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.
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.