The process of optimizing your web pages and content to achieve a high ranking on a search engine is known as search engine optimization (SEO). It is ideal to have your content appear at the top of a search engine’s results for relevant keywords related to your product or services. This is why SEO is considered the practice of attracting quality traffic to your website.
Regardless of whether you are a freelance photographer or a party supplier developing an e-commerce site, having a digital presence is crucial for your inbound marketing strategy. Therefore, implementing an effective SEO strategy is an excellent way to start increasing your website’s visibility, growing your organic traffic, and attracting new customers.
Our State of Content Marketing Report has shown that SEO is still one of the most efficient digital marketing tactics. However, having an SEO strategy and implementing it is just the beginning. You must also track the results. In this guide, we will explore the fundamental metrics that marketers can use to measure their SEO performance and results.
How can you measure SEO?
Understanding your metrics in SEO is essential for reaching results. This is the initial stage in assessing the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
While there are numerous metrics to monitor, Google employs over 200 ranking factors in its algorithm, it’s advisable to concentrate on a few at the outset. Identify which metrics are the most essential for your business and consistently track them.
What is Organic Traffic?
When users input a question, word, or phrase into a search engine, they receive a list of results displaying ads and pages related to the search query. Organic traffic refers to the number of visitors your site generates from people clicking on your webpages after they appear in search engine results.
Targeted organic search traffic is desirable for your website because it implies that the person is seeking a specific solution, and if you can offer one, you may acquire a new subscriber or customer. It’s also a reliable indicator of the overall success of your SEO strategy, as an increase in organic search results indicates that your website’s visibility through keyword ranking has improved.
For a comprehensive view of your website compared to your competitors’ traffic sources, consider utilizing our Domain Overview and Traffic Analytics tools. Both tools can help you gain a better understanding of your organic traffic and how your audience is accessing your site.
Begin with the domain overview, which provides a high-level overview of your traffic over time, including a breakdown of organic versus paid traffic. You may examine up to five competing domains. Following that, you may use traffic analytics to get a closer look at your traffic, including total visits and traffic sources such as direct, referral, paid, social, and search. We also offer a unique traffic journey view that allows you to see where your traffic originates and where it goes once it departs from your site, which can aid you in identifying potential competitors.
What is Keyword Ranking?
A keyword refers to any term searched on a search engine. If a single word or phrase produces a search results page on Google or any other search engine, it is considered a keyword. To obtain results using this metric, your website and content must be optimized to rank high on search engines’ results for specific keywords and long-tail keywords.
Conducting a Google search is a straightforward approach to monitor your Google ranking for keywords relevant to your business or products. The outcomes will reveal where your website stands for those competitive keywords.
The primary objective is to be on the first page and as close to the top of Google as feasible since more than 25% of individuals click on the first Google search result.
To gain a better understanding of your keyword performance and discover new relevant searches, it’s recommended to perform a keyword gap analysis. By evaluating up to five competing URLs, we can help you identify the keywords where you’re ranking strongly, the ones where you’re weak, and the untapped ones where your competitors are obtaining search engine rankings, but there’s potential for your domain.
What is SERP visibility?
Every search query on Google generates a search engine results page (SERP) that includes organic results, ads, and SERP features like knowledge panels, featured snippets, and image packs.
Search engine visibility is a crucial metric that measures how often your website appears in search results, taking into account the impact of SERP features. This metric provides an overview of your SEO progress.
To track your website’s visibility, you can use the Position Tracking Tool in the SEO toolkit. Our tool also includes a featured snippet feature that identifies opportunities to rank for featured snippets for specific keywords and provides insights into the current featured snippet’s appearance to help you optimize your content.
It’s crucial to maintain up-to-date business listing information to improve search visibility, so ensure that you know how to edit your Google business listing.
What is Click Through Rate (CTR)?
CTR stands for Click-Through Rate and is a metric used in SEO to measure the number of clicks a website or webpage receives divided by the number of impressions (the number of times the website or webpage is shown on a search engine results page or other platform). CTR is expressed as a percentage, and it provides insights into the effectiveness of the website or webpage’s title tag, meta description, and overall relevance to the search query. A higher CTR means that more people are clicking through to the website or webpage, indicating that it is more relevant and useful to the user.
The click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of users who click on your website from the SERP. For instance, if your site appeared 100 times on a results page in a week, and 10 users clicked on it, your CTR would be 10%. The metric is a good indicator of how effectively your title tags and meta descriptions attract users’ attention.
If your CTR is low, it does not mean you should be discouraged. Instead, optimize your meta descriptions, titles, and URLs, and strive to acquire featured snippets that are relevant to your business. Increasing your keyword ranking can also increase your click-through rate since the average click rate for the first position in Google is 28.5%.
You can review your CTR by opening Google Search Console and selecting “Search Traffic > Search Analytics” from the left-hand menu. Then, click on the “CTR” box to see the report of your website’s average click-through rate, top-performing pages, and keywords.
One way to increase your CTR is to run SEO split tests and apply changes with a positive result. For example, changing pipe to dash in titles resulted in a 9% lift in organic clicks to the variant group of pages.
What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate in SEO refers to the percentage of website visitors who navigate away from the website after viewing only one page, without interacting with it or visiting any other pages on the site. It is calculated by dividing the number of single-page sessions by the total number of sessions on the site.
A high bounce rate can indicate that the website’s content or user experience is not engaging or relevant to the visitors’ needs, leading them to leave without exploring further. In contrast, a low bounce rate indicates that visitors are finding the site’s content useful and are more likely to engage with it further. Bounce rate is an essential metric to measure the effectiveness of a website’s landing pages, content, and overall user experience.
To put it simply, your website’s bounce rate shows the percentage of users who leave your site without taking any further action. This is determined by Google Analytics, which counts a visit as an interaction only if the user clicks on more than one page. Essentially, it indicates the quality of each visit to your site.
It’s important to keep in mind that various types of websites have different average bounce rates. By monitoring your bounce rate, you can also identify if your lead magnet, content, or website design is not resonating with your target audience.
With our traffic analytics tool, you can quickly check your website’s bounce rate by device (mobile or desktop) and see if there have been any recent improvements by looking at the past six months, 12 months, and all-time data.
What is Website Authority?
Website authority is a measure of the strength or power of a website, which affects its ability to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). It is determined by various factors, including the quality and quantity of links pointing to the site, the relevance and usefulness of its content, the site’s age and domain history, and its overall trustworthiness and reputation in its niche or industry.
Websites with high authority are considered more trustworthy and valuable by search engines, and are more likely to rank well for relevant search queries. Building website authority is an important aspect of SEO, and can be achieved through various strategies such as link building, content creation, and establishing a strong brand presence.
What are Backlinks in SEO?
In SEO, backlinks refer to links that point from one website to another website. These links are also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links.” Backlinks are important for SEO because search engines like Google use them as a way to evaluate the quality and authority of a website. In general, the more high-quality backlinks a website has, the higher it is likely to rank in search engine results pages.
Tracking your backlinks can provide valuable insights into the success of your link-building tactics. Besides, keeping an eye on the backlinks you did not create can help you identify potential link-building opportunities.
You can easily monitor your backlink numbers and referring domains with the Backlink Analytics tool.
This tool helps you evaluate your link-building progress, identify new backlinks, and track deleted backlinks. Knowing the number of new backlinks to your site is crucial information that can help you assess the effectiveness of your link-building efforts. A strong follow link profile and new sites linking to your content can indicate a successful link-building strategy.
Page Speed in SEO
Page speed is important in SEO for several reasons. Firstly, a faster loading speed of a webpage can lead to a better user experience. If a webpage takes too long to load, users may leave the site before engaging with the content, resulting in a high bounce rate. This negatively affects the website’s engagement metrics and could potentially lead to a drop in search engine rankings.
Secondly, Google has confirmed that page speed is a ranking factor in their algorithm. In other words, a website that loads quickly is more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) than a slow-loading website.
Finally, a fast-loading website is important for mobile optimization, which is increasingly important as mobile usage continues to grow. Websites that load quickly on mobile devices are more likely to provide a better user experience, resulting in increased engagement and better search engine rankings.
Overall, page speed is an important factor in SEO as it impacts user experience, search engine rankings, and mobile optimization.
Why is time spent on page an important SEO metric?
Meeting user intent is a crucial performance metric for your content. If a user searches for specific information, a product, or service, and lands on your page, spending considerable time there, it indicates that your site met their intent. A high time spent on page score is an excellent indicator that your content aligns with your visitors’ expectations based on the keywords used to bring them to your site.
You can keep track of the average time spent by visitors on your site using Google Analytics. Open the “Behavior > Overview” tab on the left side of your dashboard and click on “view full report” at the bottom to access every page and post on your site along with the average time spent on each one.
In the “Avg Time On Page” column, you can check the average time visitors spent on a specific page. You can compare it with your average reading time to evaluate whether the time spent was too short or long. Also, consider the page’s goal. A 60-second time spent on a page is excellent for a high-converting lead magnet but not for a long-form post. Therefore, if your visitors’ average time aligns with your average reading time, it means your content meets user intent.
What is Conversion Rate?
Conversion rate in SEO refers to the percentage of website visitors who take a specific desired action on a website, such as filling out a form, making a purchase, or subscribing to a newsletter. It is a crucial metric for measuring the effectiveness of an SEO campaign because it indicates whether the website is successfully driving visitors to take the desired action. A high conversion rate means that the website is effectively engaging with visitors and encouraging them to take the desired action, while a low conversion rate indicates that there may be issues with the website’s design, content, or user experience that need to be addressed.
The success of your SEO strategy is best measured by your conversion rate, which reflects how well it impacts your business’s sales. It is arguably the most critical metric to evaluate your website’s overall performance. Your website’s ultimate goal is to display your products or services and convert leads into actual sales.
How long does it take to see results in your seo strategy?
The time it takes to see results in your SEO strategy can vary greatly depending on various factors, such as the competition in your industry, the keywords you are targeting, the quality of your content and backlinks, and the size and authority of your website.
In general, it can take several months to start seeing improvements in your search engine rankings and organic traffic. However, significant changes may take longer, up to a year or more, to become noticeable. This is because SEO is a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort and patience to yield sustainable results.
It’s important to remember that SEO is not a one-time task but rather an ongoing process. Continuously optimizing your website and content, building high-quality backlinks, and staying up-to-date with the latest SEO best practices can help ensure long-term success in your SEO efforts.