So we’ve taken care of the major steps to improve our website’s SEO. Now just one thing remains: how do we know if our SEO efforts are working?
And that makes sense. We need to know if what we’re doing is actually working or if we need to go a different direction.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to do it. And the best part is that, at least for now, they’re all free.
So today, let’s figure out the ways that we can track our SEO efforts.
Give it some time
Before we get too far along, I do want to tell you one thing: and that’s that SEO takes a lot of time. Turning around your website’s SEO isn’t something you do in a single day. There’s so much that has to happen.
Instead, it’s going to take a lot of time for the search engines to index your website, for you to write content that features your keywords, to get those backlinks that establish credibility, and to increase your page rank.
Honestly, it’s probably going to be a couple of months before you really start to see any improvements with your SEO. So really, I wouldn’t start worrying about stats until you’re about two months in. Until, keep your eye on the prize down the long road. Take care of the foundation now and just worry about that, and you will succeed in the long run.
Obviously, once you do start to reach the window when you should at least being able to see some improvements so you can track these things, the easiest thing you can do is run simple Google searches.
First, you can start out with your business name. If you don’t rank high for that, well that’s a problem. And that’s something you need to fix right away.
Next, I would try to look for a few keywords around your business and your service area. So for myself, I would run a search for “web developers Dallas Texas”. Then look to see how high up you show. If you’re not, then you’re going to need to work on your local SEO, and that’s where something like Google My Business will come into play.
Finally, do searches for your chosen keywords and see how long it takes for you to show up in your search results. If you’re showing up in the first three pages, you’re doing something right.
This is a very crude way to figure out how your SEO efforts are going, but it’s free and it doesn’t require you to sign up. And also, it’s pretty easy.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console
A more proper way to track your SEO efforts is through analytics tools. And two of the best, and more importantly, free options out there are Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
I’ll go over how to set them up for your website in a series that’s upcoming, but for now I’m just going to talk about them in sort of the high level.
Google Analytics is the standard bearer for web analytics. In addition to just giving that basic information — you know how many people came to your website, how many page views did you get — there’s a treasure trove of information that you can find if you really dig.
And most importantly for our SEO game, you can figure out how many people are coming to your website and if they are coming from search engines. Seriously, once you have it set up, play around with it and really explore what it can do for you.
Unfortunately, when it comes to actually getting those search terms and all of those things, Analytics doesn’t really provide much. But that’s where Google Search Console comes into play.
Google Search Console provides you with a ton of search statistics. You can see what searches your website is appearing in, what pages are appearing in searches, the average position of you pages in searches, clicks from searches and so, so much more.
And it’s also the place where you’ll upload your sitemaps we talked about in the last video.
So once you’ve taken all of those steps that we’ve talked about before, set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console for your website. It’s the best way to see if your SEO efforts are working.
So that’s it for today on tracking your SEO efforts to see if they’re working. And that wraps up this introductory course into SEO. As I’ve mentioned before, there are a few things in SEO that I probably will circle back to do longer videos or maybe a longer series on, such as keyword research.
But up next, we’re going to be talking about a few Google tools that you probably should be using for your website and your business, such as Analytics and Search Console.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about SEO, please leave them down in the comments below or you can always reach out on social media.
Until then, I wish you and your business the best of luck.