How to check if SEO optimisation gives results? Unlike some other marketing strategies that are instant in terms of results – such as Google or Facebook campaigns – SEO optimisation takes time. And that’s time for the actions taken to show a better position on Google.
Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks, and sometimes it takes months depending on the search engine itself, the competition, and other factors. This leaves website owners in an awkward vacuum when they don’t know whether the money they’ve invested has been used wisely or not. But, while the real effects take time, that doesn’t mean we can’t check if the work entrusted to SEO experts is done properly (or if we did it the right way ourselves) and if the SEO optimization yields results.
Does SEO Optimization Give Results?
Did the SEO experts do the job properly? Even if traffic to your site still doesn’t grow significantly that doesn’t mean your position on Google hasn’t changed drastically. Or that the website isn’t much faster. Or that the content isn’t optimized for keywords.
There are over 200 factors that affect the position of a web page in search engines, and many of them can be tested. Although checking all 200+ is probably a waste of time, the most important ones should definitely not be skipped.
Is the Content Optimized?
There are principles to follow when optimizing content by keywords:
- the keyword must be in the title
- the keyword must be in the link
- the keyword must be in the text in a certain percentage
- the text must have a certain number of words
- the article must have a description
- The article must have pictures and links
- images must have an optimized title and tags, etc.
Of all the above, the factors that are most often overlooked are the description of the article as well as the title and tags in the pictures.
The description of the article is limited to 156 characters. The reason is that a longer description would be cut in half a sentence in the search results due to lack of space, which would reduce the likelihood of clicking on the link and visiting the site by users.
The description itself isn’t such an important factor of SEO optimization, and the presence or absence of a keyword in it won’t significantly affect the position on Google. But, clickthrough rate (CTR), i.e. the ratio of clicks and impressions, is an extremely important factor, and an incomplete or non-existent description usually negatively affects it.
On the other hand, the title and tags in images must have keywords in them because Google isn’t able to interpret the image itself. The title and tags in the image not only help Google better understand the article itself, but are also an important factor in displaying the image in the search results for those keywords. The recommended tool to check all this is SEO Site Checkup.
Is the Site Fast Enough?
The speed of website loading is one of the most important factors for positioning in search results. Google wants the website to open to its users quickly, which means without errors and unnecessary waste of resources and Internet traffic.
The speed of opening the site also has a direct impact on the user experience of visitors, which results in a positive or negative CTR in relation to the competition.
There are many reasons why your website may open slower than it could. The main ones are:
- server speed (and location)
- the ratio of the number of visitors and the flow on the server
- the ability to cache pages
- the ability to compress files
And, while some elements depend on your Interner service provider (ISP) and simply can’t be changed, others should be optimized for maximum loading speed. The recommended verification tool is PageSpeed Insights.
Additionally, the loading speed can be improved with quality web hosting. That’s because by browsing to a website and loading a web page, visitors actually open files from a remote computer, and that’s the web server. So, the faster that remote computer is, the more quickly the page can be loaded.
How to pick out a web hosting package for your website? For instance, pick MySQL hosting. Here are the reasons. Factors that will help improve your website’s page load speed are all included in MySQL hosting packages. Dedicated resources, fast hard drive, and your database placed directly on the web server are those factors we just mentioned. And, the factors making MySQL hosting packages faster are very similar, if not the same, to the factors that make your own computer run faster.
Is the Site Optimized for Viewing on Mobile Devices?
In 2014, the number of mobile device users exceeded the number of desktop computer users for the first time. Since then, mobile devices have taken precedence both as a favourite device for connecting to the Internet and for viewing online content.
Websites respond to this by adapting their offer to a multi-platform approach, which is also called optimization for viewing on mobile devices since it’s assumed that access from a computer is already an established standard. Optimization includes not only the ability to open pages on smaller screens but also improved visibility, readability, navigation, and user experience.
Starting in April 2015, sites that are optimized for viewing on mobile devices have a big advantage when ranking in search results on Google. This practically means that most websites created before that year have a high chance of not meeting the optimization standards set by Google.
If you did SEO optimization after this date, visibility on mobile devices is the minimum you should expect from the agency that conducted it. The tool we recommend to check the optimization of pages for mobile devices is the Mobile-Friendly Test.
How Is the Site Positioned for Keywords?
If SEO optimization is done for certain keywords, it’s easy to check the position of the site. Google them, check the first page (if they aren’t on the first page, it can be freely said that there’s no effect), repeat for all keywords, and draw a conclusion from that.
But, SEO website optimization doesn’t have an effect only on optimized keywords – it’s often a big jump in position for all or most of the phrases that are searched and have to do with the topic of the site. Things like caching, compression, removing duplicate content, increasing the number of backlinks, and the like have an impact on the entire website and all the searches in which it appears.
You can use the Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools, to track all of these effects. It’s a free Google tool that allows you to track the position (and change of the same) for all search phrases in which your site appears, the number and source of backlinks to your site, their availability, and the like.
In addition to serving as an analysis tool, the Console also alerts you to problems that the website may have that prevents it from reaching its full potential. If the SEO analysis was done unprofessionally and a large number of low-quality backlinks were provided for which your site was penalized, the Console is a place where you can remove these backlinks and correct the mistakes made.
How Many Backlinks Does the Site Have?
The number of backlinks is probably the most important signal to Google about the importance of content on your website and the best indicator of how it will be placed in search results for related terms. Over time, in addition to the number of links, their source, their position at the source (in the text, footer, sidebar, etc.), and some other elements became important.
How to measure the number and quality of backlinks? While Google Search Console offers information about backlinks to the site and the pages they target, what it lacks is the effect those backlinks have. This effect is reflected in the Domain Authority and Page Authority, which is a score on a scale of 1 to 100 and shows the potential for that website or web page to be found in search results.
Higher score = higher potential. Also, a higher rating of backlink sources = better quality backlink. Often, websites with a large number of low-quality backlinks not only won’t benefit from them but can also be penalized because they are considered to be part of an attempt to defraud the Google algorithm.
Just building quality backlinks is a sure way of SEO optimization that guarantees a high rank on Google. The recommended tool to check this is Open Site Explorer.
Increased Site Traffic
Regardless of everything else, the only sure indicator of whether SEO optimization gives results is reflected in the increased site traffic. All the backlinks in the world and optimization for viewing on mobile devices won’t help you if there’s no content on the website that’s interesting to visitors, content that will make them click on a link, open the website, and stay on it.
Of course, increased website traffic can be the result of many factors: advertising campaigns, social media activities, and the like, but only one is a sure indicator of good SEO optimization – increased traffic from users coming through browsers.
A tool where you can check this, but also many, many other things is Google Analytics. It will help you not only to determine the success of SEO optimization but also to discover your target group, topics that interest them the most, their demographics, location… Google Analytics will show you all this and give you the opportunity to make your website even better and more useful to its visitors, and thus further improve your own business.