Just because you’re optimizing your site for search engines doesn’t automatically mean you will rank highly on the competitive SERPs. To do so, you need to keep improving your SEO strategy. This means choosing the right KPIs to track, investing in reliable SEO tools, and making data-oriented decisions.
If you’re not sure what SEO metrics to monitor, here are a few tips that may help you.
Choose your SEO Toolbox
Keeping track of your online performance manually is possible, but it requires a great investment of time and energy. To eliminate guesswork and make informed decisions, you should invest in SEO tools.
Your SEO tool choices depend on your preferences and goals. Google Analytics is the basis of your data analysis, as it lets you track your major SEO metrics. You can expand your toolbox over time, based on your KPIs. For example, Google Search Console and Screaming Frog SEO will help you assess your site’s crawlability, while SEMrush and Moz are great resources when it comes to tracking keyword rankings.
The problem is keeping pace with the metrics coming from different tools. Also, it is difficult to eliminate those features and metrics irrelevant to you. This is exactly why you should invest in SEO reporting tools like Reportz. Reporting tools like this integrate with most of the above tools mentioned here, letting you combine their widgets and track your crucial metrics from one dashboard. Above all, they let you create detailed SEO reports for your client or boss.
Your website traffic tells you whether your SEO tactics work. Your goal is to see what the causes of the growth in organic sessions are. Apart from tracking your organic traffic sitewide, you should also track your traffic by landing page, as these figures will clearly highlight the aspects of your site that are working and which pages need to be improved.
For most businesses, tracking your traffic by location is going to be helpful as it tells you where your visitors come from. This is particularly important if you’re thinking about expanding your company to new markets or refining your local SEO strategy. However, if you notice that most of your organic traffic comes from the locations that are not profitable to your company, then this is a clear signal that you should rethink your targeting strategies and tailor your SEO efforts to your target market’s needs.
When observed in an isolation, website traffic can be a vanity metric. To make these digits relevant, you should use them parallel with other SEO metrics to see what proportion of your website traffic is valuable to you.
The Bounce Rate
If a visitor ditches your site immediately, this shows you that it is either irrelevant to them or it simply doesn’t meet their needs. This is where the bounce rate shines. This important metric shows how many people left your site right after landing on it. It is expressed as a percentage of visitors and, of course, you want this number to be as low as possible.
Apart from measuring the overall bounce rate, you should also measure it by landing page. You want to know what pages engage people and which ones drive them away. For example, if a certain page has a high bounce rate, this may mean that it’s not relevant to the keyword your visitor searched for. On the other hand, you need to be careful, as it could also mean that a visitor found the information quickly and then left.
The Conversion Rate
Driving traffic to your site is important, but that’s only half the battle. The other half is engaging your visitors and turning them into leads and ultimately into paying customers. This is exactly why you need to measure your conversion rate. This KPI shows the percentage of your site visitors that have taken your desired action. You also want to see what factors impact people’s conversions and learn how to improve or eliminate them. Tracking website conversion by landing page, location, device, and browser can help you see which factors are preventing them from converting.
Keyword rankings are pretty straight forward, they reveal how well you rank for certain keywords. Sure, there are some keywords you will rank highly for, including your branded keyword phrases or targeted long-tail keywords that are closely related to your products and services. However, other target keywords on your list are more competitive and difficult to rank high for and you need to make them a part of your long-term SEO.
Keep in mind that, with the continuous Google algorithm updates, a slight drop in rankings doesn’t mean your SEO tactics don’t work. You need to conduct SEO audits regularly to see whether there are certain issues that may impact your rankings. Most importantly, don’t over optimize and spam your pages with keywords. This is as bad as not optimizing them at all. Keep your keyword optimization organic and focus on those inbound practices that bring value to both search engines and your target audience.
Other Important Metrics to Track
- Average Session Duration. This KPI highlights the average length of your website visits. It is important because it indicates the quality and relevance of your site for your users.
- Page Load Speed. Page speed has been one of the most significant ranking factors for quite some time now and it will continue to be so in 2019 and beyond. In fact, it has even become an important signal for mobile searches, too. Recent research emphasizes that page load time has a substantial impact on user experience and conversion rates.
- Mobile Usability. The number of mobile users keeps growing and it is expected to exceed 5 billion by 2019. To provide its users with exceptional browsing experience, Google has started indexing a mobile version of sites. To measure your mobile usability, you can use Google Analytics’ Usability Report that will tell you what issues your users are facing and show you the URLs of your pages that don’t display properly on mobile devices.
- Page Crawlability. To audit your pages and index them, Googlebot needs to access your pages easily. This is why you need to remove all potential crawl errors from your site. One of the quickest ways to audit your site’s crawlability is to use Fetch as Google that can be found in Google’s Search Console.
Over to You
By performing regular SEO audits and monitoring your major KPIs, you will be able to identify the major problems in your SEO strategy and fix them. Above all, this will help you boost user experience, get yourself noticed, and achieve your business goals.