Google has updated its search algorithm over 550 times in the last 12 months, which is almost twice a day! Keyword data has all but disappeared from Google Analytics and page rank depends on so many factors to have become almost pointless. However, SEO is more important now than ever, and your strategy needs to change or you risk being left behind.
How to measure the success of your SEO strategy as we move away from keywords and page rank
Keywords are still part of the mix, but looking purely at how you rank for a specific phrase means little if there is no traffic behind it. The new focus will be on queries and themed words. So what your visitors are actually looking for, rather than what phrases they are using is now more important. Keyword research is important to highlight trends but to measure success we need to look at different factors. The previous model of looking at a list of keyword phrases with a report showing how we rank for each one is no longer an accurate measure or helpful in our log term strategy.
The new objectives for SEO are to:
- Increase overall website traffic
- Increase new visitor percentage
- Increase conversion rates from the website
To do this you will need a clear goal for each page in your website
- To increase bookings / membership / sales
- To increase market share
- To increase social shares
This is no longer provided by Google Analytics, Even so, how you rank on Google can depend on:
- If you are using Google Chrome
- Your search history
- Your IP Address
- If you are using a mobile or PC
- Whether you have a Gmail account
- Whether you are logged into Google+
So all of us will see different results depending on the above. Therefore, the new currency is traffic and user behaviour. The keyword query is simply part of the topic or theme we need to optimise for. Google is now looking for meaning and intent behind each word in the phrase used. We also need to look for trends within our market and social media: (Google and now Twitter alerts help with this).
Page Authority – (This is your new goal)
- Traffic increases
- Social interaction
- Time spent on each page
- Comparisons with previous time periods
- Backlinks into your pages
You also need to define
- All search landing pages – which will be most of them!
- Prioritise the top landing pages – The key pages, home, offers etc.
- Pull monthly traffic over from the previous year for those pages – this will give us a reference point so we can look for trends or issues
- Data per page based on our goals – time on page / bounce rates
Your website priorities are
- The implementation of a Blog
- Ensure your Social Share buttons are on all pages
- Continue to post and promote your Google+ page
If your SEO agency or consultant is still focusing on Keywords and ranking within Google it is certainly time to review your SEO strategy.