Jul 06

15 Meaningful SEO Metrics To Track Long Term

To ensure you are successful in search engine optimisation, you need to do a lot more than check the number of visitors coming to your site. Well-defined SEO metrics can help improve the SEO and organic traffic to the site. You must also do more than check your position on the search engines. Search engines aren’t always as reliable because they sometimes take weeks or months to update SERPs. Because of all of these issues and more, various metrics must be utilised for a clear view of how you are doing in this area. And thus, the following includes 15 SEO metrics to track your SEO campaign and how to communicate with your SEO agency.

Organic Traffic Growth

Even though checking the amount of traffic coming to your site is not enough to check for search engine optimisation performance, it is still one great way to determine how you are fairing in regards of search engine optimisation. You can track organic traffic by going to the Google Analytics by logging into the dashboard. Then you must click the “Add Segment” link which s located in the default audience overview. Afterwards, on the next screen, go to “Organic Traffic” and click on “Apply” to see the total traffic’s percentage of your organic traffic.

You can check the organic traffic growth also by the landing page and by the location. For the landing pages, you can determine what pages have a lot higher ranking and which ones don’t. In doing this, you can discuss ways to improve the rankings of the pages with your agency. For the location, you can determine which geographic areas are visiting your site a lot more. That way, you can focus more on these areas which consist of your target market. Ensure that you engage in white hat practices and stay away from black hat mechanisms of SEO to ensure that you do not receive a Google penalty.

Links

Backlinks are still a significant factor when it comes to how you are ranking on search engines. The more backlinks you have on better domains, the better your rankings are.

CF/TF from majestic SEOYou can track your backlinks by going to your Google Search Console to click on your site’s name. Then, you must navigate to “Search Traffic” and then go to “Links to Your Site” that will show the latest links that go to your site.

Domain Authority (DA)

The higher the number of the domain authority, the more the domain is trustworthy. The link tracking service, Majestic, utilises a citation flow and a trust flow. Majestic frequently updates its index to ensure accuracy. Also, your metrics are progressing if they are moving upwards. However, spamming domains with backlinks of poor quality can abuse the system. You must go to Moz’s OpenSiteExplorer to enter your domain or find it to get your TF. This score can also be tracked in AgencyAnalytics by adding your site and then going to “SEO” and then “Competition”. Once done, the Trust Flow will be visible on the page.

Moz What is Domain Authority Learn SEO

Keyword Rankings

To determine how effective your campaign is, you can track keywords. An improved overall ranking will show when there are better rankings on keywords or long-tail keywords. However, if there isn’t an improved ranking in a target keyword, this usually means a poor keyword selection. So, on your SEO checklist, you should make sure you obtain a less competitive keyword for better keyword rankings.

Being a default featured in AgencyAnalytics, you can track keywords in this tool. You must add your target keywords when creating a new campaign. Then, you must go to “SEO”, and then “Rankings” to check on your rankings on various search engines. The ranking URL, ranking trends, and target keyword rankings can also be shown when you scroll down.

Also, when you start your new campaign, you must add your target keywords. They can be changed later if you want.

When it comes to checking your keyword rankings in Google, you can utilise SEMrush or another keyword tracking tool to see the total number of keywords that your site ranks in Google. You should also keep your landing pages with the top ranking keywords relevant to maintain a low bounce rate.

Bounce Rate By Page

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors on your site who left it by clicking on the back button on the browser or who left it without clicking a link. Nowadays, the more time visitors spend on your site, the more likely they like your content. Also, the lower the bounce rate is, the better your rankings are. So, it’s imperative to include content that will grasp the visitor’s eye.

bounce rate reduction SEO metricsWhen it comes to tracking this metric, Google Analytics will show by default on the dashboard the pages per session. This is normally 30 minutes. It will also show the bounce rate and average time per session.

Returning Visitors

According to a study, returning visitors on average spend is the most time spent on sites. The time spent is important to know for your campaign as you are likely to see better rankings for a more memorable website, which is the type of content Google desires to see on the front page.

On AgencyAnalytics, you can see the new and returning visitors by going to Analytics and then Channels. Then, you must scroll down to see the “direct traffic” and the “% New Sessions” count.

Page Load Times

The speed of the site also determines the search rankings. Since 2010, Google officially acknowledged the site speed as a factor in ranking. And in 2013, the mobile searching results started to be covered when it comes to the site speed. The speed is so important because a poor user experience comes when there’s a slow loading site, particularly for mobile users. Thus, slow loading sites will not be in the top SERPs.

Mobile Speed SuggestionsThree things are shown when tracking the page loading speed time: For one, whether the web server is impacting the site speed or the site has any performance bottlenecks, whether or not your rankings are lower due to poor site speed, and whether or not your load times are impacted by site changes, like adding a new plugin. To track the site speed, you must go to Google Analytics which will be on default. This tool calculates the size speed by sampling 1% of your incoming traffic. You must log on to your dashboard, click on “Behavior” and then “Site Speed”. However, this metric doesn’t work on limited traffic. So, if you have a new site, Pingdom will test the site speed periodically to track the speed of it.

Mobile Vs Desktop Traffic

Since approximately 60% of searches are on mobile devices, it’s imperative to include tracking of your mobile traffic in your SEO packages. Google prefers mobile search results of mobile-friendly sites. There could be issues with mobile-friendliness if your overall traffic increases as your mobile traffic remain. On the other hand, if you observe more traffic coming from mobile devices, shifting usage patterns in your target audience is likely. So, you can determine whether you should obtain more mobile development, such as an app or a mobile-first site.

Another thing to be mindful of is the fact that desktop search is different from mobile search in important ways. For one, voice only searches include 20% of mobile searches. Also, mobile searches typically use fewer keywords than desktop searches.

To track your mobile traffic to determine if the mobile-only search is ranked, you can go to AgencyAnalytics to go to “Analytics”. Then, you must go to “Audience” and then “Devices”. Once there, you will see the mobile rankings and the mobile traffic. You also can see the goal completions from desktops vs. mobile. When you go to Google Analytics, you must go to “Audience”, next “Mobile”, and then “Overview”. Then, you must scroll down to see the desktop traffic vs. mobile traffic.

Crawl Errors

Crawl errors come from a site having a lot of missing pages and broken links. Because of these issues, Google can’t crawl the site, and thus, can’t rank them. Google has to be able to read a website in order to be able to rank it, so it’s vital to keep an eye on your total crawl errors and fix them. In doing this Google can rank your pages quicker. You don’t have to track this on a constant basis, but you can check on it periodically by going to Webmaster Tools to check the status of the index. You can also track crawl errors by going to the site audit of AgencyAnalytics to quickly keep track of your crawl errors. The Google Search Console also gives you the crawl errors. On here, you can also utilise a filter to peruse errors by segments and fix accordingly.

Crawl Stats inc. Pages Crawled per Day

Tracking your pages crawled on a daily basis should be included in your SEO services as well to stay on top of this critical metric. The Google Search Console displays the number of pages crawled every day in the last 90 days.

Brand Search Growth

When just starting out, you want to see how you are doing with getting your product/service out to the public in awareness. You also want to catch the audience eye and keep them on as returning visitors/customers. Because of this, you must first ensure you have relevant and desirable content for your target audience and then utilise AgencyAnalytics or Google Analytics as mentioned above to see the number of visitors and other SEO metrics to determine your growth.

When it comes to more established brands that customers are already familiar with, such as Airbnb, Apple, and Facebook, you may have to focus on re-finding your services/products to keep your target audience. Trends change over time, so to stay in demand, you have to evolve sometimes.

To track on how your brand search is growing or maintaining (if it’s already at a top level), you must do the following: Check your performance periodically on Google Search Console or Webmaster Tools. Secondly, make adjustments accordingly in prioritising and focusing your efforts on what works and what doesn’t. You should also optimise your current assets, i.e. content and products. And you want to dedicate time for other important efforts, including building new resources that work, leveraging existing resources, and performing experimentation on new promising resources.

Direct Traffic Growth

Many focus on the organic traffic but not direct traffic. However, direct traffic is just as crucial as organic traffic because it is when visitors will go directly to your site after finding you through organic traffic searches. And with the increase in browser security and encrypted search, much more search traffic is accounted for direct traffic in analytics due to the HTTP referrer data not being passed on, especially on mobile devices.

If there is an increase in direct traffic, you must check to determine whether or not the same trend is occurring with organic traffic. You also can see if the mobile usage has reduced since many mobile browsers today don’t pass the HTTP referrer data.

There will also be a decrease in direct traffic if you recently started UTM tagging of other marketing channels as well. So, check to see if there is a reduction in brand awareness which can cause a decline in direct traffic as well as marketing activities in other channels.

If there is an increase in direct traffic, you must check on what worked and consider using this for the rest of your site. You must also ensure that your total UTM tagging is appropriately set up, check to see if the mobile device usage is increased and check to see if marketing activities from other channels have increased. By setting up a custom alert in analytics on a weekly basis to email you if there is at least a 10% decrease or increase in direct traffic the previous week, you can stay on top of this crucial metric.

Top Exit Pages

These include the last exit pages visitors visit before they leave the site. Tracking the top exit pages is critical because these pages could be a problem if these pages are the reason why visitors lose interest in the site and visit another site. So, it’s vital to see what can be done to improve the pages so visitors can stay on the site a little longer.

Local Visibility

For businesses that have at least one physical locations that local customers can visit, keeping track of your local visibility is very important. To do this, you must ensure your site is appearing in local keywords relatable to your niche. If the local search engine optimisation isn’t showing up when customers type the name of your city or town and the name of your industry, then it’s time to work on this.

Page visibilityDilbert

Business Revenue Growth

Business revenue growth is important for an obvious reason, but it’s also crucial because marketers who struggle with revenue-impact data will find it even more challenging to earn budget increases and secure future funding. So, you should establish some objectives in your analytics program. You also should frame indefinite SEO metrics in a context that the company leaders understand by highlighting the content marketing value irrefutably and demonstrably.

This can be shown to the leaders in various ways. For one, you can highlight the effectiveness of your content marketing to show the visibility by checking on how well your content is performing in the organic search. And even though visibility doesn’t directly correlate to the equal amount of revenue, it does have some bearing. Furthermore, no visibility undoubtedly means no revenue.

To further show possibly sceptical executives the importance of visibility in relation to revenue, you should take more steps connecting the relevancy of visibility to additional valued SEO metrics. This can be done by correlating sales trends with content metrics and then comparing top-performing content with trends in closed deals or sales-ready leads. They should be able to see the correlations between lead conversions and content. And even though this correlation doesn’t proof 100% of this result, it does provide a stronger argument than an increased visibility metric that is isolated.

So, to track this, you can go to Google Analytics to find the top-performing pages. From there, expand the “Acquisition” link, click on “All Traffic”, and then click on “Organic Search”.

Since search engine optimisation has become more complicated, measuring the success, thereof, has also become more difficult. Individual SEO metrics are no longer be enough to determine how successful your search engine optimisation efforts are. You must track various metrics ranging from the site speed to backlinks and more. When your company or hired experts in this field uses a comprehensive, hard, and strategic effort in these SEO metrics, your campaign is destined to be a great success.

About The Author

Ajay Chavda is the co-founder of Weboptimizers, an SEO agency in Melbourne and has been involved with SEO for over 15 years. Between the digital properties and security forums he has managed, his articles have been read by approximately 50 million unique visitors.

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