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SEO 29 min read

Tips to Measure and Improve Your SEO Performance

Tips to Measure and Improve Your SEO Performance
Tips to Measure and Improve Your SEO Performance
Amanda Winstead
Writer with a background in communications
Today's digital landscape comprises a frenzy of websites, with millions of new content pages published every minute. To stand out and succeed, you need to keep your brand updated, current, and engaging with readers. To do this, you need an effective strategy for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

However, knowing how to manage and execute a successful SEO initiative for many new and even established brands is challenging.

In this article, we'll discuss everything from content generation to site optimization and KPI tracking, giving you the tools you need to improve your searchability and grow your site traffic.

1. Why Knowing Your Audience Is So Important

SEO is not just about what you publish on your website, but how that content resonates with your audience.

We're not talking about producing content for people in a house three doors down from you — although tailoring your content to a local audience can influence some of your SEO decisions.

Instead, we're talking about knowing your ideal audience's response to the sites and brands they spend time on, regardless of their geographic location.
So how do you begin extracting the insights you need to understand your target market better?

To map out and discover which articles draw the attention of your prospective customers, you need to conduct a survey that gives you a sense of who they are and what they care about. This can be done in various ways.
For example, with the help of a focus group, you could ask participants to share their favorite articles and news items that have to do with their interests or blog posts they've written. These are great metrics to consult when discovering how you can attract a wider audience, create solutions to their problems, and establish brand relevance.

By better understanding your audience, you'll establish a foundation you can build on when implementing and improving your website's SEO elements.

2. The Secrets of Generating High-Quality Content

Quality content is an essential aspect of SEO. Treat content on the page as a product: the longer it lasts and the more relevant it is, the greater its sales capability.

Both quality content and natural promotion are what Google looks for when determining where to place websites in rankings. Quality content increases traction, social media sharing opportunities, and user engagement. It helps build a natural audience of potential customers that come to your site through organic search versus anyone seeking out your content directly.

7 Tips For Creating Content That Converts

But building high-quality content isn't as straightforward as many think. Both great content and high-quality content are subjective. What some might consider quality, others do not. So how do you find the right balance?

The following are best practices that should be applied when ensuring your content is perceived as higher quality than the rest:

#1. Lose the sales pitch

Marketing professionals and business owners often struggle to drop promotional language from their content. If users have to stop and wonder if every piece of content they come across is a one-sided promotion about you and your company, the value of your website will decrease. It's essential to strike the right balance.

#2. Feel good about the links

Many users, especially search engine bots, recognize repeatable content as a warning sign for low-quality, low-value sites. Suppose you have multiple pieces of content with links to your site that look remarkably similar yet offer little or no informational benefit. In that case, search engines will start viewing them as anything but unique content.

#3. Keep an eye on the popular queries

Today's digital world requires paying attention to trends, and that doesn't just apply to SEO.

Try to keep up with the most popular queries for the location you are interested in. This is the way to keep track of the current market demand, overtake competitors and receive better profits.

Identifying the most trending keywords can be not a big deal if you apply specialized services like Serpstat. The service offers a brand-new Keyword Trends Tool that helps you check trendy queries for a selected city and country in real-time.
Keyword Trends Tool from Serpstat
Keyword Trends Tool from Serpstat
Use popular keywords on your site and increase traffic in the most effective way with Serpstat.
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#4. Make your content digestible

If a user sets out to read a piece of content and then leaves, you can bet that it didn't answer the questions they were looking for. One of the most common causes is bland, choppy, or indiscriminate content. Why?

These types can be incredibly challenging to work through, especially when related topics are thrown together so that you have something to write about. Visitors are more likely to follow through with actions if they're offered straightforward answers in clear language surrounded by digestible content and logical reading order.

#5. Focus on engagement

Often, the little things in content give the most value. Incorporating aspects like powerful graphics, brevity, positive content, and social networking icons inspire return visitor behavior. The best businesses grow online networks from sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

Incorporating these channels into your content strategy is a low-cost way to deliver something of value to site visitors, including sharing or referring to your post or other items on popular networks. 

Creating effective email campaigns is another way that brands can engage actively with their audience while gaining valuable feedback on how they can improve.

#6. Position yourself as an expert

For people seeking businesses online, becoming an "expert" within your industry can potentially open the door to tremendous success, as clients and potential customers assume you are more knowledgeable than others within your field.

Remember, this doesn't mean you have to be the most knowledgeable within your industry, but rather that you are willing to share who an expert is and provide tips about what you learned from them.

#7. Keep it consistent

Whether you are trying to build more awareness or acquire new customers, consistency is one of the most critical keywords since it can help establish more trust and comfort for your clients and prospects. Creating a content strategy that maintains relevancy while prioritizing regular posts and engagement will build credibility with your audience and the search engines.

Generating high-quality content should be one of the most critical elements of your SEO efforts. By executing and preserving a consistent strategy for content generation, you'll maximize the effectiveness of other performance-driving tactics you deploy.
Are you still looking for a service that will automate all the processes for content optimization? Serpstat is here to help!

Improve your content plan, analyze competitors, check keywords trends and expand semantics with Serpstat tools.
Find here below the example of how the Keyword Research Tools work. 
The service shows similar keywords based on the similarity of the top-20 of their search results, for which there are at least two pages at the top as in the analyzed keyword.

Attention should be primarily made to "Related keywords," "Search suggestions," and "Search questions" reports.

How to Collect the Most Complete Keyword List and Perform SEO Analytics

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3. Right and Wrong Ways to Use Links

There are a ton of pitfalls that businesses can deal with when trying to implement link-building strategies. When adding internal and external links to your site, you should be aware of a few dos and don’ts that can positively or negatively impact your SEO efforts.
Do This
  • Optimize for specific terms
Since Google is squeezing in more and more data on searcher behavior, they want to know what specific business category you are in before they serve you results. So by placing a keyword at the beginning of your URL, you'll trigger local SERPs when it's searched locally and boost rank on generic searchers looking for businesses like yours.

  • Include general keywords in the URL
Additionally, use frequently searched terms in the keyword section of your URL to increase the chances of appearing on general queries. This option works incredibly well with keywords that have arisen within content instead of just domain name extensions, which can sometimes devalue articles authored by republishing links outside article bodies. 

  • Remove unnecessary URLs from your site structure
By removing extraneous URLs like "Index," URL structure key or subdomain index.html, etc., search engines can categorize your site more effectively by grouping subsequent pages under the most relevant parent category.
Don't Do This
  • Have too many links with similar anchor text
Search engines like to see that incoming links are diverse. If your website is all about "how to make a fortune in real estate," and you have links from all your closest friends using the anchor text "how to make a fortune in real estate," Google is likely to interpret this as manipulation and not natural SEO.

  • Use too many keywords in anchor text
If you've written a piece of content around your keyword ("the best ways to make money online"), then it's not wrong for your anchor text to reflect that actual content (e.g., "best ways").

However, suppose you've written something around another topic that happens to be relevant ("making money online" would be an example). In that case, you're fine using that phrase as an anchor text for that page ("what are the best ways of making money online?"). The key here is relevance between keyword and page content.

  • Use too many domains for backlinking
A typical SEO mistake is using too many domains for linking back to their site. Google is well aware that you have multiple properties, and it's not wrong to link from one property (such as a Facebook page) to another (such as your blog). But if you link too many domains, then Google may see this as spammy behavior. So if you have multiple properties, maybe use one domain per property rather than several domains from the same property.

When establishing internal and external links on your website, taking note of these do's, and don'ts can help you avoid search engine ranking penalties and get the most out of your SEO efforts.
Feel free to check your backlink profile with those of your competitors and tap into their most profitable backlink sources using the Competitor Backlink Analysis Tool.

Using Serpstat backlink checker, you can:
  • check website backlinks and get relevant ones from authority sites that are critical for higher search engine rankings;
  • find out low-quality backlinks for your site that can lead to search engine penalties;
  • strategize on your link-building campaign, and many more. 

Pretty sure you'll find the following topics valuable for the process of backlink monitoring.

4. Tracking the Right KPIs

Regardless of all the tactics, you deploy during your SEO campaigns, they won't amount to much if you don't track the right metrics, and you're not making the most of your internal and external data points.

So what are the right KPIs that you should be tracking?

While there are hundreds of site metrics you could be monitoring to assist you in your SEO efforts, below is a list of the top 5 KPIs that will help you measure and improve your site's SEO impact:

#1. Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is the number of visitors that come to your site from a search engine. This includes branded and non-branded keywords and can be tracked using Google Analytics (or another analytics tool).

Not only is organic traffic a great KPI to track, but it's also one of the easiest to get your hands on. If you're not tracking organic traffic, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to measure and improve your site's SEO performance.

#2. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a metric that measures how many visitors leave your site after viewing only one page. This KPI is important to track because it gives insight into how easy or difficult it is for users to find what they're looking for on your site.

The lower your bounce rate, the better it is. If you have a high bounce rate, you should be looking at why this is happening and how to improve the user experience to reduce the bounce rate.

#3. Page Load Time

Page load time is the speed at which your website loads. According to Google, page load time is one of the most important SEO metrics to track.

It's been shown that site speed impacts SEO rankings and can even impact how much time users spend on your site. If you have a slow site, this can significantly impact traffic and conversions, so you need to address it immediately.

The Most Common Technical SEO Issues That Damage Your Site

#4. Keyword Ranking

Keyword ranking is a metric that shows the position of your site and pages in search engine results for specific keywords.

Tracking search engine rankings is an essential part of SEO, as it drives traffic to your site. If you're not showing up on page one, it's time to start looking at what you can do to improve SEO performance.

Monitor your site's current position with SERP Rank Checker Tool from Serpstat. Check mobile and desktop search results on a daily basis in real-time to increase visibility and boost traffic.

#5. Average Session Duration

Session duration is the amount of time a user spends on your site. It's essential to track this metric because it can help you figure out how long users are engaging with your content, which can help you determine what type of content is keeping them on your site.

For example, if you notice that people spend a long time reading your blog posts, then you know that blog posts are driving engagement and can be used to attract more traffic.

By tracking relevant KPIs, you can start seeing how your SEO efforts affect your website performance and fine-tuning different areas of your site to improve searchability and user experience. More importantly, by monitoring KPIs associated with your website's SEO, you can also identify potentially costly mistakes your business may be making that contribute to declining performance trends.

5. The Connection Between Social Media and Site Performance

Many people think that social media channels and branded websites are two completely separate entities. And while it's true that each channel has its unique style and audience, there is still a strong relationship between the two.

If you think about it, if someone finds a website through a social media channel, they are more likely to engage with the content they discover on that site if they find strong branding. They may also share that site with their followers on social media, leading to more traffic and engagement
If you don't have a branded website, you can still build brand awareness by encouraging your existing audience to share links to your site across different social channels. This works especially well for blogs with an established relationship between the blogger and the audience.

For example, when someone wants to share a post from your blog with their followers, they can embed a short link into the original post. Their followers can view the full post via your branded website, rather than looking for it themselves on Google or another search engine.

6. The Basics of an Effective Website Audit

Every website has an SEO value, even if it doesn't rank on search engines. Some websites may not have any links or mentions at all, but they still impact the overall SEO value of the site by helping to build brand awareness and attract new visitors.

The goal of your audit should be to identify your website's overall SEO value so that you can begin tackling the issues that hurt that value.

Conducting an effective website audit is a two-part process that begins with evaluating your website and ends with action steps to help you improve your organic ranking. While there are various approaches you can take when conducting a site audit, you can take a few basic steps to ensure your website's SEO performance is maximized.

#1. Use a site audit tool

A site audit tool examines your website and then provides an overview of how your website performs. This tool will help you identify how you are producing new content and traffic, helping you identify the most problematic areas of your site or your business that need attention.
To carry out a comprehensive technical SEO audit, you can use Serpstat Technical Website SEO Audit Tool. Improve your Google rankings by identifying and fixing on-site problems with the easy-to-use service.
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#2. Generate an action list

After conducting the audit, you can then generate an action list. This list will consist of items that need to be addressed to help increase your SEO performance.

For example, some action items may include: cleaning up your website code, removing duplicate content, or adding more pages of high-quality content.

#3. Validate and repair your site structure

After your action list has been generated, you need to determine which items you can address yourself and which items require the assistance of experienced professionals in your industry or a web development firm.

Most site performance issues are easy to manage once you know what you are looking for. However, if your site has undergone significant changes and contains complex structural issues, working with an outside professional may be beneficial.

How to Create a Site Structure Based on Semantics

#4. Edit outdated content

Your website should contain at least a minimal amount of fresh, unique content. A great way to do this is to update outdated information on your site. If you have outdated content, it will reflect poorly on your site's authority and most likely hinder the indexing process of your site.

Keeping your site fresh is just as important as having a consistent site structure to aid the indexing process.

#5. Optimize for speed and performance

Last but not least, optimize your site for speed and performance. You can remove unnecessary pages and elements, such as unwanted and outdated banners or ads. You can also review your site's call-to-action buttons, press releases, and pages to ensure they will not slow down your page load time. When it comes to performance optimization, there are many ways that you can speed up your site using simple web development methods.
Regular website audits help you make sure your site is in top condition. Putting these strategies into action will increase your chances of successful search engine optimization.

Conclusion

Measuring and improving your SEO performance is critical to creating a successful website.

By taking the time to understand the foundational elements of SEO management and deploying the best practices found in this article, you can increase your website's visibility and ensure your audience gets real value from the content you publish.
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The opinion of the guest post authors may not coincide with the opinion of the Serpstat editorial staff and specialists.

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