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Tracking Your SEO Efforts

 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a pain! First you need to figure out your keywords and the other elements that go into ranking well. Then you need to do the work. Finally, you need to figure out if your SEO strategy works.

Search results are highly volatile. There are so many factors:

  • Ranking algorithms change and those changes are never announced or specified
  • Ranks drop based on what you do
  • What people search changes
  • Competitors catch up and throw you off the top

In the midst of all this, you need to know if your SEO efforts are working and find areas for improvement. Not easy.

SEO Elements to Track

Keywords remain a top factor in SEO. Track your rankings for each over time. I recommend that you look once a quarter.

It may be tempting to look more often, but rankings are very volatile. I have seen clients literally go from rank 1 to rank 49 for a keyword one day and then surge back to rank 1 the next day. All that with no changes to their website!

You also want to track what competitors are doing. Always be on the lookout for new competitors as well. What keywords are they competing for? Where do they outrank you?

Google is, of course, the search engine people use most. So, you will want to look at your Google Search Console for any flags or errors and address them immediately. I suggest you log in once a month. This assures that no issue seriously damages your SEO effort.

Never Stop

SEO is not one and done. You need to constantly assess your progress and make changes. That may mean tweaking content around a newly emerging keyword or keyphrase. It can mean fixing broken links. There’s always maintenance to do.

Keep researching SEO best practices. These change all the time as the search engines evolve and as people change their search behaviors. For example, voice searches are now common. Search engines expect all sites to be secure (HTTPS). New factors emerge all the time.

 

Google Local Pack May Be Your Best Online Marketing Asset

Have you noticed how localized Google search results are these days? Search for a plumber and you get listings of businesses nearby. A lot of that information is derived from Google Business listings that are featured in what is known as “local packs.”

A local pack is a list of businesses that provide a product or service in the area that the searcher is locating. There are two major types of local packs:

  • Local Teaser – displays three listings beneath a map. Results have a photo and business name. Clicking on the name takes the user to a map with more businesses and a link to the websites of each of the businesses.
  • Local Pack – the most common. Lists several businesses with their contact details under a map of the area. Information can include the name of the business, address, phone, and reviews star rating.

Google gets the information for all types of local packs from Google business listings. To be featured in a local pack, you first need to claim, verify and complete a Google My Business page for your business.

To get your business featured in local packs:

  • Create and verify your Google business page. Be sure to complete all the fields, select the most accurate category for your business, and include pictures.
  • Make sure your website information matches your Google business listing for name, address, phone and hours. These must be an exact match or Google will consider the information suspect!
  • Know your keywords. Use the words and phrases that people use to search for businesses like you on your business listing and on your website. You don’t need to worry about local modifiers, Google has that covered for you with its location sensing technology. So “lawyer” will give the user listings of lawyers near their location, regardless of whether they include “near me” or a specific location in their search.