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Is there some recommended way of confirming that SEO is working and that your website actually climbs in Google searches?

Should you just search yourself and see how it goes, should you in that case use different computers from different locations, or how do you go about it?

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3 Answers

Google and Bing both provide services for this.

Once you register your site with both of these sites, each will track, your average position, # of impressions, click through rate, and a number of other metrics by keyword. Also, they are free, so there is no reason not to sign up for them!

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And not forgetting simply checking how much traffic you are receiving, via Analytics et al. –  DisgruntledGoat Mar 8 '12 at 10:34
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You need to benchmark. Get a tool like Advanced Web Ranking at http://www.advancedwebranking.com/ and try the free 30 trial. I don't actually like this software much but I am a full time SEO and this is the best there is.

After install set up your search engines, input your keywords and the software will automatically query the search engines for your keywords and get your search engine positions (it also ties in with analytics I think).

Run it weekly (or monthly) and observe the change in your search engine positions for your keywords to see if your SEO campaign is working.

Good Luck =)

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Ok, any decent competitors to these? –  Prof. Falken Mar 10 '12 at 17:06
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I am not sure about advance web ranking. I do believe in tracking keywords through Analytics and webmaster tools. If a particular keyword is on Page 1 and still not giving you enough traffic then it's of no use.

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