It’s very easy to get caught in the pattern of just checking web metrics like toolbar PageRank, rankings on the first 3 pages and the number of visitors to your site every day. However, there are some other important things to consider and do to get your site’s search rankings moving in the right direction.
You need to look at the ways your site succeeds and the ways it fails. Things like number of conversions, number of backlinks and engagement with your audience are key things to consider. Have a look through the following list of important metrics.
Conversions and Goals
Creating a new website and building an online presence takes time and money. You will want see a definitive return on that investment. It doesn’t matter what your exact goal is whether it’s a sales target or simply to provide a resource you should devise a way of keeping track of conversions. Conversion rates are the ratio of people who progress from visiting your site to completing an action such as buying something or downloading a document. There are many tools to do this but the best and most widely used is Google Analytics which can track many different goals.
The latest major algorithm update released by Google is called Penguin and is intended to help reduce the number of sites ranking based on bad links. Ensuring that only the highest possible quality links are in your backlink profile is key to avoiding seeing your rankings slip. It’s important to act in advance or you may have trouble remedying the problem afterwards.
While the Webmaster Tools services offered by both Google and Bing give you some information about your backlink profile, your best bet is to turn to a paid 3rd party SEO tool to get the job done properly. These tools will give you a better idea of what your backlink profile contains and help going forward.
Once you can see your whole backlink profile there are things you’ll want to keep an eye out for. Are your anchor text links too keyword heavy? Link building in the past may have been overdone with keyword or phrase based anchor text. It looks more natural if you mix it up with branded links or click here links. The most important thing is to have a good variation of different anchor texts. High percentages of the same keyword rich links could lead to penalties from the search engines.
There are a large number of websites that have been built for SEO purposes alone. They often contain content that has been spun, very simple page design and very little human maintenance. Use of these sites for links can be seen by the search engines as trying to cheat the system and lead to penalties.
Low Quality Backlinks
If these sorts of links are in your backlink profile it’s important to remove them as soon as possible to avoid penalisation by the search engines. Keep proof of any methods of contact with webmasters in case you ever need to prove to the search engines that you have tried to have them removed.
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