An essential part of any online marketing activity is to monitor your progress and be prepared to change things to improve.

In order to monitor your SEO improvements and performance you need a couple of important tools:-

1. An analytics tool
2. A ranking checker

Web Site Analytics

We have already discussed using Google Analytics and you may already have signed up for this. If not I suggest you do so after reading this post.

There’s specific detailed information here – Google Analytics sign up – where we show you how to sign up for the (free) service.

Its a pretty comprehensive tool and most businesses get by without needing any additional analytics tool. You should play around with it and look at the product tour at the Google Analytics website. This will give you a sense of the sort of things you can check with it.

Specifically the sort of metrics you should be looking at to help with your SEO are:-

– The daily visits – its the trend here that’s more important rather than the actual figures. As you optimise more and more of your site you should see the graph moving in an upwards direction, which is very gratifying.

-Keywords – You can list out the keyphrases that people are using and finding your site with. Hopefully these will be the important phrases you have optimised your site for. If not, its a sign more work needs to be done to increase your rankings (probably link building if you have already done the onpage SEO).

These are the two main things to monitor; there are others of course which you will start to use once you are more familiar with the tool.

Ranking Checker

The simple way to check your rankings of course is just go to the relevant search engine and conduct searches for your important keyphrases. This will become impractical if you are targeting a reasonable number of phrases through several search engines – and this is where a ranking tool will help.

We use Internet Business Promoter which does a lot more than ranking checks. You may want to try out their trial version if you get serious about SEO. There are many free options available (as you’ll see if you do a search) one we have used and particularly like is from SEOBOOK. Again, these people offer several other tools you may find useful for SEO in addition to ranking checkers.

Whichever way you do it you’ll want to check that your rankings are moving in the right direction over a period of time. Assuming your site is optimised correctly (which it will be if you have diligently followed the lessons), then additional link building to support your target keyphrases is the only other thing you will need to do to improve things.

We will be returning to this important topic again in the next lesson.