Gut feeling. This is how e-commerce marketers sometimes measure the health of their search engine optimization programs. SEO contains many gray areas, but an evaluation requires data, not a sigh.
Use these six methods – to determine the health of your SEO program. Analyzing measurement values in several systems gives the clearest picture, but remember that the figures in one platform will probably not match similar measurement values in others.
Evaluation of SEO
1. Business search platforms for example, seoClarity, Searchmetrics and Ahrefs are the fastest way to measure SEO performance as they merge data from several of the sources below and turn it into easy-to-read dashboards. In many cases, you can find a problem without leaving the platform. The only downside is the price tag.
2. Analytics. Web analytics software data – ie Google Analytics, Adobe – will be your source for SEO key performance: orders, revenue and (most importantly) traffic. If they perform well, then the process of crawling, indexing, ranking and attracting clicks from the search results page to your site.
The site's user experience, pricing, product range and other non-SEO factors will determine if a searcher converts to earn revenue. However, the most important SEO metric is traffic.
Also, keep in mind that analytics software no longer provides reliable keyword information for keywords. Search engines made the information unavailable in 2013. The Analytics software now reports most keywords as "not provided." The remaining keywords are not a reliable example of the overall data set.
3. Google Search Console. Search Console Performance Report (Overview> Performance) is the most reliable source of impressions, rankings and clicks. It's limited to Google, but Google makes up 90 percent of organic search traffic on most e-commerce sites, in my experience.
Search Console also contains reports for indexing, server errors, sitemaps, structured data, external and internal links and more. Google uses only Search Console to communicate important details about your site, such as a manual penalty.
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4. Google ads provides organic search reporting on you link that with Search Console. The standard paid and organic report in Google Ads provides a lot of information about the search terms you get impressions for – ads or organic listings.
For example, if an ad appears in the search results for "red shoes," "red shoes" will appear as a search term in the paid and organic report, regardless of whether the organic result had an impression.
Conversely, if "red shoes" get an organic impression, "red shoes" will appear in the paid and organic report, regardless of ad.
The report helps manage a holistic search program. It is another way of evaluating SEO efforts.
5. Free ranking tools. I have a love-hate relationship with rankings. Taken together, they are one of the most useful diagnoses for concluding how keyword trends affect overall organic performance. But they are not an important performance indicator. What is important is the click on a list, not where it is ranked.
That said, if you can't afford a business search platform and you want a second opinion on ranking to back up Google Search Console, you can try a platform with a free, limited version that contains ranking information. Examples include SEMrush, Moz and again Ahrefs.
6. Ask someone. There are many who can evaluate SEO questions for free.
- Google Webmaster Help Group. Ask an SEO question and get answers from others forum members, including Google employees. Webmaster World is another forum, but the focus is much broader. Check the credibility of anyone who offers advice.
- Webmaster Office opening hours is a Hangout hosted by Google's John Mueller. Verify calendar for the next live chat. Many respected SEO professionals usually participate.
- Twitter. Make it a habit to network with respected SEO professionals by following them and retweeting. Also comment constructively on their blog posts. Instead of "Good article!", Mention what you found useful or ask a question that shows you value their work. They may be willing to help when you need it if you have made a good impression.
- LinkedIn. Join SEO groups like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch and LinkedSEO. Ask meaningful questions and get answers. LinkedIn offers the bonus of being able to check a respondent's credibility with a click on their profile. The networking advice for Twitter above also applies here.