Google is now penalizing sites that resorted to blatant over optimization. The latest updates penalize websites for not just violating Google’s quality guidelines but also for going over the top in optimizing the websites for search engines. Excessive anchor text links, advertisements, footer links and sidebar links can cause your site to be penalized.
So, what steps should you take to ensure that Google does not punish you for committing this mistake? The first and most important step is to start analyzing website and social media metrics. This will help you understand the effect and impact of your search engine optimization activities.
Let us presume you have submitted an article to an article directory as a part of your link building process. Once the article has been published, you should keep track of the amount of traffic that the article has diverted to your website. The same applies to your Facebook ads, YouTube videos, Pinterest postings, and LinkedIn updates. You should carefully analyze the performance of your search engine and social media optimization strategy.
Once you have this data in your hand, you should analyze the same to determine whether your strategy is working or not. This will help you can get a good return on your investment. This will also help you determine whether you are over optimizing your website or not. The fact that you have to submit hundreds of articles to see a small rise in traffic to your website may indicate that you are a victim of over optimization.
On the other hand, combining article titles with Facebook posts and updates can help you avoid the risk of being penalized. One advantage of relying on hard data is that you will have a clear idea of how well your strategy is working. You can make the necessary changes to your strategy and tactics on a regular basis to maximize returns on your investment.
Not only will this help you avoid penalties, it will also help you maximize the efficiency of your search engine optimization strategy. Of course, there is a possibility that you may get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data that you will generate. Make sure you adopt the following precautions to minimize being confused by the social media and search engine optimization metrics
Make use of the Internet to understand how they SEO metrics and social media data should be analyzed. Do not be in a hurry to interpret the data any way you wish. Rather, understand the limitations of the data before proceeding further.
It is important to make the necessary changes to your overall strategy. However, it is also important to have a consistent and logical approach towards the analysis. Making changes to your tactics on a daily basis is not going to improve the performance of your marketing strategy.
Do not make the mistake of focusing on data alone. Rather, try to build relationships and establish your limitation in the market. This will automatically help you improve the traffic that your website receives.
The right performance in SEO is needed in order for a campaign to make its way to success. When you have effectively carried out your SEO plans, being popular and building a well-trusted reputation among online users is only within reach.
That is why it is important to gauge your performance in the industry to know if you are doing enough in optimizing your website. This allows you to touch the concerning aspects needed to be enhanced to further modify your online marketing strategy.
So, here are the top SEO Metrics that you should be aware of in order to determine if you are getting the most out of our investment in optimizing your website:
Conversion rate – When we say conversion rates, it doesn’t just involve the amount of traffic but also the actual amount of visits and inquiries from interested people. The higher conversion rates indicates that you are successful in targeting your market niche as your site visits came from those who are actually interested with what you have.
Bounce-back rate – It is the contrast of conversion rate where it measures the number of site visitors that bounce back to their previous page. It might be a problem on your content that they lose their interest with.
Time spent on site – The longer the visitor stays on your site means that you are successful in keeping the interest of your market, that persuading them to try your business may come easy. Take note of pages that have the shortest time spent as they might be lacking on the feature of the page.
Keyword effectiveness – Though general keywords can gather more traffic, much specified keywords are proven to effective in getting the market niche. More than that, keywords contribute to the better visibility of your content on search engine result pages.
Inbound Link Metrics – This determines what particular link posted on a particular website that has led the most number of online users to your main site. With this, you will know what websites have helped you a lot in gathering these site visitors and providing greater exposure.
To know if your campaign is performing well in this industry, you can use an SEO metric tool that analyzes your SEO campaign from the effectiveness of the keywords to the number of site visits that circulate within your site. Also, it gauges the performance of your competitors so you will know what gives you or the competitor an edge in the online marketing realm.
Google analytics is the common tool used for determining the SEO metrics. It provides details on how well or poor your campaign runs and other useful data so you can enhance your strong points and address the weak points in order to improve it.
SEO Metrics are usually unappreciated and unused which can really help measure different indicators of you SEO success. But SEO Metrics do not only stop with Google Web Analytics; so you can have an option if you do not find it very useful in your case.
Any other web analytics tool should be included in your SEO priorities when you do online marketing and there are several available online for free.
Web Analytics – this focuses on collecting your web information from the first day onwards so you can create a basis for your SEO effort. Both Google and Yahoo (Yahoo Web Analytics) offer this kind of metric.
These metrics detect seasonal trends that may be unintentionally mistaken as an SEO success or failure. What metrics you should look out for in web analytics are: number of visits, the time spent on the page and bounce rate.
It includes a new report that will do testing for you and that’s Google Analytics “Intelligence”. You can use it to identify and build segments that are related to changes in visitor behavior.
Google Webmaster tools – this is very helpful in giving you an insight of which keywords your website best ranks for and the keywords that are clicked on. It’s totally free to use and easy to install and setup.
You should watch for the following metrics: number of keywords that trigger results for your site, position of your site on search results using specific keywords, number of clicks from keywords, and crawl statistics.
Competitive Intelligence – there are several intelligence tools either paid or free and are available online. Each tool has its own advantages and disadvantages in relation to accuracy and precision.
You can use Alexa.com, Compete.com and Google Trends for free tools. For paid tools you can find them on Compete.com, Hitwise, ComScore, Nielsen, etc.
The metrics that you have to watch for are the trending page views and unique visitors. Also compare visitors that are referred from other sites to two or more competitors.
Link Intelligence – links are still valued for many websites as a ranking factor which can still provide a boost in your page rank. This can go well with your competitive intelligence.
Metrics that these tools provide are back-link discovery trending graphs and external backlinks and referring domains. Back-link discovery trending graphs provides you an insight into your link-building efforts and whether they assist with page ranking.
External backlinks per referring domain ensures the ratio does not become inflated with links to your homepage but with links that are embedded into your content.
These metrics are very important in monitoring your website’s performance and whether your SEO efforts are paying off. So it’s best not to neglect the use.
Aiming to start a Search Engine Optimization project? Looking for an expert SEO Company to hire? Or, do you want to track your website progress? Whichever plan you have in your mind, you must agree with the fact that the use of SEO metrics is a must to succeed in Search Optimization.
Any successful business measures their performances regularly to keep on improving. It is a compulsory task for them. This is why they keep focusing on Key Performance Indices or Metrics and numbers that represent their achievements as well as failures of their businesses to meet targets. So, the axiom of a successful business is “Measure to Improve”.
And, this maxim is better applicable in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) field. In this field of business, powerful search algorithms of various search engines like Google, etc. keep tabs on black-hat practices by shyster. Any web pages optimized through wrong practices are gradually ranked in the recessed region of search pages where website visibility will be a farcical expectation. So, it is compulsory to find out strong and weak, and approved and disapproved SEO methods. If optimization professionals can come up with solid picture, they can truly prove their worth.
However, at the start of a project, before researching one keyword phrase, or adjusting a single meta-tag, SEO experts should require structuring baseline metrics for the website they are working on. So, when it comes to starting an SEO project, you need to do the followings:
i) Start structuring the baseline information
ii) Contract an SEO Company with baseline information
iii) Set a good online marketing target
iv) Align with larger business targets
Prime Search Engine Optimization Metrics:
Here are some top optimization metrics which are very vital for baseline information, SEO targets, and search optimization project tracking.
a) Inbound Search Traffic
b) Pages Ranking in Search Results
c) Ranking Search Keyword Phrases
d) Key Behavioral Data Points
e) Inbound Links
a) Inbound Search Traffic:
The primary objective of any optimization project is to increase traffic from search results. Although traffic alone cannot determine the optimization success; measurement of it is a key factor. So, prior to embarking on an optimization project, make sure you have short-listed specific and long-tail keyword phrases as well as short-tail keyword phrases. For, long-tail keyword phrases give more conversion numbers than short-tail keyword phrases when short-tail keyword phrases draw in more traffic. Sometimes, a website is found out to have good rankings due to its company’s brand. All these metrics need to be taken into consideration before embarking on an optimization project. However, the latter one does not have much to do with the success of project’s metrics for the site.
b) Ranking Pages in Search Results:
SEO methods aim to step up number of web pages that appear for the desired keyword phrases. There is Search Queries page in the Webmaster tools. You will find a tab labeled as ‘Top Pages’, which lets you know average page rank of the URL, as well as helps you to know which keywords have led to the current ranking position and how many search impressions they generate. You can save the report by exporting the sheet. However, this report gives a hang to keyword drill-down.
c) Ranking Search Keyword Phrases:
Find out the number of search results and the ranks the website has achieved through keyword phrases. Then, structure a starting line. Most unlikely, available information with Google Webmaster Tool is always complete. Still, they are effective for tracking and trending purposes. You will get to know complete list that includes average search result statistics for keyword phrases in the ‘Your Site on the Web Section’. Export of this report as comma-separated file is permissible. Adjust the filters at the top of the page to add all pages. Set date-range to generate month-wise report.
d) Key Behavioral Data Points:
To be precise, this field of metrics is crafty. Report is broadly based on targets of the business and targets of the website. A few examples will help you have a clear picture.
i) Bounce Rates
ii) Demographic and geographic information
iii) Conversion Rates
iv) Pages Viewed and Number of Visits
If optimization jobs aim to drive qualified web traffic who could be converted into potential buyers, then there might be a different anticipation regarding user behavior for that kind of click. Generate the report on the numbers of traffic conversions into buyers.
e) Inbound Links:
In an attempt to enhance page rankings of web pages, a number of SEO techniques are selected. One of them is link building strategy that includes one-way linking, two-way, or three-way linking. Links from other sites to your sites are sought and when obtained, your site can gain higher page ranking boost. Download complete report of’Links to Your Site’ from the Webmaster Tools. If you want report of internal links (where two-way linking practice is performed between your site and another site), you can get complete information from ‘Your Site on the Web’ view of the Webmaster Tools.
There are several other metrics in use. You can use them as per the website design, business requirements and strategies. Their use in proper way will help achieve SEO targets immensely. Now fortunately, all these Webmaster Tools required for these purposes are available in a single page of Google.