We reported this topic a few months ago but SEO (search engine optimisation) has changed so here’s our latest ‘best practice’ guide update.
Using Google’s webmaster tools is fine and we recommend it as a great SEO tool but you can’t beat a manual test – this is how we track our Google position on Google SERPs (search engine results pages).
Clear your browsing history
First and foremost you MUST clear any history cached by your web browser (it changes results), on our devices using Firefox the ‘clear history’ is under the ‘history’ tab, nice and easy. Ideally you need to clear this every time you search (We’ve got an app installed to speed this up).
We also counter-check results on the DuckDuckGo search engine (a great alternative to Google if you want a more private search). This gives us a better idea of results when potential clients use other search engines or searching Google for the first time using our keywords.
Benchmark your searches
You need to define or benchmark your search terms that you want to track, ie: our top level search terms are:
website designers in Kent
website designers in east Kent
website designers in deal Kent
…and as you can see below we also check permutations of this these search strings, but once defined stick with the same test every time.
Measure your results
As you check each set of defined search phrases make sure you date the event and make an up/down (position) reference. Google uses local maps, if you make it onto the map mark this event as well.
Try to get at least 3 checks in per month to get an average, if you have a monthly average you can plot the results. Always make notes if you do something on or off your website like add a post, get an accreditation/link from another website.
Don’t be disappointed if your results drop, Google can change it’s algorithms and search criteria hourly which may affect your results.
Over a period of a few months you will form a picture of your Google SEO success. This will help you to concentrate your SEO campaign to the keyword phrases that bring you inquiries. You can also observe weaknesses in your campaign and adjust accordingly – in short this campaign monitory will save you time.
As you can see Oast House Media is doing well on most searches but some searches either need to be relaxed (because the market is too competitive) or up the stakes by adding more content targeting the search terms that are lagging behind. For example this blog is using SEO keywords like ‘Google’, ‘SERPs’, ‘Webmaster’ etc. Not high on our target keyword lists but relevant to ‘website design’.
We also ask our new enquirers what they searched for and what search engine they used, this feedback has been enlightening to say the least!