SEO is a very effective tool because it can be tracked and measured. SEO metrics can give you insights into everything: traffic, ranking, engagement, order, or revenue. It can tell you exactly how you are faring and this is the reason why every SEO expert uses it to determine where to spend their time and efforts in their SEO work.
If you want to do a thorough SEO analysis, you should look at your metrics; frequently referred to as KPI (key performance indicators). Looking at your KPI’s will provide you with the data needed to formulate new strategies or improve the current ones in place. In other words, it will tell you if your strategies are doing well or not.
The question now is, which metrics would reflect your site’s performance best out of the thousands you can use. Here are some of the most basic, but essential, metrics that most SEO experts use.
This refers to the visitors who go to your website through search engine results pages that are not driven by paid ads. Your traffic may come from search engines, direct searches, social media sites, and other sites. You will know if your SEO strategy is working by the increasing number of visitors that go to your website from organic search.
Exit Rate (aka Bounce Rate)
This metric measures the number of visitors that leave the website after browsing only a single page. It is important to track this to know which pages are interesting to your visitors. If the exit rate on your page is high, you should consider reworking it.
To reduce your exit rate, make sure that your page’s layout is clean and your content structure is easy to understand. You must also have quality content and visuals.
Average page load time
Site speed is a vital ranking factor. If your site does not load fast, you can lose traffic. Google recommends that your webpage loads within as fast as 2 seconds. The longer your page loads, the higher your exit rate will be. A slow loading rate could mean your site is too heavy with graphics and video or the server you are running your website on needs upgrading.
Click-through rate (CTR)
This is the percentage of people who go to your website after chancing upon it in the SERPs. A good organic CTR is a testament that your listing is appealing to your audience and that your URL, title, and meta description have caught their attention. A good CTR rate will vary by industry. For industrial clients we see 1.8 – 2.4% CTR leading to significant success.
Core Web Vitals
User experience is now one of the main focuses of Google. It measures how delighted or mortified your visitor is with your website. These metric measures load time, interactivity, and stability.
Recent studies show there is a correlation between the number of backlinks and rankings. The more backlinks that point back to your site, the better your ranking in Google will be. However, these backlinks must be of good quality and from authoritative domains or they will not be of help to you at all and too many links from low quality sites can have a negative impact on our rankings and success.
Every SEO expert uses metrics in tracking success. Of course, there are many more metrics that you can measure depending on how you want your website to perform. However, you can start with these basics to maximize your site’s performance.
For more information about this topic, you can check out my blog 10 of the Best Tools to Monitor Your Online Reputation and Why Monitor.
You can contact me if you want to be more knowledgeable about SEO metrics and the ways it can help your business.
Rob Dunford is a marketing consultant based in the Great Toronto Area. He has over 20 years of experience in marketing planning and implementing for small business.