How to know if SEO is working for my website
Knowing if your SEO is working for your website is a little complex at first, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Yet as you are aware, SEO is crucial for your online presence because it helps you reach a larger audience, drive more traffic to your website, improve visibility and is a surprisingly cost-effective marketing tool. When people use search engines like Google to find products, services, or information, they typically only click on the first few results that appear because that’s what Google deems most relevant and trustworthy to the search intent. SEO is all about making sure that when your target audience searches in Google, it’s your website that’s sitting at the top of the page—ready to be clicked.
In today's digital age, the market is overwhelmingly shopping and choosing providers online, which is why having a strong online presence is absolutely crucial. If you want to achieve your goals and stay ahead of the competition, it's essential to invest in an effective SEO strategy.
But we know it can be tough to know if it's working, especially if you’ve taken on an agency to run it for you. We’ve put together an easy-to-understand guide to help you:
- Determine if your SEO strategy is paying off
- Know what questions to ask your SEO agency for better transparency
- Create a better SEO strategy yourself
How to know if your SEO strategy is paying off
Increased organic traffic
Organic traffic is simply the number of visitors who come to your website through search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. It's important to track your organic traffic regularly to see if your SEO is working. If your organic traffic is increasing, that's a good sign that your SEO is effective.
Improved keyword rankings
Keywords are the phrases or words that people type into search engines to find what they're looking for. Tracking your keyword rankings can help you understand how your website is performing in search engine results pages (SERPs). If your keyword rankings are improving, that's a good indication that your SEO strategy is working.
However, this indicator is often used to mask poorly performing SEO campaigns. How? By reporting on keywords that don’t actually matter to the growth of your business. You might have seen agency reports in the past that claim big keyword ranking movements, something that sounds like… “we jumped 700 positions in search this month!”. But if these 700 positions weren’t high value keywords moving into the top positions, that stat is essentially worthless. For keyword rankings to indicate real results, you need quality keywords on the first page, and ideally in the top 3 positions. That’s it.
Better natural backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. They're important because they signal to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. If you're earning natural, high-quality backlinks, that's a good sign that your SEO is effective.
Low bounce rate and more time on your website
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page and without interacting with your site. A high bounce rate can be a sign that your website's content isn't engaging or that visitors aren't finding what they're looking for. If your bounce rate is consistently high, it may be time to rethink your SEO strategy because chances are, you’re trying to rank for the wrong keywords.
Better conversion rate
The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take a specific action on your website, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. The ultimate goal of SEO is to drive traffic to your website and convert those visitors into paying customers. If your website's traffic is increasing, but your conversion rate remains low, it may be time to revisit your website's content or technical issues.
Keep an eye on your organic traffic, keyword rankings, backlinks, bounce rate, and conversion rate. These indicators can help you determine if your SEO strategy is working and driving the results you want.
10 questions to ask your SEO agency for better transparency
- What are the quick wins that you can see for my website's SEO?
Hint: They should be focusing on the items that will get bang for buck return on time invested early on.
- Are you staying updated with the latest SEO trends and algorithm changes?
Hint: This is a given, but worth asking what are the recent trends, challenges by Google and the changing industry. If they don't have an answer, this will be a pretty big red flag.
- What is your recommended timeline for achieving noticeable SEO results?
Hint: SEO is not a short term process. This can take anywhere from 3-12 months depending on a multitude of factors. The reason for this question is to understand where you are at as a business.
- What kind of reporting and communication can I expect?
Hint: You should be able to understand what you'll see and if you can monitor progress yourself.
- Are you monitoring and analysing my competitors' SEO activities?
Hint: If they aren't, they are missing a lot of opportunity from a backlink and industry trend perspective.
- How do you approach link building?
Hint: Ethical and white hat link building should be a focus. Google is moving away from volume and spammy backlinks. So should your SEO agency.
- How do you handle website optimisation and technical SEO?
Hint: a clear process that maps keywords to specific pages will guide the entire strategy.
- What is your approach to keyword research and targeting?
Hint: purchase intent vs informational queries. High vs low competition keywords. You would want to see a mix between these.
- How do you measure the success of your SEO efforts?
Hint: Are they focusing on traffic or actual goal completions and sales for your business? Agree to a target here, so you're both looking at the same metrics. This will avoid confusion in performance reporting also. Remember that as it is a long term process, you may want to adjust your targets from search impressions to traffic to goals over time.
- What specific SEO strategies are you implementing for my website?
Hint: Is anything missing? Are they working purely on on-page and neglecting off-page or vice versa? Are they addressing all ranking factors in Google's eyes (such as looking at site speed etc), or just a few?
Create a better SEO strategy yourself in 9 steps
- Define your goals
Determine what you want to achieve with your SEO efforts. Do you want to increase website traffic, generate more leads, improve online visibility, or boost sales? Clearly outlining your objectives will guide your strategy.
- Identify your target audience
Understand your target audience's demographics, preferences, and online behaviour. This information will help you tailor your SEO efforts to reach the right people with the right content.
- Conduct keyword research
Keyword research is crucial for SEO success. Identify relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience is likely to use when searching for products or services similar to yours. Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Moz's Keyword Explorer to discover popular and relevant keywords.
- Optimise your website
Ensure that your website is optimised for search engines. Focus on the following aspects:
- On-page optimisation: Optimise your website's meta tags, headers, URLs, and content using targeted keywords. Create unique and compelling meta titles and descriptions for each page.
- Site structure and navigation: Organise your website's structure logically and make it easy for visitors and search engines to navigate. Create clear and user-friendly URLs.
- Page load speed: Improve your website's load speed by optimising image sizes, minimising code, and leveraging caching mechanisms.
- Mobile-friendliness: With the increasing use of mobile devices, it's essential to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive.
- Content optimisation: Create high-quality, original, and relevant content that incorporates your target keywords naturally. Optimise headings, subheadings, and body text for readability and SEO.
- Build quality backlinks
Backlinks from reputable and relevant websites can significantly impact your SEO rankings. Focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks through methods such as guest posting, influencer outreach, and content promotion.
- Create a content marketing strategy
Develop a content marketing plan that aligns with your SEO objectives. Create engaging and informative content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally into your content to improve search engine visibility.
- Optimise for local search
If your business has a physical location or serves specific geographic areas, optimise your website for local search. Create and optimise your Google My Business profile, include your business address on your website, and encourage customer reviews.
- Monitor and analyse performance
Regularly monitor your SEO performance using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Track key metrics such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, bounce rates, and conversion rates. Analyse the data to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
- Stay updated with SEO trends
SEO is an ever-evolving field, so it's crucial to stay updated with the latest trends, algorithm changes, and best practices. Follow reputable SEO blogs, attend industry conferences, and participate in relevant online communities to stay informed.
Remember, building a successful SEO strategy takes time and continuous effort. Be patient, consistent, and adapt your approach based on data and results.
Need better results?
Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy, so patience and consistency are key. If you’re feeling a bit lost when it comes to nailing your SEO strategy, let’s talk. We specialise in helping businesses like yours smash ROI and deliver consistent results with SEO, Website Design, Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Get in touch with us today and let's make some magic happen. Call us on 1800 903 740.