There are two levels to measuring metrics/setting goals when it comes to SEO.
First we see the foundational metrics : the metrics that would see an positive impact when you have done the foundational work.
Foundational SEO metrics:
- Number of ranking keywords
- Number of keywords in which your pages are in the top 10
- Number of Referring domains ( I prefer to measure domains than backlinks : shows diversity and quality)
- Page speed
If you have really original and useful content in your website targetting a keyword/topic that you can compete against, and if you had run proper backlink building campaigns and a decent social media presence, you would have these foundational metrics
Now these foundational SEO metrics might not give any clear picture of traffic or the leads or conversions (business goals) but these are the metrics that shows the quality of the effort you put in.
Next comes the conversion metrics:
- Traffic to website
- Number of pages with traffic > standard number
- Bounce rate
- Session duration
It’s extremely important to get your KPIs straight because you do not want to chase a metric like domain authority which is not completely in your control
Now if you are familiar with SEO you know what an SEO audit is. It’s just checking if all the pages of your website is properly optimized with all the required ON site tags.
You can use Ubersuggest, SEO optimizer and a lot of other free tools available online!
Just type “Free SEO Audit tool” And you can get endless number of tools. I would suggest you use 3-4 tools so they won’t miss anything
Why is this Audit very important?
Avoiding any important errors/ google penalties is critical if you want to the website and the brand to grow.
You can get to know the top issues, critical errors, warnings and recommendations.
Alot of times webmasters and SEOs would aim for a higher domain authority since it is a metric that determines the ability of a website to rank high.
But you should first aim to get higher DA than your competitors rather than having an absolute goal
So action steps :
- Make a list of 20 competitors with their domain authority : referring domains and backlinks
- Get an average score for each metric and target to achieve that first
Also don’t lose your mind if the domain authority drops because again google uses a machine learning model to calculate this : which makes it relative and prone to fluctuations as in if your competitor builds a billion links, his DA would rise and yours would drop.
If you want to increase your domain authority : which is a metric given by moz based on alot of factors : Build BACKLINKS from moz.
What do I mean?
- Have a list of your direct competitors
- Put their domain in moz explorer
- Click on “recently discovered” Links
- From that list, build BACKLINKS
Why is this effective:
So here’s how detecting BACKLINKS work :
- Moz has a crawler that would crawl the entire world wide web and while crawling it gets the backlinks you built and has a quality score for these backlinks and based on that your page and your domain would get a boost
And we don’t know what are all the domains and “places” Or “parts of websites” That moz crawler has blacklisted.
And if we want immediate results we would have to target the websites that moz crawler frequently crawls and the best way to do that is : Build links from competitors backlinks detected by moz
Did you know that the first three results get 60% of all traffic?
This should be a goal for the topic/keyword in your mind.
Most SEO’s would be happy to even get their page to the first page of a popular keyword. But that’s the biggest mistake. Whatever tactics you used, improvise and try harder to get to the first three ranks.
This is an obvious one but still a lot of people fail to follow this. Now, how does a person do this?
Alot of blogs beat around the bush and just vaguely tell you to “give the customer what they want”
Duh..? Am I a 2 year old? Of course I want to give them what they want.
So how do you get this done correctly?
- Have a really huge FAQ page answering questions in detail covering all the questions your customers could possibly have
- Have an FAQ section at the end of each blog!
Now here’s the magic of FAQS:
- Fetches you more long tail ranking keywords
- FAQ schema has the best CTRs of over 80%
- It answers all the targeted questions that people might have
So do proper content research
- Answer the public
- SERPs ” people also ask for” Section
- Other industry forums and groups across the digital spectrum
Here don’t just look for questions with more volume. Focus on quality of the questions.
Google so often comes up with new services and platforms to help us get better reach.
In that way, Google web stories is the latest new update which let’s us post short pieces of multimedia content which has its own reach and platform like Google discovery
Content accepted in web stories:
How to best use web stories:
UX checking :
User experience has become one of the ranking factors since 2019 and it’s more important than the traffic we get.
Here’s the important metrics to check:
- Bounce rate
- Session duration
We know that Google doesn’t take social media vanity metrics like follower count or any social media signals for ranking the pages except for social shares of an blog or a page
When someone shares an article that means they have found the article useful and are willing to share them to their colleagues or relevant people.
Makes sense right?
Social media shares is an OFF SITE metric and you need to focus on that as well as a part of your SEO campaigns
Here are few methods to accomplish this:
- Run a scheduling posting in social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram
- Run a share to win campaign to increase social shares : Both on website and social media platform
- Install Click To tweet in all your blogs
- Use Buzzsumo to look for trending topics in your niche and cover that as a part of your content so you have more chances of getting shared
- Make UX better : Make it easier to share
Again this is not a rule. Sometimes having a video might not even be an option.
But here’s the goal : having a video would increase the amount of time they spend in your website which would have a very good impact on SEO.
So at least make sure you get one video per article and the placement of the video should flow with the content.
Also get video schemas as well : Would help you get more real estate on SERPs in case your page ranks in the top 5
Also Google likes the variety of media embedded in your website so videos could be a good addition!
First segregate the key words into navigational, transactional and “learning” Intent.
Did you know that linking to a low PA (page authority) from a higher PA page on your site with the target keywords : would increase rankings of those low PA page for that target keyword!
Use internal linking’s to your advantage!
- SEM Rush Link Building Prospects tool : Sign up for related forums with high DA. Post answers for a couple of weeks googling : then drop a link
- Using a service for contextual links
- Edu links: Watch YouTube videos about spammy edu websites and use them
- Check infographic directories: Create infographic and submit
- Promote blog once a week : Contact other bloggers, influencers and joirnalists and let them know about the website and a link to your best guide. Don’t as for a link back
- Make this a practice and sooner or later you will get natural backlinks
So here’s what a good backlink looks like:
- Relevancy – the site linking to you is relevant to your niche or subject.
- Domain authority – the site linking to you needs to be an authority site with quality inbound links of its own.
- Uniqueness – your backlink comes from an authority, relevant, site that doesn’t link to your competitors.
- Traffic – the site linking to you has a high active readership that clicks the link back to you.
- Anchor text – the anchor text surrounding the link to your site isn’t over-optimized for keywords.
- In-content – the link to your site is inside a long, high quality blog post with links to other authority sites.
- Not reciprocal – you don’t link to a site that is linking to you as part of a link exchange.
- Rare – the site linking to you doesn’t link to lots of other sites and is difficult to acquire.
- Stay away from PBNs : Private blog networks where a set of blogs are created purposefully for increasing the DA of another main website
IMAGE REVERSE SEARCH:
Find people using the images in your website and reach out to them to link back to your blog
Most times they would just link back to that image in specific. We can try to reach out to them to get them to link to the blog.
Here’s two ways to do this:
- Right click your image and select search image in google
- Else use ahrefs → backlinks → .png or. Jpg
- You will get a list of websites linking to your images.
Now go ahead and reach out to them.
START EMAIL CONVERSATIONS : OUTREACH ISN’T ABOUT LINKS : IT’S ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS
Outreach is about building relationships and not exclusively about getting links. Right?
So build a conversation. Give some value before expecting something in return.
AHREF BACKLINK ALERT:
If you found a page in your competitors website that’s less deserving than yours then set up a ahrefs backlink alert to that page
Once that’s done, every time you get a email alert, reach out to them, letting them k ow about how your page is way better than their’s
Use the content gap tool to plug in competitors domains and look for suptopics that you can work on and improve on
Also use this ahrefs WordPress tool : https://ahrefs.com/wordpress-seo-plugin
This gives us suggestions as to which of the blogs needs updating and which needs to be deleted.
CONTENT RESEARCH TECHNIQUE:
Before creating a content : Go ahead and look for seminars, webinars, conventions and expert talk videos / ppts : you will get a very good idea of what’s going on in the industry
Use Ahrefs SERP tool : to analyze keywords competitiveness
This is a free tool and provides deep insights into the SERP features!
Allocate some time every 2-4 weeks to look for keywords in a potentially highly rankable pillar page that’s in page two (11-20)
Try to optimize the page more for these keywords so you will get more traffic out of it! This is critical because it’s important to extract as much traffic as possible from an amazing pillar blog.
- Internal links with those keywords
- Adding an extra section to add more content relevant to those keywords
- Building quality backlinks( guest posts and article submissions) with those keywords as anchor text to improve rankings
- Submit the page for reindexing.
This could be an easy way to get more traffic flowing into your website.
But again, it’s not very easy to get such a featured snippet.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Go to ahrefs : look for keywords in which you rank in top 10
- Now as a general rule, check if you can get any sort of featured snippets
- If not, go ahead and and look for definition featured snippets :
- “What is” And “what are” And some variations of these keywords
- Now add the definition in your page and have the schema done.
- No opener no referred tags actually mean do follow and it’s done this way for security reasons!
- GA session duration confusion:
- GA session duration is a measure of the time between 2 GA hits. So if someone just reads your home page for half hour without doing anything else then the there won’t be any hit for exit time. Session duration shows zero
- Instead use a scroll event using Tag Manager.
SEO ERRORS TO AVOID:
- Don’t turn off AMPs : Turning off AMPs as an experience is being done by people over and over again and there’s only one result : Drop in organic traffic.
- Brand name change : If you are changing the brand name do these things first
- Inform in your blogs and other social media platforms one month in advance
- Have a banner in home page “X will be Y in 30 days”
- Once it’s changes : “X is Y now” Banner
- Brand Footprint : As much as Google denies it, for newer websites you need to create a strong digital footprint if you are having ranking issues
- Social media presence (following , posts, engagement)
- This is done to increase talks about your brand online which is a Google factor.
- Check your backlink profile for spammy links : Sometimes competitors tries to get you penalized but getting really spammy links from awful websites : often 1000s from a single domain
- So do an backlink audit once a month to check for spam links