Let me start by asking the million dollar question, what is SEO Metrics? Well, there are many ways to define what SEO Metrics are, however, i will give a precise definition and a simple one for that matter. SEO Metrics also known as Key Performance Indicators(KPI) can simply be defined as ways or channels through which search engine optimisation specialists or ordinary DIY business owners measure the SEO success. In other words these are your important indicators that show you if your search engine implementations are performing adequately or you need to tweak things in different direction.
As an SEO specialist, most times when we have a prospective client call in in search for organic visibility improvement for their website, the first thing they ask is; We are not getting enough traction, I need my business on top of page one of Google and other search engines, are you able to help me? And most times i could feel the desperation in their voices. Well as much as i understand where they are coming from as a business owner, the truth of the matter is; ranking number one should not be the primary focus in order to achieve success in your organic visibility. At the end of the day, what we all want is to acquire more clients and improve on ROI (for the best SEO deal visit our seo specialist and get seo cost).
Now the best approach to any successful campaign should focus primarily on how can i drive more traffic to my website. You see, over the years, Google algorithms have changed. It used to be very easy to put up a website and bam!! your website is all over the place, customers are ringing and life is good, well guess what? Those days are over!! And the earlier search engine optimisers and webmasters get a grip on the reality and work with the card they’ve been dealt, most of them will keep on running into frustrations. Anyways, i’ll stop there and get back to the main subject matter.
There are many ways “which include of course rank tracking” to measure your SEO success and that’s what we are going to deal with here today. I’ll be showing you the most important SEO Metrics to focus on if you truly want to succeed in your campaigns. Even though you might find some digital markers who would suggest to you that there are 12 SEO metrics etc., all they provide can still be categorise into these 5 major key performance indicators. The first metrics most business owners are interested in looking at is your organic rankings and i believe most seo specialists are always on this one too, so we’ll start from there.
1. Keyword Rankings: An Important SEO Metrics
What is Keyword Ranking? First of all, your keywords are those phrases also known as search queries that are typed into Google or other search engines in the attempt to get some sort of information. Some people type in these keywords to find local businesses, look for a particular product or services. Some might simply be looking for information or doing a regular research on a certain topic. Now it depends on whether or not Google deem your web pages to be valuable to those using these keywords as search, that will determine if your web pages will rank and be served to those making the search. It is then imperative to make sure you rank for the right keywords and ensure that those keywords are being monitored as you make changes to your pages.
How to track your ranking keywords
Tracking your keywords rankings is the only way to understand if your keyword implementation is working or not. Also, it helps you understand where your traffic is coming from. What keyword is working well on what pages. Is it organic search traffic or paid traffic? How is it relevant to the product or services you are providing. We’ll discuss more on organic search traffic as one of the most important SEO metrics to focus on.
However, In these section, i’ll be showing you tools i’ve personally used for this SEO metrics. Also, i’ll like to point out that if you are a small business owner and not looking into spending hundreds or dollars every month on SEO tools, then you will benefit from some of the secrets i’ll be sharing here if you choose to read further. Ok, i digress again, lets head back to the topic at hand. There are many tools out there that we use to track keywords, below are top three that i’ve personally used and have been effective. All of which are not free by the way, they all cost about $100 per month depending on the package you subscribe for.
Here is how you monitor your keywords using SEMRUSH.
To ensure a successful keyword ranking, you need to have a good strategy around your keywords implementations and tracking. You need to identify your priority keywords and and create appropriate pages or blog posts for them. After creating great contents that is helpful for your readers, then you can be on your way tracking them.
Using SEMRUSH, you need to sign up. You can either start as free, you’ll get a month trial after which you’ll be asked to pay your monthly subscription.
After sign in, all you then need to do is create your project by clicking the project button as depicted below.
After adding your project to your SEMRUSH account, then you can proceed to adding your keywords and competitors.
The number one arrow point to how your keywords should be set up under your account. And number two arrow point to your organic ranking which is how you track your keywords. The green arrow pointing upward shows that your organic traffic is going up which is a good news. However, if you look at the bottom where the red arrow points downward, this simply shows that we have lost 5 positions on that keyword. So this is how you track your organic keywords.
The third arrow shows your competitors position against the keyword you are trying to rank for. If your competitors are ranking higher than you on the keyword you want to rank high for, then you might want to spy on them to see what they are doing. More articles on spying on your competitors will be coming soo.
For those DIY business owners out there. Just before you take this advice, please take your time to read about why businesses must hire an SEO specialist. Those that are just starting up and doesn’t necessarily have the budget for monthly seo tool payment, there is one way to effectively track your keyword ranking, and that is your search console. Search console is also known as Google webmaster tools. This tool was created by Google to help users do a number of things, one of which is keyword tracking. Although Google webmaster tool is great and free, sometimes it can be confusing to understand, so i’ll be doing a differing content on Google web master tools in the coming months and linking with this article just so readers may find help on the topic.
2. Backlink Building & Tracking
Over the years we have come to a conclusion that one of the most important Google ranking factors is backlink. Think of backlink this way; imagine you are a politician, running for the highest position in Australia which would be the position of the Prime Minister. The only way you could make that position is by getting enough votes from your country men and women. Now think of backlink as those votes that you need from your niche’s or related websites that will potentially get you the number one position on Google.
I bet by now you would be thinking of getting the entire backlink in the universe of web!!! Well, may i suggest to you to calm down!! On the contrary to the real world in my analogy of the Prime Minister position, not every backlink is good for your website. You need to device a pure, natural way of getting clean and effective backlinks to your website.
Spy on your competitors
Most SEOs thinks all they need to do is to pump their client’s websites with enough backlinks and up it goes. Unfortunately it couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, Google’s algorithm runs on one of the most intelligent systems crawling the web today. With years of experience, this highly sophisticated spider has learnt over time and improvement has been made to make sure any website being rendered to Google’s users follow their guidelines. Now the question is, how do i run a successful backlink campaign within Google’s guidelines? – For more information on Google guidelines visit this link.
The first thing you need to understand is, what does Google consider to be an appropriate way of building backlinks. The truth is; they would suggest to you not to even run a backlink campaign. Google believe that if you write a very good article, and you market it appropriately, eventually, people will find your articles and link back to them because they very good and helpful. This is the only approach that was endorsed by Google webmaster Matt Cutts. Please watch this video for more information on how to build effective backlink.
We see Matt Cutts, one of the prominent Google Webmaster Engineers giving good tips on how to build effective backlink in the above video. Even though Google understands that search engine optimisation specialists would always run backlink campaign to help their clients gain better visibilities. What they essentially are asking for is to do it in a legit and clean way. How is a legit and clean way of building a backlink you would ask?
One of the most effective ways of running an effective backlink campaign is by guest posting on related niche to your business. Having said that, most people just couldn’t be bothered writing a great content for their guest posting. One of the advantages of doing guest posting is that you get to drive traffic to your websites from the website you have posted your blog. So it’s then imperative that you find a website that is related to your niche, a place where people are having meaningful discussion about your products of services and then post some solutions or helpful tips about your product or services. This way those who find your post helpful will follow you to your website and probably do business with you. Or some may even link back to you as you now have good chance with your helpful article.
There are many ways of running an effective backlink campaign, however, we’ll only stop at once in the post as we have a few more metrics to cover. For more information on effective backlink campaign, kindly sign up for our News Letter and get the best tips in the industry.
How do i track my backlinks?
Most people would wonder if tracking backlinks is even important to the success of their website ranking. The answer is absolutely yes!! You couldn’t grow your organic ranking without a good recommendation from reputable websites linking back to yours. As a matter of fact, backlink tracking is one of the most important part of your SEO Metrics. In order to do this effectively, you need reliable tools that are capable of giving you accurate data analysis of your competitors and your own website.
There are many backlink tools, however, Ahrefs is the best i have personally been privileged to use. Just before you sign up with this backlink tool, my advice is that you try them for free first and see how you go. Also, you can have a look at MajesticSEO tool, this is a brilliant tool that is well known for backlink tracking. Anyways, back to Ahrefs, basically give you a two weeks trial before you start being charged. Ahrefs dashboard gives you a complete overview of your campaign, from your Domain Authority standing up to your traffic value, this tool gives you everything you need to know. Please see below image.
Track backlink quality
Knowing the quality of backlinks pointing to your website has never been so important. With penguin penalty on the horizon, you are better of keeping track of the bad and good backlinks pointing to your website. For more information on Google penalty recovery and types of penalties, read here.
Also, you want to make sure you keep an eye on the Domain Authority (DA) of the backlink that is coming to your website. The tip here is that the higher the DA of your backlinks the more trust you get from Google and in turn the higher your Authority and up goes your ranking. Having said that, you can’t entirely depend on building your DA while ignoring other ranking factors. You need a good strategy around everything you do, and i couldn’t stress that enough.
The below image depict valuable information of your backlink profile. The referring domain on the left is simply the name of the website linking to you. And the DR is the Ahrefs version of DA, which showcase the authority of your linking website.The other important thing to look at is the nofollow/Dofollow of the backlink you acquire. It’s profitable to have more dofollow, however, you need to balance it.
3. SEO Metrics for Organic Bounce Rate
Personally i think this particular SEO metrics is one of the most important of them all. Think about it this way, you have a great website, and great deal of traffic is flooding to it because your visibility is great. However, you look at your office phone and realise it’s not ringing enough in proportion with your overall visibility. Also, you decided to check your online enquiry submission and you realise not much in there either. Now, most people would suggest you spend more money on advertising and put more pressure on your SEO specialists. Well, the truth is; those two approach are the best way to demoralize your team and waste more money on Google Adwords and marking campaigns. So what should you do?
Analyse your page bounce rate
In cases such as this, where you have tremendous amount of web traffic and you’re only getting peanut of conversions. The best approach is to analyse your page bounce rates. Get deep with your Google Analytics and leave no stone unturned. Google analytics is one of the most invaluable tools on the web today, and the best of it is that it’s absolutely free. Tell me about the truth in the old adage that the best things in life are free!! Get hold of this tool and spend your time analyzing all your pages. Some pages may have higher bounce rates while some may be experiencing lower bounce rate. Find out why!!
One of the websites we are currently working one has thought me good and invaluable lesson about how human interact with computers. This particular website has got great deal of web traffics flooding it, however, two pages were doing way better than the rest. So we analyse the page using heat map. for more information on heat map, and how to install one on your website please click here. After collecting data we realized that the first page kept customers and prospective customers occupied with videos, while the second performing page kept traffic occupied with prices and offers. So people spend more time on those two things than actually reading through the content written on the website. What we then do was to implement video for testing on one of the pages that wasn’t working well, and bounce rate dropped by almost 3% within one week. It was like a miracle, and the most amazing thing about this experience was purchase rate went right up and that page began to rank better.
Your bounce rate is not just another SEO metrics you should be looking at, i believe it should be a top priority on your list of to do everyday!!
4. Click Through Rate
I have had the opportunity of auditing many website in my SEO career. And one of the things i look at especially when i’m dealing with a case where by business want to increase their organic traffic. The first thing i look at after establishing their authority is their Click Through Rate, also known as CTR. You see, if your web pages are getting lots of impressions from SERP but les CTR, chances are Google will de-rank those page. The reason being that Google system would automatically believe that people don’t like your website and they don’t want to click or look at it that’s why it’s showing but no one is clicking on it. For those who don’t understand what impression means, it’s simply means that when people use a keyword on google, your website comes up amongst many others. It means your website is visible to people.
The question then is, if your website is visible, why aren’t they clicking on it? The answer to this question will give an ultimate answer to why you have high authority on the web but no traffic. How do you then turn this around ?
Optimise your Title tags
The best way to approach this is by first of all, optimising your page title tag. Below image is your snippet view just as it appears on SERP. This image right here is responsible for your CTR. This is what give your prospective customers the incentive of clicking on your website or just simply scroll away to your competitors.
How to improve CTR
Three things you need to do to improve your CTR is your Title Tag, Landing page URL, and your Meta Descriptions. How do you do these three things and do it effectively?
Improving your title tag is very essential to attracting visitors to your website, especially new visitors who has never done business with you before and don’t know what to expect when they land on your page. Improving this title tag simply means that you should give it your best keyword that represent that page. As per the image below, the number 1 depict your title tag. In our example ” Top important SEO metrics to monitor for guaranteed ranking success”. This help users to understand what to expect before they click on your website, if they understand what your page is about, chances are they’ll spend more time reading your content after they click through. Great Snippet set up not only increase your CTR, but may enhance/reduct your Bounce Rate too.
Landing Page Url
Number two depict your landing page URL. You shouldn’t have a title that talk about SEO metrics and a URL that talks about air conditioning!!! It’s not only confusing to Google bot, its also confusing to your prospective and returning customers. Also, make sure your URL is readable, and not too long. In our case; “to 5 important seo metrics to monitor”. It is simple, it matches our title tags and it helpful for searchers to make decision quickly.
The third part is your Meta Descriptions. This is the part where you showcase details about your page. What services you provide and what product you sell. Make sure your keyword is clearly implemented in this area so Google can find you amongst billions of other web pages they crawl every day.
5. Sales Funnel: Your Most Valuable SEO Metrics
Most of the research i have personally done on this SEO metrics topic has revolved around backlink building, ranking, bounce rate, etc. And i totally agree with all of those, as a matter of fact i have written on them myself. The only topic i haven’t found on the internet under this SEO metrics is your “sales funnel”. The truth of the matter is we all in this to make money. And you can track anything you want to track, if you can’t count your money, you can’t account for it, or you don’t know how you should be making more money, then all your SEO metrics effort is out the window. As a matter of fact, your sales funnel is the epitome of your Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO). You want to make sure that your sales funnel is very well defined and laid out so you can you can identify where traffics are being dropped off and deal with them accordingly.
Setting up your sales funnel can help you track where you’re loosing sales, and make necessary adjustment. If you have every other SEO metrics in place without your sales funnel, you are missing out big on your traffic and sales.