SEO can be a long term process especially if you want to use it to improve your business.
And that is why it is critical that you measure the right metrics.
Measuring the right metrics will show you if your SEO project is heading North or south.
In this article, I will be sharing the top SEO metric I think you should be measuring either you have an in-house staff responsible for your SEO efforts or you have hired an agency to work with your brand.
What to measures:
Let's look at these metrics one after the other.
1: Keyword Ranking
If you really want to use SEO as a traction channel for your business, then the first metric I will suggest you start measuring is the keyword ranking position for your target keywords.
This is based on the assumption that you have done good keyword research and you have selected the right keyword that can move your business.
Measuring your keyword ranking position is critical because 90% of people using Google will hardly click beyond the first-page google site result when they search.
According to a famous quote, the best place to add a dead body is on the second page of Google.
There are tons of tools you can use but the simplest which still remains free is Google Search Console. There you will see all the keywords your website is ranking for. Download it so you can do proper filtering and explore to be sure those keywords are the keywords you want to be ranking for.
2: Keyword Growth
Keyword growth is defined by the number of keywords your website ranks for over a period of time. This metric is important because it helps you determine if your strategy is working or not. While it is impossible to rank for all the keywords you want to rank for, it is common sense that the number of queries you are ranking for will continue to increase as you progress in your SEO effort.
Keyword growth is about both the quality and quantity of keywords your website is ranking for.
3: Organic traffic
What is SEO if it does not lead to an increase in organic traffic. The main purpose of running any SEO campaign is to see an increase in organic traffic to your website.
Measuring your organic traffic can show you how well or badly your SEO effort is going.
One caveat you should keep in mind is that SEO traffic may fluctuate month over month due to a lot of reasons like seasonality, search habit, etc, but at the end of the day, when you do an apple to apple comparison, you should see your organic traffic improves as your ranking position and number of keywords grows.
4: Traffic by landing page
Organic traffic by itself while a very good metric may not be telling you the whole picture when it comes to getting value out of your SEO performance.
That is why it is critically important that you not only measure the amount of traffic you are getting but also you should be measuring the pages this traffic is going to.
What you are looking out for here is actually if the right page you want to rank is ranking for their target keyword. Just like in real estate where it is all about location, also in organic SEO, it is all about the queries you are ranking for and the pages that are ranking for those queries.
5: Top 3 pages performance
Do you know the top pages that are performing very well on your website? Are they blog post?
Are they the service page or irrelevant pages that keep ranking or getting traffic? That is why it is important to track the top organic page performance of your website.
But you might ask me where you should be starting from? I recommend that you start from the top 3 pages, then top 50, then top 100. Every month, I like to download my top 100 pages and see which pages are doing well.
To do so, simply login to your analytics. Take organic traffic as your segment and check your landing pages.
Once you have your top pages, now you can carry out the following analysis.
6: Top exit pages
Top exit pages?
Why should I measure the exist page on my website?
If you are wondering about this then, you need to understand what exist pages are and why it is important that you measure them
An exit page is the pages people leave your website. It is different from the bounce rate which I will explain below.
Measuring the % exist rate and the exit pages on your website can show you where you are leaking the most.
And of course, once you understand which pages on your website people are leaving your website, you can take a look at these pages and try to fix it.
Using Google Analytics, take a look at the pages.
Answers to these questions can help you quickly understand what is wrong with these pages and how to fix them.
7: Bounce rate
Bounce rate is a metric most people get wrong when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of a page. The bounce rate is defined as the % of a user that does not interact with any page on your website and leave from the same page they landed on.
This should be not be confused with the exit rate as explained above. While there is no acceptable benchmark for the bounce rate, you want to make sure that your services pages have a low bounce rate. A range of 10-30% is average. 30-50% is okay. Anything above 70% should start getting you worried.
SEO is not an end unto itself but a means to an end. If you start tracking these metrics, you can quickly improve the performance of your SEO campaign which means more leads for your website and eventually business growth for you.
Only then can you say you have successfully implemented a good SEO campaign.
I know getting started with these metrics can be tough so I created a Google Analytics Dashboard you can start with and then customize.
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