Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex, yet streamlined system that involves multiple marketing strategies. For example, content marketing, link building, and traffic generation are all part of SEO. Even PPC ads are technically considered part of SEO since ads are optimized and displayed in the search engines alongside organic search results.
Many SEO components are inextricably combined. For instance, content marketing is integral to link building and PPC ads are part of generating traffic. You can’t measure your ranking progress without taking all of your traffic sources into account, which includes PPC ads and content marketing.
Progress is measured by how well you get your web pages to rank, but it’s also measured by traffic. You can rank in the number one spot in the search engines for every keyword you target, but it’s only a success when users click on your link.
You need software to track your SEO progress
Measuring SEO progress isn’t something you can do manually. At least, not easily. You need to have software in place to track and analyze your results. However, with all of the components that make up SEO, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of tools.
You can find multiple software applications to handle just about every task you’ll ever need to complete. For instance, there are at least 7 primary analytics tools, a handful of link building and keyword research tools, and countless backlink checking tools.
Some of the most popular SEO tools include:
· Webmaster tools from Bing and Google. These tools will tell you about your visibility in each respective search engine. Unlike Google, Bing provides a phenomenal keyword research tool.
· Browseo. This application will show you how search engines perceive your webpages.
· ContentKing. This is a paid SEO audit tool that continually crawls your site and informs you of issues like redirects, missing files, and other errors.
· Google’s “mobile-friendly” test application. This is a quick and easy application that will tell you if a web page is mobile-friendly (or not).
· Raven Tools. Made for digital marketing agencies, this site auditor will give you a list of SEO issues along with suggested solutions. It also flags your content that is most at risk for getting penalized by Google for being “thin content.”
· SEO Monitor. Google hides some keywords from webmasters and those keywords show up as “not provided.” SEO Monitor solves this frustrating experience by using your Google Analytics data along with your rankings to figure out your high converting keywords that Google won’t provide.
To run a successful SEO campaign, you definitely need some of the aforementioned tools. However, you don’t necessarily need to use all of them or multiple tools that perform the same function. You might need to use a few tools that offer the same features. However, it’s best to use only one application to perform each task.
Simplify your use of applications to prevent overworking yourself
Keep your SEO progress tracking simple and in one spot whenever possible. For example, use one application to track your backlinks. If your favorite keyword research tool also tracks backlinks, don’t use that feature if you’re already tracking your backlinks in another application.
If you like the backlink tracking offered by your favorite keyword research tool, there’s nothing wrong with making the switch. However, avoid tracking your backlinks in multiple applications.
Sometimes you’ll get different results from different applications. On the surface, that seems like a good reason to use multiple applications. That’s somewhat true. However, each additional application you use to measure duplicate data will take up more of your time and energy.
There are some instances where using multiple applications to track the same data is a good idea, but that should be a strategic decision based on a sound reason rather than just wanting to use multiple applications.
Can’t find an all-in-one solution? Hire an SEO agency
If you can’t find a software solution that meets all of your SEO-tracking needs, it’s probably time to hire a professional SEO agency. Handing off all your SEO duties to the pros will not only get you big results, but you won’t have to spend any more time messing around in multiple applications.
A professional SEO agency will have a set of high-level, professional-grade tools to track progress, run reports, and find solutions. That means your SEO team will spend all of their time working on getting you results rather than trying to manage conflicting data from multiple applications. While your SEO team works hard to get your site ranked, all you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the results.