Developing a website so it becomes successful takes a lot of trial and error trying to find out what works and doesn’t.

With so many tools available in the market to help you track your success, it’s no wonder that getting side tracked is very easy.

However, thanks to the online explosion we have many resources available that guide us in the right direction allowing us to find creative ways to measure or success.

When trying to rank a website, it’s important to find ways to track your SEO efforts so you know what to focus your attention on when moving forward.

Since optimization can be very time consuming, if you don’t find errors in your strategy right away, you could be left wasting a lot of your valuable time.

In this post we’ll be discussing a few awesome ways to track your SEO efforts so when you progress forward you obtain the results you want to achieve.

Google Analytics (Is Your Friend)

I love Google because they offer some of the best FREE tools which provide you in-depth analyses into your SEO efforts.

It’s important that you install the Google Analytics snippet as soon as you “go live” with your website so you can start keeping track of your traffic. Every 2-3 weeks take a look at your reports comparing statistics along the way.

What do you look for?

Well, look for trends in your traffic and content, for example, where most of your traffic is coming from checking if your desired audience has been reading your content. If you optimized specific content for rankings then check to see if people are landing on the page and keywords you have been ranking for.

Make sure you use filters so you can compare week’s apart analyzing data throughout the week. You want to make sure that you’re getting new visitors who are engaging with your website.

You can check your engagement by checking your website bounce rate which will show if people are exiting right away. The lower the bounce rate the better the engagement.

Finally, if you’ve built links from external websites it’s important to check how effective they are by viewing your referral traffic statistics. This report will tell you where you traffic is coming from and where they land on your website.

Google Webmaster Tools

Another awesome tool provided for FREE by Google. It’s a tool that allows you to submit your fresh new website for indexing and allows you to view some important information about your website.

It will give you a complete report of your crawl errors which is perfect so you can check if your pages are online. This way any links built will actually redirect people to pages that are not “errors” but completely active.

GWT gives you the ability to check if you have been penalized by Google which is very important because you’ll learn if some of your SEO efforts are allowed or if they against Google polices.

Next, they provide a complete count of the keywords your ranking for so you can keep an eye on your progress.

The Google Webmaster Tools support forum is great if you’re trying to find the latest information on SEO which can help enhance your SEO efforts moving forward providing you with new strategies.

The key thing to remember is to use the latest most effective techniques when doing SEO and having the ability to track the results at the same time.

SERP Checking

By now everyone knows it all about getting your keywords ranked higher in the SERP’s. Each link which is built to pages has specific “keyword” as an anchor you’re ranking for.

One of the best ways to measure the success of your SEO efforts is to check if those keywords have increased in rankings over 30 days. If you notice an increase, it’ll tell you that the links you’re building had some positive effects on your rankings and you can continue to rinse & repeat that strategy.

You can check your ranking positions many different ways. There is keyword tracking software you can use, or you can simply check your positions through Webmaster Tools and Analytics.

Start with a baseline of keywords that you’ll be focusing on and generate a report of their current position which will help you compare your progress a few weeks later.

Next, monitor GWT or GA to see if there has been an increase or decrease in the position of the keywords within the rankings. Depending on the direction of movement, evaluate your SEO strategy, implement change as needed, then repeat the process.

Conversions

Many websites will be ecommerce sites or offer downloadable products so tracking your conversions can be vital in finding out how effective are your SEO campaigns.

If your goal is “selling” products then keep track of your monthly conversions. The more conversions, the more you have achieved your desired goals through your SEO efforts.

Next, if you are offering a free digital download to get people to opt-into your form then keep a track on your conversions through your email service provider.

If you have optimized a page with an email opt-in form then having an increase in subscribers over a period of 30 days is an awesome ROI (return-on-investment).

Use Google Analytics to track people coming to that page and then use your email service provider’s analytic report to track opt-in conversions.

Incoming Links (Other Sources)

Checking your backlinks is very effective in determining how broad your reach is and what kind of influence your SEO efforts have within your niche.

If you have built 100 incoming links on your own but when you check your report after 30 days you have 250 links, it shows you have made enormous progress.

Other relevant websites will only link to yours if they feel that you targeted the right keywords and provide value. They will also link to your website if you can be found on the internet which can only be achieved if you’ve been indexed, increased in organic traffic and your keywords have increased in the SERP’s.

Keeping a track of incoming links will give you a better idea of what pages other bloggers are linking to using Google Analytics. You can then switch your SEO focus to those pages and their keywords.

This method has proven to be very effective in ranking specific pages because you’re not only focusing on pages that you want to rank but those that others are helping you rank.

Going Forward

All 5 factors in this post have been proven to be highly effective in providing you insight when trying to rank your website using SEO.

It’s important to stay focused on the end goal not losing motivation as you move forward. Ranking your site does take time but knowing what works along the way is motivation in itself.

Start by testing out different things and keeping track of the progress so you know what works.

The last thing you want to do is put effort where the ROI is very slim.