What is SEO Tracking and Why Does it Matter to Your Business?
You cannot control what you cannot measure, and search engine optimization (SEO) is no different. Professional SEO tracking measures everything and gives you a 360-degree overview of your marketing campaign. It allows you to have a precise understanding of your rankings, engagement, traffic, leads, lost opportunities, and other metrics to manage and improve your campaign to attract more clients in the most efficient way.
According to Search Engine Journal, 49% of businesses consider organic search to bring the highest ROI of all marketing channels. SEO also reduces the customer acquisition cost by 87.41% compared to a digital advertisement. It becomes more and more apparent that SEO expertise can take your marketing efforts to another level, but you need to track its performance to make sure it works right. Today, we are going to take a look at the essential metrics that help you gauge the efficiency of SEO performance.
Top SEO Metrics to Track to Gauge SEO Performance:
Overall, there are more than 200 metrics Google considers to be important for SEO tracking. The truth is, not all of these metrics are created equal. We must cut it down to the most essential factors defining the efficiency of your SEO campaign to make sure you focus on the right things. Here are 12 major metrics to track for measuring SEO performance:
1. New referring domains and backlinks
Backlinks are considered one of the most important ranking factors by Google. The incorporation of relevant high-quality backlinks is meant to increase the authority of your domain. As Google sees it, links from domains that have not linked back to your domain previously, tend to generate more authority than links from domains that have already been linked to you in the past. If the website already links to your domain, it means they already view you as a reputable website with enough authority. A second link from that website will be less valuable than a link from a new website.
If your goal is to gradually build up organic traffic, you need to increase the number of referring domains. The number of natural backlinks has to grow steadily to increase the authority of your domain, which takes us to the next metric for monitoring SEO performance.
2. Domain authority/domain rating
Domain authority or domain rating is one of the SEO tracking metrics used by the majority of SEO tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, and more to measure the overall SEO strength of a website. The total score is calculated using a number of factors such as the quality of referring domains and the number of backlinks.
The score ranges between 0 and 100 using a logarithmic scale, so it gets harder to increase the score as it gets higher. The websites with the highest score are expected to rank better in search queries, and knowing your website’s score allows for more precise SEO tracking.
Let’s be clear, domain authority is not an official Google factor for tracking your SEO performance, but it is still necessary to monitor this metric for tracking SEO results. Domain authority is vital for the most important landing pages on your website. This metric is more important for the ranking of the specific pages on your website rather than the entire domain.
The impression is basically your page being shown in a search result, even if your page is somewhere at the bottom of your search list and the user did not even scroll down to it. Impressions serve as an early indicator of the SEO campaign’s efficiency. As your domain rankings improve, the impressions grow, and that is essential for tracking SEO performance.
After breaking into the top 3, your traffic is going to surge dramatically, so your goal here is to increase the ranking of your website, and impressions give you valuable insight into monitoring SEO performance. You can check your impressions easily using the Google Search Console “Performance” module.
Impressions do not drive any traffic or revenue on their own, so there are many SEO experts who do not use it as a viable metric for measuring SEO performance. However, impressions give you an idea of how many times a particular page or website appeared in search results. This is valuable for tracking your SEO performance as you can now see whether your campaign is moving in the right direction or not.
4. Click-through rate (CTR)
The CTR is a view-to-click ratio which is one of the best answers to the question of how to measure SEO results. It shows you the percentage of impressions that actually generated a click-through to your website. Let’s say, you appeared on a search list a hundred times, and 10 users actually clicked on the link to your website – this gives you a CTR of 10%, which is an SEO metric checker you can use to evaluate the efficiency of your campaign. Similar to impressions, you can track your CTR using Google Search Console.
How to track SEO performance and improve your CTR for a particular page? Here are a couple of tips:
- Make sure your page title corresponds to the search intent;
- Put compelling CTA in your title to attract audiences;
- Create an enticing meta description that provokes emotional response;
- Explain what your audiences will get by visiting your page;
- Structure your data to improve the readability of your pages;
- Use short and effective URLs that contain the primary search keywords.
Obviously, your ranking position and CTR are closely connected. The higher your average ranking is, the more click-throughs you will get. One bit of information that might help you plan and measure SEO performance is that the first page of Google search generates 90% of the clicks, and the first three positions get the biggest slice of that pie.
5. Keyword rankings
One of the more straightforward but still essential metrics for SEO tracking is keyword ranking. Keywords are vital for getting your website noticed by the audiences, and keyword ranking is often a benchmark for the progress of your campaign. You can assess your keyword ranking to see how your web page ranks and study the competitor keywords to see how you can improve your position.
Knowing your keyword ranking and understanding how your keywords fare against your competitors allows for more precise SEO tracking. Keyword rankings fluctuate constantly, sometimes even drastically, but if your ranking drops too much, this might be an early sign of trouble. Such tools as SEMrush, Ahrefs, STAT, and others can help you with monitoring SEO performance through keyword ranking checks.
6. Organic visibility
Organic visibility (also known as search visibility, SEO visibility, and organic market share) is a score for measuring SEO performance that lets you see how much organic search traffic your page gets compared to the total click pool. It aggregates a total search volume and ranking position that drives your CTR.
Different SEO metrics checker tools give you an overview of the website’s total score as well as the score of particular keywords. Both of these SEO tracking metrics are important to track as they give you a concise overview of your website’s performance.
7. Organic traffic
Obviously, organic traffic is what you need for monitoring SEO performance, and you need to know how much of it your web pages generate to see whether your SEO efforts yield the needed results. Without organic traffic, you will have no SEO-based conversions and revenue, which means your campaign failed.
You can use Google Analytics to track your organic traffic and measure SEO performance across different platforms, including mobile and desktop browsers. Knowing how many of the actual, real people visited your website is the key to monitoring the performance of your campaign. With that knowledge in mind, you can make predictions on how many leads and how much revenue your campaign is going to deliver.
8. Organic conversions
Following the organic traffic, you have organic conversions, one of the important SEO tracking metrics that let you know whether you generate the right kind of traffic. If your traffic numbers are high, but your conversions (sales, sign-ups, leads) are relatively low, it means you generate the wrong kind of traffic. In other words, you’ve attracted a lot of people, but they are not the right audience for your product or service.
The disparity between organic traffic and conversions is a sure sign of you putting the wrong messages out. This means that you need to adjust your SEO strategy as well as your marketing campaign to generate traffic from the right audiences that are actually interested in buying your services or products. This is another reason why tracking SEO results is vital and that analyzing all the different metrics allows you to make better decisions and improve the efficiency of your campaigns.
Your goal is to not just bring more visitors to the website but generate sales. That is why you must present the audiences with the right messages, and even if you end up generating less traffic, you might generate more sales.
9. Number of pages indexed
Only indexed pages are shown in Google search results. If your page is not indexed, you won’t get any organic traffic. You have to use Google Search Console once again to see whether all of your website pages are indexed properly.
You should also remember to pay extra attention to the quality of all of your indexed pages. If your pages are outdated, duplicated, irrelevant, or just poorly made, it would influence the overall authority of the website. That is why you have to keep the quality of the pages up by:
- Updating all of your pages from time to time;
- Delete or correct irrelevant content;
- Merge weaker pages into stronger pages and redirect the links accordingly.
10. Page Speed and Core Web Vitals
Google is extremely focused on user experience, and page load speed is one of the factors that influenced UX in the eyes of Google. Higher load speed makes Google rank your pages higher as it wants the users to access high-quality pages first. The difference can be in microseconds, but Google sees it. The best idea is to increase the load speed as much as possible without sacrificing the quality of content:
- Limit the use of images and videos on the page as much as you can;
- Have a clean and refined HLML when posting content on your page;
- Use the right image and video format if you need to use such elements;
- Apply the optimal technology stack when coding your website.
There are other ways to make the pages load faster, but that is not part of our discussion on what is SEO tracking and how to use it. While load speed is a crucial factor, you have to balance it out with the visual appeal, interactivity, and stability of your pages.
11. Pages per visit
The number of pages your average user goes through in a single visit is an important SEO tracking metric that allows you to understand how deep your audience gets into the conversion funnel. You have to remember that getting traffic is just the first step – you need to take your audiences to the point where they actually bring revenue.
Naturally, not every visitor is a buyer but they can become one. To make sure that happens and most of your visitors become buyers, make your offer irresistible, your website layout intuitive and appealing, and your content informative and concise. Use internal links to your other pages to keep the visitors going around the website, and make sure to add engaging offers that would convert visitors into buyers.
12. Bounce rate
The bounce rate is the last but not the least important metric for measuring SEO performance. It basically shows you the percentage of people who visited only one page on your website and left. Although this is one of the negative SEO tracking metrics, it is also valuable as it can point to the problems with specific pages. If a particular page generates a considerable bounce rate, you can tell there’s something wrong with it, and so you can act upon that insight to fix the problem. This can be done by improving the quality of content on your website and reducing the number of things that can disrupt user experience (pop-ups, slow loads, unintuitive navigation).
What are the Best Tools for Tracking SEO Metrics?
There are several main tools that help you measure SEO performance. We have already mentioned some of those, like Google Analytics which helps with tracking organic search traffic, bounce rate, and pages per visit. Google Search Console can be used to monitor impressions, click-through rate, and the number of indexed pages.
Such tools as Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush will show you the domain authority, keyword ranking, and new referring domains. These tools also help you identify technical errors that might influence the overall SEO performance. Such problems as slow load speed, unindexed pages, low authority, and more can all be tracked thanks to these tools.
Evaluating the success of a campaign is vital for any type of website you are trying to rank, and SEO plays the most crucial role in that process. Simply put, SEO gives you all the tools you need to measure the progress of a campaign’s progress, giving you insight on how to make that campaign work better. Knowing all about the critical value of SEO tracking, ignoring it could potentially become a fatal blow to the overall success of your business. Knowing which metrics to focus on allows for more precise monitoring of SEO performance, and applying the right technical tools will help with tracking SEO results.