Search engine optimization or SEO is a critical digital marketing strategy for every modern business. Its main purpose is to get you a high ranking on search page results and drive traffic and revenue to your business website.
Like any other business investment, you want to know if you’re getting a good return on your investment or wasting resources and time on your SEO efforts. Whether you’re experimenting with SEO on your own or outsourcing an SEO agency for the job, you need to have a good grasp of how your SEO campaign is performing.
Data: The Most Critical Factor To Monitoring SEO Efficiency
If you want to know how your SEO is faring, it all comes down to data. Without tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), your SEO campaign is like flying in the dark. Having accurate and reliable data is critical to making well-informed decisions so your SEO strategies can produce the kind of results you want. To obtain and monitor analytics for your site and SEO campaigns, you can try using and setting up various tools such as Google Analytics.
Five SEO Metrics To Track
While analytics platforms offer you an abundance of metrics for website performance, there are several KPIs you need to focus on to measure your search traffic. Here are some of them:
The impression is the number of times that your site shows up on a search result page without being clicked on. Impressions are a good starting place since it allows you to optimize your keywords.
When you start optimizing for keywords, you won’t get into the first page right away and you’ll most likely start on the lower pages. So, while you may show up in searches, you won’t get many clicks. The most important thing is that you know you’ve started to rank for those keywords and continue your efforts to crawl higher on rankings.
Organic search traffic is a critical SEO metric since it tells you if people can find you on Google. Thus, an increase in organic traffic is a good sign that your SEO is performing well. In contrast, if there’s a downtick in your organic traffic it can be a good indicator that your SEO strategies aren’t doing well.
Take note that you need to look specifically at organic traffic data and not the overall traffic since other activities outside of SEO can affect your results. Also, you want to compare the same period from the past year to measure your SEO success.
At its core, increased traffic is the ultimate goal of an SEO strategy. Businesses invest in SEO in the hope of gaining more web traffic and leads, and increasing revenue. In this case, you need to look at your organic conversions.
Conversions are when a visitor takes an action on your site. This may include soft conversions such as email signups, form submissions, or webinar registrations. Hard conversions, on the other hand, include service subscriptions or product purchases. Conversion metrics won’t only let you know if your SEO is working, but they can also help determine your ROI.
To increase both organic traffic and conversions, you first need to be found on Google. However, it’s not only important that you exist on Google. You also need to rank visibly on the first page. If you can’t be found on Google, how will customers know about you?
By monitoring your keyword ranking, you’ll see where your website is positioned in search results for the target keywords. The higher your organic keywords are ranking, the better chances you have of users visiting your website.
Before you implement an SEO campaign, make sure to check your current rankings for the list of keywords that you want to target. This can provide you with a comparison to check your SEO performance and results in the future by monitoring if your rankings are going up or down or remaining stagnant on a monthly or weekly basis.
You also need to measure your keyword ranking to determine if you’re using the right keywords. If after a 1- or 2-month period and you’re still not ranking for your targeted keywords, then it may be a sign that you’re targeting extremely competitive keywords and you need to check whether to choose other keywords.
One part of the SEO strategy is to optimize your website for user-friendliness. For users to trust and buy from you, you need to have a well-designed website. It also directly impacts your search ranking since a bad website experience can push you down on search results.
Engagement metrics can tell you if people are engaging with your site. Here are some engagement metrics you need to consider.
This metric refers to a visitor leaving your website after viewing a single page. Bounce rate can range from 0 – 100 percent and may be caused by several factors including slow loading page, bad content, technical errors, and more. A higher bounce rate means your website isn’t performing well and a lower bounce rate shows that your users are spending some time on your site.
Average Time Spent on Site
This is the average duration of time users spend viewing your site. When users spend time on your website, they’re more likely to engage which also increases your conversions. In general, a ‘good’ average time can be between two and four minutes.
Pages Per Session
This is the average number of web pages viewed during a single session on your website. The more pages your users visit per session can indicate that they’re exploring and engaging with your website. If a visitor only visits one page per session, then it can mean that they may have a negative web experience or can’t find value in your content.
SEO is an essential digital marketing investment in today’s business world. By analyzing the above SEO KPIs, you can audit your SEO campaign and determine if it’s working for your business. Doing so allows you to determine if you just need to continue on your usual strategies with a few tweaks or completely re-think the way you handle your SEO.
Either way, understanding key SEO metrics can provide you with interesting talking points to ensure your website’s increased exposure.