Key performance indicators (KPIs) are some of the most important parts of your SEO strategy but often go overlooked by business owners. If you think about it, however, what better way to ensure your strategy is yielding results than monitoring KPIs for SEO that match your goals? Without SEO KPIs, you can’t effectively track your campaign’s progress to see how your efforts are working and what adjustments you may need to make.
While it’s no secret that SEO results can take time, it is a crucial long-term strategy to effectively scale your business. Setting KPIs for SEO gives you a better position to analyze the effect your strategy is having on your business. To help you determine what you should be looking at to measure your campaign success, we’re discussing 9 important SEO KPIs you should be tracking. Read on and learn how these metrics can help you scale your business.
SEO KPIs You Should Be Tracking
If you asked 10 different SEO Managers what their top SEO KPIs are, chances are you will get a variety of answers. This is actually very normal because KPIs for SEO vary relative to different types of business and the goals within those businesses. For example, the SEO KPIs to track for a local dentist office are likely to differ from e-commerce which will most certainly differ from a SaaS product. These businesses have different target demographics and drive revenue in different ways when trying to grow SEO KPIs
It’s also important to note that not all KPIs for SEO are about showing where you’re winning. If you’re only looking at what you’re already successful at, you’re probably missing out on opportunities for improvement to boost your growth even further.
So, which SEO KPIs are right for you? Take a look at these KPIs for SEO to see which ones are best to monitor the success of your campaign:
- Keyword rankings
- Conversion Goals
- Organic Sessions
- Branded vs non-branded search visibility
- New vs returning users
- Bounce rate
- Average time on page
- Organic Click Through Rate (CTR)
When it comes to SEO KPIs, keywords are probably one of the first things you should be thinking of. No, they may not fully represent the entire picture of how your SEO campaign is working to generate revenue, but they should dictate the core of your on-page strategy for driving traffic for relevant search queries.
The key to this is relevant. Ranking for keywords that aren’t specifically related to your business from the user’s search intent aren’t helpful (a helpful keyword research tip for optimizing your site and content properly). It’s also important to remember that monitoring keyword rankings isn’t just about seeing your wins, but also recognizing areas of opportunity to push the needle for those where you may be just missing out on first page SERPs positioning.
As you look for ways to use SEO to scale your business, you need to measure how your campaign is contributing to your goals, right? Simply measuring overall additional revenue compared to previous time periods isn’t going to give you a sense of how your SEO efforts are working. Instead, you need to be monitoring the next on our list of important SEO KPIs: conversion goals.
Conversions can be sales, leads, or both depending on your business. Knowing what your wins are at each stage of the conversion funnel will help you set up goals to track changes from month to month. You can set up and track conversion goals in Google Analytics, allowing you to create goals for lead generation and sales conversions.
Take conversion goals as KPIs for SEO to the next level by also measuring these goals as percentage metrics. As your site traffic increases, the number of conversions will naturally increase along with it. Measuring conversion goal SEO KPIs gives you a clearer picture of how your organic search initiatives are working as a percentage of overall traffic instead of raw event values.
As your campaign strategy starts to take root and yield results, other SEO KPIs you should look towards are organic sessions. Higher number of organic impressions will result in greater site traffic. That traffic, in turn, leads to more conversions. This is why organic sessions make useful KPIs for SEO to judge your ROI.
Organic sessions are easy SEO KPIs to track in Google Analytics, but you may want to use Search Console as a means to filter out branded search queries and determine the success of non-branded organic visibility and how those are improving the number of organic sessions each reporting period.
Branded Vs Non-Branded Search Visibility
The perfect segue from organic sessions, branded vs non-branded search visibility are next on our list of SEO KPIs you should be tracking. While you want to exclude branded searches in Search Console to view the fullest impact of your organic search strategy, tracking shifts in the percentage split between branded and non-branded organic traffic your site is receiving helps complete the picture. Tracking these KPIs for SEO can help you determine any adjustments you should make for opportunities to move the needle on your overall goals.
New Vs Returning Users
Next up in our exploration of important SEO KPIs you should be tracking is new vs returning users. Search engine tools like Google Analytics makes it easy to separate out new vs returning users in your organic site traffic, but how is that helpful to you?
Statistics show that returning users to your site convert in larger percentages. Where new users are more likely in the discovery stage of the funnel, returning users are typically further down the funnel and more likely to take action.
Additionally, new and returning users are more likely to have different landing pages for your site. This means tracking activities of both gives you a clearer view of individual page values at different parts of the funnel, helping you optimize your site to better match the site visitor’s intent at all points.
We couldn’t talk about important SEO KPIs without mentioning bounce rate. Bounce rate gives you a better understanding of how engaging your site content is and whether or not it may be meeting the needs for user search intent. A high bounce rate means your page isn’t capturing the attention of users and may need reworking to provide additional value and increase conversion events.
Sometimes it only takes a small shift to notice improvements, but if you’re not routinely monitoring these KPIs for SEO, you could miss the victories of your efforts! Conversely, a downshift that goes untracked means you could also be missing opportunities.
Average Time on Page
The overall goal of your site is to keep users on there as long as possible, right? The longer they spend on your site, the more likely they are to convert. This gives the average time on page metric (and average time on site, as well) a spot in our list of important SEO KPIs you should be tracking.
KPIs for SEO are all intertwined. If you find users are spending less time on a specific page, it can be a sign that you need to reexamine the content of it to make it more valuable and applicable to user intent. When you’re monitoring SEO KPIs like average time on page, you’ll want to exclude bounce data to get a better sense of page and site performance. Excluding bounces can help you see which pages are contributing the most to moving users down the funnel and finally converting.
Whenever you research any kind of SEO metric, chances are you’re bound to find conflicting articles saying they’re both super important and the ever-so-popular, “this metric is dead.” Backlinks are no exception! The truth is, however, that building quality backlinks is still absolutely important today and won’t be changing any time soon. Monitoring these KPIs for SEO helps you maintain the health of your link profile. You’ll want to be sure to disavow toxic links and keep those that are adding to your brand visibility and reputation.
Last, but not least, on our list of SEO KPIs you should be tracking to measure the success of your campaign is organic CTR. Not all KPIs for SEO have to be directly related to ranking factors. Organic CTR is a simple metric that shows the percentage of people who click on your page after it shows up in the SERPs for their query. While organic CTR may not be a direct ranking factor for SERPs positioning, organic CTR can be used as an indicator of how relevant and effective your meta descriptions and title tags are as they appear in search results.
It’s understandable if you are unsure about how to think through this or where to begin. It’s a lot of information, a lot to define, and every business is so different. But, one thing remains true, tracking the success of your efforts is a crucial step in the process. Our team can help you along this journey and you can utilize our SEO Services to define this as well as defining the strategy to grow those metrics.