SEO tracking is more than just monitoring the sources of website traffic. In campaigns we manage, tracking SEO breaks down into six areas, all of which are important to sustaining an effective and efficient campaign. Here is an overview of the six tracking areas.
1. Production Tracking
SEO campaigns involve a wide range of activities, some of which proceed independently of others, and others contingent on prior tasks being completed. Production tracking monitors which tasks have been completed, which tasks are in progress, which tasks need input from the client or internal staff members, and which need client approval.
2. Google Analytics
Within Google Analytics, a number of activities must be tracked. They include:
- Traffic tracking — Tracking organic sessions, new organic sessions (these represent unique visitors), referral traffic, and direct traffic
- Event tracking — Tracking various ways in which users interact with the content of a website, such as how many times a call-to-action button was clicked
- Goal tracking — Tracking completed activities on the website, such as making a purchase or submitting an inquiry form
- Conversion rate — Tracking the percentage of users who complete a conversion activity
- E-commerce tracking — Measuring e-commerce website transaction data and item data
Being in a highly specialized niche, we didn’t think SEO would help us generate leads, and we are happy to report that Straight North proved us wrong!
3. Google Search Console
Google Search Console provides a wealth of information and data that help keep websites in peak SEO condition. In addition to providing data on keyword impressions and clicks, Google Search Console generates alerts for any website issues that are detrimental to SEO effectiveness (such as broken links and duplicate content), and issues warnings when Google penalties have been assessed.
4. Backlink Profile
A website's backlink profile is an extremely important ranking factor, and something that changes continually. Backlink profile tracking includes monitoring the website's domain authority, page authority of strategically important pages, the number of links to the domain and pages, and the number of linking root domains to the domain and page.
5. Social Activity
Social mentions, social shares of content, and blog comments are highly correlated to strong organic search visibility, and must be tracked for brand mentions, on-site content and off-site content.
6. Conversion Tracking
Conversion tracking is extremely granular and covers both types of conversions that apply to a website:
- SEO form tracking — Tying form submissions back to an organic search visit
- SEO call tracking — Tying inbound phone call data back to an organic search visit
SEO call tracking is frequently overlooked in campaign tracking, but over many years we have accumulated data that confirms phone leads are generally of higher quality and urgency than form submissions, and are therefore imperative to track.
Tracking all of these six categories of activity enables us to evaluate campaigns thoroughly, so that the reasons behind a change in results — either good or bad — are seldom a mystery. This is important, because without knowing why SEO performance is changing, continuously improving campaigns becomes difficult or impossible.