SEO monitoring, what should be monitored and how?

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SEO involves working with large volumes of data. A single website can have up to thousands of sub-pages, keywords and internal links. If it operates in a competitive industry, it needs external links from thousands of domains. What if you optimize multiple websites? You quickly find yourself overwhelmed by data.

Add to that the variability of Google’s algorithm, the unforeseen actions of competitors and backlinks that can disappear. How to control all this?

Monitoring

The market doesn’t like it when nothing is happening, and the same is true in the SEO industry. All SEO-relevant features and metrics can be monitored with specialized tools. Unfortunately, there is no single tool to monitor everything. But, with the help of a few apps, you can track everything important. You can also combine data from multiple sources, but more on that later.

The monitoring services ensure what is most important, that is to say:

reports that analyze the variability of individual values ​​over time.

alerts that immediately inform of any significant changes to selected characteristics and indicators.

What can (and should) be controlled within the framework of SEO

On-site monitoring

Just because you run a website (or your client owns it) and have access to the CMS and all the setups doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know about it. It’s very easy for you to miss important issues that don’t just affect SEO.

Organic website traffic: apart from the scale of traffic, especially the bounce rate and conversion rate. You certainly pay attention to it, but do you check it regularly?

Availability (uptime): if the website does not work, you know what is happening; it won’t convert new customers, and it may even discourage a user towards a given brand. Persistent issues can lead to de-indexing.

Loading speed: Once a website has been optimized for speed, you can’t just move on. After all, it only takes someone posting a huge bitmap on the main page to ruin all the work. You must detect such situations and react.

Correct functioning: a small change in an important function of a website can be disastrous for conversions. The website is operational but you cannot place an order because the button at the last step of the purchase process does not work. Of course, you will see the effects in your numbers, but it is much better to detect a problem and fix it before you start losing money.

Domain and SSL Certificate Expiration: It’s a well-known fact that Domain Name and SSL Certificate Registrars are very happy to remind you that you need to renew your subscription. However, things can happen, especially if you use multiple emails or nicknames. You can miss such a situation and an additional reminder from external monitoring will not hurt anyone.

Being present on blacklists: a red warning screen displayed by the browser instead of the website itself is a situation to avoid. Most often this means that a website has been infected with malware and has become a threat to users. In such a situation, you should react immediately so that as few users as possible encounter such a message.

Robot Blockers: If you’ve never had this experience, throw the first stone at me. The dev version of the website sent in prod with the robots.txt file including the blocking of search engine robots. Or the X-Robots-Tag in the HTTP header, which is invisible at first glance. It is better to detect such an error before Google updates the index according to our own “query”

Off-site monitoring

You certainly observe the external results of your actions, but observing is not the same as monitoring. It’s good to check your reports regularly and get alerts at key times instead of looking at your results all the time.

Position in the SERPs: the basis for determining the effects of SEO activities, and often, the amount of compensation for SEO services. Very difficult to track on your own, not so much due to the fact that many repetitive queries are blocked by Google, but rather due to the extensive personalization of search results and the constant appearance of new snippets that change the search results. appearance of the SERPs.

The effectiveness of Google: the number of views, CTR and clicks of SERPs, crawl speed and errors. First-level data, i.e. data coming directly from Google’s search console.

Other indicators: such as Trust Flow (TF) or Citation Flow (CF) are used primarily to determine the value of websites as places of potential links. But it is also useful to monitor the functioning of the optimized website in this respect.

Backlinks – the “currency” of SEO, a direct result of content marketing and many other activities. Some are worth their weight in gold, others are not worth that much. The need to control backlinks manifests itself at two levels:

the general level – numerical / qualitative

the detailed – i.e. the follow-up of the specific links acquired – if they have not been deleted or modified (for example by adding the “nofollow” attribute).

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