How to assess your website’s SEO performance
“How can we get to the first page on Google? Do we even rank on Google?” These are some of the most difficult questions for small businesses around the world, and I know it by experience. SEO (search engine optimization) is a complicated concept with ever-evolving rules that are hard to understand for people who are not savvy in digital marketing.
Whether you decide to hire an SEO firm or manage SEO in-house, it’s always a good idea to assess where the work starts and how it progresses.
Here are three tools we recommend you use to assess your website performance.
In order to track your website’s performance on Google, you need to set up a Google Analytics account and place a tracking code and ID on your website. With Google Analytics, you can see not only the total amount of traffic to your website, but also analyze the sources of the traffic, entry and exit points, time spent on each page, and performance of calls to action and ad campaigns.
The data can you analyze with Google Analytics includes:
- Different types of traffic (organic, paid, direct, referral, returning, etc.)
- Demographics, interests, geography, behavior, and technology of choice of your audience
- The sources of traffic and the path the visitors travel through your website
Google Search Console
Google Search Console helps you manage how your website is indexed by Google. You can literally submit the entire sitemap or individual pages to Google bots and test how they fetch them. In other words, you can steer Google to properly show your website in the search results.
What can you do with Google Search Console:
- Analyze performance of your website by keywords
- Inspect your website for errors, broken links, and missing images
- Point at new pages to expedite their appearance in search results
- Submit the entire sitemap for proper indexing each time you make major changes on your website
SEMrush.com is another useful tool that we recommend. The free version is extremely limited, but when read properly and used along with Google tools for the occasional performance checks, it is more than enough. SEMrush is very helpful for measuring your performance against the competition and keeping track of backlinks.
The data can you analyze with SEMrush includes:
- Overall SEO and paid traffic performance over the lifetime of your website
- Your website performance against the competition
- The number and quality of the keywords and backlinks
- Referring domains and best performing pages
Use these tools to assess your website SEO performance and make informed decisions for further improvements.