Today, it’s harder than ever to stand out in the sea of websites that exist on the web. As our lives and livelihoods continue to move online, the internet has become an increasingly crowded space—with around 4.2 billion web pages live today. So, as a business, how can you best reach your target audience?
Search engines exist to discover, understand and organize web content. They are answer machines, leading to the most relevant results for the questions that searchers are asking. As a business, if you want any chance of your website showing up in the search results of the people you want to reach, it is important that you take all the necessary steps to show up on a search engine’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Search engines have three primary functions, which are:
- Crawling: The process of scouring the internet for content, and examining the code/content of each URL. This is done using spiders (or crawlers), which are little bots that arrive on a page, scan that page, then follow the links that are present on that page to new URLs.
- Indexing: The content found through the crawling process is stored and organized. When someone searches for information online the most accurately matched pages are retrieved from this database and are then displayed on the SERPs alongside other potentially relevant URLs.
- Ranking: Providing the content that is most relevant or best answers the searcher’s query, with the range of results ordered by most to least relevant.
When we look at the sheer volume of websites that currently exist on the internet, it can seem an impossible goal to get your site to appear on the first page of search engine results—a highly coveted spot, as research suggests that over 70% of the time people do not even visit the second page of results. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to improving the appearance and position of web pages in organic search results, helping search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to find your website in an ocean of similar niches.
With a good SEO strategy, you can improve the quality and quantity of traffic to your website—even in today’s crowded and competitive landscape. Organic traffic can generate significant returns for your business, so it’s important to make sure your SEO is on point. With a good SEO analytics and reporting tool you can take all the guesswork out of the equation and easily identify and manage areas of your site that require improvement, as well as monitor progress and measure impact over time.
The Importance OF SEO Analytics and Reporting
Mastering the art of SEO is no easy trick—especially for those just starting out. Fortunately, there are a lot of great SEO analytics and reporting tools available that can negate the need for tedious keyword research and data analysis and save you hours of effort by letting you generate accurate reports with just a click.
SEO analysis works based on your website’s data, providing data-based knowledge of audience behavior, interests, and search patterns to guide your decisions. With these tools in place, it is much easier to gain an understanding of how a particular website’s ranking could be quickly and accurately improved on search engines, as well as continually assess the site’s performance to track outcomes.
While SEO tools may vary considerably in terms of focus and primary purpose, there are a few key features to look out for and prioritize:
- Keyword targeting, which helps you to uncover and build upon the right keywords
- Competition analysis, to track how successful your SEO efforts are in comparison to your competitors
- Website analysis, which allows you to ensure your site is kept optimized at all times and does not fall behind the competition
If you decide not to run an SEO analysis on your website, you may find it difficult to make informed decisions to improve your site’s ranking. With a better understanding of the obstacles preventing your site from succeeding in ranking high on search engines, you can more effectively work on the challenges facing your business and have a big positive impact over time.
What To Look For In An SEO Analytics And Reporting Tool
There are a lot of SEO analytics and reporting tools on the market, and not all of them are built the same. To be sure you are choosing the right solution for your organization, here are some things to consider:
- User Interface (UI) and usability: A good UI should be intuitive, efficient, and user-friendly, as well as clean and attractive to look at. Companies offering the solution should also offer appropriate tech and user support, as well as tutorials and training materials.
- A strong suite of features: These can include position tracking, backlink monitoring, competitor data, drag-and-drop visualization, analytics and automated reporting features.
- Integrations: Is the SEO analytics and reporting tool going to easily connect with third-party tools? Does it come with any pre-built integrations?
- Good value for money: Any solution you consider should be weighed up in terms of how appropriate the cost is for the features, capabilities and use case. You should also look out for pricing that is clear, transparent, and flexible.
- Scalability: Scalability is very important for any business. Being able to scale up or down depending on your needs gives you the flexibility to grow as a business, so it is a good idea to make sure your SEO analytics and reporting tool is capable of expanding its functionalities, either through integrating with third-party apps, customizations of the features, or through add-ons.
The Benefits Of Using An SEO Analytics And Reporting Tool
- Learn how your site visitors are finding you. From social media tags to mentions in an article, there are a lot of different ways visitors might have come across your website. This is important information for you to know, as identifying which channels are contributing the most to your traffic is vital to identifying whether your SEO efforts are paying off, or if you should be taking a different approach. Redefine your market strategy with a better understanding of which keywords are driving visitors to your site and watch your web traffic grow—which bodes well not only for direct sales, but also for being found by customers online during product research.
- Get familiar with who your visitors are. It’s always a good idea to know who you are targeting, both with your product or services and with the content you put out there. It can take some time to get a good idea of who your ideal customer is, but this is important to know as having this understanding makes it easier to zero in on your target audience. Even established brands with a solid understanding of their customer base would benefit from keeping an eye on who’s visiting their site to ensure they don’t miss any changes and create a disconnect between who they think their website is attracting, and who it is actually attracting.
- Target keywords and save on keyword research time. SEO software solutions will provide a mix of keywords based on how relevant, valuable, and competitive they are, alongside other metrics. This helps you find long-tail keyword sets that are niche and profitable. These solutions also cut down on the amount of time spent finding keywords, which can be time-consuming and tedious, leaving you with more time to plan content strategies or analyze outcomes.
- Know which content is performing best. Doing keyword research and producing high-quality content is all well and good, but the sad truth is sometimes the content you put out just won’t do well and it won’t always make sense to you why. On the other hand, something that was thrown together quickly or seemed like nothing special might be an unexpected hit with your audience. Keeping an eye on your analytics is a great way to look for patterns in what content of yours is having the best results, so you can adjust your content strategy and start producing more of the content that leads to those positive results. This also helps you to identify which of your content you should spend time updating and revamping, thus making the most of your top-performing pages.
- Stay motivated. SEO tools can be highly motivational. Building an audience and customer base is hard work that can take a long time and plenty of trial and error, so being able to see small improvements in traffic when you try something new can really keep morale up and help you and your team focus on future SEO strategies.
It’s important to invest in and spend time on your website. SEO tools can help your website gain visibility in search engines and can lead to an increase in both the quality and the number of searchers who end up on your website. By creating and maintaining SEO reporting and carefully observing trends in website traffic it will be easier to make data-driven decisions, providing measurable results and value from your efforts.
As the market changes, it is important to evaluate and make improvements to your SEO and marketing efforts. SEO analytics and reporting tools can help you to build your website more quickly with better SEO and vastly improve your chances of reaching the top ranking in SERPs—without all the trial and error. To find out more, take a look at our guide to The Top SEO analytics tools for business.
We can’t always predict what will do well and what won’t—but we can track and analyze our content, so that we can make better informed decisions in the future.