SEO: SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
earch Engine Optimization (SEO) is a collection of techniques used in web design and content creation to increase your website’s reach. When done right, your search engine rankings should improve and your website’s traffic can increase. That’s why knowing to what extent your SEO strategy is making a difference is essential.
Fortunately, tracking your website’s metrics and analyzing the trends you find helps you understand how users are interacting with your content. Knowing the most crucial SEO metrics to track — such as page views, bounce rates, and conversions — helps you evaluate which strategies might need to be tweaked and which ones are hitting a home run.
In this article, we’ll share the most important SEO metrics to track. You’ll learn what they mean and how to apply them to your business. We’ll also offer some helpful tips and tools for making sense of the data you collect. Let’s get started!
Why You Need to Track the Right SEO KPIs
Tracking your SEO data and crunching the numbers so they provide you with insightful information definitely requires an investment of time and often money. However, 63% of marketers actively invest in SEO, as well as tracking the data that results.
Without identifying the right key performance indicator (KPI) for your website, your SEO strategy is “flying blind.” This is because SEO metrics tell you exactly how your campaigns are performing, what keywords are getting a response, and which tactics you can stop wasting time on.
When you track and analyze your SEO metrics appropriately, you’ll have access to specific data points that can inform your decisions and increase your leads, conversions, and more. All you need to get started is to know which numbers matter most.
The Most Important SEO Metrics to Track
Websites and their users create a lot of data. To help you sort through the chaos, we’ll take a look at 11 of the most important metrics to track when evaluating your SEO effort.
Keyword rankings indicate where your website appears in search engine results for specific words and phrases. For example, if you have a construction company, a search including the word building may result in your site only appearing on page three of the results. However, if you’ve used more SEO strategies that focus on the keyword contractor, your site should appear in a better position for searches including that term.
The higher your site is ranked for relevant keywords, the more visibility it will have to your audience. This means that in order to improve this metric, you’ll want to do some research to determine which terms and phrases your target audience is searching for.
To start tracking keyword rankings and other related data, there are several SEO tools you can use (check out these awesome options). Google Search Console is the best place to start if you have a small (or nonexistent) budget, while the other products offer scalable pricing depending on your needs.
If you’re looking for a more robust tool, we recommend SEMrush, an SEO suite that’s trusted by 5 million marketers around the world. Its Position Tracking tool makes it easy to see how your site is ranking for target keywords and paid results each day. Plus, you get in-depth insights into your competitors’ top terms.
The good news? We’ve worked out a special two-week trial with SEMrush so you can see if this tool is a good fit for your site!
Backlinks are links to your website from another site. Many backlinks operate like citations, noting where the information came from and referring readers to the original source. Search engines tend to give preference to sites with lots of backlinks, especially if they’re coming from high-quality sources.
Building backlinks can be tricky since you don’t have direct control over who links to your site. Most of the tools out there related to backlinks are focused on tracking existing backlinks and using that information to help you build better content strategies.
For example, Linkody is a backlink-specific tool that delivers a lot of useful features.
This backlink tool enables you to not just track who is linking to you, but also identify and correct any link errors. It can also be connected to Google Analytics.
Just remember that when it comes to getting a backlink, quality matters just as much as quantity. So while it’s good to see the overall number of backlinks going up, you’ll want to make sure that as many of them as possible are coming from relevant and highly-ranked websites.
Organic Search Traffic
Organic search traffic includes visitors who arrive at your website from search engine results rather than through other channels such as social media, paid advertising, or backlinks. One of the easiest ways to track this type of traffic is with Google Analytics.
Organic search is significant because users who find your site this way are typically searching with a specific goal in mind. In fact, 51% of all web traffic comes from organic search, and over 40% of revenue is generated from it.
In other words, growing this metric is one of your best options for improving conversions.
Generating organic traffic requires sharp SEO tactics and effective audience targeting. This means that tracking this metric over time is vital, so you can see immediately what strategies are working and which need to be amended.