11 important SEO metrics you need to be tracking

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SEO Metrics - Video Summary

Digital marketers have a multitude of options to utilize when it comes to tracking SEO metrics.

You can choose to track top SEO metrics in order to measure your success online and decide what decisions to make next.

You should examine SEO metrics regularly in order to assess the performance of your website.

Most SEO metrics can be tracked, and the data converted to actionable tasks you can carry out to improve your website’s performance.

There are several tools you can use in order to track these vital SEO metrics. Popular SEO tracking tools include Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

These are free tools that can help you to focus on developing and improving the most common SEO metrics that will help you to expand your SEO growth and improve your ranking position within SERPs.

Before implementing these tools, it is important to determine which of the many SEO metrics you need to track specifically to add to your SEO success.

You can use the following guide to determine which SEO metrics to track and why these are important.

Search Volume of Keywords (Country Specific)

Keyword search volume is one of the most important SEO metrics that can help your SEO performance within search engines.

It can give you important insights into the popularity of your chosen keywords and how this popularity might change throughout a certain time period.

For example, some keywords are considered seasonal. This could be a keyword like “Halloween costumes” or “Christmas decorations”.

Metrics like the rolling average data of a keyword will give you an average volume for keyword searches throughout the year.

Once you have gained this deeper knowledge about the popularity of your keywords, you can use this to target the performance of specific keywords and ensure you are using them at optimal times throughout the year.

You will be able to ascertain at what time during the year a keyword will perform at its best.

Keyword popularity is an important SEO metric because it allows you to plan your content marketing campaigns ahead of time more accurately and informs your decisions about the keywords you are using.

An effective tool that allows you to perform deeper keyword research is Google’s Keyword Planner.

This tool gives you data about the search volume of keywords based on geographic location within countries, counties, or cities.

You can also choose to combine locations and languages, allowing you to get an accurate picture of these keywords, helping you to improve and target keyword rankings.

Number of Keywords ranked in Google

Another one of the key SEO metrics you should track is the number of keywords you rank for in Google. This can give you an idea of your overall SEO performance within organic search engine results.

A popular tool you can use to help you with this task is SEMrush. SEMrush allows you to see the total number of keywords your site is ranking for in Google.

This is a great jumping-off point for improving your SEO strategy and search visibility.

You can use the data from these same metrics to inform the decisions you make about your SEO keywords in the future.

It can also give you an idea of the keywords you would like to rank for, but currently do not. This should inform the focus of your future SEO campaigns.

This data also allows you to see in what areas of your keyword campaigns you are successful. Perhaps there are high-converting keywords that your site is ranking highly for.

This data tells you that you should continue to use those keywords to ensure you continue to perform well in these SEO rankings. It is these high-ranking keywords that are likely bringing in the majority of your traffic.

When you know what these well-performing keywords are that your site ranks for, you can optimize your site or a particular page further, to help their performance even more.

Positions of Keyword Rankings

This metric refers to where your site is ranking for a specific set of keywords. To track this, you can use a keyword rank tracking tool.

These tools allow you to enter a set of keywords that you are using within your SEO campaign and let you know where you are currently ranking.

You should make an effort to track the performance of these rankings within search engines over time and adjust your strategy accordingly.

You can also generate keyword reports with online tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz.

The ranking positions of your keywords are one of the most important SEO metrics you can track. This metric should never be considered among other vanity metrics, like page views.

Keyword rankings are one of the most vital SEO tracking techniques, giving you a great benchmark for progress and letting you know if your SEO strategy is performing well or where it should be adjusted.

When researching your keywords, you can focus on search terms that are diverse, including both branded and unbranded terms.

Branded keywords target customers who are ready to purchase and can influence your site’s online reputation.

On the other hand, unbranded search terms that target a more generic product are a key component of a customer’s journey and influence the decisions they make when it comes to their buying patterns.

The rankings of your keywords will fluctuate over time so do not rush to alter your whole website when you witness a slight drop in your ranking position for certain keywords.

However, tracking these metrics regularly will allow you to act on any sudden ranking drops and give you a warning when you need to adjust SEO tactics.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is understood to be the traffic you are pulling in from appearing in the search engine results pages (SERPs) without paying for this placement. This is what most of your SEO campaigns are trying to achieve.

The bread and butter of SEO is ranking for keywords related to your industry.

Tracking your organic traffic allows you to see data related to the number of people visiting your website resulting from your SEO campaign.

There are different aspects of organic traffic you can choose to track. You may choose to track overall organic traffic, which is looking at these metrics from a sitewide perspective.

You may also track the organic traffic that is associated with different landing pages.

Some of your pages could be ranking on the first page, while others are getting buried within SERPs. This tells you where you need to be directing your SEO efforts.

This will also show you which of your SEO strategies are performing best for your site.

Tracking traffic data, like the amount of organic traffic your site is pulling in, is a basic SEO tracking tactic.

This is one of the key metrics that tells you how your SEO efforts are performing and if your search optimization campaign is successful.

When you lack organic traffic, you will not be able to obtain organic conversions. If you find you are not getting organic traffic, there is an element of your SEO that needs adjustment.

You can track your organic traffic within the Google Analytics tool. The SEO dashboard will show you many important metrics, as well as your organic traffic data.

It is also important that you monitor your organic traffic results for mobile search results and desktop search results. Mobile devices hold a large market share and are important to track.

You can use organic traffic SEO data in combination with other SEO metrics to assess your campaign’s performance.

Monitor your organic traffic for both desktop and mobile. And try to cross-reference your organic traffic numbers with your other SEO metrics so that you can always be assessing the quality of your traffic.

Google Analytics Goals and Conversion Rates

Organic conversion rate is a key SEO metric, as it gives you an indication of the quality of organic traffic you are pulling into your site.

They let you know whether you are attracting the right type of people to your website, and who have an interest in your product.

Organic traffic however only shows you the people who managed to get to your website. It doesn’t show you whether you’ve made a sale. This is why tracking organic conversions is important.

This can show you how well your site and products are performing when it comes to converting people who arrive at your site through an organic search.

You can use Google Analytics Goals to track your lead generation efforts. Goals will tell you specific information about your customer’s behavior in specific areas that you’re interested in.

For example, you could track the number of people who sign up for your newsletter form, along with the conversion rate for this form.

A low goal conversion rate tells you that not many people on your website are carrying out the actions you are guiding them to perform.

When you have access to this information, you can adjust your website layout and performance accordingly.

Bounce Rate

Your website bounce rate gives you an insight into how many people bounced away from your website after visiting just one page.

The bounce rate is measured in the percentage of visitors, with the lowest percentages being best.

A high bounce rate can mean you need to adjust the performance of your site in order to increase the time visitors are spending.

You can also look at the bounce rate you are generating by landing page. This will give a specific idea of the elements of your site that may be driving, and the pages that encourage people to stay on your website.

Landing pages with high bounce rates might not lead to content that is relevant to the keyword that your organic search traffic was looking for.

You should examine carefully the bounce rate of this search traffic, as a high bounce rate could also mean your landing page answered the visitor’s question quickly, so they left.

High bounce rates could indicate problems with specific landing pages. So how can you reduce your site’s bounce rate?

Ultimately, you need to focus on providing your site visitors with a great experience. This is important to Google search engine and is important to your individual visitors.

There are a number of elements you can focus on to do this:

  • Ensure the landing page aligns with visitor search intent
  • Make the purpose of the page immediately clear and put important details at the forefront
  • Create genuinely great content that makes users want to explore your site more and answers their questions
  • Make the text easy to read and well-written
  • Avoid site elements that interrupt the user experience
  • Improve page speed.
  • Implement call-to-action statements
  • Write a compelling page title and meta descriptions – meta description refers to the content summary of your page
  • Utilize Google Search console to generate your core web vitals. Core web vitals focuses on the performance of your pages and can point out any performance issues to you

Exit Pages

Another SEO metric you should track is the exit pages of your site. Exit pages are the last pages visitors see before they leave your website.

It is important to keep tabs on these pages as there are likely issues associated with them that are causing visitors to leave.

Perhaps they are causing visitors to lose interest in your content. It is important to improve the performance of these pages and keep visitors on your site for longer.

Don’t get confused between exit pages and bounce rate. Bounce rate is measuring the percentage of visitors who are not interacting with your page.

This means they are leaving without engaging, (like commenting or navigating elsewhere) whereas exit rate measures the visitors in the last part of their session.

By keeping an eye on the pages that cause people to exit your site, you can improve your content marketing strategy and meet your visitor’s expectations.

Click-Through Rate

The click-through rate of your site is an important engagement metric. It measures more than just how well your pages are ranking within SERPs.

The CTR can give you an idea of how well your content is appealing to people.

If your content performs well in organic search results, people will click the link through to your website. If your content is not appealing, they will simply scroll on.

Examining your click-through rate can show you the pages of your website that are performing best and drawing people into your site.

These are the pages receiving attention within search results.

It also gives you an opportunity to find out which of your pages has the lowest click-through rate, and encourages you to optimize them. Perhaps your page title or description simply is not compelling enough.

You can use Google Search Console to track this data. A Google Analytics Search Console report can be generated, giving you a percentage figure of people who are clicking into your links after seeing them in search results.

If you notice that one of your key terms is generating a high amount of clicks, you can determine which pages rank for those terms and ensure that the content within these pages is optimized and reflects the search intent of your visitor.

Domain Rating/Domain Authority (DR/DA)

Domain Rating and Domain Authority refer to a score generated by SEO tools, like Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush.

This score gives an assessment of the overall SEO performance of a website. It can be considered one of the key engagement metrics.

This score is generated based on a number of factors, including backlinks, authority of referring domains, and more.

Sites with higher domain authority generally rank better for search queries than sites with lower scores.

Google has not endorsed domain ratings as an official ranking factor, yet it is still important to consider as it is calculated based on the different elements which are official ranking factors.

Appearing at the top of search results can be achieved by putting in the work to increase your domain authority. Domain authority can also be used more specifically and generated as page authority.

This metric allows you to track valuable landing pages on your site and see what is performing best in search results.

This gives you a more specific assessment of your pages rather than your overall website’s performance.

Backlinks and Referring Domains

Backlinks and referring domains are an important Google ranking factor. You can increase your domain authority by obtaining relevant backlinks from other high-quality websites.

You will gain more value from link building from websites that have not linked to you before. These links carry more ‘link juice’ than links from websites that have created links pointing to your site in the past.

As far as Google is concerned, if a high-quality site links to your domain they view you as authoritative or trustworthy.

Receiving a second or third link from this same website will not pack as much of a punch with Google as the original backlink.

Tracking your backlinks within Google Analytics or other tools can help you to stay on top of your backlink portfolio.

However, an even more important metric to track is the number of new referring domains to your website. This type of link-building effort will be most valuable for your SEO strategy.

Crawl Errors

Crawl errors are another metric you should be tracking in order to ensure your SEO is performing to its full potential.

Crawl error is a term for when a search engine bot makes an attempt to crawl your pages, indexed pages or otherwise, but runs into an issue and is unable to do so.

This is generally considered to be a ‘dead end’, which needs to be resolved.

Once the error is noted by Google, it will be categorized as either a site error or a URL error. A site error refers to the entirety of your site, meaning none of it can be crawled.

This is a nightmare when it comes to increasing your indexed pages. A URL error refers to a specific URL and may be seen as a 404 error.

You can figure out the crawl errors within your site through Google Search Console’s tracking. It will provide you with a report that gives you a list of sitewide errors and also allows you to filter these errors more specifically.

It should be a priority to fix any errors right away. This means tracking and monitoring them is of the utmost importance.

You can use tools like Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, or Sitebulb to do this. Google Search Console is popular and easy to use.

The bottom line is, if a bot cannot crawl your page, they cannot index it. This means you have no chance of receiving organic search traffic or conversions.

If you notice an increase in your crawl errors, fix them right away. You want to make sure Google does not lose trust in your site or you may fall in search engine rankings.

Final Words

An important part of your SEO success relies on tracking SEO metrics. SEO metrics are vital to the success of any content marketing campaign you wish to run for your site.

Without paying careful attention to the performance of your SEO, it is unlikely that your content will perform to its full potential. This can lead to a decrease in site traffic and fewer chances to convert leads.

As you have likely gathered by now, the importance of SEO metrics when it comes to your website’s performance cannot be underestimated.

However, there are many other metrics you should pay attention to when it comes to improving the performance of your site overall.

These include conversion metrics, social metrics, and user engagement metrics.

SEO is simply one, albeit very important, aspect of a successful content marketing campaign. SEO truly does form the foundation of your site’s performance and ultimately of the success you can expect to achieve.

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