SEO is the lifeblood of success online. It helps others find your business and should guide how you shape your online presence. Measuring progress is a vital part of adapting and improving, and if you want to create a powerful SEO strategy, you need to measure your SEO success consistently.
Doing so can seem overwhelming without a guide. Google’s algorithm alone uses more than 200 ranking factors. If you want to measure your SEO success with fluency, these three indicators are a good place to start.
Keyword rankings are the most common and obvious key performance indicator as you measure your SEO success. They are a direct result of how effective keywords are being utilized on your website. Keywords should be specific and reflect your work as well as what your target audience is searching for. Thorough keyword research is one of the most important parts of an effective SEO strategy.
Keywords cover anything that is searched online. They may be one word or an entire phrase, just as long as it produces a results page on a search engine. Keywords that are optimized to target audiences rank highly in online searches, and the goal in crafting keywords is to end up as close to the top of the first page as possible. Data shows that websites listed on the first page of Google account for up to 92% of online traffic, with more than 25% of users choosing the first result
Tracking keyword rankings over time not only allows you to measure your SEO success; it also helps you craft a strong SEO strategy around the keywords that yield the best results. Understanding how keyword rankings translate into higher quality traffic can also help you strengthen your strategy.
Organic traffic indicates the number of visitors who visit your website after you show up in their online search. The way you format your titles, meta descriptions, and URLs will affect how many users choose to visit your site. A successful SEO strategy can significantly increase organic search traffic.
Both traffic volume and quality can work in harmony to measure your SEO success. Truly successful SEO strategies attract people and keep them coming back to your site, making returning visitors a good metric to watch. If you want to want to measure how people respond when they get to your site, consider these measures:
Time Spent on Page
You want your customers to spend time on your website, not just to express a flickering interest. If your content appeals to people, they will stick around on your site. Experiment to find what works for you, using both short- and long-form content to see what is most effective at holding people’s interest.
Creating good quality content that is informative, relevant, and unique is a good way to improve time spent on your pages. People also love videos and visuals, and you should consider incorporating them if you are looking for increased engagement.
Your site’s click-through rate (CTR) describes how many users see your site as a result of their search and click on it. The ideal CTR is high, meaning your site has good visibility and is initially attractive to searchers. Higher keyword rankings have greater potential for CTR growth. Sites in Google’s first result position have an average CTR of 28.5%.
Click-through rate can be improved by optimizing keywords in titles, URLs, and meta descriptions. Adding featured snippets that let users know what to expect is also helpful. If you continue to put out content that offers users the information they are looking for, your CTR should increase consistently.
The bounce rate is another measure of how much time people spend on your website, indicating the number of users who visit your site but leave without interacting further with any of your content—the people at the party that say “let’s bounce” without even trying the fajitas.
Ideally, you want your bounce rate to be low when you measure your SEO success. High bounce rates may indicate that your site isn’t very user-friendly, the layout is not appealing, or that the content isn’t what searchers expect based on your headlines and the keywords they searched for.
Conversions translate online data to sales and specific customer engagement. They may include making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, downloading your content, or social media shares just to name a few. The conversion rate is a traffic quality measure of how people are engaging with your site.
Many consider conversion rate to be the most important component of how you measure your SEO success. It allows businesses to see the overall impact of their SEO strategies on sales and engagement.
While not every visitor to your site will be ready to buy, seeing how they interact on your site in other ways can be helpful to get a full-circle picture of which keywords generate the best engagement, allowing you to capitalize on keywords and formats that are clearly working.
Google Analytics allows site owners to track their conversion rates and set goals. The goals you set for conversion tracking should reflect your overall goals for your site. With these in mind, you can further tailor your SEO strategy to achieving your goals.