A very important step in the Search Engine Optimisation process is benchmarking. This is where you get some metrics on the current state of your website and its position in the search engine environment against its competitors.

First, you need to carry out a benchmarking of the site’s current web traffic statistics to enable tracking of your ROI. There are several web stats analysis applications available for this task, and I find that using a combination of these tools is better than relying on any one. Mostly, at this point you are looking for the amount of traffic to the site to compare against the amount of traffic coming to the site as the project progresses.

Next, you need to examine search engine rankings for various likely keywords or keyphrases target clients might type into search engines to find the site. You will need a list of keywords to use as a baseline.

The last step is a technical audit of the site which will flag any issues that could be harming your search engine rankings. There are some elements of websites that search engines just read better than others. These need to be addressed as a last part of the benchmarking process.