In the last blog I taught you where to get backlinks from and how to structure your anchor text. So now that you have great content and links headed back what’s left. Well essentially that is entirely up to you. You could continue to do this with each blog you write or just leave it to do it’s own thing. But what about tracking your progress?
Well there are a few things that can track your SEO growth.
- Rank Score
- Alexa Rank
- Google Analytics
Each of these, will tell you something different about your SEO progress and whether of not it is truly as effective as you want it to be.
What is Rank Score?
I briefly touched on this in the earlier post but it is a large factor in SEO. There are a few different rank scores across the web, like SEO Power Suites Domain Strength or Moz’s Domain Authority. While they have different names they all tell us pretty much the same thing.
Most third party ranking scores are based off of Google’s very own PageRank, named after one of the founders of Google – Larry Page. PageRank is a algorithm used by Google to determine the importance or authority of a webpage. The higher the score the more important Google thinks the page is. Therefore the more highly it is ranked.
So how do PageRank work?
Well PageRank ranks web pages according to their importance, or ‘link popularity’ -determined by the number and quality of the page’s backlinks. The idea is that every page on the web has a vote (that can vary in weight, depending on that page’s own Rank), and that it can cast its vote for other pages by linking out to them. The weight of each vote is diluted in proportion to the number of links on the page.
For example let’s say page A has a Rank of 10 and links out to 5 other pages. According to the original Google PageRank formula, Google would consider that 85% of the page’s PageRank gets passed on to the pages it links out to. Thus, each of the 5 pages it links to receives 8.5 divided by 5, or 1.7 out of the page’s original score of 10.
In basic terms the more authority a website has the more power its backlinks holds and the easily it will rank. PageRank is built up with the good quality content and high powered backlinks. With this in mind and some good foundation content you can really watch your Rank Score grow.
Remember all we have spoken about in the previous blogs when it come to attaining backlinks and don’t forget about social media. While sharing your content isn’t going to directly effect your ranking, it will get you some more recognition.
What about Alexa Rank?
Alexa Rank is a global traffic rank given to a website on the basis of how well it is performing relative to all the sites in the entire world. Simply put, the lower the Alexa rank, the better the estimated traffic to the site. For example Google has an Alexa rank of 1, but if your site has a score of over 100,000 is not bad as it may seem, as this is your ranking amongst the billions of sites worldwide.
Alexa is a good way to track your progress, check your Alexa rank every 3 months and see if your rank has improved. Check out your own Alexa Rank.
Will my website build effect my rank score?
Unfortunately, yes. If you have a badly built website you may end up working much harder simply to gain a few steps up. When Google looks at your website it doesn’t see the beautiful fonts and pictures, that we see. It sees the code of your website, the bare bones of it.
Often if your website was made by an online website builder the code will be terribly messy. This is due to the fact that these website builder use pre-built templates. These templates are then covered in more code to change the colours and make it fit your brand. While the final result may look beautiful to a human it is far from it to a Google bot. So much so that your ugly code may result in your hard work being ignored by Google and ultimately your SEO may be a waste of time.
So what if my code is already good?
Well then you will be fine and Google will pay you all the attention you deserve. But what does your site look like to humans. If your site is ‘aesthetically challenged’ then while you may rank highly actual humans may ignore you.
Ultimately you want a site that is coded well and looks great to humans too. While it will cost you more, a custom built website will be much better for you in the long run.
Another factor to take into account is site speed. How fast pages load and whether or not your pages load correctly on mobile phones.
Luckily for us, Google supplies us with two services the first of which is Page Insights.
This tool scans your site’s coding and give you a report. Covering your site speed and mobile friendliness. With Google Insights you can identify ways to make your site faster and more mobile-friendly.
The second tool they provide is The Mobile Speed Tester
This tool differs from Page Insights as it focuses solely on mobile access and does not look into the actual coding of your site. It also covers much more information and tracks how you compare to other websites in your industry.
Both of these tools are hugely useful as over half of all web traffic is now on mobile and if you load time for your website is slow most people will give up and go elsewhere. Site Speed has also recently been identified as one of the factors Google uses for ranking so improving your site speed can help hugely with your SEO rankings.
Google Analytics is possibly my most favourite tool. Not only is it updated constantly and so it’s arguably the most reliable and comprehensive tool, but it’s also free!
Google Analytics is prefect for tracking everything on your site. Plus it’s super user-friendly. You can set up all kinds of views, goals and filters to completely customised it for your needs. You can track everything from gender to interests about the people that come onto your website. As well as what pages they are looking at and where they have come from. This is prefect for tracking just how popular a blog you have written is
If you set up Google Search Console as well, it opens up even more great features for Google Analytics. Including being able to track the exact keywords that are bringing people into your site. The more you use it the more you will wonder how you could ever do without it.
Its called Search Engine Optimisation not Google Optimisation
The thing you need to remember when it comes to ranking is that Google is only the very tip of the iceberg. Do you really just want to know how to rank higher in Google? Or is there more you could be covering. There are hundreds of search engines out there and Google may not even be the best one for your company. YouTube, Yell, or Pinterest may be a better use of your efforts.
Find where your customer base is and discover what they are really looking for from a business like yours.
Before you start your own SEO work, you need to ask yourself a few questions first.
- Why do you want to rank higher in Google?
- Do you want more customers or maybe more online recognition?
SEO cannot ever promise you an increase in sales but it can definitely promise an increase in website hits and if you content can stand up to size then sales should naturally follow.
Remember whatever you decided to focus on for your SEO it is a constant job. You must stay up to date with your rankings and follow the trends. As well as keeping on top of algorithm updates from Google themselves. (Follow us to stay up to date with the changes). Like anything SEO needs maintenance and cannot simply be left alone.
We hope that this series has helped you along the way with understanding and actioning your own SEO. If you would like any more information or would like to see about getting professional SEO work please get in touch.