How to Check If Your SEO Strategy Is Working [A Tutorial With SEMrush]
SEO is NOT science. It’s not a complex topic if you have a proper SEO strategy.
But do you know whether your SEO strategy is working or not?
Okay let me ask you a simple question. Do you even have a SEO strategy for your website?
If not, you’re missing a ton of search traffic and money on the table. If you already have a SEO strategy but struggling to get results, this is the time to fix your strategy. In this detailed guide, let’s talk about how you can build a solid SEO strategy from scratch. We’ll also discuss about whether your content strategy is working or not.
Table of Contents
- Why you need SEO strategy?
- Is your SEO strategy working?
- How to check if your SEO strategy is working or not?
- 5 steps to build a solid SEO strategy that increases your website traffic and sales
Why you need SEO strategy?
So, you have heard about SEO and understood that it works very well for different kinds of online business. You may be wondering why it is that much powerful.
You need SEO strategy as it will allow you to connect with those searching for your product or service and help turn them into customers.
- A good SEO strategy improves PPC quality score.
- It improves offline conversations.
- It helps you stand out from your competitors.
- It enhances the effectiveness of your other marketing efforts.
To promote your business and obtain new clients, you need SEO. Blogging is a leading source of leads and traffic for businesses when they are properly optimized for search. SEO will make sure you blog posts get found and drive traffic.
No doubt, SEO is one of the best ways to connect with targeted consumers and share your offer. However, implementing an effective SEO strategy is not straightforward and easy with all of the recent updates to Google’s SEO ranking algorithm.
More than 70% of searches result in a click for one of the results on the first search engine results page (SERP). So, if you are not investing in an SEO strategy, you could be missing out this traffic to your website.
Is your SEO strategy working?
It is important to track and measure the success of your SEO efforts in order to more effectively allocate your resources. SEO is an ongoing and continuous process. It is important to stay on top of your SEO strategy at all times.
Google is continually tweaking its algorithms and changing the rules. So, you need to ensure that your business always stays on top. Here are the few tips to measure your SEO strategy:
- Identify potential weaknesses. You need to know what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Research your target phrases thoroughly as keywords are a significant part of search engine optimisation.
- To further optimise your SEO strategy, track your traffic and gain valuable information about visitors to your site.
- Google always implements new updates. So, review your keywords and entire campaign on a regular basis to ensure it is in line with the latest guidelines.
SEO is a long-term investment, so don’t expect to see instant results right away. Having a successful strategy always shows you an overall upward trend.
How to check if your SEO strategy is working or not?
Basically, there are two main things that you should use to make sure your SEO is working One is Keyword Rankings and other one is Traffic.
#1. Keyword rankings: Knowing where your keywords are in the search results is the main indicator of your SEO efforts. When you Google your key terms, you are probably not seeing the same results that your target audience is seeing when they search those same words because Google considers factors like browsing history, physical location, demographics, and personal preferences.
With improved rankings, your site will be viewed by more people and thus will earn more organic traffic.
#2.Traffic: Without an increase in traffic, your SEO efforts are useless.Traffic increase depends on the website’s niche. Search traffic is the real goal behind improving search engine rankings. You can use Google Analytics to monitor traffic that comes from organic search.
Knowing exactly where your traffic is coming from and how they are getting there is essential in analyzing the success of your SEO strategy. Here are some ways you can check to see whether your SEO is working for you or not:
- If you add any new content and gets indexed properly then you will keep getting visits from previous visitors over and again.
- You will be finding new and longer keywords to test and implement. You will notice additional traffic coming in from these additional researched keywords.
- When other website authors see your content as reliable, they will start linking out to your website on their articles and posts. Due to this, the rankings for your website on search engines will get a boost.
- A good SEO-focused website should have a realistic and achievable set of goals. Your site traffic should get converted effectively into business leads.
- Monitor the status of the keywords that your target audience is generally searching for. You will know which keywords to pay more attention to. When you have a good idea of the highest-ranked words, make sure that you invest only on the keywords that will lead to conversions of traffic into leads.
- You will know your strategy is working well when your bounce rates are constantly getting lowered. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who visit your website and leave immediately after viewing the page they landed on.
- Using techniques like optimizing fresh content to suit relevant search phrases and using metadata to aptly describe your content for search engines to display will help as well.
- You will see that more and more people search for your content and your brand. This is the proof of the effectiveness of the SEO techniques you have used.
So let’s talk about how to create a solid SEO strategy to outrank your competitors and increase your overall website search engine traffic. Are you ready? Let’s dive into the details.
5 steps to build a solid SEO strategy that increases your website traffic and sales
To build a solid SEO strategy, SEMrush is the tool that you must have. When you build your SEO strategies based on competition data, it is possible to outrank your competition. Knowing your competitors’ ranking and keywords data allows you to create winning SEO strategies.
Here are the five steps that will help you to build solid SEO strategy that enhance your website’s performance and improve your online brand.
Step 1: Find out your current keyword rankings
One of the key points of SEO is, finding the right keyword and making them rank high in search results. Every blogger or SEO professional need to check their Google keyword ranking for target keywords.
One of the most common mistakes bloggers does is writing articles without targeting any keywords at all. With the help of a keyword research tool like SEMrush, you can find which keywords to use.
You need to use the keywords that users search the most, especially those keywords which will help your website show up on one of the first few pages of search results. If you want to achieve better ranking in Google’s search engine, then do proper keyword selection. You may be wondering how to find such profitable keywords.
SEMrush offers a superb toolkit to conduct this kind of research. With this keyword research seo tool, you can understand how to select right keywords.
- Create a free account on SEMrush (Worth $47 Exclusively for BloggersPassion readers).
- Once you logged in, enter your domain name.
- Go to the “Organic research” on the right hand menu and select “Positions”. You will see a list of keywords for which your site is being currently ranked in the top 20 results in organic searches under organic search positions.
- Click the Pos column at the top to know which search queries are the best out of this list. All the keywords will be graded depending on the rank they have in the search engine. Those are the keywords which bring your site the best results.
Under “Organic research”, select the “Competitors” section.
It will display the list of sites and click any site from this list and you will see the keywords for which competitor’s site is ranked in the search engines.
To learn what keywords related to your site that other companies are using to display ads in the search engines, enter your site URL in the search line and select the “Overview”.
Scroll down and there you will see what companies are selling similar kind of products or services. To know for which keywords they are buying this traffic exactly, click any of them and you will be taken to another tab where you will be able to view ad keywords.
If you want lots of keyword suggestions with corresponding search volume for each of them, then click on “Keyword research”. There you will find Phrase match report and Related keywords report which will give you that information.
Step 2: Use competitor analysis to your advantage
When it comes to marketing, competitor analysis plays a vital role. Without competitor analysis, it’s not possible to understand which channels to target and what strategy to follow in order to generate the maximum conversions. SEMrush will let you analyze who your main competitors are and what keywords are providing them with the bulk of their traffic.
- Once you’re on SEMrush dashboard, enter your competitor’s site URL in the search box. Then, choose the country you wish to analyze.
- Check your top keywords. SEMrush lists the 5 that generate most organic traffic to your website. Make a note of your top 5 competitors.
- Click on each of these in turn and note the same information. So that you can find out the top 5 keywords they are using and also their top 5 competitors. Compare their keywords with yours.
- Under “Organic Research”,click on “Positions”. It will display the keywords where your competitor is ranking organically. If you want to know the paid search positions where your competitor is ranking, click on “Positions” under “Advertising Research”.
Knowing what keywords your main competitors are ranking for, helps you to optimize pages on your own site using these keywords. You can also try to dominate for keywords your competition is not using.
#1. Find link-worthy content around a topic with search volume: It is the content that is highly incredible and useful that people can’t help but login to their WordPress dashboard and add a link to your site. So, find content that already generated a ton of links.
How can you do it?
- List out top 10 influential bloggers in your niche using Google search. Now, go to SEMrush, enter any one site into it.
- Click on “Top Pages” and look for several other sites that are linking to it. That’s the content you can use for.
- Next go to Buzzsumo, enter keyword related to your niche. Then under, “Most shared”, click on “Filter by date” and select “Past year”. It will display highly shared content from last year.
- Alternatively you can also take the help of Google search. Enter your keyword and you will see the top sites that are ranking for it.
- You can enter each one of the results that you found from above links into SEMrush to know the number of referring domains that the site has.
#2. Make something even better: Publishing longer content usually helps. For better results, take an outdated content and color it with new information. That is update it with cutting-edge content.
Sometimes, a visually stunning piece of content can generate a lot more links and social shares. So, create a better design and add to your content.
Longer content with design that is also updated with useful and helpful information make your content worth reading.
#3. Reach out to the right people to generate the links needed to rank: If you are forgetting email outreach then probably you are losing potential links. Instead of emailing random people, reach out to site owners who already linked out to similar content.
Here is how you can do that:
- Using SEMrush, you can export all of the links pointing to your competitor’s content into a spreadsheet. Alternatively you can also use tools like Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer.
- Remove those referring pages which are not at all useful to contact (such as forums, article directories etc.). Once you clean up the list, you will be having few pages where you can truly reach them.
- Email all of them using a template.
Getting response from all of them may not be possible but you will definitely get from few and I say that matters too. Because it is always about quality not quantity.
Step 4: Analyze your website traffic sources
No matter what your niche is, you need to get readers to read your content. Traffic is a broad indicator that shows how your content is performing. Measure your traffic across several channels and see how that traffic relates to your core product or service. With Google Analytics and SEMrush, you can check your website traffic sources.
Here are six different channels that you should check:
- Social traffic: These are the visitors who come to your website through social networks.
- Organic search traffic where the visitors who come to your website through Google search and other search engines
- Direct traffic: These are the visitors who come to your website by typing in your URL directly.
- Email traffic: These are the visitors who come to your website through your email list
- Referral traffic: These are the visitors who come to your website through referring websites
- Paid traffic: These are the visitors who come to your website from paid search campaigns.
Well, how to find this data?
#1. Find out where your traffic originates: Go to Google Analytics and click on the tab labeled “Acquisition.” There you can get an overview of your traffic. You can see a pie chart displaying your top referring channels.
Now, click on the individual channels to view the traffic breakdown for each one. You can either export this data from Google Analytics or create a spreadsheet of your own.
#2. Tag your email links to get your email traffic data: With Google Analytics, you can integrate email management systems. If you choose to set it up manually, then go to Google’s URL builder to set specific parameters for the links in your email campaigns. Keep “email” under campaign medium.
#3. Track your email traffic: To create a new segment, click on “Personal Tools and Assets.” and then click on “Segments.” Name your segment and set the medium to “Email.” Go to “Acquisition” to see page views, bounce rates and new users under the email medium. You can add this to spreadsheet.
#4. Track offline campaign: Offline campaigns like in-person events are proven to be one of the most effective marketing channels. Here are some tips that will help you in measuring the impact of offline channels.
- Attach a tracking code to your call to action links whether it’s a magazine, business card, or video ad. You can use a platform like bit.ly to do so.
- Use unique coupon and offer codes for your offline channels to track users who make purchases.
- Map your traffic patterns onto your offline content distribution times. You may see certain spikes in online traffic after some offline campaigns.
Step 5: Track your SEO results
Without proper tracking, whatever the search campaign you do, it won’t fetch you any kind of opportunity. You need to track the progress of a search marketing campaign. Set up a tracking campaign so that you can clearly see the effect of your campaign on the website’s visibility.
SEMrush offers “Position Monitoring” tool that will help you in monitoring and reporting on the progress of a search marketing campaign. Here’s how it looks like:
If you want to measure the success of an SEO, PPC or content marketing campaign of if the goal of your campaign is to increase visibility by acquiring higher rankings on Google for your target keywords, then Position Tracking will help you with all these tasks.
In addition to that, these are some of the things that Position Tracking tool can do to you:
- You can track daily rankings for all of the keywords in your campaign.
- You can schedule weekly email reports to monitor progress on a regular basis.
- It allows you to add custom notes to keep track of significant events on your site or campaign that could alter your rankings.
- You can compare keyword search volumes differences across multiple location.
- You can set up custom alerts for specific changes such as rankings change, rankings enter the top 10 etc. It also immediately informs any major ups and downs.
Final thoughts about creating a solid SEO strategy
Not everyone who blogs gets MASSIVE traffic from search engines. It takes a ton of time, efforts and most importantly a proper SEO strategy.
Here’s where how you implement your SEO strategy plays a crucial role. Luckily with tools like SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner etc you can build a solid SEO strategy that not only increase your search traffic but also your sales.
So what are your thoughts about this tutorial? Is your SEO strategy any good? Did you find SEMrush helpful for creating a SEO strategy? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.