Search Engine Rankings
Rankings in the search engines will constantly change for a variety of reasons. Search Engine Optimization demands constant monitoring and optimization for ranking. Some reasons for those constant changes include your competition changing their content strategy, bumping them higher up in the rankings. Rankings can fluctuate based on what your competition is doing in regards to their search engine optimization efforts. And this rankings can change, because search engines change their algorithms from one month to the next, causing everyone to shift in rank. Sometimes these changes can be minor and have little effect on some sites. And, sometimes these changes are major and affect both positively and negatively, most Web sites. Also, you should save yourself a lot of time by only checking the more popular search engines. The most popular search engines are: Alta Vista, AOL, Ask Jeeves, Fast/All the Web, Google, HotBot, Lycos, MSN Search, and Yahoo.
Before trying to optimize your search engine information, you need to establish some important baseline metrics. Tie all of the information together by looking at your closed-loop analytics. This will help you determine which search terms have driven the most qualified traffic that converts into leads and customers. With this information, you can prioritize your SEO efforts on creating content and generating inbound links around search terms that drive qualified traffic to your website. Prioritization through analytics is key when choosing which keyword phrases to target; otherwise, you’ll find yourself spreading your efforts too thin and making little or no progress on any terms.
Organic traffic is one of the biggest goals of SEO programs, and changes in your website’s organic traffic are heavily influenced by your SEO strategy. Check organic traffic to all sections of the site to find out if a section is not performing well, or if the site as a whole is hurting. Segment all data by both desktop and mobile traffic to see if your mobile SEO performance is suffering. Investigate what went right and consider applying it to the rest of the site. Direct traffic is an important metric because many times users will find your site through organic search first, then come back direct in the future. If direct traffic decreases check to see if the same trend is happening with organic traffic. Decreases in digital brand awareness can cause decreases in direct traffic. If it increases, again investigate what went right and consider applying it to the rest of the site. Referral traffic is a great link profile performance metric that can tell you if you’ve gained or lost links. It can also be used to assess the value of a link by whether or not it drives traffic to your site. Although campaign traffic does not have a direct impact on SEO performance, it can still give clues as to why direct or branded search traffic is experiencing changes. Much like campaign traffic, email traffic can also give you clues into why direct or branded search traffic has changed. Tying users together across different devices can be a challenge. Measuring the overall growth or declines in sessions will give you an idea of your overall success of marketing tactics at a very high level. Page load speed plays a very important role in SEO performance, conversions and usability. If your page load speed increases, search engines will use it as a negative site quality signal, spiders will not crawl your site as effectively, users will get annoyed, and the chance of conversion will drop significantly. Site speed isn’t always caused by slow page load speeds. Sometimes the server speed can slow down your site speed. Non-branded keyword performance can tell you a great deal about search performance and seasonality. If your keyword rankings go down, you will lose traffic. If you lose rankings, make adjustments to your keyword strategy, or investigate the possibility of a penalty. Finally, many frameworks like .NET will append a query string to the 404 page’s URL to tell you what URL the user requested that’s causing a 404. This feature can be very useful in discovering broken links on your site that users and spiders are accessing.
Reputation Defender recommends to monitor your listing position for the terms you’re currently driving traffic for, because you need to ensure you don’t suddenly slip to the bottom of the list. Maintain a steady stream of content around the important keyword phrases for which you currently rank high, and if you notice your listing position begins to slip, amp up your content creation and link building efforts. It requires far less effort to stay in the top, than it does to climb your way back up again.