At this point, it’s common knowledge that effective SEO is crucial to online success. But how can you measure the success of your campaign?
There are so many metrics to keep track of that the entire process of monitoring SEO performance can feel exhausting. We’re going to talk about 5 metrics for you to keep an eye on so you can specify your focus.
There’s no one metric that will tell you how well your entire campaign is doing, but you don’t have to spend all of your time combing through data to have a clear idea of where you’re headed.
Take a look at some of our tips below and streamline your process.
Monitoring SEO Performance: 5 Metrics to Watch
Before we get started, we should state the importance of setting reasonable goals before you embark on your campaign.
Knowing where your established goals are will allow you to work within the context of those goals. When we don’t set intended boundaries for a campaign, there’s no point of reference to work toward or judge our progress from.
It seems counterintuitive, but having a spot to reach for, limited as it may be, often pushes us to move farther than we would if there were no boundaries. Children, for example, will play near their teacher when a playground has no fences.
On the other hand, children placed in an area with established boundaries will venture farther out. Just some food for thought. Let’s examine some important metrics to measure:
1. Search Engine Ranking
The primary objective of search engine optimization is to rank highly in search engine results pages. If you’re ranking well for the keywords you select, you can be sure that you’re doing well on all fronts, or very well on a few fronts.
Monitoring this metric is easy. Simply go into an incognito tab on your browser and search the keywords you’re trying to rank for. Incognito tabs are not affected, or minimally affected by your cookies, search history, and personal preferences.
You should be able to see precisely where you land. High rankings will lead to improvements in all of the metrics listed below besides maybe load times. It may help to check your intended keywords at specific intervals, charting your growth as it happens.
If you aren’t seeing the kind of success you want in terms of rankings, take a close look at the pages that are ranking well. You can typically see where you’re going astray by comparing your page to the high-ranking pages.
Look for things like photo size and placement, keyword volume, keyword placement, length, and the presence of charts and graphs.
2. Changes in Traffic
The logical step after high search rankings is increased traffic. You can monitor your traffic categorically, by page, source of traffic, and date.
Set clear goals of traffic volume and timeframes and monitor the numbers regularly through Google Analytics or your preferred page monitoring system. Breaking down the sources of your traffic can help you to identify problems that particular pages or methods may be causing.
If you notice that one page or PPC ad is drawing a great deal of traffic to your site, figure out what you did differently with that piece of content. Then, try your best to replicate that in other pieces of content and see if it has the same effect.
The great thing about content is that it can be altered after it’s created. SEO is all about exploring with trial and error.
Conversions are instances when a user moves through your site and contributes to one of your measures of success. For example, someone reads your blog post, follows the call to action, clicks on a link to a sales page, then makes a purchase.
This could also mean that a user subscribes to an email list, or completes any other unit of success that you desire. Google Analytics allows you to trace the number of users that follow specific pages and go on to make conversions.
Additionally, Analytics allows you to make conversion goals and monitor progress very closely. You can examine a breakdown of where your traffic comes from and which sources are contributing most heavily to your conversions.
Understanding where your most interested users are coming from can tell you a lot about your sales or marketing campaigns.
4. Click-Through Rate
Your click-through rate (CTR) tells you how often your listings and links are being clicked in comparison to how often they show up in user searches. For example, your site may rank well in searches but fail to get a lot of clicks. The click-through rate is also frequently used to monitor email marketing pushes.
If your click-through rate is high, you can be sure that you’re doing something right. If it’s low, you know you have to adjust one of the variables of the link. If you’re ranking well but generating only a few clicks, you aren’t doing much for the success of your site.
To find your CTR, you have to divide the number of times your link was seen by the number of times it was clicked. This is easy when it comes to emails because you can simply divide the number of emails you sent by the number of emails that were opened.
All of the metrics listed above should funnel into your overall sales. It may take some time for sales to improve, but SEO can certainly put more money in your pocket.
If sales are the main goal of your SEO campaign, it’s likely that you’ll start seeing improvements quickly. A lot of businesses have alternate objectives and goals, so sales aren’t the first thing to jump.
Any business that employs excellent SEO, however, should eventually see an increase in sales. Rising tides raise all ships, as they say, and this is definitely the case when it comes to optimization.
Do You Want to Utilize SEO?
Search engine optimization is a powerful tool for any business with a presence online. It’s likely that you’ve already done some optimization yourself.
Whether you’re looking to monitor SEO performance on your site more closely or dig deeper with your optimization in general, contact us for advice!