So, You’ve built a website, now what?

You need to find out who’s coming to your site, how they’re getting there and what they’re doing once they are there.

Reviewing your SEO metrics each month through applications like Google Analytics or ProStats can ultimately increase traffic and overall activity on your website. The amount of data that can be provided to you about your SEO efforts is incredible and you will be able to see what is working and what isn’t, which will make improving your SEO much easier. While there are plenty of metrics you can review each month, let’s review which SEO marketing metrics you should make sure and never skip.

1. Keyword and Phrase Rankings

Everyone seems to be concerned with keyword rankings, but an even bigger part of SEO is the keyword research so that your business can focus on the right search terms. If your targeting terms with a search volume of “0”; all of those first page rankings don’t really mean very much. If you’re targeting the right terms you’ll be much more pleased with not only the information when you go to check your rankings at the end of the month. You will also get more information to help you know about new keyword trends, which can really make future SEO efforts much easier. The amount of people using search engines to find information has been rising consistently over the last 15 years, so if you see a drop in how effective your keywords are doing, you are going to have to figure out what could have happened to cause the drop in traffic, and in a landscape full of Pandas, Penguins and Phantoms and that is no easy task.

2. Specific Search Engine Reports

Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the three major search engines within the U.S., while Google still provides over 80 percent of all search traffic, chances are most of your search traffic will be coming from Google with a smaller percentage coming from Yahoo and Bing. Analytics to track what terms and phrases convert for each of these search engines will help you to understand their not only their effects on your website, but how you should build out targeted landing pages for future growth.

A helpful note: Make sure you track your keyword rankings through some type of proxy tracking software like RankTracker, because Search engine ranking is not only different throughout different countries, it can vary from state to region or even browser preferences. So, if you happen to be ranked number one for a keyword in your State, it doesn’t mean that you are ranked number one throughout the rest of the US and certainly not the world.

By analyzing your search data, you will be able to see all of the details you need to measure which markets are benefiting you the most and which ones you might need to work on. Overall, these reports are extremely valuable, giving you the ability to uncover strategic values, review traffic drops, and get a general sense of which search engines are working in your favor.

3. Reports Regarding your Link Profile

All SEO campaigns have some type of link building aspect, so don’t forget to review it at least once a month. Get the exact number of back links you have, the amount of new domains that have linked to your site and also make sure to know about any links that have gone bad or have been removed. The more effort that goes into building a quality link profile, the more traffic you will get and the higher you will be ranked. It is important to set goals for link building each month and these metrics will help you to make sure those goals are met.  

4. Social Likes, Followers, and Shares

Social media has become a very important part of the internet and continues to become more and more popular. You may have even noticed many Facebook pages or Google+ posts ranking on the first page of Google search results lately. Search engines not only recognize links that have been shared and voted throughout social media — they are putting much more value on those linkds, so it is important to know all of the details that are coming from those sites. These reports are also very helpful if you have social media campaigns because it shows which sites are working in your favor and which ones you might need to work on. Most businesses gauge how effective their social media campaigns are by their amount of followers, likes, and shares, so you can get a good chunk of information from reviewing these metrics.  This is an example of a website that uses social media. Notice that it has social media widgets present in the page.

5. Search Term Conversion Rates

Just because you have ranked high on a certain search term, doesn’t mean people will automatically click on your link or make a purchase once they have clicked through. Reviewing this metric will let you know if you need to change the text or other aspects of website or a specific landing page. If people don’t end up clicking on you, it doesn’t matter how high you are ranked and if tons of people click through, but never convert — well you get the picture.

There are plenty of different metrics that will go over everything aspect of your SEO marketing campaigns, but if you’re just learning then these 5 major metrics will help guide you.