Seo success is defined by many moving parts and although SEO is an umbrella term, we have the ability to measure a number of different areas to determine whether or not your marketing efforts are making waves.
With your end goal in mind, there are some key performance indicators that, when monitored, will measure both your SEO wins and losses.
So which metrics should you focus your attention on?
Your Search Rankings
How well your website ranks is an obvious measure of how well your SEO is doing, but not all search terms are created equal. But you also need to know if the keywords you’re trying to rank for are the right ones. Choosing terms that are too competitive can make it hard for your website to move up the ladder. Conversely, it’s important to remember that ranking first in the search results doesn’t mean anything if nobody is clicking your result. Working on a list of terms that are attainable will get you faster results and more traffic.
When it comes to SEO objectives, high organic traffic is at the top of the list, as it is, generally, in line with your primary SEO goal – to increase the number of visitors who see and visit your site.
It is important to look at your organic traffic reports to get a true sense of how your SEO is doing across all of the different search engines, not just Google.
Measuring organic traffic will give you an indication of the amount of time people spend on your site, the number of visitors, and how many pages were visited. Identifying this will help you diagnose which pages are working, and which can benefit from things like a better keyword strategy, UX design, ALT text, sitemaps, redirects.
Search Engine Visibility
Search engine visibility is a metric that measures how often your website is shown on the search results page, based on the keywords it is ranking for. It is the number that will tell you whether you are in the first position of the search results or on the third page.
With every metric, it is important to see where you stand next to your competitors. If you are ranking at a lower position than your competition, this may indicate aspects of your website may need further optimization.
Ranking high in search engine visibility is important because it directly relates to how much organic traffic your website will receive.
The higher your search engine visibility, the more organic visitors you will have to your site. This increases brand awareness, lead generation, and builds trust with Google.
The Number of High-Quality Links
Links in SEO matter, but more links don’t necessarily mean better ranking or site authority. Low-quality links will not improve your site authority and can even hurt your website rankings.
Quality backlinks (links from other websites to your website) are ranked favourably by Google. This is why having a high number of high-quality backlinks is important in building domain authority.
To ensure you are building great quality links, it is important to track their quality score by tracking their link authority index.
The higher your link authority index the more you will be seen in organic search results. You can use tools like Ahrefs or MOZlink Explorer to find out your website authority index and how many high-quality links are working for your website.
At the heart of all SEO optimization is us wanting to know if our strategies are working. Are people clicking your links? Signing up for your newsletter? Purchasing your merchandise? Booking appointments on your website? Are people taking the actions you want them to take when they reach your website? These metrics will not only help you indicate whether or not your SEO is working but help you determine key areas for improvement, and help you measure your ROI.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that, when set up properly, can help you monitor important metrics in SEO. It requires knowledge in filters and set up but once you can sort through its mass library of data, it will allow you to extract numbers that will help you immensely in your marketing strategy.