If you’ve not read part 1 of this two-part actionable SEO guide, you can read it here.
So you’ve found your keywords, created awesome articles using best SEO practices and told Google.
In part two of my actionable SEO guide for small businesses, I’m going to show you how to measure and optimise the results of your SEO work.
What you're about to read
Before I show you how to measure your SEO results, you need to know about Google Sandbox. Google Sandbox is a filtering technique used by Google to stop newly created websites having their full SEO impact immediately on their search engine.
This is to reduce the amount of spam sites from clogging up their search engine that use illegal methods to rank. Depending on the age of your website and keywords used, it may take a few months before you see any noticeable results.
Google Analytics WordPress Plugin
Google Analytics Dashboard WP plugin offers page-by-page analysis of your website. Simply login to your WordPress account, download the plugin, visit the page you want to analysis and click on the analytics button at the top of the page:
After clicking the icon it will reveal stats for that page:
From the graph above, you can see that around 90 days ago the page was only generating a few hits per day. I only just created the page and as with all new website content, it can take a few weeks before Google places it in the appropriate search position.
Today it receives around 18-20 views per day and I’ve received 1,056 organic searches in a 90 day period from that one article alone.
Using the Analytics Dashboard Plugin is a quick and easy way to keep tabs on how your keywords are performing on the fly.
Learn what keywords Google associates your business with
Google loves to categorise businesses because it allows them to more accurately index your site based on keywords users are searching.
Login to your Google Webmaster Tools, head to Search Traffic and select Search Analytics:
Google will reveal all the keywords it associates with your business and how many impressions these keywords had over a specific period of time. It ranks all the keywords your business appears for in order of impressions.
Consider adding more content to keyword pages that receive lower impressions or change the meta description in titles to increase click-through rates. Google does take click-through rates into account when deciding where to rank your webpage.
If you see you rank more for one category of keywords than another, create more content around the popular categories as there’s a greater likelihood that you’ll rank better than targeting low performing keywords.
Bounce rate and referral time
In Google Analytics you can compare how much organic traffic visited your website over any period of time. To view your website data, login to Google Analytics and head to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels:
All traffic generated as a direct result of SEO will be listed under ‘organic traffic’. Compare how much traffic you receive organically now to before you implemented SEO changes.
Key metrics to look out for are:
Avg. Session duration
These 3 metrics will give you a clear understanding of how organic traffic is moving on your website. You can find the above metrics for each page too.
If your bounce rate is too high (above 70%) and the average session duration is under 10 seconds, this means the content on that page is not providing your audience value and needs to be improved.
Pages with low bounce rates, high page/sessions and session duration means searchers are actually reading your content which is great. The more time someone stays on your website, the greater the chance of them taking action.
Don’t expect to jump from 50 visitors per day to 1,000 in a few weeks as that’s not going to happen. Instead, expect a slow increase in traffic overtime, the more keywords you target the faster your website will grow.
SEO has a compound effect, in a few weeks you don’t really notice that much of a change, but fast-forward 6 months or so and you’ve tripled your traffic and the numbers keep on growing.
Use the free tools above to measure your performance and make little tweaks and changes where necessary going forward.
Vicky Etherington has been running her own online marketing agency since 2003, and in 2014 transitioned to working with coaches and therapists to teach them how to create their own client-attracting websites.
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