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SEO Measurement

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

SEO tools

Aside from measuring changes to rank and organic traffic, some paid tools include other metrics that can be measured against.


SEMRush gives an overall website score (or domain authority, as it’s known in Moz) based on the errors identified on-site.

As you work through an SEO project and fix the various errors, the tool will re-crawl the site and you will see your site score improve.

The tool also tracks variances to organic ranking, as well as competitor reports, and so demonstrates the extent to which paid tools can help your ongoing SEO reporting.

SEO metrics

There are other SEO metrics you should pay attention to. For example:

  • Number of external backlinks: If engaging in a link-building project, it’s obviously important to grow the number of external sites that are linking back to your site over time. A lot of paid tools, such as Moz and SEMRush, will allow you to see the number of external links your site has in comparison to competitors.
  • Quality of backlinks: Having a lot of links is not enough, however. Search engines do not treat all external links equally, so it is important to gain external links on very reputable sites or ones that have a strong domain authority. To track improvements, it would be useful to have a reporting system that, for example, looks at the number of links on external sites with a domain authority greater than 30.
  • Organic traffic year on year: As well as monitoring monthly organic traffic, it is interesting to compare monthly results against the same period in the previous year. Google Analytics allows you to track this very easily, so that you can monitor annual trend volumes and the percentage increase or decrease of organic traffic versus the previous year.
  • Referral traffic: In addition to monitoring organic traffic, referral traffic is a useful metric to measure each month. Referral traffic is a term used to describe visitors to your site that come from external links on other websites. So the more success you are getting from link-building campaigns, the more traffic you should see through referrals.
  • Landing page performance: Landing page performance can be reported on individually. The goal here would be to take five landing pages that get a high volume of traffic and monitor some key metrics from them, such as bounce rate, time on site, and any on-page conversions. Each month you can continue to monitor these metrics and trial different versions of the page, so that you are constantly optimizing and improving landing page quality.
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Shane Lyons

Shane Lyons is head of Search & Analytics at Mediaworks, an award-winning media and communications agency. He has been working in Digital both in Ireland and abroad for the last 8 years and now specializes in SEO and Analytics.

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    SEO Setup
    Shane Lyons
    Skills Expert

    This module introduces the key concepts for setting up SEO and the elements to consider before beginning an SEO project. It outlines the key technical elements you need to consider when implementing SEO, how to implement on-page SEO, and how to implement SEO in a mobile environment. It explains how a business can improve its SEO strategy and local SEO. It also demonstrates how to measure and report on the effectiveness of your SEO campaign and the key SEO metrics to measure.