SEO doesn’t matter if you don’t track its effectiveness. In fact, if you’re not using metrics, there is no proof that your website is well-optimized and that the chosen strategy is really working.
That is why you have to become friends with them in order to thrive online. But the market is overflooded with so many different metrics and each SEO expert adds up to that number.
So if you’re overwhelmed with the amount of information, keep reading to figure out what metrics should be your top priority so you could start working on your effectiveness.
Your website is dead without traffic. It can be paid (generated by ads, paid promotions, and sponsorships) and organic (traffic that you get for free when a person clicks on your link from a search engine).
Because in this article we focus solely on SEO metrics, organic traffic is the number one you should start with.
The best yet free instrument for tracking traffic is Google Analytics.
Check the Hootsuite’s guide to set up Google Analytics if you’re still not having it and let’s keep going.
To track your Organic Traffic click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. At this point, you will be able to analyze your website’s Summary by Day, Week, or Month. To get the number of overall traffic, just scroll down to see the following:
In order to track your success try comparing week-over-week data to analyze short-term effects, month-over-month to monitor long-term results of implemented SEO, and year-over-year to have an overview of the impact your actions had.
This way you can use Google Analytics to evaluate your effectiveness and see exactly what you have to improve.
There is no point in a huge amount of organic traffic that doesn’t convert into your clients. Here, of course, we don’t mean those websites that get revenue by providing ad banners as for that type of business traffic itself is the selling power and the main focus.
When the aim of your website is to convert visitors into real customers, you have to use metrics to measure your conversion status.
You can track conversion via Google Analytics that you already have installed.
To do it just Build the Tracking URL with Google Analytics URL Builder to customize the parameters you want to track.
After you’ve done it, come back to Google Analytics and put your tagged URL in place of a standard URL. This way Google Analytics Tool will start tracking activity from that exact link. If you’d like to get more in-depth info, we recommend checking out the step-by-step Guide by AdStage.
Positions for Keywords you Target
You have to use Keywords to reach your Target Audience. The algorithm in any Search Engine works by matching what the person is searching for with the most relevant results. That is why in order to be displayed in front of the potential customers, you have to do your job researching what specific questions and issues they might have.
Then you have to use those keywords in your Titles, Meta descriptions and all the content you’re uploading.
The easiest way to start is to focus on the keywords you’re already ranking for. You can check what they are with the help of another free instrument called Google Search Console. Read here all the instructions on How to Add a Website to Google Search Console.
When you know what keywords are generating most of your traffic and puts you on the first page in Google, you can then start climbing higher to win the next one.
Besides that, you can use professional rank trackers, like Accuranker or Wincher. They are paid ones but totally worth the money. You can add multiple websites and track your ranking position as well as get all the necessary recommendations and help to make it better. And this is where the Keyword Research Tool comes to help you identify what Target keywords are worth your attention, which one is easier to get attention for concerning your current status, and so much more.
Referring Domains & Backlinks
Google claims that when other pages are referring to your website it builds Authority around your domain. This way, in order to rank higher, you have to work hard on building trustworthy links and accumulate the number of Referring Domains to your site.
You can use Google Search Console to track resources that linked back to you and measure the progress. Also, there are a number of paid tools like SEMRush Backlink Checker and Moz to check your competitors’ backlinks status. But if you’re limited in budget, try free, but accurate tools, like Backlink Checker from Linkody.
Modern users are spoilt. With more and more websites coming out, online visitors tend to increase their requirements towards the page they are clicking on. That is why in order to beat your competitors, you must keep track of your website’s performance parameters.
The metric to keep an eye on is your Website’s Speed. You can track it using Page Speed Insights by Google. This metric matters as Google analyzes how fast your website loads because it’s an important parameter for a high place in search results as well as for User Experience.
To track your website’s speed go to Google Analytics and click on Behavior > Site Speed > Page Timings and then change metrics of the second’s column to Avg. Page Load Time (sec) to track every individual page.
User Engagement Metrics
The way users interact with your website matters and it should be tracked as well in order to provide the best possible experience for them. There are 2 main metrics that you can benefit from.
The first is the Bounce Rate.
To track your bounce rate you can use Google Analytics. Just navigate again to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels and scroll down to analyze the same table you used for monitoring the number of Organic traffic, but this time you should focus on the fourth column. Here you can track the total bounce rate separately for Organic, Paid, and other sources of traffic. In case you want to analyze the same parameter for all the individual pages, just go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages and you’re welcome.
The second important metric concerning User Engagement is Pages per Session.
You can find it in the same table as with the bounce rate but now look at the fifth column. The higher the number, the better users are really interacting with your website. The reason why this metric is important lays in its ability to monitor whether or not visitors find the content on your site interesting. The same goes with the Average Session Duration.
These metrics are your key to understanding if your audience gets what it’s looking for and keeps triggered to stay.
Don’t be frustrated with the number of metrics and tools available on the market. In order to succeed you need to start slow but be fundamental. Don’t just follow random recommendations and hope for a miracle.
Keep in mind that your Target User is what really matters. That is why you have to know exactly who are you talking to with your content and SEO optimization. Your audience has to get what they’re expecting to, people should feel appreciated.
That is why in order to improve you have to track the number of organic traffic you get and know exactly how good it converts into real clients. While focusing on Keywords you’re targeting, don’t forget to monitor how well your websites perform and what your visitors think of you via tracking User Engagements metrics.
We hope you found this article valuable and will use this information to thrive online because we really think you deserve to!