On average, there are 3.5 billion Google searches per day, but only 0.78% of Google searchers will click on results from the second page. If you aren’t showing up on page one, you practically don’t exist.
It goes without saying that great SEO is essential to stay afloat in today’s competitive digital market. Every business wants a piece of page one pie. However, SEO doesn’t work overnight, and with so many conflicting opinions about how to do it right for your business, it’s critical to keep track of your efforts so you can avoid wasting valuable time and money.
Many people mistakenly assume that search ranking is the only KPI they need to track for SEO. While rankings are a great measure of SEO success, they do not directly increase your sales alone. You should be tracking multiple marketing KPIs for all of your campaigns, SEO is no different.
Here are the top 10 SEO KPIs you should be tracking.
In simple terms, the ultimate goal of any marketing campaign is to make a profit. Your Return on Investment, or ROI for short, is the amount of money you put into a campaign vs the amount in sales that you receive out of it.
Simply compare your organic revenue to your SEO spend. If you’re making a profit, good job, you’re doing something right! But do keep in mind that SEO is a lengthier process than other forms of marketing, so don’t expect to see a high ROI quickly! Be patient and be sure to also track these other key metrics to ensure you’re on the right track!
Because it takes time to see a return on investment for SEO, you shouldn’t rely on it alone. You need to be tracking multiple SEO KPIs, one of these being the conversion rate. A conversion is any desired action a user can take. This could be anything from signing up to your email list to completing a purchase.
You can set up goals and events in Google Analytics to help track conversions and leads. By tracking your leads’ session activity you can see where in the funnel they drop off and use this information to improve your website and avoid as many future drop-offs.
Your organic visibility is how often your website is shown in search results for the keywords it’s ranking for. It’ll show you how many people saw your search listing, whether they clicked on it or not.
You can track your site’s organic visibility by looking at the ‘Total Impressions’ in Google Search Console. Every time a searcher comes to a search result page that contains a link to your website, it gives you an impression.
Organic traffic refers to the visitors who land on your page from organic search results. There are typically two types of organic traffic: branded and non-branded.
Non-branded traffic coming from more generic queries which exclude your branding, ie: “plumber near me” is a direct result of your SEO efforts.
While you can simply track your organic traffic as a whole, we recommend tracking your branded and non-branded traffic individually, as well as the shift between the two. Google Search Console offers a query filter, so you can filter out traffic coming from branded or non-branded queries.
If you care about your brand’s exposure (pro tip: you should) you need to be tracking Branded traffic. Branded traffic is organic traffic that comes from queries that directly mention your brand or product. These people know about and are intentionally searching for your business.
Branded traffic isn’t a direct response to SEO, but as your SEO gets better and your website gains more exposure, you can expect an increase in branded traffic. Because users already know what they want when searching branded queries branded traffic often results in higher conversion rates than non-branded.
It’s no secret that the higher your rank in search results, the better. Only 0.78% of searchers visit page 2 of search results. For peak exposure, it’s essential that your business is within the top 10 for your desired keywords.
Most SEO campaigns run entirely for this reason, so it goes without saying that keyword rankings are an important metric to track. You can check your keyword rankings using a tool like Ahrefs.
Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors. The more links you receive, the better, right? Not exactly. While having a lot of high-quality backlinks will increase your site authority and consequentially your SEO, gaining low-quality links could damage your SEO efforts.
You should keep track of how many high-quality backlinks your domain receives and try to avoid low-quality links.
Your click-through rate is the ratio of people who click on your listing in search results vs those who don’t. Tracking your click-through rate can help you understand how enticing and relevant your meta descriptions and title tags (what shows on your Google listing) are to what users are searching for.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website without taking any action. The lower the bounce rate, the more engagement your website is gaining and the better the overall experience your visitors are having.
A high bounce rate (particularly when combined with a high CTR) could be because of a disconnect between the title and meta description of your page’s search listing and its actual content. Low bounce rates are not just an indicator of poor engagement but can also negatively impact your search rankings.
While it’s important for your meta descriptions and title tags to be enticing, they also need to be relevant to your page’s content, otherwise, visitors won’t stay for long.
While often overlooked, it’s important to find and fix any converge issues that could be preventing your site’s pages from being indexed, any of these potential crawling problems should be tracked and avoided:
You can find and keep track of coverage issues in Google Search Console under index > coverage.
By tracking these 10 SEO KPIs you can make the most of your SEO efforts. These metrics will help you find and adjust parts of your strategy that isn’t quite working, and replicate those that are working well.
If you need help setting SEO KPIs and achieving them, here are some of the best SEO companies to work with.