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Top 10 Metrics for Monitoring SEO Performance the Smart Way

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Monitoring SEO Performance

The search engines are constantly changing their ranking algorithms. Unless you stay on top of the latest trends, you’ll have a hard time tracking the results of your SEO campaigns. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 10 key metrics for monitoring SEO performance. Read on to find out more!

Google processes over 3 billion searches every day.

Search engine marketing gives businesses around the globe the chance to cash in on this statistic.

In fact, a website that effectively implements Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more likely to achieve online visibility–and even boost conversion rates.

Taking advantage of all that SEO has to offer involves more than mere implementation. It’s essential to monitor the performance of any SEO campaign to ensure you are getting the results you deserve.

Many marketers tackling SEO for the first time are unsure about which metrics to pay attention to when monitoring SEO performance.

In this post, we’ll cover the SEO metrics that should be on your radar for maximum success!

1. Bounce Rate

When a user navigates to your website and immediately leaves, this is called a “bounce.” Your bounce rate indicates the proportion of visitors who have successfully reached your website but have not decided to linger.

High bounce rates can be detrimental to any business, particularly ones that depend on digital traffic to stay afloat.

A high bounce rate can nullify the amount of organic traffic you’ve worked so hard to acquire. This can tarnish your digital reputation and hurt sales.

When analyzing your SEO metrics, pay attention to your bounce rate. As uncomfortable as this number may be, it can also be extremely telling.

A user is likely to “bounce,” for example, if the page the user navigated to is irrelevant, low-value, or uninspiring. Some users leave due to inconsistencies between ads and site content, or a slow page loading speed.

A high bounce rate indicates that your site is not meeting user expectations for some reason. It should be analyzed with your organic traffic metric (discussed below).

There are solutions to high bounce rates. These include boosting page loading speeds, improving a website’s design for user experience, or changing your site content.

It’s also important to ensure that you are choosing the right SEO keywords to match your content. A high bounce rate can indicate that your SEO is working, but the keywords do not align with what your website presents.

2. Organic Traffic

This may seem like an obvious metric when it comes to SEO data. However, your organic traffic metric gives you a quick glance at the immediate payoff of your SEO campaign.

One of SEO’s primary goals is, after all, driving traffic to your website. Organic traffic, in particular, is free to receive–users arrive without the aid of paid ads.

Monitoring SEO Performance

If using Google Analytics to manage your SEO campaign, you can locate organic traffic “sessions” under the Organic Search tab.

It’s best to analyze organic traffic in its full scope due to the nature of SEO’s evolution. Keyword popularity and search engine algorithms change daily. As such, your organic traffic flow is also likely to shift with the tide.

Identify how organic traffic changes on a week-by-week basis. This can give insight into keyword performance in general. A month-by-month overview can also give you a sense of how an SEO campaign dips and rises over time.

3. Time Spent on Site

Analyzing how much time organic traffic visitors actually spend on your site can indicate how effective your keyword selection has been.

This metric should be analyzed with bounce rate and organic traffic data.

In general, the longer amount of time that visitors spend on your site, the more relevant its content.

Furthermore, extended stays are high indicators of solid keyword crafting. Users who find a “match” between search results and site content are more likely, after all, to spend some time on your site.

You can lose a Google ranking if most of your visitors are not spending significant amounts of time on your site. To search engines, this metric demonstrates your authority with regard to certain keywords.

4. Page Authority

A website’s page authority (PA) indicates its capacity to achieve high organic traffic. Sites with higher PA are more likely to achieve higher Google rankings.

What leads to a high PA? Effective link-building on the site itself.

Monitoring SEO Performance

Internal link-building is a key element in successful SEO efforts, as it can leverage optimized content and build authority for individual pages. Google loves link-building, too: read more here.

If your PA is low (less than 25), this is a good indicator that you need to hone your SEO efforts in partnership with effective link-building strategies.

5. Domain Authority

In tandem with page authority, spend some time monitoring your domain authority (DA).

Your DA indicates your website’s general authority, in comparison to the authority of other websites. The maximum DA score you can achieve is 100.

You guessed it: the higher your DA, the greater your odds are at ranking highly for all content.

Elevate domain authority through links (just like PA), but this time, prioritize backlinking.

Backlinks are links to your site found on external websites. They are the equivalent of recommendations or even a positive review because they indicate that another individual finds your content valuable enough for linking purposes.

Well-optimized, relevant content can enable a higher amount of authoritative backlinks, which can boost your DA.

6. Average Page Load Time

When monitoring SEO performance, don’t neglect this key metric.

Many consumers do not have much time or patience to wait for a site’s content to load. If your site takes over three seconds to load, it may be contributing to your high bounce rate.

A longer page load time can also hinder your SEO performance over time, losing valuable organic traffic and tanking conversions.

By improving your load time by one second, businesses can earn 27% more conversions.

How do you boost page load time (and SEO)? Chat with your web host to discuss solutions. Consider upgrading a hosting plan or changing to a new web host more likely to meet your page loading needs.

Changing image and multimedia files can also assist with loading time.

7. Keyword Rankings

SEO is all about helping you earn higher Google rankings. Regular insight into your keyword rankings can ensure that you are consistently choosing high-performing words.

Inspect your keyword rankings in Google Search Console by navigating to the Search Analytics tab. From here, you can learn more about queries and clicks.

Monitoring SEO Performance

Keep in mind that a high keyword ranking is not permanent or guaranteed. Keyword popularity wanes with consumer whims–and Google’s algorithms.

For this reason, KPI can be a great indicator of the type of keyword likely to perform well, given your content and industry.

8. Conversion Tracking

Search Engine Optimization is a digital marketing tool designed to generate leads and influence conversions. As such, when analyzing SEO metrics, spend some time analyzing your campaign’s influence on conversion rates.

Conversion tracking can take a variety of forms, depending upon the nature of conversion that you are seeking. Non-commerce sites will classify conversions very differently than commerce-driven ones.

What’s more, many factors beyond SEO can contribute to conversion rates. For this reason, conversion tracking will likely involve an understanding of several factors at once.

KPI (keyword performance), bounce rates, and organic traffic numbers are all likely to influence conversion rates, for example.

Comparing these numbers with your sales data is likely to give you greater insight into how your SEO efforts are paying off.

Don’t want the headache of tracking conversions yourself? RankWatch can help with that.

9. Organic Click Through Rate

Your CTR refers to the number of clicks your content earns versus its Google impression. In general, the percentage is calculated by dividing clicks by the total impressions.

A high CTR indicates that your site is earning a click almost as much as it is appearing in search listings. This can give Google a sense of your credibility as a site and accordingly boost rankings.

Monitoring SEO Performance

A low CTR can indicate a variety of things. Low CTRs may point to poor ad or snippet crafting. It can also suggest inadequate keyword selection.

10. Pages Per Session

This metric gives marketers an opportunity to assess user engagement with site content. Much like bounce rates and time spent on your site, the pages per session metric presents a window into your users’ minds and intuitions.

In general, the more pages users are visiting per session, the greater the relevance of your content. It may also indicate a high-performing internal linking system.

Your PPS can also give insight into the value of the keywords you’ve chosen for optimization. Analyze this metric on Google Analytics via the Acquisitions tab.

Conclusion

Monitoring SEO performance is central to driving results in any optimization campaign. When you generate SEO reports for any given campaign, always take time to analyze the right metrics.

In particular, prioritize the metrics that give insight into the value of your content. These include bounce rates, pages per session metrics, and time spent on site data. Scrutinize organic traffic totals as well as organic click-through rates.

Assess the relationship between link building and Google ranking by analyzing your page and domain authority. Don’t neglect basic keyword performance, either, by paying attention to SEO keyword rankings.

The 10 metrics highlighted above will definitely help you not only monitor, but improve your SEO performance fairly quickly.

Chris London
Chris London, Owner/Art Director for Pixel Productions Inc, is an expert in brand building, Ecommerce Development, and online marketing... but only after he's had several cups of coffee.
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