Why SEO Metrics Are Important
In digital marketing, monitoring and evaluating the performance of your SEO efforts is paramount to the success of your business. This is especially relevant for marketers who have implemented A/B testing in their SEO strategy, so having the right metrics that can be evaluated and compared is crucial to evaluating your success.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at which SEO metrics you should be taking a look at in your SEO reporting:
1. Organic Traffic
Organic traffic refers to the visitors that you receive on your website that have been directed from the unpaid placement in the search engine result page.
Some may argue that this is the most important SEO metric to take note of because it highlights the main goal of SEO, to rank your website listing as high as possible on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Essentially, this metric follows the assumption that high ranking results generate a larger volume of traffic.
Organic traffic can also be broken down in two metrics, namely: organic traffic by landing page, and organic traffic by location.
- Landing page – This metric gives a good indication on which pages of your website are the most popular, and therefore which pages need some improvement (usually in on page optimization).
- Location – A very valuable metric for businesses that are applying different SEO strategies for different geographic regions. The organic traffic by location can tell you a lot about the type of people that are visiting your website, and can give you the information you need to see if your SEO efforts are serving the targeted location or if the location that is most responsive is profitable. With the data this metric provides, it is easy to see if changes need to be made to your SEO strategy so that your SEO efforts are yielding the greatest reward.
2. Organic Bounce Rate
The bounce rate of a website tells the number of website visitors that have “bounced” off of the website after only viewing a single page. This metric is expressed as a percentage and should be incredibly valuable for marketers, as a high bounce rate gives the indication that the visitors do not find the landing page useful or easy to navigate.
It should be a top priority for marketers to reduce this percentage.
3. Keyword Rankings
Keywords are a powerful tool that can increase your ranking on SERPs if the right keywords are chosen. A high converting keyword selection can result in a greater number of organic visitors to your website, especially if the correct long-tail keywords are chosen and implemented.
The reason why you should be using a strong keyword ranking tool like SEMrush to track this metric, is because a list of your top ranking keywords gives you a good indication of the keywords you should implement on your landing pages.
It is also important to note which keywords are present on your website that you do not wish to rank for. These negative keywords will be highlighted in a keyword ranking metric, and can then be removed from your ranking keywords so that you do not attract the wrong visitors to your website.
4. Time On Site And Pages Per Visit
Both of these metrics, expressed as an average, are pretty self explanatory. Time on page is the average amount of time a visitor spends on the website before they leave, and pages per visit show the average number of pages that a visitor navigates to in a single session on the website.
These metrics are considered “engagement metrics” and they tell a lot about a visitors’ behaviour on your website. The assumption is that higher time on page and pages per visit data means that visitors enjoy the content of the website and feel that the time spent on each page is worth it.
5. Organic Conversions
This is a very important metric. Once you have revealed the number of organic visitors that are being directed to your website, it is important to evaluate the quality of these visitors, and this is done by monitoring either the number of conversions, or the conversion rate expressed as a percentage.
Using a tool like Google Analytics you are able to set up this metric by identifying what your goals are, and these will be used to determine whether a visitor has converted or not. The goals can range from making a sale or entering in their email address or any other dimension that you would consider a goal.
Organic conversions can also be broken down further to a couple sub metrics. Organic Conversions By:
- Landing page – Very, very important metric. This metric can allow you to evaluate if the pages that you expect to be converting visitors are as effective as they should be. If not, it is possible that the marketing messaging on the page should be updated.
- Location – Similar to Organic Traffic By Location, this metric allows you to see if you SEO efforts are reaching the desired geographic region that is considered to be most profitable or successful.
- Device – With the rise of the mobile market, appealing to the mobile audience is paramount. Therefore, if the conversions on mobile devices are low, it is possible that the website needs to be optimized for mobile.
6. Top Exit Pages
This metric refers to the page that each organic visitor is on when they leave you website.
This metric gives you good insight into which of our webpages cause your visitors to lose interest in the website and leave. The metric is expressed as a percentage, and therefore those web pages that show a higher percentage should be looked at so that they can be improved on.
7. Page Speed
Fast loading content on a website is crucial for creating a good user experience for each visitor. A website that requires a longer time to load its main content and media will result in a bad user experience for the visitor, and can often result in them leaving the website if they feel that the page load speed is too slow.
When evaluating page load speed it is important to mention two elements; page load time and time to first byte.
- Page load time – this is how long it takes for a website to fully load all of its content on a particular webpage
- Time to first byte – this refers to how long it takes for your browser to receive an input request from the user, and load the first bit of information from your website.
Both of these metrics should be optimized in order to maximise the performance of the website and increase the visitors overall user experience.
8. New vs Returning visitors
There are so many powerful metrics when monitoring SEO performance and the breakdown between new vs returning visitors is definitely one of them!
First of all, marketers should be excited if they noticed that their website has a high number of returning visitors as this indicates that they had a positive experience in their first session on the website, and are more likely to repeat buy or convert.
A high number of new visitors is also a good statistic as it shows that the SEO strategy is working at generating more organic traffic, however it is important to look at this metric in combination with some mentioned above. While a high number of new visitors is excellent for a business, highlighting the percentage of these visitors that are actually converting is important to see if the correct audience is being reached with the marketing efforts.
It is also important to note that new visitors are also more likely to bounce from your website than returning visitors, and therefore seeing a spike in your bounce rate when you notice an increase in new visitors is not uncommon.
9. Click Through Rate (CTR)
CTR measures the number of visitors that click on your SERP link when they see it, instead of scrolling past it. This is a valuable metric that indicates how effective and relevant your page title and meta description are.
If you see that your websites CTR percentage is low, it means that your content is not appealing to visitors and you will not see the volumes of organic traffic that you expect.
It is important to note that each landing page will have its own CTR and therefore you should look at optimizing the keywords, meta descriptions and page titles for each landing page so that the landing pages are delivered to the correct audience, and the link is more appealing to a potential visitor while they are scrolling through SERPs.
10. Mobile Traffic
As mentioned before, the mobile market is booming and the percentage of internet users on mobile devices is steadily growing. This has resulted in Google implementing mobile-first indexing to capitalise on the growing number of mobile internet users.
Pretty evident that marketers should be focussing on mobile metrics for reporting on their SEO efforts right?
There are many metrics already mentioned above that can be repurposed in the mobile context and create valuable insights into the behaviour and trends of mobile visitors to your website.
Elaborating on this, basically all the metrics mentioned above can be looked at for both desktop and mobile separately, with special attention put towards mobile metrics. The reason for this is because visitors on different devices have different user experiences from one another and therefore the data cannot be generalised between the two different types of devices.
It is up to you to look at each metric separately for each device, and treat the results as independent from one another.
With plenty of new SEO metrics to add to your digital marketing reports, it’s time to take your SEO to the next level and optimize your website for success!
Don’t forget to check out how we at Oviond can put all of these wonderful metrics into one beautiful and easy to use dashboard.
Want to find out more about SEO for your website? Check out our Oviond blog to see what else we have to offer.