SEO Metrics To Track In 2023 To Measure Your Growth Mistakes
One of the hardest parts of being an SEO professional is figuring out how well the work you do for your clients is doing. Search Engine Optimization is a long-term marketing strategy that focuses on getting your website to rank as high as possible on search engine results pages (SERPS).
It's important to know which SEO metrics to track to 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 business you already have. Also, there are a lot of relevant metrics for SEO that can be used to measure the performance of marketing as a whole.
COPYRIGHT_MARX: Published on https://marxcommunications.com/seo-metrics-track/ by Keith Peterson on 2023-01-23T09:35:07.827Z
SEO is 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 Analytics Landing 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.
SEO makes it easy to see how metrics from other marketing methods get better. Also, when it comes to email marketing, SEO data gives you the trends and click data you need to see exactly when your users are looking for certain types of content.
For example, a certain time of year might be a good time to read a certain article. You don't have to wait for your audience to look for it and find you (or, worse, your competitor). Instead, you can take the initiative.
SEO should give you ideas for your email content calendar or even your social media content calendar. Using SEO metrics, you can show your audience the content you know people are looking for.
SEO brings in traffic that can be retargeted with PPC. And long-tail keywords work well for ads because they bring in people who have specific problems.
Think about articles that rank for long-tail keywords like "[product] for [specific problem]" or "how to [solve problem] guides." When people click on these pieces of content, their problems are matched to the ads.
Display ads and retargeting messages can be very targeted to get people's attention, build a relationship with a possible buyer, keep your brand in their minds, and eventually get them to buy.
PPC helps SEO just as much as SEO helps PPC. With PPC, you can get to the top of SERPs quickly. You can test the keywords you want to use to see if they convert and if they are worth the work to rank organically. Use both SEO and PPC together to dominate SERPs.
Google's continuous scroll to SERPs was released in 2022. With continuous scrolling, websites might need a listing that stands out in SERPs even more than they did before. Scrolling is easy to get hooked on, and users might find it easier to flip through SERPs until they find the most interesting listing.
As we learn more about this new way to search in 2023, it might be worth keeping track of how high-quality images are used.
GA4 makes it easier to track content. With the loss of bounce rate and the new engagement rate, the bounce is less likely to hurt the value of great content. By page, GA4 lets you measure:
- Scroll depth (to 90%)
- Video plays
- Site search
- Video engagement
- File downloads
All of the above metrics help figure out what a page is worth. If someone scrolls to 90%, reads the whole article, and then leaves the site, the content was still useful. In UA, the bounce rate could make these important actions less effective.
Content that gets people to scroll for a long time or download a file shows that they are interested and can be retargeted or cared for later through marketing automation.
When tracking SEO revenue, customer lifetime value (CLV) is a very important metric. Businesses that are based on subscriptions are a great way to show this. If a user finds your site through a Google search that isn't branded and then signs up for a subscription, the first month's payment might be $10.
But if they signed up for 10 months, the value of that interaction is actually $100. If that customer is offered a referral program and gets three of their friends to sign up for a subscription, the CLV goes up again. Customer lifetime value lets you see how long SEO efforts will last.
Tracking brand mentions and clicks from brand search terms can help marketers figure out how well brand searches are converting. People who look for your brand are, in theory, looking for you and what you have to offer.
Tracking brand searches can help you figure out which pages get clicks on the brand and which don't. If you have pages that get clicks from Google but don't have many (or any) queries related to the brand, then SEO can be attributed entirely to the click.
If these pages also lead to a conversion, SEO is probably the only thing to blame for both the click and the conversion. These conversions are harder to get, but great when they happen!
By keeping track of brand searches, you can see how people look for your brand. You'll find brand searches that you wouldn't find any other way.
If you keep an eye on how people look for your brand, you'll know how confident they are in your brand. If you don't keep up with brand searches, you could miss a chance to rank and lose clicks (and users) to competitors or sites that aren't as authoritative.
Potential buyers who are close to making a purchase but might be a little nervous might look for:
- Is [brand] legit?
- [brand] review
- How does [brand] work?
Groupon is a good example of how these search terms can be used. Because discounts and coupons are a big part of the business, buyers may be wary, but these kinds of searches can be done for many other brands as well.
Reviews, in particular, can cause brands to lose clicks when websites like Trust Pilot or Facebook rank higher than the brand's domain.
Brands can handle these searches by making pages that answer what people are looking for. By doing this, the brand's site is more likely to show up in search results, get a click, and give the potential buyer control over what they see.
Conversions and conversion rates (CVR) are two metrics that should be looked at together. Conversion is when someone does something important on your site. For eCommerce, this could be sales, but it could also be a contact form submission, a download, or something else.
Marketing should always be a way to bring in money. If marketing doesn't make more money than it costs after the initial investment, it's failing.
When keeping track of revenue, you should look at both organic metrics and overall revenue. Remember that SEO is part of other marketing channels that bring qualified visitors to a website.
In the end, one of the main goals of SEO will always be to get clicks and traffic to a website. So, tracking clicks is probably something you'll do in 2023. Conversions don't happen without clicks, and clicks don't happen without impressions.
To keep track of the value of clicks, you need to keep track of clicks and other SEO metrics like:
- Sales direct from SEO efforts (try the landing page report)
The key is to figure out which SEO strategies bring qualified visitors to a website.
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 SERP authority. 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 Analysis tool 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.