Search engine optimization is a digital marketing tactic that can have a substantial long-term payoff. While SEO often takes longer than other tactics to show ROI, you can get the fastest results by following the right metrics. We always say one of our favorite things about digital marketing is the measurability behind it. By tracking your SEO efforts, you can see exactly how effective your efforts are, and one of our favorite things? You can optimize and change out your strategy according to your results. Identifying the right metrics to track can be half the battle. Depending on the reporting and tracking platform you choose, you can often customize dashboards to showcase the right metrics every time you log in. If you are looking to utilize SEO as a tactic in your digital marketing plan, you can use these metrics to measure your success.
What Platforms Should I Use?
There are several ways you can track your SEO efforts. Perhaps the most apparent and free platform is Google Analytics. By using GA for your tracking, you can see all of your marketing efforts, PPC, and SEO all in one place. This is especially useful if you are using a combination of both tactics. Find out what’s better for your business, PPC or SEO here.
Ahrefs and SEMRush are also great options for reviewing your SEO metrics. To find the platform that works best for you, we recommend vetting different options and seeing which one best fits your business’s needs.
So you picked a platform, implemented your strategy; now, what metrics are important to look at to measure success?
Organic Website Traffic
Measuring the overall traffic of your website can significantly determine if your SEO efforts are paying off. By keeping track of organic traffic results, you are looking at all site visitors directly from organic efforts. This eliminates any paid traffic you have from your ads and allows you to assess your SEO efforts’ direct impact more accurately. There is really no “benchmark” of what your organic traffic should be because there are so many varying factors, including industry, company size, brand awareness, website traffic you had before your SEO strategy, and so much more. For example, if you are an eCommerce company, you will likely get a lot more organic traffic on your website than just an informational website. Measuring your organic traffic over time can help you get a feel for what realistic goals should be, and meeting or exceeding those goals could prove your SEO strategy a success.
Following your keyword rankings may seem obvious, but it’s very important not to overlook it. Your SEO strategy should include the primary keywords you want your business to be ranking for. By seeing how you rank for these keywords in Google and tracking positions changes over time, you will be able to measure the success of your SEO strategy.
A big ranking factor for Google is user experience. They want to serve the best websites to their users, so they will keep coming back. If your site is slow to load, then google lowers the ranking of your site. A healthy site speed for both desktop and mobile is important to keep your rankings up. You can test both your mobile and desktop site speed here.
While it’s important to track what is going right, it’s also important to keep on the lookout for what errors might pop up. Google will rank you lower if you have too many errors on your page. These errors could be 404-page errors, page indexing errors, duplicate titles and descriptions, or more. Depending on the reporting platform you choose, many outline your site’s errors right within the platform so you can quickly address them.
While there are countless other SEO metrics you might want to keep on your radar, Just like all reporting, the metrics you want to keep track of for SEO depend on your specific business. You can start by looking at your specific goals, current metrics, and keywords you want to rank for. From there, you will have a baseline of what metrics are important to you and if you are improving over time. For example, if you are a realtor and your goal is to get more traffic to your website to browse your listings, it might be worth checking out pages per session and average session duration or how long someone is spending on your website.
If you are looking for SEO services in the Rochester or Buffalo area and are unsure where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out to our digital marketing experts today!