With so much updation and innovation in the digital world nowadays, marketing strategists have to think out-of-the-box strategies to stay ahead. Sometimes these strategies work wonders, yet at other times, they may backfire.
Thanks to all the measurement tools available, we can assess where things went wrong, and improve the strategies to regain the lost ground. With so many tools available, it can be confusing as to whether to consider a particular tool or not. The same is the case with SEO metrics, it can be a problem to choose which ones we need to focus on.
Understanding the term SEO Metrics
A metric is a measurable way to assess, evaluate, and track various aspects of a process, system, or performance. Metrics provide objective data that helps in understanding the effectiveness and progress of a particular activity.
So, we can define SEO Metrics as specific measurements used to evaluate various aspects of a website’s search engine performance. These metrics provide insights into how well SEO strategies are working and where improvements might be needed.
Just as health check-ups serve as a basis to identify anomalies, track progress, and enable informed decisions for physical well-being, SEO metrics give a clear picture of how well a website is doing.
This helps in reframing content strategies, pinpointing problems, and guiding necessary changes to improve user experience and search engine visibility. In this blog, I am listing 10 of the more useful SEO metrics worth your time and effort.
10 Important SEO metrics to track
1. Organic Visitors
This is the most obvious of all the metrics. Organic Traffic refers to the number of visitors that reach your site through free search engines (like Bing, Google, or Yahoo) result pages rather than via paid advertisements.
The best tool to give you accurate organic visitor numbers is Google Analytics. To access Organic Traffic data on Google Analytics, follow these steps:
- Login to your GA account
- Select Your Website
- Go to the “Acquisition” Section
- Click on “Overview”
- Select “Organic Search”
Here you can have a look at your Organic visitors’ data for specific periods you wish to consider. This can give you an insight into the fluctuations in traffic by your strategies over a period.
2. Backlinks And Vouching Domains
This SEO metric measures the number and the quality of other websites that provide a link to your website. These links, known as Backlinks, have been a significant factor in Google search ranking algorithms for a long time. When reputable websites link to yours, search engines see your site as more trustworthy and relevant, which can help boost your visibility and traffic.
Search engines take into account the number of new domains vouching for your website and rank your page on result pages accordingly.
Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker is one of the best tools to find and analyze backlinks. With Ahrefs, you can assess the strength of your backlink profile, identify the weaknesses, and even keep an eye on competitors to see where they’re getting their links from and what keywords they’re considering.
These reports give you numerous factors to consider to improve your game.
3. Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are like a report card for your website’s user experience. These metrics take into consideration 3 important aspects: Loading, Interactivity, and Visual Stability. User Experience has become one of the strongest factors among all others that Google considers to rank your website. Better UX will increase your website rankings automatically.
The 3 CWV metrics are
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)– measures how fast the biggest content, such as images or videos, loads on a webpage, affecting users’ first impression of speed.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)– calculates the delay between a user’s interaction (like clicking) and the website’s response, indicating how responsive and smooth the site’s interactivity is.
- First Input Delay (FID)– assesses how stable a webpage’s layout is while loading, measuring unexpected shifts that might end up frustrating the user.
Google ranks your website URLs as Good, Need Improvement, and Bad, based on these 3 metrics.
You can access CWV on your Google Search Console panel under the Experience section on the left.
4. Indexed Pages
Indexed Pages is an essential SEO metric that tells you how many of your website’s pages have been included in search engines’ databases. These are the pages that search engines like Google have recognized and are ready to display in search results when relevant queries are made. These indicate how well your website’s content is being discovered and recognized by search engines.
To check the number of Indexed Pages for your website, you can use Google Search Console. When you log into your GSC account you can go to the Pages tab listed under the Index section. Here you will be able to see the number of pages Google has indexed from your website and also suggestions from Google for the pages that weren’t rejected for indexing.
Alternatively, you can go to a search engine, and type “site: your website URL” in the search bar. This will display the number of pages it has indexed from your site.
5. Domain Authority
Think of Domain Authority as the word-of-mouth popularity of your website in the online world. Just as people trust recommendations from well-known and respected individuals, search engines trust websites with higher Domain Authority. It’s like having a good reputation among search engines.
Just as a person’s popularity can attract attention and opportunities, a high Domain Authority can attract better search engine rankings. Checking your Domain Authority is similar to seeing how many people are talking positively about your website.
You can use Moz’s Domain Analysis tool to find out your Domain Authority score. Moz analyzes the website and provides you with the Domain Authority score shown on a scale of 0 to 100. In addition, you’ll see the most linked pages of the website, top linking domains, and a graph that represents the website’s DA over time, giving you insights into its historical authority trend. You can assess your SEO strategy for these results.
6. Keyword Ranking
Keyword ranking shows where your website’s targeted keywords appear in search engine results. It indicates how well your website is positioned when people search for specific terms related to your content. Higher rankings usually lead to more visibility and traffic, which is crucial for attracting visitors to your site.
While assessing Keyword Ranking, remember that it’s not just about being in the top position for every keyword. Focus on relevant keywords that align with your content and audience. Sometimes, even if you’re not at the very top, being on the first page of search results can drive significant traffic and engagement. Aim for visibility where it matters most for your audience.
For me, SEMrush offers a complete package for various SEO tasks, including keyword research, competitor analysis, and rank tracking. It provides in-depth insights into your keyword performance, helps identify opportunities for improvement, and lets you monitor changes in your rankings over time. You can set up projects to regularly monitor and receive updates on your rankings.
7. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-Through Rate (CTR) is an important SEO metric that measures the effectiveness of your website’s link or advertisement in getting users to click on it. It shows the percentage of people who see your link in search results or ads and then actually click on it to visit your website.
Several factors can result in lower CTR rates for your website despite being ranked #1 on the search pages for a particular keyword. It can be due to the extreme competition for that keyword, and also, it can be due to the paid ads run by your competitors for the same search terms.
For example, if your link appeared in search results 100 times and got clicked 10 times, your CTR would be 10%.
To check your CTR, you can use tools like Google Search Console for organic search results or advertising platforms like Google Ads for paid ads. These tools provide insights into, how often your links are being clicked upon, and how effective they are in driving traffic to your website. Monitoring your CTR helps you assess the appeal and relevance of your content, titles, and meta descriptions, and make adjustments to improve your click-through rates.
8. Mobile Responsiveness
Mobile Responsiveness evaluates how well a website’s layout and content adapt to different devices, like smartphones and tablets. It’s crucial because Google considers mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor.
In September 2020, Google switched to Mobile-First indexing for all websites where it primarily uses the mobile version of a site for indexing and ranking. This change underlined the importance of having a mobile-friendly design to ensure the website’s visibility and performance in search results.
On 22 May 2023, Google announced that it completed the switchover for the last batch from Desktop-First to Mobile-First Indexing, completing the process which lasted for more than 6 years.
To check for this metric, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Just enter your website’s URL, and it will analyze how well your site performs on mobile devices. This tool highlights any issues that might hinder a smooth mobile experience, such as text that’s too small to read, links that are too close together, or viewport configuration problems.
9. Conversion Rate
Conversion Metric is a vital measure that reveals the success of turning website visitors into desired actions, such as purchasing, signing up, or filling out a form. It shows the percentage of users who take the desired action out of the total number of visitors. This metric is an indicator of how effective your website is in persuading visitors to complete specific goals.
Conversion Rate formula:
For example, you have an online store, and you’re tracking how many visitors make a purchase.
- Number of Conversions (Purchases): 120
- Total Number of Visitors: 2000
Conversion Rate= 6%
To check the Conversion Rate, you can use web analytics tools like Google Analytics. In Google Analytics, you can set up specific goals (e.g., completing a purchase, or subscribing) and track how often users accomplish these goals. This insight helps you understand the impact of your SEO strategies on actual user engagement and business outcomes.
10. Traffic Value
Traffic Value quantifies the worth of the organic traffic a specific keyword or page is bringing to your website. It can be seen as the amount you would have to shell out to generate the same volume of visitors driven organically by that particular keyword’s ranking in search engine results. So as we say that a penny saved is a penny earned, traffic value indicates the amount we saved by gaining organic traffic.
It’s an estimate of the potential value that your organic (unpaid) traffic brings to your website calculated using factors like search volume, cost-per-click (CPC) for the keyword, and the position your website holds in search engine results. Despite being based on estimated value, it’s a useful metric for getting an idea of the relative importance of different keywords or pages.
To know the traffic value for a particular site, the best tool for me is Ahrefs’ Website Traffic Checker. Simply open the page, enter the website URL you want to check, and you will be able to see the organic traffic, the estimated traffic value, and the top keywords bringing traffic to that particular website.
In the words of Lord Kelvin, “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.“
Measurement is the most essential part of your never-ending SEO process. With constant algorithm updates and new developments showing up every day, your SEO strategies need regular assessments. With the help of these 10 SEO metrics mentioned above, you can get a clear picture of areas that need improvement and your focus more than anything else.
And luckily, we also have so many tools mentioned along each metric to make life easy for us. If you haven’t considered using these tools up until now, the best time to start is now. So, add these tools to your kitty and start tracking your SEO performance!!