Thus far in this chapter we have focused on the basics—the dollars and cents of determining whether you have succeeded in your SEO campaign. As we noted at the beginning of the chapter, these should be your first priority in your analytics efforts. In this section, we will start looking at metrics that you can use to diagnose specific SEO issues. An example of this would be finding out that a major section of your site is not indexed. Another example is seeing how your traffic growth compares to that of your competitors (this helps you decide whether you have set the right objectives for your efforts).
Numerous tools allow you to monitor your site and those of your competitors, providing insight into your SEO progress. You can also use these tools to figure out what your competitors are doing from an SEO perspective. This type of intelligence can provide you with new ideas on how to adapt your strategy to get better results.
As with all such tools, it is important to understand the context of the tools and to have an idea as to what you are looking for. Better knowledge of your competitors’ strategy is certainly one valuable goal. Detecting a problem in how your website is crawled is another.
By selecting specific and actionable goals, you can set yourself up for the highest possible return.
It is valuable to know how many pages in your site are in a search engine’s index. This is interesting ...