Correctly measuring the success of an SEO campaign depends on the type of business and your objectives. In affiliate marketing however, there are three key performance indicators (KPIs) that that we recommend for you to consider when measuring an SEO campaign’s effectiveness:
There are numerous tools that provide you with easy-to-read reports so you can check those metrics. For this lesson we will focus on these two web services offered by Google: Google Search Console and Google Analytics. They are free and include most of the metrics you need to focus on can be gathered from either one of those tools.
Topics covered in this lesson:
- How to use Google's free web services to track your SEO success
- Google Search Console and Google Analytics
- 12 Specific metrics you should be tracking
12 Metrics to measure your SEO success
1. Organic traffic
It’s important to track your overall organic traffic so that you can see how many people are visiting your site as a result of your SEO strategy. To see your organic search:
Go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels and then click on the Organic Search channel in the report table.
By landing page
Overall organic traffic is sitewide. You also need to track organic traffic by landing page. Because that’s how you can determine where you need improvement. If you find that some pages are ranking on page 1 while others are on page 7, you know that you need to direct your SEO efforts towards those pages that are ranking poorly.
It’s important to track where your organic traffic comes from. This is especially true if your SEO efforts are meant to target specific geographic locations or if you’re planning to expand your business into new markets.
2. Organic bounce rate
If you see that you have a high bounce rate, that may mean you need to do some on-site work to keep people around. For example, you could show links to related posts or other items of interest in the right-hand sidebar.
By landing page
It’s also a good idea to inspect the bounce rate by landing page. That way, you can see which landing pages tend to turn away visitors and which ones keep them hanging around for more.
3. Organic conversion rate
Remember: Organic traffic only gets people to your website — it doesn’t mean you’ve made the sale. That’s why you need to measure the conversion rate as well.
By landing page
You may wish to measure conversion rate by landing page. Because conversions are usually won or lost on the page itself. If you find that one page has a much higher conversion rate than another, then that could mean one doesn’t have an effective marketing message.
By tracking organic conversions by geographic location, you might find that your messaging appeals to people in specific areas
To check how well your site appeals to people on mobile devices, you need to check the conversion rate by device for organic traffic.
Your job would be a lot easier if there were only one browser and everybody used it. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.That’s why you need to check conversion rate by browser for organic traffic.
4. Top exit pages for organic traffic
Exit pages are the last pages that people visit before they leave your site. It’s important that you track the top exit pages. Because those pages are probably your “problem children.”
5. Breakdown of organic traffic from Bing and Google
Although Google is the most popular search engine, it’s not the only search engine. Many of your customers use Bing, too.
6. Keywords ranked in Google
You may wish to use a keyword tracking tool like SEMrush to determine the total number of keywords for which your site ranks in Google. Once you know what keywords your site is ranking for, there are numerous ways you can use that data to inform your SEO strategy.
8. Click-through rate (CTR)
Google Search Console offers a Search Analytics report that shows the average percentage of people who click on one of your links after seeing it in the search results. That percentage is called the click-through rate (CTR). It’s a stat you should pay attention to because it tells you more than just how well your pages rank in the SERPs. It also tells you how much the content appeals to people.
By landing page
Examining CTR by landing page will show you your money-makers from an SEO perspective. Those are the pages that get the most attention from the search results
By top keywords
Another stat to check is the CTR of your top search terms in Google Search Console. If you see that a term is getting you a lot of clicks, you should determine which pages are ranking for those keywords and ensure that your page content accurately reflects searcher intent. It might be a good idea to test conversion optimization elements on these pages, too.
9. Pages indexed in Google Search Console
One thing is certain: Nobody is going to find a webpage in the search results if it isn’t indexed. If you find that it takes an unusually long time for your pages to get indexed, you can always submit them manually using the Crawl>Fetch as Google option in the Search Console.
You should also take note of how many pages are indexed relative to how many pages have been submitted. Again, if you find that a small percentage of your submitted pages are indexed, you might need to manually request indexing via the Search Console.
10. Pages crawled per day
The Google Search Console will also show you how many pages have been crawled every day for the last 90 days.If you have thousands of pages, and only a small percentage of them are getting crawled, that could point to a problem with your crawl budget.
11. Duplicate titles and descriptions
You can also use Google Search Console to check the number of duplicate titles and descriptions on your site. As a rule of thumb, duplicate content is a no-no. When multiple pages have the same title tags and meta descriptions, that tells search engines that all those pages are about the same topic; this can dilute your topical authority and limit your ability to rank well for those terms.
12. Crawl errors
Google Search Console also provides you with crawl errors. Although the default report shows sitewide errors, you can also use a filter to view errors by segment. Any crawl errors you find should be addressed right away.