12 Best Practices for Tracking and Optimizing Your SEO Performance
In this insightful article, twelve SEO professionals, including Full-Stack SEOs and SEO Specialists, share their best practices in tracking and optimizing SEO performance. From the initial step of optimizing with Google Search Console to the final strategy of improving SEO by engaging user feedback, these experts provide a comprehensive guide to help digital marketers enhance their SEO game. Dive in to discover these invaluable insights.
- Optimize with Google Search Console
- Conduct Regular SERP Audits
- Set Up Looker Studio with GSC, GA
- Refresh Content Using SEMRush Tool
- Check Key Metrics with Google Analytics 4
- Track Page and Keyword Performance
- Monitor Changes in Keyword Rankings
- Implement Topic Cluster Monitoring
- Analyze Keywords Against Top Results
- Set up Regular Reports with Ahrefs
- Compare ROI via Google Analytics Goals
- Improve SEO by Engaging User Feedback
Optimize with Google Search Console
SEO ranking for target keywords is best achieved by writing helpful content for humans and optimizing for search engines. Google Search Console is a reliable tool to track SEO performance.
Publishing content at a quantifiable pace is necessary for the data in the GSC dashboard to be accurate and fresh. Optimizing for impressions data is the simplest way to track SEO performance. The keywords you’re getting impressions for should optimize the pages.
Conduct Regular SERP Audits
One of my go-to best practices for tracking and optimizing SEO performance is regularly conducting SERP audits. This involves manually searching for target keywords and analyzing the top-ranking pages. I note common elements among these pages, like content structure, keyword density, and backlink profiles. This gives me a clear idea of what Google considers high-quality for those specific queries.
After that, I can tailor our content to meet or exceed those standards. It’s a hands-on approach that helps me understand the competitive landscape and adapt the strategy accordingly.
Set Up Looker Studio with GSC, GA
The best method of tracking SEO performance is to set up a Looker Studio with GSC and GA data pulled in. This way, you can have an excellent data set that contains keywords and traffic. On top of this, use filters and automatic alerts to watch specific pages, e.g., categories, or newly created, and get alerts if a specific page is under or over performing.
Refresh Content Using SEMRush Tool
I consistently optimize and refresh our company’s blog posts and web pages at least once a year. I do this by running the content through SEMRush’s Content Marketing SEO Writing Assistant tool. It analyzes the copy and identifies missing target keywords, photos without alt text, and the originality of text—all factors that can negatively impact your SEO performance.
I track our “before and after” SEMRush scores in a spreadsheet, noting the dates the content was republished and re-indexed with Google. We’ve definitely seen an increase in featured snippets and #1 or #2 positions in Google searches for our target keywords.
Check Key Metrics with Google Analytics 4
Many SEO professionals use other third-party tools, which is also a good strategy, but I prefer Google Analytics 4. It helps me track and optimize SEO performance using tools to monitor key metrics.
One of my best practices is to regularly check keyword performance, ensuring they align with our target audience’s search intent. My focus is on the performance of long-tail keywords with low competition. I also keep a close eye on organic sessions to measure traffic growth and find web pages that need SEO improvements.
For conversions, I track goal completions or sales, adjusting our strategy based on the results. I take special care about bringing the customer inside the sales funnel through continuous optimization. Lastly, I focus on improving Average Session Duration, which indicates engagement. This might involve creating more compelling content or enhancing the site’s user experience, many times both. These are some strategies that I use.
Track Page and Keyword Performance
Strictly from an SEO performance standpoint, keyword rankings show how well a campaign is doing. When I start a campaign, the first thing I do is run keyword research on every page of the website and find the top three keywords for that page. I then use a keyword tracker to monitor how each keyword is doing. If I see the pages go up, I know I’m doing a good job.
Monitor Changes in Keyword Rankings
As a digital marketer, I believe it is essential to track and optimize your SEO performance in order to measure the success of your online marketing efforts.
One of the best practices I follow when tracking and optimizing my SEO performance is monitoring changes in keyword rankings over time. This allows me to see not only how my content is performing compared to competitors but also monitor any fluctuations in organic traffic generated from long-tail keywords.
Implement Topic Cluster Monitoring
I track and optimize SEO performance through Topic Cluster Monitoring. Search engines today are far more attuned to topics, context, and user intent than just isolated keywords. I start by crafting a comprehensive “pillar content” for each broad topic vital to the business. Around this pillar, I weave related “cluster content” targeting specific subtopics or keywords, ensuring they all link together.
When it’s time to analyze, I use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Instead of getting lost in individual keyword rankings, I zoom out to see how the entire topic cluster is performing. I look at overall traffic, engagement, and conversions. As I gather insights, I refine and adjust. Perhaps I’ll expand a cluster piece that’s gaining traction or fine-tune one that’s lagging.
Over time, this strategy doesn’t just give me a holistic view of my SEO efforts, but it also establishes us as an authority in the space.
Analyze Keywords Against Top Results
One of my best practices is to analyze each keyword against the top results in Google Search and work to close the gap between them. I analyze the top results for the keyword search intent, its content, and backlink profile. After that, I select a top result that my website can replace and improve my content and backlink profile to be better than that.
Set up Regular Reports with Ahrefs
Use Ahrefs to monitor keyword rankings and backlink profiles. Set up regular reports to track changes over time. Identify drops or spikes, then optimize content and backlink strategy accordingly. Use Ahrefs’ Site Audit for technical SEO issues and resolve them promptly. Keep an eye on competitors’ performance to adjust your tactics.
Harry Boxhall, Squarespace SEO Consultant, Boxhall Marketing Ltd
Compare ROI via Google Analytics Goals
For keeping tabs on your SEO performance and making it better, one of my best practices is to closely monitor Return on Investment (ROI). While there are many leading and lagging indicators to track the efficacy of your campaigns, what ultimately matters is how your SEO efforts impact your bottom line.
To get quantifiable data to truly measure the success of your efforts, I suggest setting up goals in Google Analytics. Tracking the entire journey that leads to contact form submissions or ‘buy now’ page views, for example, lets you see which keywords are bringing in visitors and, more importantly, which ones are turning those visitors into paying customers. Assigning dollar values to your goals is vital because only then can you focus more on the keywords and strategies that bring higher-value conversions, ensuring you’re allocating resources efficiently.
Improve SEO by Engaging User Feedback
Engaging with user feedback can indirectly improve SEO performance. Addressing feedback promptly enhances user experience, leading to better engagement metrics and potentially higher search rankings.
For example, if users frequently mention slow page load times, taking actions to optimize website speed can reduce bounce rates and improve SEO. Similarly, addressing negative feedback and making improvements based on user suggestions can enhance user satisfaction, resulting in positive user experience signals that search engines consider for rankings.
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