SEO is much more than rankings since high rankings don’t always improve your bottom line. You shouldn’t put all your time into rankings and neglect everything else. It’s important to monitor other parts of SEO, such as bounce rate, organic traffic, referral traffic, CTR, conversion rate, etc. When you monitor SEO performance metrics that impact your bottom line, you can work on improving and maintaining them.
Monitoring metrics for SEO is the only way to see whether your investment in search engine optimization is paying off. Additionally, some metrics are highly customer-oriented and helpful in showing your work results to potential customers who might want to use your services. But with so many metrics available, which ones should you focus your efforts on?
<div class="btn-container"><div class="btn-body"><div>Hire The Top SEO Consultants Today</div><a class="btn-body_link" href="https://www.growthcollective.com/services/seo-consultant"</a></div></div>
What Are SEO Metrics?
SEO metrics are a set of numbers and statistics used to analyze SEO performance and website optimization from a quantitative perspective. They provide valuable information on how your search engine optimization efforts influence traffic, leads, and conversions.
By regularly monitoring these metrics, marketers can:
- see how well their campaigns are performing and look for ways to improve their SEO strategies to achieve better results and rank higher in the organic search engine results;
- identify their website’s strengths and weaknesses;
- make data-driven SEO decisions to improve online visibility;
- spot possible growth opportunities.
Let’s imagine a major shift occurred with Google updating its search algorithms. These changes affected B2 B’s bottom line; businesses lost their leads and suffered a dip in their SEO performance. In order to keep up with the latest updates, companies were forced to track their main metrics, identify website issues, and modify their marketing strategies accordingly. This is an example of how monitoring SEO metrics radically changed the course of events and consequences.
Thankfully, there are sundry SEO tools out there that are available for everyone to use.
- Google Analytics (GA) is an advanced, free, and powerful tool to track your website traffic and get valuable insights that help you drive higher conversion rates. They can track things like traffic sources and user interaction, and make use of embedded analytics capabilities.
- Google Search Console (GSC) is another key tool that helps you manage and monitor all aspects of your website. It allows you to easily report on your search presence to ensure that Google is aware of any changes occurring with your website (you can see which pages are being indexed, which domains are linking to your page, and much more).
- All-in-one SEO software can perform various analyses allowing you to view the effectiveness of SEO. Such software (e.g., SE Ranking) can also provide you with tools to check the ranking positions of your website’s keywords, conduct an in-depth website audit, monitor backlinks profiles, and much more.
Top 10 Metrics for Monitoring SEO Performance
1. Keyword Rankings
Monitoring your keyword rankings is critical to improving your site’s organic traffic. Knowing your rankings for specific keywords helps you understand exactly how users come to your site and how your site stacks up against others. It is a valuable metric for measuring SEO success and improving your site’s visibility in organic search.
You should look every once in a while to see where you are and where your search competitors are. Your positions can be affected not only by successful competitors’ marketing campaigns but also by updates in ranking algorithms. This is why it’s important to spot ranking drops immediately and be able to build an action plan. For this purpose, you can use the SEO ranking check tool like the one by SE Ranking. AI-powered tools provide you with extensive data on your website’s keyword positions, identify which keywords and pages bring the most traffic to your website, and pinpoint the most up-and-coming keywords to focus on.
Pro tip: SEO is about considering the user’s intention in their search query, so the keywords they used should match their intent. Search intent should always be a consideration when choosing search terms on your website that will lead a user to conversion.
ROI, or return on investment, is a metric used in business to analyze and compare the efficiency of different investments. At its heart, it’s really very simple: how much you gain from your investment compared to what you put into it. For example, you could measure the ROI of any marketing campaign by comparing how much money was spent with how much revenue was received: $10,000 invested in sales leads means $1 million in revenue – so an ROI of 9,900%.
With ROI, the simple question to ask is: “Is my business getting a return on investment from our search engine optimization efforts?” There are two steps for working out the return on investment of your SEO campaigns. The first is simple: divide the total revenue by the total expenditure of your SEO campaign. The second step is similar but with an added complexity. For example, it may require you to look at what you spent money on during a specific period if you have several different campaigns running. It may also require reporting how much each conversion is worth over a certain period of time rather than averaging out all the conversions that took place.
Pro tip: If you’re striving for a higher return on investment, identifying areas of lost potential is one of the best ways to create greater future ROI. To spot these, you must first understand your customers’ journey toward purchasing, which can be difficult to track unless you know what factors to consider.
3. Conversion Rate
The primary reason to optimize your website is to increase conversions (or goal completions). If a search visitor sees your website and reaches the desired goal—application form, subscription sign-up, contact request, or donation form—it is considered a ‘conversion.’ A conversion is a desirable event when a visitor to your site performs an action you have defined as valuable. For example, you might define a conversion as signing up for your newsletter or purchasing an item.
This metric is calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of visitors who completed a particular action (clicked on an ad, signed up for a newsletter, etc.). For example, if you get 1,000 visitors and 100 of them perform an action you are trying to drive, your conversion rate is 10 percent (100/1,000). It shows how well your page’s content converts visits into completed goals. By knowing your conversion rate, you can adjust your content to make it more appealing to the target audience, thus bringing more traffic to your page.
Pro tip: In order to increase your conversion rate, your call-to-action (CTA) must be action-inspiring. If people don’t know what to do or why they should do it, they are less likely to convert. The action-inspiring CTA is a call to action that inspires cautious yet confident action. It is used primarily on landing pages and is often paired with a contrasting drawing element, such as a bold copy or a drawn arrow pointing to the button.
4. Organic Traffic
Internet traffic is the fuel for building a successful website. Without visitors, your website won’t be able to generate sufficient revenue and will eventually go out of business. Monitoring the flow of visitors, evaluating their funnels, setting the right tracking parameters, and understanding how and why users visit your site can help you significantly boost your organic search traffic.
Organic traffic is defined as the visitors who come to your site from a search engine results page when they’ve searched for a keyword or phrase related to your business/website.
It’s important to track this traffic’s dynamics and how it changes over time. Looking at traffic distribution by countries, search engines, and pages can help generate many ideas for your online promotion strategy. It will show you how much search traffic your website generates from the organic side of things and is usually measured on average per day or month. When looking at these figures, it’s important to consider what the objectives of the website are. If a website has Google Analytics code installed, you can see detailed reports in the “Acquisition” and “Engagement” sections if a website has the Google Analytics code installed. The tool allows you to analyze not only the number of users but also the number of sessions, their average duration, and, most importantly, how users engage with your website–click, scroll, etc.
Pro tip: One of the best ways to boost your organic search engine traffic is by targeting quick wins. Quick wins are long-tail keywords that are low in competition but high in search volume. By focusing on these keywords, you can quickly get a lot of traffic at a low cost.
5. Page experience metrics
Another important set of metrics that directly impacts your SEO results concerns page experience. These metrics show what kind of experience users have while interacting with your pages. They include Core Web Vitals (loading speed, visual stability, and interactivity), mobile friendliness, and website security. Users prefer pages that offer a flawless experience on every possible device and load fast, so Google aims to rank such pages higher than pages with poor UX.
To keep track of these metrics, use Google Search Console’s (GSC) reports. GSC collects data from real users interacting with your website’s pages and detects those which don’t have a good page experience. With the help of informative dashboards, you’ll gain a clear understanding of the exact problems, which pages have them, and their criticality.
Pro tip: Page speed directly impacts user experience in terms of performance and SEO. A slow-loading website will not only affect your SEO efforts and brand equity but also can have a negative effect on customer loyalty and revenue. In order to increase page speed, it is very important to reduce the size of the HTML, CSS, and images and separate resources with rel tags.
6. New Referring Domains
When it comes to SEO tracking metrics, the number of new external referring domains is one of the key indicators for evaluating your link-building strategy. A referring domain is defined as a unique website that links to a target website (aka linked domain) and ultimately directs traffic to the latter through one or more outbound links. Whether building backlinks or looking at what pages are linking to your website, understanding your referring domains and their anchor text is important. That is because search engines tend to place more weight on backlinks from a domain with a high Domain Authority (DA). A website with many high-quality referring domains pointing to it is more likely to have high rankings for related keywords because it is viewed as a trusted and well-established resource.
Google Search Console’s Links report (referred to as “Referrals” in older reports) is a tool for analyzing the links that point to your site. The data it provides can help you evaluate your current backlink profile and track your progress in getting more links. It shows you which domains are linking to a page and how many links exist from each domain.
Pro tip: Guest posting is one of the best ways to market your website, especially if you use it as a way to build relationships with other bloggers and webmasters. This will also help you build great backlinks to your website’s domain name and rank higher in search engines like Google.
Impressions are one of the more measurable factors when it comes to digital analytics. They are used to measure the number of times your site appears in a Google search result. The more visible your site is, the greater its chances of being clicked on and referred to by another site. They offer a way to measure the visibility of your brand and its content.
If you have a newly launched campaign or are making changes to your site’s SEO and content strategy, tracking your impressions over time can be beneficial. You can do this through Google Search Console. You can use filters in the Search results report to compare month to month or quarter to quarter and see which pages and search queries have grown and which have decreased in relation to the country.
Pro tip: In order to increase impressions, you should attempt to select the people who are most likely to be interested in the product or service you offer. The more selective you are about whom you target, the better your conversions will be.
8. Average CTR
Click-through rates (CTR) are an important, often overlooked SEO metric that reflects the value of your marketing efforts. CTR helps you see the overall percentage of impressions on search engine results pages that generate clicks. It enables you to understand how many people click on your CTA or landing page. It also gives you insight into creating a more effective title tag and meta description that match what searchers are looking for.
This metric is represented as a percentage and shows the number of users who, on seeing a particular search result, clicked on that result. For example, if 100 visitors clicked on a result and it was displayed 1000 times, it would be expressed as a 10% CTR. Google Search Console can help you track and monitor the average click-through rate for your website in the Performance report.
Pro tip: In the same way that a headline draws the attention of readers, a meta title and meta description will capture the attention of potential visitors to your web page, which can lead to increased CTR by a lot.
9. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is defined as the percentage of visitors who leave a web page without navigating to any other pages on your site. It gives you a clear picture of how effective each page is at engaging and holding visitors’ attention.
In the SEO world, you can’t ignore this metric’s significance, as it can indirectly affect your site rankings. While many factors affect your search ranking, a higher bounce rate can be seen as an indication that there are elements on your site that put off users from continuing their journey. Site owners usually use analytics to track how many users leave the website without taking any particular type of action. Google Analytics GA4 can help you see how many visitors enter the website and leave immediately.
Pro tip: Bounce rate is a widely used metric that allows you to find out if your website has a certain problem, which results in leaving most of the visitors within a one-page view. In order to decrease the bounce rate, you should understand what is causing visitors to leave your website immediately, which enables you to improve content quality and solve these problems.
10. Average Engagement Time
Average engagement time is a metric that shows how long, on average, a visitor stays when they come to your website. It measures the time of activity: when the user engages in a certain action when they click on an item or perform a search. Visitor behavior is important because it indicates how likely you are to convert a visitor, whether you’re creating interesting or relevant content for your audience. If a visitor spends only several seconds on a page, it’s not enough time for them to be interested in your page’s offerings. As a result, the chances of engaging and converting them into a lead or customer will be low. Understanding your site’s average engagement time can help identify which pages really grab users’ attention and which ones they don’t even look at.
You can measure the average engagement time in Google Analytics GA4. You can find it under Engagement -> Pages and screens, but be aware that this metric does not show the time spent on only one page but rather two metrics mixed: first is the time spent from landing on your site till leaving after finishing a transaction with a duration of at least 5 seconds. This means that if a user visits a page and leaves within 5 seconds, the session will be ignored in this metric. If a user is currently on page 2 and moved to page 3, then the average session duration will sum up the time spent on both pages and still count it as a session of at least 5 seconds so that you will get the visitors’ total time on those two pages added together but divided between the two pages.
Pro tip: Gamification is a form of technology and usability created to introduce game-like elements, game mechanics, and game design techniques in non-game contexts. To increase engagement time, gamification can be used to reward the audience for engaging with your content, thereby creating a positive experience that may ultimately encourage further participation.
When monitoring your SEO performance, it’s important to keep in mind that every business has its own goals. You have to figure out which important SEO metrics to track for your website while connecting them with the primary goal of your company. A set of metrics will indicate whether the chosen optimization strategy efficiently achieves the business goals. In addition, it will give you an idea of how well your business is doing compared to your main competitors in the market.