One of the hardest parts of being an SEOprofessional is figuring out how well the work you do for your clients is doing. Search Engine Optimizationis a long-term marketing strategy that focuses on getting your website to rank as high as possible on search engineresults pages (SERPS).
It's important to know which SEO metrics to trackto make sure that what you're doing is actually working. If your clients can't see the value in what you do for them, they won't stick around for long.
If you don't measure it, you can't manage it, as the saying goes. Without detailed tracking, you won't find ways to get more traffic from organic searches and make more money.
At the same time, your digital marketing radar might miss threats to the traffic and businessyou already have. Also, there are a lot of relevant metrics for SEOthat can be used to measure the performance of marketing as a whole.
SEOis always changing, and Google's algorithm is always being changed. With this in mind, it's important to keep an eye on key SEO metrics on a regular basis to make sure your site is healthy, properly optimized, and helping your business.
One of the more recent metrics that GA4 brought to our attention is the engagement rate. Engagement rate is an SEO metric that shows how people actually use your site.
Out of the box, engagements include clicks, scrolls, conversions, and more. Pages with low engagement that don't meet expectations will need more work.
GA4 keeps track of conversion data as an event. The "out of the box" version of Universal Analytics didn't give us as much information about how users behave as enhanced measurements do (UA).
Freelance SEO consultant Natalie Slater talks about how important form submissions and form interactions are. Slater says:
First, and most obviously, form submissions are likely to be filled out by qualified leads and could lead to a sale. When possible, form submission emails should be nurtured and marketed again through email or pay-per-click (PPC).
Second, CRO might be helped by keeping track of metrics like form interactions vs. form submissions. If a lot of people use a form but don't send it, it could be because the form is too hard to fill out or because the submit button doesn't work. You can use these metrics to figure out if a site might have any CRO issues.
SEOs seem to like the Google AnalyticsLanding Page report a lot because when asked about SEO metrics, many of them mention it. The landing page report is a great way to see how well the first page a user sees works.
You can see in the same session which landing pages lead to a conversion, which is a great way to figure out which sales come straight from SEO. You used to have to customize your own report in GA4, but now, probably because it's so popular, it comes with a standard landing page report.
It's important to remember that looking at sales directly from SEO doesn't do SEO's contribution to conversion justice. This is why it's important to track other metrics that don't seem so obvious.
You want your contentto turn visitors into leads, and then leads into customers. If your content makes them think about their problems in a new way and gives them new ideas, they'll want to know when you post something new.
This is why email signups are so important for your content. It's an important key performance indicator for your content marketingprogram. The best way to do this is to include a simple signup form that only asks for an email address right in your posts.
Then you have a way to get in touch with your lead and keep them interested, and 61% of consumers still prefer it to other ways of getting in touch.
SEO is more than just keyword rankings, as we like to say. It's about how organically your business gets leads. Still, keyword reach is a good sign that you're doing something right, but it's easy to overlook it in favor of KPIs that are more eye-catching.
Keyword Reach gives you information about where your keywords rank, so you can see how much your organic search traffic is growing. Tracking how many keywords your site shows up for changes over time is a great way to figure out how visible it is in Google as a whole.
Even if traffic and rankings aren't going up yet, this metric is a sign that impressions, rankings, and clicks will go up soon. So, if the number of keywords on your site keeps going up every month, it means that Google is putting your site in the top 100 results for searches where it has never been before.
This is a great metric for new sites because improvements in clicks and impressions can take a while to show, but any increase in the total number of keywords will show up right away.
On the other side of the same coin, clicks from searches for things other than your brand are also an underrated metric. Nonbrand search clicks mean that people who don't know your brand yet can find it.
One thing to keep in mind is that every SEO data source is flawed in some way. GSC is only a guide, not an exact answer. Analytics platforms like GA are better in other ways, but you can't tell the difference between nonbrand and brand on those platforms.
Content engagement is a broad term for what people do when they interact with a piece of content. Content Engagement can be thought of as a message from the user that the content in question was important to them in some way. Based on the channel, this signal is sent in different ways.
Besides interacting on social mediaand sharing posts, people often click on links and leave comments on blogs as well. Depending on the goals of your strategy, some kinds of engagement will be more important than others.
The main point here is that this movement creates a link between the brand and the customer, even if it's not obvious. Unconsciously, the person starts to connect the company with the value created by the content experience. This makes the relationship very loyal and long-lasting.
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a way to figure out how much moneya business can expect to make from a typical customer for as long as that person or account stays a customer.
When figuring out CLV, it's best to look at how much money a customer brings in on average and how much money they make on average. Each gives you important information about how customers interact with your business and whether or not your marketing planas a whole is working as planned.
For a more in-depth look, you might want to divide the CLV of your company's customers by quartile or some other way. This can help you learn more about what works well with your most valuable customers, so you can try to make that work for all of your customers.
What do people say about you? Track where your brand name is mentioned online to find out who is talking about you and how often. Social media, websites, articles, and blogs can all be used to talk about a brand.
You can set up Google Alerts to see where your brand is talked about online, or you can follow branded hashtags and keywords on your social platforms to see where you land in online conversations.
Who wants to find you online? Track the number of searches for your brand name to find out who is looking for you. This gives you a great idea of how well-known and visible your brand is. Look at your organic search traffic and click-throughs to your website to figure out how well your brand is doing in search.
This is one of the most important things for most businesses to track. Not all content has a clear conversion goal, but if you want people to sign up for your mailing list or buy your products after reading your content, the conversion rate is directly related to your marketing goals.
A high conversion rate is always a great sign that your marketing strategy is working and that your content is interesting. But it's important to set the right goals for conversion.
For example, if a lot of people who visit your website sign up for your newsletter, that's great! But you're not using this tool to its full potential if you don't have a plan for how tomarket to your list.
For most types of results, a click on a link that stays within Google Search, Discover, or News is not counted as a click, but a click on a link that takes the user to a page outside of Google is.
If you click a search result that takes you to an outside page, come back, and then click the same link again, that only counts as one click. Each time you click a different link, it counts as a click.
When a user sees (or could have seen) a link to your site in Search, Discover, or News, this is called an impression. In general, an item gets an impression when it shows up on the current page of results, even if the user has to scroll to see it. This is true even if the user doesn't click to see more results.
SEO metrics are data points or indicators that you should track and watch to measure performance and make sure your website stays healthy and optimized.
Monitoring your SEO metrics can help you make plans for the future, whether it's to track engagement or think about SERPauthority. If your SEO metrics are good, it's likely that your KPIs will be good as well.
There are a lot of SEO metrics you can keep an eye on, but here are some of the ones you should pay the most attention to:
- Bounce rate
- Exit pages for organic traffic
- Pages crawled per day
- Local Visibility
There are many tools you can use to find out how well your site is doing. But when it comes down to it, the following four will give you all the information you need to make helpful SEO reports.
Google Analytics, Google's own platform, is one of the best ways to measure how well your SEO is doing. This shouldn't be a surprise. This tool gives you more information than almost any other tool. Also, it's completely free.
It's now a standard tool for site owners and marketers, so if you're not already using it to track how well your site is doing, you should install it as soon as you can.
Search Console is another tool made by Google that can be used to track how well a site is doing.
But unlike Analytics, which is mostly about measuring what people do on a site, Search Console is mostly about helping site owners keep track of how their pages show up in search results.
You can use it to find out which of your pages show up in search results and how many people click on each page.
SEMrush is best known as a way to find out about your competitors, but it also has a lot of information that can help you figure out how well your site is doing.
Its Organic Search Positions report shows you at a glance where your site ranks for your most important keywords and all the other keywords you may not even know you rank for. This makes it easy to keep an eye on your site's search visibility and get a good idea of how well it is doing overall.
Ahrefs is one of the best tools you can use to look at your backlinks. The Backlink Analysistool is mostly used by site owners to find new places to build links, but it's also a great way to keep track of the new links coming into your site over time.
Well-written content keeps the reader interested, improves search engine rankings and traffic, and makes it more likely that other sites will link to you.
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Each of these criteria can help you set strategic goals and improve your business's performance.
This includes searches, page views, clicks, requests for directions, and phone calls. All of these metrics are very important for a local business and should be tracked as SEO key performance indicators (KPIs).
No one can tell you quickly which metrics are useful and which are not. In reality, the metrics you care about will depend on what you want your marketing to do. What's important is to see the bigger picture. When looking at SEO metrics, you need to look at more than one at the same time.
It doesn't hurt to track "too much," and if you're just getting started with SEO monitoring, it might even be better to track more until you find the metrics that work best for you and your site's goals.