So you’ve implemented a search engine optimization strategy to increase your visibility and catch the attention of your target audience. But SEO can be a long game, especially if you’re only looking at where your pages are ranking on Google. In fact, that might be a mistake – to only focus on that one key performance indicator, or KPI, because it does take time and effort to establish your ranking with Google and other search engines.
Alas, it doesn’t have to be so disheartening. One way to make the SEO process less stressful is to track multiple KPIs, and there are quite a few that you can choose to monitor. Below, we’ll explain and explore some of the more popular KPIs to track to get a sense of how your SEO strategy is working.
Here are a handful of KPIs to track beyond your search engine rankings.
The organic conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who turn into leads after landing on your website. To determine this particular metric, you’ll want to look at your total website traffic derived from Organic Search and divide this number by the total number of leads. If you have your Google Analytics 4 property set up correctly, this metric can be automatically viewed by customizing your reports to include the conversion rate metric.
To put it simply, an engaged session on your website is any session that lasts longer than 10 seconds, includes a conversion, or has at least 2 pageviews. When you combine all engaged sessions and divide that number by the total number of sessions, you have engagement rate. Since engagement rate tells you how well your content resonates with audiences, this is a particularly important KPI to track for SEO. As a channel, SEO is all about driving quality traffic to your site, and if your engagement rate is low, you might need to restructure your strategy.
When you write content for SEO purposes, you’ll probably have specific keywords you’re trying to rank for. Even if you’re starting from scratch and don’t know what KPI you want to track, your keyword rankings can give you plenty of information. Rankings help you understand how well you are performing on Google search compared to competitors, and are a reliable metric for understanding your overall progress. With that being said, higher rankings in the SERP (search engine results page) will ultimately impact the amount of organic traffic you receive. Measuring traffic alongside keyword rankings allows you to hone in on your strategy, and understand which keywords are driving traffic to your website.
As you work on your rankings in SEO, average session duration gives you a clear picture of how long (on average) users spend on your site during a single session. The longer a user spends on your site, the more engaged they are. And the more someone is engaged with your brand, the more likely they are to convert. For example, if your average session duration is low, you might be seeing a dip in conversions. It is key to track average session duration to understand whether or not users want to stay on your website for longer periods, and eventually turn into leads.
This is another key performance indicator that ties your content to your company’s larger goals. This particular piece of the puzzle focuses on the quantity of items that you’re publishing, and how often you optimize and update pieces of content. But there’s a bit more to it. This KPI also looks at how frequently your content achieves the goals you’ve set for it. For example, you can set goals for each content piece and then track how often your content hits that goal – whether you are aiming to generate more traffic, improve conversion rates, or increase search rankings. All of these goals can be measured with a content strategy, and in the world of SEO, content is king and should always be implemented with efficiency in mind.
Simply put, this is how many visitors have previously been to your website. Each visitor’s device is assigned a unique ID by your analytics tracking system, so that’s how it knows who is a returning visitor and who isn’t. You can use this information to determine which of your website’s pages are most popular, and how successful your brand retention is. When it comes to conversions, returning visitors are more likely to convert and turn into leads compared to first-time visitors, which makes this a valuable metric to consider. Additionally, this metric can help you inform your content strategy as well – if you see that more returning visitors are going to a specific page, you can learn the ways particular pieces of content resonate with audiences.
While you should be tracking all metrics during the lifetime of your website, it’s important to choose a limited number of KPIs to ensure your entire team stays the course. The purpose of KPI tracking is to get visibility into how your efforts are working towards a longer-term goal. With that in mind, you’ll want to consider your greater marketing and business objectives when choosing your SEO KPIs. If revenue growth is a key objective, the number of leads, amount of sales, or CLV would be great KPIs to track. For increased brand engagement, engagement metrics, and content efficiency would be valuable. For brand awareness objectives, measuring top-of-the-funnel performance like the number of keyword rankings and clicks are excellent choices.
Key performance indicators are a huge source of information when communicating the story of success or failure – something that leadership really craves. And don’t be afraid to fail in marketing. With failure comes learning opportunities, and without learning opportunities there is no direction to head.
Want help figuring out how KPIs can play into your search engine optimization strategy and your business’ success? Contact us and start measuring the right KPIs that align with your business goals.