Reporting and analysing your SEO campaign is essential to make sure you are on the right track with your targeting and your industry to avoid wasted resources, time and efforts.
The first port of call with any website and SEO campaign is to make sure you have Google Analytics (GA) set up and tracking your website correctly. GA allows you to track your customers journey through your website, to see which pages they are looking at most and least, showing you which pages need improving and the elements of your site or products that they are interested in.
There are many analysis tools that track traffic, rankings, on-page optimisation, backlink profiles and more. Using a range of analysis tools will give you a 360 degree of how your site and online marketing are performing. The data from these tools will tell you if you need to change tactics or amend your target to drive your campaign forward.
Another effective way to analysis your campaign is to compare and contrast against your closest competitors. Seeing what they are doing in the way of marketing will help direct you and also make the most of opportunities that they may not be using.
One helpful tool is Wayback Machine which allows you to search for any URL, and see what the website looked like and contained at various points over the course of their history. So, if your closest competitor has seen an up rise in business lately, this may correlate with a redesign of their website. Wayback Machine allows you to track their activity to help you improve yours.
Analysing your traffic, and more importantly, where it is coming from, will help you make sure you are in-front of your audience.
Organic traffic is the most natural source of traffic, this is the channel that gives you the best indication of how well you are performing. Organic traffic covers those who engage with your site after using a search engine for a query, product, service etc. If your site is showing in the SERPs for a search term, that shows that you are in-front of your audience for those terms. Of course, if the data for this channel only shows small numbers then you need to adapt your strategy to increase this.
Direct traffic, referral traffic and social traffic are important but are not the most accurate in assessing the effectiveness of your campaign. They should be taken into account but, not solely relied upon. For example, direct traffic data can be skewed by those users that Google cannot allocate a channel to, so they automatically attribute that user to direct traffic.
GA, as well as many other tools, allow you to track the device that your user is engaging with your site on. Meaning that tracking how many people access your site on mobile versus desktop, will help you to adapt the design of your site (to improve conversion rate), to suit the majority of your audience to capture as many people as possible.
Reporting SEO is vitally important to ensure any amends you make to your strategy, are the right decisions to grow your business. Basing your reporting on your business KPIs (key performance indicators), are the best way to go. For example if one of your KPIs is to raise awareness of your brand, the your outreach and rankings of brand based keywords would be the most closely aligned metric to report on.
Reporting over time periods can affect how you interpret the data you have. Try not to report data that only covers a short period of time i.e. 3 weeks. Looking at the minimum of 4 weeks to 3 months will give you a solid snapshot of your recent progress. Comparing that to the previous 3 months will give you a progress report over the last 6 months.
At Espresso Web, we see the importance being reporting the work we carry out, the results of that work and work with our clients to make sure that we work together to create a flexible, continuous and bespoke strategy to stay aligned with their business objectives and aims of their SEO strategy.