When you think of SEO metrics to track in your digital marketing dashboard, the first thing that comes to mind is probably visibility, right?
What's the point of investing so much time, money and effort into a website if nobody sees it, after all. Well, boosting your site's visibility is just one of the many benefits of an SEO strategy.
But now that you're thinking about metrics and KPIs for your SEO campaign, it might have occurred to you that there are many options available to measure when it comes to digital marketing; should you therefore try to track every single one? No.
Your choice of metrics will depend on what kind of SEO tactics you deploy and where you stand in your SEO process. That's why measuring the wrong things, to begin with, can lead you to some costly mistakes such as choosing the wrong keywords or publishing duplicate content.
This post will cover the topic of SEO monitoring and metrics that needs to be measured in a digital marketing dashboard.
By the end of this post you should have gathered a better understanding of which SEO metrics are key to track, why they are important and things you can do to improve your website's search performance
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Metrics
Search engine optimization has been a staple for successful digital marketing strategies for a long time now.
SEO helps you become discoverable to your audience. It puts you right in front of their eyes, when they are looking for solutions similar to the ones you offer. Because there are certain rules involved in getting ranked in the top page of a search engine, mastering the art of SEO can be valuable in few other ways too, such as
Increasing your brand awareness
Establishing yourself as authority in your industry
Help building relationships with your customers
While it all seems alluring, the benefits come with a catch. Multiple tools make it difficult for site owners to understand what to track, and how, given the massive amount of data available. But the good news is that SEO tracking is pretty straightforward provided you know what to track.
The Digital Marketing Institute notes that “SEO is made up of multiple elements, and knowing what they are and how they work is key to understanding why SEO is so important. In short, SEO is crucial because it makes your website more visible, and that means more traffic and more opportunities to convert prospects into customers''.
So, here we've compiled a list of 5 important SEO metrics you should be tracking in your SEO specific digital marketing dashboard:
You can find this information in the Acquisition section of your Google Analytics account. Select Traffic Sources and then select Organic Search. This will show you how many visitors came to your site by searching on Google and other search engines.
To further drill into the details of this report, you can go into the Acquisition report in Google Analytics and select Organic Search as a source/medium. The Acquisition report will then show you an overview of all your organic traffic sources, including keyword referrals, search engines and social media platforms.
This is slightly different for GA4 users who can find it under Reports > Life cycle > Acquisition > Overview
Organic search ranking is often seen as the holy grail for digital marketers — Improving organic traffic means improving your site's SEO, which is a complex science that involves many factors that go beyond just keywords or keyword density.
Measuring the number of visitors to your site is just the beginning. While it's great to know how many people visited, you also need to know what they did when they got there.It's helpful for identifying which keywords are driving visitors to your site, so you can optimize your content for them and increase click throughs in the future.
That brings to our next metric - CTR.
Organic Click Through Rate (CTR)
Getting a ton of traffic is awesome, but isn’t enough. It's like a potential customer walking past your shop without entering.
The first step in making your visitors your customers is to encourage them to click on search results they see in order for them to visit your site.
Organic CTR refers to the percentage of visitors who click your organic search results. Organic CTR is calculated by dividing total organic clicks by total impressions.
For e.g. if you rank #2 for a keyword that 1000 people are searching for everyday and 100 people end up clicking it, your CTR would be 10%.
The higher the CTR, the more popular your site is with Google users. Rich snippets and your title tag are all factors that affect your chances of improving your CTR.
Watching your page ranking and by optimizing your title and meta description you stand a chance to win the eyeballs of your visitors in the crowded search results space.
Okay, after you lure your audience into your site, the onus is on you to make sure you deliver value to them. Our next metric will provide insight into that.
Pages Per Session
You have spent time, effort and even some money to get visitors to your site, the next logical step would be to ensure you engage them well enough so that they stick around. Perhaps you want them to explore your product and website a bit, downloading an ebook, signing up for a webinar or trying your product.
But how do you measure this activity and how do you know that they like what they see and are happy where they are?
Pages per session is the average number of web pages viewed per user session. It's a metric that tells you how many pages a user views within a single session. A single session is defined as the period of time between when one person enters your website, and when they leave.
This metric is calculated by dividing the number of pageviews by the total number of sessions.
You can track this metric on Google Analytics by clicking on the Acquisition Overview report present on the left nav bar. A summary of the total number of pages viewed per session on your entire website can be found here.
If you want to further drill down to understand what are the channels that contribute the most to your visitor engagement, you can find that by going to Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels along the left sidebar in Google Analytics.
Keyword ranking is the term used to describe a website’s position on Google in response to a specific search query. It can be calculated by looking at the number of times a word or phrase appears on a website compared to other pages that rank for that same word or phrase
One of the important elements that draws users to your website is your ranking position for a certain keyword. When a user looks up something on the search engine like google using a keyword or a keyphrase (also known as” long tail keyword”), google will pull up unique, relevant results that match the searcher’s intent.
Therefore It is important to show up preferably in the top 3 positions to gain the click, if not at least in the first page of the search results.
Google’s Search Console can give a wealth of information about the keywords and queries your site is already ranking for.
To access this, login to Google Search Console > Performance (full report) > Performance on Search Results > Queries
You can even access the page wise keywords that you are ranking for.
There are also many other tools such as Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, SpyFu that can give you some insight into how many people are searching for certain keywords and phrases.
Backlinks (Referring Domains)
Backlinks are the cornerstone of SEO, and they’re an important part of any digital marketing dashboard.
They are links that point to your website from another website. A good backlink profile is one that has a variety of different sources and types, which is what makes this metric so important.
You want to see links coming from authority sites in your industry, but you also want to see links from local blogs, niche blogs, social media profiles, and high-quality directories.
Links from these sources will give you a more diverse backlink profile that improves your rankings in search engines.
Here is what Roberto Popolizio, SupportHost's PR Manager has to say about his link building strategy -
“We learned an important lesson recently after checking our link building efforts, which wasn’t as successful as we’d thought it would be. After taking a deeper look at our links, we realized that DR and traffic alone aren't enough.
A breakdown of our backlinks profile measured by intersecting traffic, DR, topical relevance of each backlink, link positioning, anchors variations and more helped us understand that we were overspending on links that were unlikely to bring link equity to our site. We immediately worked on tracking the revenue generated by each link in order to understand which publications bring more sales, and gain a better insight on what kind of audience is interested in our content and services.”
These are traffic sources (such as direct visits or search engine clicks) that come from websites outside of your own domain.The number of referring domains is a strong indicator of organic traffic and overall website health.
It’s also a good indicator of brand strength — if your website receives links from other sites that have lots of referring domains on their own (which indicates greater search engine ranking power), then people believe in what you’re doing and want to share it with others through their own websites (which means more traffic).
“Digital marketers should track bounce rates weekly. Bounce rates are crucial to be monitored because they help determine if your site is relevant or if you need to improve certain aspects of your site, such as design and usability.
Additionally, bounce rates help you know which specific pages your customers find helpful and not. Usability issues or poor design might cause users to leave the site from the entrance page without visiting any other pages”
Turn your SEO metrics to your advantage
So there you have it.
What better way to begin analyzing SEO performance than to have a strong track record of key metrics that affect your overall brand's performance and search engine ranking?
With the right digital marketing dashboard and a set of carefully selected metrics, you will have the confidence you need to increase your traffic, improve performance and create the results-driven business you've always dreamed about.
Get a pulse on your website performance by using our readily available SEO dashboard
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