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If you’re interested in SEO, you’ve probably wondered about how your website fares against your competitors. Measuring SEO performance can be a tricky task, and if you look at one metric alone, you might draw the wrong conclusions.
One of the reasons search engine optimization (SEO) is beneficial is that you can track and measure almost everything about it. SEO metrics provide critical insights into how your organic search strategy is performing, whether you’re looking at ranks, traffic, engagement, leads, orders, or income.
SEO analytics also give you the information you need to develop new strategies or revise and improve existing ones.
In this post, you will learn about the key SEO metrics and why you should track them. But first, let us understand the advantages of identifying and tracking the SEO metrics.
Benefits of Measuring Website’s SEO Performance
A website’s performance relies on multiple interlinked factors. So it’s important to have as much information as possible when you’re reviewing your progress.
Let’s take a look at how your company can benefit similarly, by monitoring the SEO metrics.
Tweaking your SEO Strategy
Even the best search engine optimization tactics need to be altered over time. You do not want to be caught off guard by a new algorithm or critical search engine update.
Therefore you must keep up with current trends and advancements in order to predict their future impact. Knowing what’s coming up might help you plan for and prevent liability or a substantial drop in the ranking of its website.
Identifying What’s Working (+ What’s Not)
The benefits of implementing SEO strategies come gradually and never all at once. Therefore, it is obvious that you run multiple campaigns to have a snowball effect.
Here, SEO metrics come in handy as they tell you which strategy or tactic has been producing noteworthy outcomes for your organization and which ones haven’t yielded satisfactory results.
This helps your team to divert and dedicate their effort in the appropriate direction while planning any future SEO strategies.
Optimising your SEO Budget
It is quite easy to get carried away by elaborate campaigns and allocate SEO budget to a wide array of optimization strategies.
However, tracking your SEO metrics can provide an accurate insight into which campaign is performing best and which aspect of your marketing strategy needs to be improved. This helps you optimize your SEO budget.
Staying Updated with New Trends
Search engines like Google update their algorithm 500 to 600 times a year. That approximately counts for one or twice almost every day. It is hard for any individual to keep up with these changes.
However, tracking the SEO performance metrics would help you stay updated with new SEO trends and also educate you on outdated ones.
But how can you figure out which metrics to track?
To start with, let’s go through some of the most important SEO indicators and the tools that may help you remain on top of them.
9 SEO Metrics for Improving Your Website’s Performance
1. Organic Traffic
Your website would be receiving traffic from a variety of sources — direct, organic, paid, and several other channels. While all traffic is valuable, organic traffic is the goal of every business. Organic traffic accounts for 53% of all trackable website traffic. Let’s investigate why.
Organic traffic refers to visitors who arrive at your website as a consequence of clicking an unpaid search result. An organic visitor to a website arrives via a search engine such as Google or Bing rather than through a referral link from another website.
Organic traffic is an important SEO metric that indicates that the site is working properly and that it is helping grow its audience.
You can track the organic traffic via Google Analytics. The campaign results are available under the Acquisition report. You will find a graphical representation of the flow of organic traffic on your website.
The best source of organic traffic is implementing SEO such that your website climbs the ranks on search engine’s result pages. In addition to that, tactful content marketing techniques implemented by an experienced digital agency prove to be another source of organic traffic.
You can effectively improve the organic traffic on your website by creating a long-term SEO and content marketing plan. A few key steps that will help you head in the right direction include:
- Create relatable and engaging content for your website’s blog and publish guest posts on authoritative websites. You can identify and revamp the non-performing content on your website.
- Make the most of your target keywords. Once you’ve compiled a list of potential keywords, divide them into two categories: informational and transactional search intent, and then sort them by volume, user persona, or even pain point. This ensures that your content remains user-centric.
- Get site links by improving your website’s architecture. Keep an eye on the internal link structures. Crawlers require links to move from one page to the next and from one site to the next. Some pages may be uncrawlable due to a lack of links. Submit a sitemap to rectify this.
- Try to appear in Google’s Featured Snippets. You can do this by creating content that answers the how, why or what questions relate to your niche. Adding SEO-optimised text and images elevate your chances of success in this matter.
2. Click-Through Rate
The click-through rate (CTR) on your landing pages is the ratio of users who visited your website after finding it on a search engine result page.
For example, if your site appeared on a results page 50 times in a week and 5 people clicked on it, your CTR is 10%. You can use this metric to see how effective your title tags and meta descriptions are at grabbing the attention of users.
This is one of the most important SEO metrics since it lets you better understand your customers by revealing what works (and what doesn’t) while trying to reach your target demographic. A lower CTR could reveal that you’re targeting the wrong audience or that you’re not using persuasive language to convince them to click.
You can keep a check on your CTR through Google Search Console. The data is available under Traffic > Analytics located on the left-hand bar. The “Clicks,” “CTR,” and “Impressions” checkboxes appear next.
You can click on the CTR box to see a report of your website’s average click-through rate as well as the top-performing pages and keywords.
The average CTR was 3.17% in 2021, however, the CTR usually varies by industry. A simple example is the entertainment and arts industry experienced a CTR of 10.76% whereas the websites related to legal matters and attorneys experienced a CTR of 3.84%.
It is best to figure out what a good click-through rate would be for your company by looking for the average click-through rates in your industry. Once you’re aware of the existing benchmarks and industry averages, you can start making efforts to improve your CTR and meet your company’s objectives.
When attempting to boost CTR, consider the following four suggestions:
- Refine your title and copy to add keywords
- Include strong and inviting call-to-actions (CTAs)
- Utilise images for maximum impact
- Use hashtags to boost your chances of being seen by your target audience
3. Core Web Vitals
Google’s Core Web Vitals are a set of standardised metrics that developers may use to analyse how users interact with a web page.
While Core Web Vitals were designed for developers, anyone who owns a website can benefit from these SEO metrics because they break down the user’s real-world experience on a page.
This particular metric detects user experience concerns by keeping track of each of the three main elements of user experience:
- The speed with which the page loads
- The simplicity of interaction
- The visual stability of a page through a user’s perspective
Google chose three similar measures to assess these critical aspects of user experience:
LCP( Largest Contentful Paint)
It is a metric that quantifies how long it takes for the largest piece of content on the screen to appear. This could be a picture or a paragraph of text. A high rating gives users the impression that the site loads quickly.
FID (First Input Delay)
This is a metric that quantifies how long it takes for a website to respond to the first input. This could be anything as simple as pressing a button. A high score here indicates that a site is quick to respond to user input and, as a result, responsive.
CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift)
It is a metric that assesses your site’s visual stability. To put it another way, does anything move around on the screen while it loads, and if so, how often? There’s nothing more aggravating than trying to click a button as a slow-loading advertisement shows in the same area.
Let’s look at the primary ways implemented by an SEO agency to improve your Core Web Vitals and see how they can help you enhance your website right now!
- Make loading more stable by reserving space for photos and other media.
- Reduce the time it takes for people to load your website by speeding up your server.
- Investigate key CSS to speed up the loading of the above-the-fold content
- Work on improving third-party script loading
4. UX-Related Metrics
User experience is a crucial aspect of any user engagement strategy because it is the SEO metric that directly affects your rankings.
You’ll see better SEO rankings, brand reputation, and audience retention if you put in the effort to improve your UX design. Promising UX design engages your users by making it easy for them to find what they’re looking for.
This has a beneficial impact on Google’s engagement metrics, which are used to rank web pages. Through a trickle-down effect, when you focus on establishing effective UX design, you’ll typically see gains in your search ranks.
In other words, if you can make the consumer happy, you’ll get a higher Google ranking.
Average time on page
The average amount of time spent on a single page by all users of a website is measured by Average Time on Page. The recent average for this metric is 54 seconds across all industries.
This metric ignores exit pages and bounces. Instead, it focuses on the average amount of time users spend on non-exit pages. The last page of a website session is called an exit page.
The time readers spend on a specific page, often known as dwell time, is an SEO performance metric that Google examines. Google considers consumers spending a significant amount of time on your website to be a positive sign.
Alternatively, if users just stay on your site for a short time, Google determines that the page isn’t valuable or relevant to the search query. (NOTE: this is not considered in isolation, there could be good pages where users may not stay a long time, these sort of pages won’t generally be impacted by this)
Users become more interested and spend more time on your website when you focus on offering useful, relevant content. Engaging users enhance your KPIs, which helps you rank higher in search results.
You can keep track of the UX metrics through a heatmap. A heatmap is a tool that can provide you with a lot of information about how people interact with your website.
Heatmaps are colourful depictions of what visitors do when visiting your site. Click, move/hover, and scroll are the three main types of heatmaps. Each kind gives unique data and chances for improving your user experience.
The practice of looking at these charts to acquire important information about user activity is known as heatmap analysis. Patterns will develop after you have data on the various sorts of user behaviour on your website. You can leverage these patterns to improve the experience of our users.
Backlinks are one of Google’s most important ranking factors. Furthermore, a recent analysis of over 11 million Google search results reveals that ranks and the number of referring domains are strongly linked.
The number of backlinks represents the total number of links leading to your site from external sources, whereas the number of referring domains is the total number of unique domains from which you have inbound links.
Backlink quality is more important than quantity. Ten backlinks from authoritative and high-quality domains are worth more than 100 backlinks from low-quality or average domains.
Furthermore, while every quality link you establish is beneficial to your SEO, connections from fresh referring sites are often more powerful than links from domains that have already connected to you
- Top Referral Sources can help you find backlink opportunities
- To form partnerships, use outbound links
- Google Search Console reports also prove to be a good source of backlinks
- Perform competitor analysis
- Create link-worthy, high-quality content
- Backlinks can be captured via infographics
- Write guest posts
- Engage in whitehat link building activities
6. Domain Rating (DR)
Domain Rating (DR) compares the strength of a website’s backlink profile to that of others in the database on a 100-point scale. A high domain rating can only be attained by a powerful backlink strategy, which should not be disregarded.
When you plan your link-building strategy, you must compare several websites in order to get the most out of them.
Meanwhile, DR can be a useful SEO metric to track for establishing links and possibly improving search rankings in a variety of ways.
Internal linking, on the other hand, allows a high DR website to benefit from its own link juice. You can add connections to your web pages in order to reinforce other weak links and improve SERP rankings. This will help improve a website’s overall domain rating.
Here’s how to meaningfully increase your website (domain) authority indirectly:
- Create content that will entice others to link to it
- Pitch websites that are both relevant and authoritative
- Elevate the authority of important pages with the help of internal linking
7. Keyword ranking
A keyword is a term that refers to anything that can be found using a search engine. If a single word or phrase produces a results page on Google or another search engine, it is considered a keyword.
Your website and content must be optimised to rank at the top of search engine results for certain keywords and long-tail keywords in order to see results with this metric.
Doing a Google search for terms related to your business or products is a simple approach to track your Google rating. The findings will show you how well your website ranks for the competitive keywords in question.
As around 28.5% of people click on the first Google search result, the ultimate goal is to get on the first page and as close to the top as possible.
A keyword gap study using reputed tools like Ahrefs will lead to helping you understand the performance of the selected keywords and uncover new relevant queries.
Since people rarely go beyond the first page of search results, being among the top listings is essential if you want to be noticed.
The SEO metrics can help you understand the keywords you’re doing well for, keywords where you’re weak, and untapped phrases where your competitors are earning search engine ranks yet there’s some opportunity for your domain with up to five competing URLs.
Here’s how to do it:
- Use a meta description tag to engage visitors.
- Include the target keyword in a header (H1) tag.
- Include keywords in the text of a page that is both relevant and comprehensive.
- Make sure your website’s navigation is simple, trustworthy, and easy to use.
- Improve the quality of your photographs.
- Provide a page name along with a title tag
- Create a framework that includes internal linkages.
- To generate backlinks, create useful content.
8. Pages per Visit
Pages per visit is a broad indicator of how engaging a website’s content is for users and how effectively it is organised for navigation.
A higher number of pages per visit generally indicates that the material on a given Web page is good, and the connected content – the page’s other links – is relevant and engaging enough to earn a second, third, or fourth click.
A low number of pages per visit could indicate that either the content is insufficient or that the website’s overall design/organization makes it difficult to navigate smoothly between pages.
The average number of pages per visit indicator offers you an idea of how well you can move consumers further down the conversion funnel. If most users only look at one page before leaving, you’re missing out on a chance to convert them later.
Remember that increasing traffic is merely the first step toward increasing revenue. The next step is to persuade them to take action. However, not every visitor is ready to make a purchase.
So choose appropriate SEO services and think of alternative ways to keep people interested in your content by engaging with them in new ways. Pay specific attention to exit pages, where the majority of visitors appear to leave.
Here are some ideas for improving engagement metrics such as pages per visit:
- Make sure your website layout is user-friendly, and your site navigation is simple to understand.
- Create subject clusters around themes to ensure that your visitors always know what to do next.
- Internal links can be used to direct users to other useful pages on your website.
- Add intriguing content to your site, such as videos, surveys, tools, and so on, to encourage people to interact with it.
9. Organic Conversions
Organic conversions are an important SEO metric since they tell you if you’re obtaining the correct kind of organic traffic to your website.
If your traffic is high but your conversions (sign-ups, leads, sales, and so on) are low, it’s possible that you’re not attracting the ideal people to your site. You’re drawing in people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer.
If this is the case, you should examine the keywords that drive visitors to your site and see if they correspond to your client acquisition funnel.
Identify relevant keywords at the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel, and then focus on developing content around those keywords to increase conversion rates.
The SEO metrics is the source that helps you to look back and reflect on the progress that you’ve made through your marketing campaigns. The detailed descriptions of all the essential metrics in this post should help you decide the ones that matter to your niche.
By keeping an eye on these, you’ll be in a good position to make some positive changes that will help your website improve its performance. Most of the figures below should be easily accessible through Google Analytics and they’re all available as real-time data, giving you an excellent indication of the current state of your SEO.