Did you know that setting a measurable, quantifiable goal will increase your chance of reaching it?
In the search engine optimization (SEO) world, this fact is no different. In order to see the level of involvement, as well as set new targets, you first have to measure SEO performance.
But, there is yet to be a single tool that measures the success of SEO efforts. Rather, there are several different ways to examine how well the strategies are workings.
This can be beneficial in certain ways, by allowing you to focus in on particular parts of your strategy that may not be as strong as others.
Therefore, using SEO metrics and measurement tools is essential to any good SEO strategy.
Read on to learn eight key numbers to look at when evaluating the effectiveness and weaknesses in your SEO game.
The Top SEO Metrics to Track Your Progress
The number of values you can track in terms of your website and its associated traffic is immense.
But, it is hard to determine exactly what any of these mean by themselves. Here are eight numbers to look at, and what they are associated with.
1. Keyword Rankings
Keyword rankings will help you see if the terms you have been using are improving on search engines.
They can help you determine if you are targeting the appropriate terms and if you are beginning to outrank your competition.
Additionally, it important to understand that the majority of web traffic generally comes from long-tail searches, but this does not mean keywords are not important.
As you begin to add more content and to execute other aspects of your SEO plan, the corresponding keyword ranking should improve. If not, there is likely a flaw in the strategy.
To measure keyword rankings, use free or paid tools such as Serpfox to “track” keyword that correspond to each post.
2. Organic Search Traffic
The entire purpose of SEO should be to gain as much organic search traffic as possible.
Put simply, organic traffic is free traffic, generally generated by search engines. It is traffic that you do not need to pay for an advertisement to get.
Therefore, in investing in SEO, you should carefully track the average amount of organic traffic you get.
However, remember that certain factors can impact your organic traffic, which may not have any relation to your strategy, such as seasonal changes.
3. Bounce Rates
A websites bounce rate is essentially how much time the average user spends on your website before “bouncing”, which means they leave the site.
The goal is usually to keep a user on your site long enough for them to read your content, interact with the page, or purchase an item.
But, this goal may depend on the type of content you are providing, as the answer to a simple question will likely result in a higher bounce rate.
4. Returning Users
The rate of users that return to your site is almost a direct measure of how engaging and interesting your content is.
Visitors will be unlikely to return if the content is mediocre, and does little to engage them.
Moreover, these returning users are often the most likely to buy from you, because they are familiar with your site.
Take time to focus on growing the number of returning users you have by providing them with great content, as well as an interactive website.
5. Average Page Load Time
Visitors who can’t get the page to load are the most likely to bounce, which in turn impacts your total web traffic and strategy.
A good goal for a page load time is two seconds, as the time it takes to load will also impact your overall Google ranking.
6. Organic Click-Through Rate
The organic click-through rate, or CTR, is the ratio of clicks you get to the number of impressions you made.
For example, if you made 10,000 impressions and only 100 people clicked, then your CTR would be 1%.
This measure is very important in SEO because improving it will almost always improve your overall Google rankings.
It will likely do this because if Google sees that more users are choosing your website over others, it will slowly move you up on the search page.
7. Backlinks and Linking Root Domains
The total number of backlinks that a page has matters, and it should always be looked at closely.
Moreover, the number of backlinks you have versus your competitors also matters more than the total number that you have.
The relevancy of backlinks also matters, and you should avoid having too many backlinks that are for completed unrelated topics or sites. Google will likely identify these are spammy.
That said, the overall diversity of backlinks you have does matter, rather than the sheer number itself. Having 100 backlinks on 50 different websites is more powerful than having the same amount of 10 websites.
8. Pages Per Session
The final measure in terms of SEO metrics is pages per sessions. This number will speak to the level of user engagement that your website has, as it tells you the average number of pages a user clicks in one session.
More engaging and knowledgeable content with strong CTAs usually results in a higher number of pages per session.
Quantify the Art of Search Engine Optimization
Overall, tracking various SEO metrics will help you continue to improve upon your strategy, whether you are personally executing it or an SEO specialist is.
Moreover, tracking SEO web analytics will allow you to isolate certain measures that are lower than they should be, and help you understand why they may be low.
Regardless of your current data, you can always improve upon it. One key way to do so is to ensure you have a user-friendly website that encourages visitors to engage with it.
To learn more about building the best website check out my video on a seven-steps for website design.