Search engine optimization (SEO) could make or break your website's success. A hefty 96 percent of marketers now use SEO to provide educational and informational content to consumers, and SEO is the most searched-for marketing technique. But how do you know whether your SEO strategy is actually working?
1. Use a Web Analytics Tool
A good Web analytics tool lets you track SEO changes to your website and provides you with real-time insights into your digital marketing campaigns. Applications like Google Analytics, HubSpot and Moz help you monitor website visitors. You can discover how long customers stay on your site and which traffic source they originated from.
2. Make Small SEO Changes
When you make big SEO changes to your website, it can be difficult to know which tactics are working and which strategies are jeopardizing your rankings on the search engine results page. Start small — change meta-descriptions or Web page headers, for example — and monitor every development with a Web analytics tool.
3. Use A/B Tests
A/B tests let you compare two or more Web page elements, like for like, so you can find out which SEO tactics are performing the best. Use this marketing method to ascertain which content lures the most traffic to your site and which pages have the biggest conversion rates.
4. Check Your Site for Black Hat Links
Search engines like Google penalize websites that use black hat SEO techniques — unethical tactics that increase your search rankings. Open Site Explorer from Moz lets you track inbound links to your domain, allowing you to quickly identify any black hat links. Remember, never use any search engine spam techniques, which could compromise your search rankings.
5. Check Social Media Analytics
Social media metrics — Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, etc. — provide you with unparalleled insights into how well your content is performing in the social sphere. You can also find out which posts generate the most traffic to your website.
6. Don't Forget About Mobile
Choose an analytics tool that provides you with data on how mobile users interact with your content. Segment and Mixpanel are just two programs that offer mobile metrics; these tell you how consumers engage with your site on a smartphone or tablet.
7. Use a Local Analytics Tool
Local SEO is booming. More than 60 percent of consumers have used local information in an online ad, and 18 percent of local searches result in a sale within just one day. Tools like Moz Local let you measure SEO in towns and cities across the country so you can boost the number of local customers who visit your online store.
8. Carry Out Keyword Competition Analysis
One way to find out if your SEO is really working is to compare your site with those of your rivals. You can discover which keywords your competitors are using and contrast these with your own. Free keyword competition analysis tools include Google AdWords Keyword Planner and SEMrush.
9. Don't Focus on Google Alone
Google dominates SEO, occupying 76 percent of search engine market share. However, you'll want to see how well your site performs on other platforms, too. Bing, Baidu and Yahoo! are the next three biggest search engines; these could lead thousands of prospects to your site.
10. Be Patient
Search engines can take several days to crawl your site and index content. If you don't see a difference on the search engine results page immediately, wait a little longer. Making big changes in the interim can make it difficult to assess which SEO tactics provide the best value.
These 10 tips can help you measure your SEO across various channels so you get a better return on your digital marketing investment. Check if your SEO really works for greater perspective on your marketing campaigns.
Are you new to SEO tactics? Download our SEO Checklist for Beginners!