Measuring your progress and the results of your efforts is essential in any line of business. Digital marketing is no exception, and SEO professionals also need to collect the relevant metrics.
For those willing to learn how to use the right tools and interpret the insights, here’s a complete guide to SEO tracking and performance monitoring.
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Tracking the performance of your keywords or other SEO elements is among the most fundamental activities for any SEO specialist. Even though it’s challenging to measure the results of marketing campaigns, SEO rankings provide critical insights for estimating the success of a strategy.
In a way, many marketers understand why they should check SEO rankings regularly. Yet, the trick for successful SEO tracking is knowing how and what tools to implement for accurate and data-driven reports.
For instance, Google Analytics might be the most-used service, but other rank trackers can also get the job done efficiently. Even free versions of some tracking apps will deliver reliable and helpful results, showing where you rank on search results pages.
Climbing to the top of the mountain in the SEO world translates to being in the first position on the SERPs. Yet, the race is more demanding than ever.
That’s why clever marketers turn to apps and ranking tools for help. After all, a range of variables affects the results, making it impossible to monitor everything manually. For that reason, even a free SERP rank checker can make a massive difference.
The old tricks of using the incognito mode to check your ranking are not nearly as reliable as rank tracking tools. So, if you want to track KPIs — enter your domain in the tracker system. Within seconds, you’ll receive a comprehensive report, allowing you to pinpoint weak spots and raise your game.
For SEO purposes, the typical KPIs are organic visibility, organic traffic, backlink quality, and click-through rate (CTR), together with the number of leads and conversions.
Even though key performance indicators are measurable values, we should note that not every metric is KPI. In other words, you’ll need to know what to track, and it all depends on the specifics of your SEO campaign.
Each KPI addresses an element of website performance, and marketers can measure the value of these parameters with various tools and services. As such, KPIs in the SEO world might sound confusing to anyone with little experience in digital marketing. On the other hand, SEO goals come with a broader meaning, so let’s see how that looks in practice.
In a way, SEO goals are vaguer than KPIs, which come as a precise numerical value. For example, companies often formulate SEO goals as “get more visits,” “get more subscribers,” or “increase sales.”
For instance, the recently-established brands will look for exposure and ways to boost brand awareness. Thus, one of their SEO goals could be increased local visibility. The widespread adoption of smartphones changed the game, and tracking local SERPs is a must in this day and age.
Of course, reaching those targets is more of a marathon than a sprint. Either way, keeping track of essential parameters along the way is vital. That’s why SEO goals give structure to our efforts and direct marketing strategies and optimization methods towards the same finish line.
Keeping track of the progress starts by assessing the starting parameters and then comparing them periodically with the latest data.
Periodic updates to Google algorithms can disrupt the balance and cause changes in results, but many other elements play a role in the process.
Depending on the website, start by making a log of organic search traffic, backlinks, bounce rate, dwell time, site speed, and mobile traffic. Google Analytics will display these elements in a visually appealing manner, but other apps can also provide accurate insights.
As we already said, various elements affect website performance and the way the site ranks on SERPs. Arguably, keywords are among the most important ones, and the success of your content depends on keyword research and proper keyword distribution.
Thus, using a rank tracker app is a must because these apps allow for efficient and hassle-free SEO tracking. Once you enter a domain and set a couple of remaining parameters, these tools will also provide insights on competitors and the keywords they use.
In most cases, keyword trackers will display a wealth of metrics, including keyword difficulty, volume, the monthly number of clicks, cost-per-click, and many others. Of course, you’ll also receive graphs and charts depicting the movements in the ranking of your keywords.
Nowadays, SEO requires subtlety, but you should cover all bases for maximum exposure at the same time. In essence, the so-called leads are all about attracting attention and driving prospects to the website.
Checking how you stand with services like Google My Business or Google Maps is the first step to learning more about SEO leads.
Likewise, SEO monitoring apps like SerpWatch can provide advanced keyword metrics, such as the number of times a particular keyword is searched for on Google. Of course, you can track keyword performance on multiple search engines, not only Google. After reaching relevant ranking values, website owners will know more about leads and their volume.
Leads stand at the beginning of a typical buyer’s journey, but they don’t have much value if the conversion doesn’t crown the process.
In the SEO world, the term conversion can mean various things, not only a sale specifically. In essence, a conversion happens any time a visitor completes a specific action.
In any case, Google Analytics will once again come to your aid. After setting up conversion goals by choosing pre-set templates (engagement, revenue, inquiry, or acquisition), the app will provide information-packed graphs. In other words, it will show how to track SEO rankings and focus on conversions.
Other tools and services can also help with monitoring and help with growing your business. For instance, many SEO professionals opt for SerpWatch because it offers seamless integrations with dozens of apps, including Google Analytics. By cross-referencing the data, tangible results will be at your disposal 24/7.
The mobile browsing market share is growing by the day, and SEO specialists can no longer afford to ignore mobile rankings. Google’s mobile-first philosophy changed the way we browse the web, triggering growth in local searches and providing businesses with more customers than ever before.
For that reason, website performance on smartphones and tablets requires extra attention. Luckily, SEO analytics can help with this process as well, and ranking apps can separate results derived from desktop and mobile devices.
Checking what your prospects search for on smartphones and tablets can narrow the playing field and bring you closer to picking the ideal keywords for the content. Therefore, mobile rankings are a top priority for modern SEO specialists and digital marketers.
Since it acts as a comprehensive tracking platform, Google Analytics is the go-to service for any marketer and SEO professional. The tool offers top-drawer convenience and a wealth of options.
The menu on the left-hand side will let you control everything, with the main area divided into three categories — acquisition, audience, and behavior. Once you establish business goals, Google Analytics will provide in-depth search engine ranking reports.
On top of that, users can share and export the data or cross-reference the findings with other SEO apps. Likewise, the service will show how specific keywords affect marketing campaigns or which pages have the highest bounce rate.
The range of options provided by Google Analytics covers almost every aspect of a website, and users can apply various filters to focus the results on relevant areas.
As long as you go by the book and follow every SEO “rule,” your site should fly up the list and sit at the number one spot on Google SERPs, right? Well, not necessarily because the number of variables is almost endless, and the rules themselves constantly change.
Even so, consistent effort and a strategic approach to SEO will help you occupy more real estate on the SERPs and improve your SEO performance metrics. After all, the cost-effectiveness and convenience of search engine optimization offer unmatched benefits.
Increasing traffic and making your website easier to navigate will lead to more conversions and more profits, no doubt about it. SEO is far from being an exact science, but it works either way.
Investing in SEO is a long-term strategy, and SEO practices tend to have a compounding effect, but once they accumulate – sit back and enjoy the show!
But don’t rest on your laurels for too long because competitors will always be on your toes. For that reason, SEO tracking apps are indispensable in the arsenal of any SEO professional.