Let's be internet friends

9 SEO Metrics That Matter & Drive Results

Defining SEO success is not always a straightforward process.

Sure, improvement in the search engine results pages, otherwise known as SERP rankings, is a good starting point, but that’s just one of the numerous aspects of a successful SEO campaign.  In order to know if what you’re doing is working, you’ll need to gather much more data.

So, which SEO metrics should you be focused on?

In this article, we’ll explore the most important ways of measuring SEO performance and discover which SEO tracking metrics you need to pay the most attention to.

Let’s get started!

Organic Traffic

When thinking of how to measure SEO, you usually look to increased organic traffic to deem whether a campaign is successful or not.

And that makes sense – monitoring SEO performance in terms of the number of visitors that come to your site from search engines is a crucial metric that shows whether you’re reaching a large enough audience.

Organic Conversion Rate

The thing about traffic is that while it’s essential to SEO performance, it doesn’t really mean much unless your traffic is converting successfully into a lead or a sale. Capturing traffic is a great achievement, but ultimately it’s only half the battle.

Let’s be real, your end goal should be to bring in new business. This is done through putting yourself in front of qualified traffic.  All your efforts go to waste if users don’t complete an action while visiting your site, and this is why you must not only track your traffic, but also track your organic conversion rate on Google Analytics. 

If your organic conversion rate is low, it might be a good idea to optimize your conversion rate.  That will give you a better idea on which pages are and are not providing value to your site.

Organic Landing Pages

Sure, tracking organic traffic and conversion rates is great for SEO success, but why not dive deeper? 

The best way to nail down where to allot your efforts would be to look at specific URLs on your site that are providing value by bringing in organic traffic and figure out why that is. This will give you an idea on how to best optimize poor performing pages.

The question you want to answer is: “Why are your popular pages doing so well?”

Once you have an idea of why these particular pages are driving traffic, you can begin making improvements to the rest of your site, which will ultimately:

  1. Boost your SERP rankings.
  2. Drive up your organic traffic.
  3. Improve your conversions.
  4. Allow for a healthier website. A rising tide lifts all boats!

Monitoring and developing organic landing pages is a great way to measure SEO improvements. By pinpointing the differences in strong landing pages and analyzing their content, you can improve rankings and gain valuable insight about the habits and preferences of your audience in the process.

And, if a page starts showing up with great numbers in the organic landing page report, you’ll know your hard work is paying off!

Bounce Rate

While measuring SEO performance, you need to make sure that the visitors that come to your site don’t leave immediately.

That’s where bounce rate comes in. Bounce Rate indicates that a percentage of your visitors leave your site after only viewing one page of your website.

As far as SEO metrics go, your bounce rate is crucial. If a significant percentage of visitors instantly leave, that means there could be issues with your content or site speed. The sooner you figure out the issue, the better off your sites performance will be.

Keyword Rankings

Everyone can agree that keyword rankings are extremely important for SEO success.  With that being said, most people tend to focus on keyword growth above all other metrics. While this makes sense, ignoring other SEO metrics is not recommended. 

Your keyword rankings ultimately play a vital role in your campaign. Take a look at how many relevant keywords you rank for and where their positioning sits on Google. 

This will give you a clearer picture of where improvements can be made. Whether it is rewriting content or adjusting your keyword strategy, you need to be sure you’re finding key terms that will target the right audience.

Click-Through Rate

An important concept to understand when measuring SEO is that rankings alone will not have any impact on traffic to your site. There’s another piece to the puzzle. If no one’s clicking on your site from the SERPs, you’re gonna have a bad time.

That’s why you must track your Click-Through Rate and look for ways to improve it, as it can help you increase your traffic without the need to improve your keyword ranking positions.

SEO tracking is more than being at the top of SERPs. Although it’s important, it does not guarantee that users will actually enter your website.  If no one’s clicking on your site, there could be a few different reasons for that. For example, your meta description may not be not bringing value to potential visitors, or you might be going after the wrong key phrases .

Most users read the meta descriptions to figure out whether your page brings value to them, and therefore makes sense to click on. By including valuable information in your meta descriptions, you’ll be able to increase your CTR.

Pages Indexed by Google

One of the simplest and easiest metrics when measuring SEO performance is checking which of your pages Google is crawling. This metric shows the number of pages on your site that are in Google’s index. 

You can do so with one simple trick. All you have to do is type “site:”, then your domain, then search.

Here’s what it looks like for the Victorious website:
SEO MetricsAs you can see, we have roughly 232 pages indexed. This matches with what we can expect based on our sitemap, so we’re good to go!

If a significant percentage of your pages aren’t indexed, you will want to address this ASAP. This is a serious issue on your site because if certain pages aren’t indexed, Google might not be finding them or deeming them valuable enough, and searchers won’t see them.

On the flipside, you could even have too many or unwanted pages indexed. When too many pages are indexed, it creates a problem called index bloat

Whether it’s because you don’t have an XML Sitemap, crawl errors, or duplicate content, you need to get to the bottom of these problems. In order to tackle these problems, you need to perform an SEO site audit and quickly take action. 

Referring Domains

As you may already know, Google counts links back to your site as votes of confidence that help it determine how valuable and useful your website is.

When acquiring backlinks, your end goal should be to have more high authoritative backlinks than your competition from different domains with relevant content linking back to you. 

Keep in mind that Google looks at quality over quantity. This means that it isn’t about the number of backlinks, it is about how relevant they are to that particular page.

Having links built from multiple domains is also valuable to demonstrate that you are an authority in your space. The last thing you’d want to do is to have backlinks only coming from one site, as this will show Google that you and the other site are related in some way. 

By building high quality backlinks across multiple domains, you’ll ultimately give your SEO efforts a huge boost and improve rankings. This is why referring domains are important and valuable to measuring SEO.

Bonus: Local Pack Rankings

If you’re a local business, you will absolutely want to rank within Google’s Local Map Stack. 

Keep in mind that these rankings are different from the regular keyword rankings and will require additional strategies for optimization.

Still, if you can get on Local Stack Rankings as a local business, it may become your most powerful tool for attracting a ton of targeted, local leads every month. It’s definitely worth the effort to investigate local SEO services.

Learn More

Measuring SEO performance is an integral part of any successful Search Engine Optimization Campaign. We make sure to track our partners metrics as well as our own to continuously improve performance.  Here at Victorious, we use search to unleash every company’s true potential and are committed to not only achieving our clients’ SEO goals but to teach them how they can excel at SEO on their own.

Author
Ari Cruz

Ari is a Bay Area native, she attended San Francisco State University as a student athlete playing volleyball while pursuing a BA in Communication Studies. In her free time she enjoys playing and coaching volleyball, cooking and traveling.

Additional articles

How to Unlock Google Analytics Keyword ‘Not Provided’

A show of hands for all the marketers constantly frustrated with Google Analytics reports saying ‘not provided?’ Don’t worry, that’s completely normal. And yes, there’s a way around it. As annoying as it is, there was a lot of intention behind Google launching ‘not provided’ reporting, starting in 2011. It doesn’t mean you’re shit out of luck, it just calls for a little extra effort to “unlock” and access this data.  As a marketing professional, having access to the organic search keyword ‘not provided’ will give you a huge leg up on the competition.  By unlocking ‘not provided’ keywords  you’ll …

Read Article
6 Min Read
WordPress SEO: Discover the Top 9 SEO Plugins for WordPress

Calling all marketers working on WordPress! If your company’s website is hosted on WordPress, you probably already know that it’s the most SEO-friendly CMS platform in existence. That being said, WordPress SEO is going to be SO SO SO SO vital and the easiest way to begin optimizing your site will be with SEO plugins specifically for WordPress. Note: It’s important to keep in mind the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org as they both have their strengths and limitations.  When referring to “WordPress,” I’m specifically referring to ONLY WordPress.org. Yoast Yoast has 5+ million active installations and has been downloaded …

Read Article
7 Min Read
2020’s Best CMS: SEO-Friendly Website Platforms

Welcome to 2020! As the digital marketplace becomes more and more search-engine centric, having an SEO-friendly CMS (content management system) is a massively important asset. If you’re a professional marketer responsible for your company’s website, you know the pitfalls that come from trying to improve a hardcoded site or a site with a terrible CMS. We’ve particularly seen major issues with the best CMS selection during redesigns and website overhauls. Marketers are caught between picking a seamless and simple CMS and a robust and customizable CMS. Often times, marketers will have to live with this decision for the next 3-5 years …

Read Article
10 Min Read
Let's give your business the attention it deserves