywords (SEM Rush / Search Console)
- How many visitors, both new and old, are coming to your site (Google Analytics)
- How long they stay on your site and if they explore multiple pages (Google Analytics)
- Website visitors converting into customers (Sales data / Google Analytics)
- Where site visitors come from (direct, referrals, social media or search engines)
- Which sites are the best sources of traffic for you (Google Analytics / Search Console)
- What your domain authority is like with search engines like Google (Open Site Explorer)
- Which keywords are bringing your visitors to you (SEM Rush / Search Console)
- Which keywords are more likely to bring converting customers to you (Google Analytics)
- Your competition’s rankings (SEM Rush / Google)
- Quality of your backlink profile (SEM Rush / Search Console)
Why should you be assessing your SEO strategy?
Your SEO strategy should be a multi-pronged attack. Search Engine Optimisation is a complex web of interconnecting lines that all combine to bring your target customers through to your business.
The key reasons to assess your strategy are:
- You aren’t getting much website traffic
- You are investing in SEO or Content Marketing
- You are getting lots of website traffic but very low leads and sales
What your strategy assessment should include:
Analyse your competitors
As part of any comprehensive analysis of your SEO strategy, you should also be looking at the above information for your biggest online competitors as well.
SEO is a ranking system; it is not how good you are, it is whether you are more visible and enticing than the next guy.
Your competitors strategy may also expose some holes you can capitalise on, or provide ideas on how you can improve your own strategy.
Don’t analyse too soon or take action too quickly
SEO success takes a little time to show up in the metrics and can fluctuate significantly from day to day, month to month.
Don’t be too hasty to throw out keywords that seem to not be working until you have given it a little time to be sure. It is better to take some numbers across several months when you start out to get a more thorough assessment of patterns.
Look at different search engines
While no one is doubting the global dominance of Google, you should also look at how you are performing through other search engines as well, including Yahoo!, Bing, and social media searches like YouTube or Pinterest. You may be performing differently through different engines, and this should inform your future SEO strategy as well.
Google places greater importance on strategies like backlinks and referring sites to give you higher SEO ranking, whereas with Bing and Yahoo! on-page optimisation like keyword insertion works quite well.
Analyse the keywords that you aren’t using
At the end of the day, your SEO strategy always come down to using the right keywords. There are many different strategies on how to target certain keywords, but having the right keywords to begin with is, as you can appreciate, pretty important.
Keywords are living, breathing entities, whose power will change over time, so they are something you need to reassess semi-regularly to look for better performing ones. Periodic keyword research and analysis should form part of any ongoing SEO strategy.
Tracking which keywords and phrases are working for you is fantastic information, but better information is tracking the ones that aren’t. It is very helpful to know if certain keyword phrases are trending and those that are dropping in popularity, and don’t need to be part of a future SEO strategy.
It is very helpful to know if there are underutilised keywords, which are a great indication of a problem that people have that no-one is solving yet.
If you identify these and use them in your next strategy you are potentially bringing a whole new customer set directly to you. These audiences can be smaller, but they are often more likely to convert.
The SEO analytics suites we mention below will help with keyword analysis but researching for newly trending or underutilised keywords can be as easy as playing around with the Google search page for a while, as we mention in our previous article on the topic here (insert link).
For example, the keyword prompts which come up when you start typing are a wonderful indication of what people are looking for, and the information contained in the first page of results holds many hints and tips to keyword variations and phrases that you could try.
The knowledge you should come away with
Following the SEO strategy assessments above, you should have some very important actions to take away.
If this analysis is done properly you should now know:
- Pages on your site visitors are most landing on, so you can actively improve the customer experience on this site, including making it more dynamic
- Keywords you need to improve your ranking on, and depending on the differing search engines, how exactly you are going to do that
- Referral sources and websites you should be nurturing a positive relationship with (as well as any you might want to cut loose).
- What keywords and content are bring leads to your business, and opportunities to leverage for growth
- Rankings performance for your target keywords
- Overall growth of your online presence and success of your campaign
If you want to know what your current ranking positions are, get in touch with us now and we’ll let you know.
Strategic Optimisation + Growth consultant for lean start-ups and change-making entrepreneurs enabling them to grow their business in a sustainable and profitable way.