Whether you’re looking to improve your SEO performance in-house or hire an external agency, it’s essential to know what factors contribute to organic search success. Even if you’re not an SEO expert, understanding the foundations of SEO will help your business grow through website organic traffic.
Here are some of the basic metrics to keep a look out for and how to track your website’s overall SEO performance.
SEO is a highly data-driven channel for businesses. To evaluate your performance, you’ll need to look at a wide range of key metrics and KPIs.
Here are some of the SEO success metrics that your business should be prioritizing:
Organic traffic includes visitors who come from a search engine through an unpaid search result. Popular search engines include Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Organic traffic is important to track because it helps you understand how your site is performing when it comes to SEO.
Keeping a close eye on the metrics below, such as keyword rankings and click-through rates, allows you to better understand what is affecting your organic traffic.
Organic Keyword Ranking
Organic keyword ranking is the rank a specific word or phrase receives on the search engine. The first result you see on a search engine result page (SERP) has a ranking of number one; the second has a ranking of number two, and so forth.
The ultimate goal is to rank as high as possible for the relevant keywords for your business. Relevant keywords are ones where searchers will likely find your website solves the question or search they’re asking for.
Number of Organic Keywords
This is the total number of organic keywords your website ranks for within the top 100 search results. In most situations, ranking for as many keywords as possible can be helpful.
However, the key is that the keywords should be relevant to your business. For example, if your commercial cleaning company focuses on electrostatic disinfection services, it’s essential that you don’t highlight the importance of deep floor cleaning because it’s irrelevant to your business.
If the keywords aren’t relevant, you’ll see high bounce rates and low-intent traffic. This will ultimately negatively affect your business’s SEO efforts. You can typically see good results by ranking well for a few high-intent targeted keywords.
Organic Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Organic click-through rate refers to the number of users who click on your website link after seeing your result on a search engine.
CTR is calculated by the total number of clicks divided by the total number of impressions.
A high CTR tells you that your search results are relevant and engaging. If your CTR is low, there’s a chance your page is either ranking for the wrong keywords or that it’s getting lost on the search results page.
You can improve your CTR by reviewing your title tags and meta descriptions.
Have you ever clicked on a website, then immediately exited the page? This is considered “bouncing” from a website.
Bounce rate is the number of people immediately exiting your site divided by the total number of sessions.
A high bounce rate can be attributed to several factors, including:
- Irrelevant content – Your content doesn’t answer or directly relate to the original search query, so users will exit to find a different result.
- Poor site quality – If your site doesn’t look authoritative, users are unlikely to trust the content on your site.
- Slow site speed – If your pages take more than a handful of seconds to load, users will likely get impatient.
Average Session Duration
Session duration is the average amount of time a visitor spends on your entire website. This includes time spent on the original page and any additional pages they browse through. In most situations, you want your average session durations to be longer. This means your visitors are taking the time to read your content and browse other pages on your site.
Average session duration gauges how engaged your organic visitors are with your website as a whole.
Average Time on Page
The amount of time on page metric is similar to the average session duration but relates to an individual page on your website. You typically want a longer average time on the page. This indicates that the information you’re providing on the page is engaging and helpful for the user.
If a user spends very little time on a page, they likely aren’t finding the information they need and are leaving immediately. You’ll often find a low average time on a page correlates to a high bounce rate.
Domain authority is a score out of 100 that indicates how valuable and authoritative your site is. The higher the score, the easier it is for your website to rank on the SERP. A higher authority score can also make it easier to rank for a specific topic where your company website is known as a thought leader.
There is no one way to measure domain authority because search engines like Google don’t provide a score. Domain authority can vary from source to source, but Google and other search engines use a proprietary score. However, many third-party websites like Semrush have authority checkers that you can use to compare your score with other competitors.
High-quality content isn’t the only factor in your SEO performance. Technical factors, such as page speed, affect how search engines view your site. Google aims to provide the best user experience, and a slow-loading website doesn’t meet that criterion.
When it comes to technical SEO, you should consider many web performance metrics. This includes Core Web Vitals such as First Contentful Paint, Largest Contentful Paint, and Total Blocking Time—all metrics you can track via Google’s PageSpeed Insights. However, as a baseline, you should be monitoring your website’s overall page speed.
A conversion is when a user on your website completes a specific goal, such as purchasing or signing up for your newsletter. This goal should be related to the success of your business.
A conversion rate is calculated by the number of completed goals divided by the total number of visitors to your site. Conversions are vital because they tell you how many of your visitors are helping you reach your business goals. Even if you drive a considerable number of visitors to your site, zero conversions mean you’re reaching the wrong audience or you need to re-evaluate your product or service.
There are many ways to evaluate your SEO progress and efforts. Here are some of the best tools to use when tracking your website’s SEO performance.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is designed to help you understand your site’s performance through the Google search results page.
Search Console provides insights into specific impressions, click-through rates, and reporting on which pages and keywords are seeing the most growth.
Search Console can also provide information for on-site and indexing issues so that you can focus on any issues affecting your search performance and rankings.
Google Analytics (GA) helps you dive deeper into how users engage with your website.
What pages are they visiting? How long are they staying on your site? Where are your users coming from?
GA is one of the best places to pull performance for on-site metrics. This includes KPIs such as bounce rate, average time on page, average session duration, and conversions. Within GA, you should be able to create custom reports and track specific goals to help monitor the performance of your organic search efforts.
One of the core benefits of Google Analytics is that it provides insight into more than just organic search, so you can understand how SEO fits into your overall business performance.
SEO-specific platforms and software are designed to be a one-stop shop for all of your SEO needs. You can use these platforms like Semrush, Screaming Frog, and so on to track performance metrics and inform your SEO strategy. A good SEO platform should provide:
- Keyword volume data
- Keyword rankings
- Domain authority
- Other tools for evaluating organic traffic potential
While no specific metric tells you if your SEO efforts are paying off, understanding how different metrics interact is the key to successful SEO data interpretation.
Having a firm grasp of these SEO success metrics is easier to understand than you think. With the right tools, you’ll be able to understand and track your organic search performance with ease.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our digital strategists have all the expertise and tools it takes to measure the effectiveness of your website performance. We offer a wide range of SEO services, from website design and development to SEO-focused copywriting to help your business rank on search engines.
If you need help balancing your website health and handling day-to-day operations, contact the SEO experts at Abstrakt!