Tracking and measuring is very important to running a successful business. If you don’t know what you’ve done and when you’ve done it, how else do you know what’s working and not working? For example, if you suddenly see an increase or decrease in sales or leads, will you know what the cause of it is? Was it a particular promotion or a new source of traffic to your website? Was it a traditional marketing strategy or an online strategy? Arming yourself with data can provide the insight that you need to make strategic decisions as well as provide help with normal daily operations.
Last week, I covered the basics of how to enter SEO meta-tag data and how to optimize your images before you publish your blog posts. At the end of that article, I promised to share tips with you on how I keep track of my SEO data for my articles. Tracking my data (while I’m creating my post in the WordPress admin screen), ensures that I don’t miss entering any important information. It also provides me with an overall snapshot of the content on my blog. I can easily see which categories, tags and keywords I’ve used and it helps me to avoid overusing keywords in my meta tags. After I’ve published my post and I’m ready to submit it to sites like BizSugar, I have quick access to the description, tags, etc. and I can easily copy and paste them.
Which Software Program Should You Use?
I like to keep it simple and I tend to use either a spreadsheet or a word processing program to keep track of information. To track the changes that I make to my blog and my social media strategy, I use an Excel spreadsheet. The reason I chose a spreadsheet is because I often use the “sort” and “search” functions when I’m analyzing a tactic or strategy.
For example, in the column that I’ve labeled “subject”, I’ll enter the name of any plugin that I’ve activated, deactivated or updated along with the date and the specifics. If a new error or issue pops up, I can look at my spreadsheet to help determine the most likely cause (of course I immediately suspect that a plugin is involved). If my Google Analytics shows an increase or decrease in traffic from a specific referral site, I can use the search function to find any changes I’ve made regarding that particular site.
However, I do not use Excel to track my SEO data for my blog posts. Instead, I use a word processing program because I have access to a spellchecker and the “word count” tool. Word count comes in handy because only a limited amount of characters display in the search engine results. For example your “title” field should only contain 70 characters and your “description” should be 155 characters or less. It’s much easier to enter this in Word first and then copy and paste the data into WordPress. Also, it’s important to not overuse the same keywords and to not repeat the same text in each field. By maintaining this data in a document, you can see at a glance which keywords you’ve used and where.
What Does My SEO Data Tracking Document Look Like?
It’s a simple 8 column table in landscape format. The heading/information that I key are:
- The number of the post: (I refer to this number in a worksheet that I maintain to track changes for this blog and in a separate worksheet that tracks the sites that I’ve submitted it to.)
- The blog title: (70 characters including spaces)
- The meta-tag data for the images: (I include the file name, alternate text and description. If I used captions, I would include those too.)
- The description for the article: (150 characters including spaces)
- Date Published
I hope some of you find this helpful. Writing and publishing blog posts can be time consuming but I find that tools like this help me to organize my thoughts and stay on track. Do you use documents and worksheets to manage your business? What works best for you?