SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can seem like an insurmountable task. There are many different ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. The key is to break them down into understandable sections.
Ask yourself these questions: Are we sending the right off-page signals? Is our site architecture and content optimized correctly? Utilizing the correct technology can give you the data and analysis you need stay ahead of competitors in all three of these areas. Below you’ll find everything you need to analyze your site, and your competitor’s sites, to get ahead in 2019.
A natural and robust backlink profile is crucial to ranking in Google’s organic results. Moz’s “Domain Authority” score is still a staple in the industry when quantifying how powerful a linking domain is.
For SEO newcomers, Moz’s Domain Authority score is a 1 to 100 scale with 100 being the highest. Moz, using an algorithm that they feel closely mirror’s Google’s, assigns all the websites within their index a DA score and scans all the site’s backlinks.
Armed with this information, users can monitor all the backlinks to their domain, or a specific page. They can see all the same data for competitors as well. Great competitive analysis begins with a side by side view of how many links you have vs. a search competitor, what the average authority of those links are and where they are coming from. Use this information to determine your link strategies rather than just taking what you can get.
The signals your site is sending to Google is just as, if not more, important to the off-page links being built. It is incredibly important to have your site structured properly to let the “authority” flow between pages. It’s equally important to monitor your content, see what URLs aren’t working, and when you’ve mistakenly created duplicate URLs or other content.
Screaming Frog is a great app that scans your website and delivers a report on all this data. You can scan all your pages and find if you have Meta descriptions that are too short, too long, or duplicated from another page. Screaming Frog will find broken links between pages and improper re-directs. You can also link this tool directly to your Google Analytics to import user data and statistics to be viewed alongside your site data.
Over the past couple of years, content has become “King” in the SEO world. Google’s algorithm has become so sophisticated that content is now the leading factor driving organic search results.
Market Muse uses AI technology to speed the content ideation process, allowing businesses to stay one step ahead of their competitors. It also shows how the content you create should be optimized for SEO in real time. Tools like MarketMuse take the guesswork out of your content calendar and use analytical insights to drive your content strategy. Content creators know they are creating content for their websites that Google, and more importantly users want to see.
Google Analytics and Search Console
We can never forget about the tools Google provides themselves. Google Analytics and more recently Search Console, have been invaluable tools within any SEO strategy for years and will continue to be in 2019 and beyond.
Google Analytics (GA) gives you all the information you would need about how your website is performing with users. You can monitor how many visits your pages get and where those users are coming from. You can gain market insights into your audience demographics as well. It’s critical to monitor things like bounce rates, how long people spend on pages, how many pages a typical user views and more. GA provides all this data and more. Google also provides an excellent tutorial series on how to best utilize their products, you can find those here.
Search Console is the flip side of the Analytics coin. It shows you how your site is performing with Google itself, rather than with users. You can quickly see if Google is having trouble crawling your certain pages or following any specific directory paths. If our ultimate goal is to make sure our sites rank in Google, we should rely on them to tell us if it’s working. These two tools can also be linked together to get an overall site health report as well.
On-page, off-page, and content optimization are all key factors when it comes to a robust SEO strategy. The tools above, alongside Google’s suite of programs, will ensure that you are relying on the best data possible to drive your 2019 SEO strategies.