How to Know If SEO Is Working
Here is how you can check whether your website Search engine optimization (SEO) is working
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important puzzle pieces to a successful website. Even though Google has over 200 factors that determine search rankings, you mostly need to remember to build a unique website that offers useful information for its clearly-defined target audience. Here are ways to determine if your SEO strategies are working.
Measuring SEO Success
SEO is not a one-size-fills-all type of science. In other words, what works for one website, may not work for another. Most expert SEO services use tools and measurements to determine if you have implemented effective SEO strategies, which can help you refine your approach. But it’s important to remember that SEO doesn’t guarantee high search rankings, it merely increases the odds.
For most websites, it takes several months for SEO to kick in and achieve the goal of search engine visibility. Another key factor to remember is how unique your site is. If there are hundreds of sites like yours, then the chances of beating those sites in search rankings are reduced. The best way to stand out from the crowd is to base content on very unique keyword phrases that your competitors missed. If you are the only business in your city offering your type of niche, then it’s very advantageous to use your city name as a keyword.
The most important metric for studying the effectiveness of your keywords involve number of visitors, particularly from your target regions. Another essential metric is bounce rate, which tells you what percentage of your visitors left your site after viewing one page. Heatmaps, which are software tools that measure which sections of web pages get the most attention, indicate how well your SEO is constructed. Studying these analytics will help your revise your web pages and content, based on what is working and what isn’t.
Diagnosing SEO Issues
Experienced digital marketers use SEO audit software to analyze any technical flaws in your content and code. Some of the most SEO common flaws include:
- duplicate content
- lack of meta description
- broken or irrelevant links
- missing alt attributes for images
- page errors
- improper navigation
- web design that is not mobile-friendly
- duplicate content
- low word count
A recent study by Semrush found that the most common SEO problem was duplicate content, which hindered half of the sites they surveyed. When Google finds a substantial block of content that matches or is similar to content on other sites, it may penalize the site’s search ranking. While you may not be penalized for duplicate content within your own site, Google definitely frowns upon content that is copied or scraped from other sites.
Another major problem is the lack of meta descriptions, which tell the search bots what your web pages are about. While you are not required to include these descriptions, they certainly help clarify your keywords. Page content needs to be built on relevant keywords that correspond with the theme of your website. If your site tries to be “all things to all internet users,” Google might get suspicious that you’re invading their unique position. You also need to make sure that all your links are relevant to your site’s theme. Swapping links with random sites that have nothing to do with your site can draw penalties.
Digital marketers study how visitors use your site and determine what areas need improvement. Many times it may simply be that you need to do deeper research on less competitive keywords. “London restaurants,” for example, isn’t going to work as a keyword phrase on its own because it puts you in competition with too many other establishments. If you add a unique adjective that describes your niche, then you have a good chance of getting high rankings for those keywords.
Putting All Your SEO Knowledge Together
SEO is merely one component of digital marketing that can bring traffic to your site. The combination of SEO, social media and email marketing can provide a powerful boost in traffic. You can accelerate lead generation, even more, using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns in search engines and social networks. While content creation and SEO take several months to develop, PPC ads can put your message in front of a wide audience right away.
You can expand your SEO knowledge enormously by visiting sites such as Moz and Search Engine Land. These sites will help keep you informed on Google’s latest algorithmic updates that determine search rankings.
There are plenty of semantic and technical issues to be aware of when it comes to SEO. But if you keep your site well-structured, then the main issue you need to focus on is effective content. Search engines tend to reward sites that follow their vision, which is to connect users with the exact type of content they are searching for as quickly as possible.