Top 9 Significant SEO KPIs You Need to Track
You must have spent your valuable time in beautifying your site, investing greatly into content marketing, and developing buyer personas and adjusting to zero point on your target audience.
Now, the time has arrived to tell your clients what they are paying for or share your recent campaign developments with the seniors.
How are you going to prove success or illustrate the value in a well-defined form? What will help you in these scenarios?
It is the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will help you tangibly measure your SEO performance.
KPI is a measurable value that shows how effectively an organization is achieving key business objectives.
Which KPIs are most important for measuring your SEO success and online marketing efforts? Let’s jump into the nine all-important SEO KPIs you need to track:
1. Keyword Rankings
The most common KPI, keyword rankings, is used to measure SEO performance. It is where your particular keywords are placed in top search engines such as Google, Bing, etc.
The higher the position your site has on the search engine for frequently searched keywords, the better.
Use keyword tracking tools like SEMRush or Ahref to figure out the number of keywords for which your site ranks in Google.
For a few keywords, you will rank higher, for instance, if the search query has your brand name or long-tail keywords specific to your location or work.
Keyword ranking’s property of directly associating with SEO success makes it the most important KPI. Other properties are also important but for long-term strategies, if you want to gain visibility for business purpose.
And, the improvements made in the keyword ranking are the first step to achieve other primary objectives, i.e., maximum leads, sales, and website traffic.
You should pay more attention to keyword research tools.
Variations are normal and acceptable and, some updates from Google algorithms can cause changes, but they should be observed in the long-run.
Monitor the SEO rankings regularly and, if you see a drop in it, then you need to figure out the issue with your site. But don’t get upset if you see a slight fall. Just like under-optimization, over-optimization is also not good. Your optimization efforts will produce good results for keyword rankings.
From speed optimization and link building to addition of top-quality content and creation of an interesting social following, the keyword rankings will show great improvement.
2. Organic Sessions
Organic sessions determine the naturally earned visits to your site from search engines like Google, Bing, etc.
What actually a session means? It starts from the visit to a site, actions performed by the user during that visit, and then ends when the user exits from the site.
If a user is inactive, his session will be over by default after half an hour due to the idleness. It is quite possible that one user is responsible for multiple sessions.
To measure the organic traffic directly, use Google Analytics or integrate the data with a reporting tool like Agency Analytics for better cross-referencing with other data points.
A boost in organic traffic is the most important KPI as it is all about getting more eyes on your website. Some major reasons that cause growth in organic sessions can be tracked down by going in the depth of your keyword positions and analytic data.
To some people, it could be more branded searches. When your marketing efforts get results with increased brand awareness, you will see people searching more for your brand name/products.
As soon as your on-page and off-page optimization starts, your site improves the keyword rankings – both the targeted ones and those for which you have put no extra effort.
Every position on the search engine results page increases the click-through rate (CTR). Bouncing from page 2 to page 1 of the results or from 4th to 3rd position on page 1 can cause a spike in the organic sessions.
You can drive organic sessions by making a catchy yet relevant title of the page and creating a meta description along with simple and attractive CTA.
When you see a growth in the organic sessions, it means that you have occupied more value on the top search engines which you would have achieved with an effective SEO campaign. All kinds of efforts: on-page, off-page, digital, and conventional – They will help greatly in growing the number of organic sessions.
3. Organic Leads/ Conversions
It is necessary to attract visitors to your site from search engines, but what action do you want people to perform as soon as they open your website?
A lead should be generated that will be later converted into the sale. Any connection with a potential customer is a lead which includes form submission, newsletter signup, subscription, webinar registration, or a phone call.
You can track leads in multiple aspects if you have set up objectives and events in Google Analytics:
- Where do you have the greater conversion rate: desktop or cell phone?
- Male or female?
- Which page boosts the maximum leads?
You can go towards monitoring your site, figure out where people leave in the process, and then make improvements accordingly. If you see an increase in leads, that not only means that your site has attracted more visitors, but those visitors complete the whole process in higher numbers.
This SEO KPI holds great importance as it closely relates to the major business objective of customer base expansion and boosting sales. To achieve better results, concentrate more on CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) and UX (User Experience)
Find answers to the following questions and focus on the weak points:
- Is your content engaging and safe?
- Is your site easy to use?
- Is the process of moving from visitor to customer is simple and easy?
- Are the CTAs clear and obvious on your site?
4. Number of Pages per Session
Pages per session is a measurement that shows how many pages a user visits during a single session. It also counts the number of views for a single page visited multiple times.
What makes pages per session metric strong? It’s the depth of your site structure and the quality of your site content. It is great to have one page per session if your site contains a single page. However, you need to monitor the time on that page in this scenario.
But what if you have an online shopping site where ideally people view multiple items and go through a checkout procedure. Or your site contains an in-depth and extremely informative content on a great topic, you’ll certainly expect to see more pages/session on average.
Of the extensive variety of metrics that measures the site’s performance, this one is an important KPI because it gives a great perspective on how your site is keeping the visitors engaged.
Even so, a hundred pages per session are not enough in such scenarios where you want your visitors to turn into permanent users.
Pay attention to give your visitors a sharper site design, more options to click links to valuable pages and clear page views and, you will soon have more engaged users who will take your pages per session upward.
5. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is a percentage of visits which tells how many users bounce away from your site after visiting a single page without browsing any further.
This metric is calculated by dividing the total number of non-interactive sessions by the total number of sessions.
The normal range for bounce rate is between 40% – 60%, indicating that it is acceptable for half of the sessions to end without performing any action. However, it totally depends on your market or niche.
Bounce rate is the most important SEO KPI as it is a prime concern for the search engine algorithms to satisfy the user’s search query. When a user enters keywords in the search query, Google shows highly relevant and top-quality results to provide the best possible solution to the issue.
If the user returns to the search results page, it means that the ranking page has irrelevant data, low-quality content, frustrating site structure, or might be unsafe.
Alternatively, if the bounce rate of your site is low, then your site is relevant and simple to navigate, has interesting content, and fulfills the audiences’ needs.
If your site has a high bounce rate, keep auditing the pages regularly and try out various approaches to see any sort of improvement.
6. Average Session Time
Average session time is an amount of time the visitors spend on your site. It indicates that if people find your content and overall website engaging, the longer you can expect the duration to be.
It is an important KPI as it reflects the quality and attractiveness of a site and how much time people like to spend on your site, reading the content, navigating through the site, or observing the site structure.
If you find your session duration falling down, you need to pay attention to factors that frustrate your visitors.
Concentrate more on the ideas that can enhance the allurement of your site and improve your average session duration by converting your visitors into customers.
7. Exit Pages
Exit pages are the last pages that people visit before they end the session, close the browser or leave your site.
There could be two possible reasons for people exiting your site: Either people didn’t find anything interesting on your site or, they exit from the purchase confirmation page or thank you page with a fully satisfying experience.
It is necessary to observe exit percentage if you intend to convert more visitors into buyers. You need to identify the pages on your site from where the visitors leave.
If you notice that majority is leaving your site from a page you didn’t consider as an ending page, then it is high time to make some User Experience or Conversion Rate Optimization improvements to make your visitors hang around a little longer.
To find such details, go to the Google Analytics dashboard and navigate to Behavior Reports > Site Content > Exit Pages.
Along with assessing the number of exits, you should check out the exit rate. Exit rate is a percentage that is obtained by dividing the total number of exits by the total number of views for a certain page.
8. Page Load Time
Page load time has a clear effect on every metric discussed so far. Imagine yourself as a user of some sites. When a site takes much time to load, you’ll probably return to the search page results.
If a page is too slow to load, you certainly won’t be able to explore the site deeply. You won’t stand a slow site when you have plenty of fast sites at your fingertips.
If someone is having bad user experience on one site then, there are more chances for him to move on to the fast sites.
The ideal page load time is totally based on the content’s complexity and the user’s patience. But maximum people leave a site if it takes over 3 seconds to load. It is obvious for the bounce rate to increase with every passing second of loading.
And, if there is a one-second delay in the page load time, there will be a 7% loss in the conversion.
There are tools like GTMetrix that provides insights into how much time does your site takes to load and gives recommendations about optimizations that can be made to code, server, content, and pictures to improve load time.
Every time you change your website, whether it is sharing a new picture or content, or redesigning a page layout, it is advised to focus on the impact on the speed.
Optimizing the code, content, and images is easy as compared to making changes to huge images, redirect chains, and damaged code.
9. Crawl Errors
To stay on top of search results starts with ensuring that Google can crawl and index your content. If Google likes a site, the Google-bot crawls it often. Now the question is what makes Google like any site? There are various metrics including time on page, bounce rate, optimized page size, and an absence of crawl errors that makes a site crawled by a bot as much as often.
If Google-bot fails to properly open your site or index your content, it signifies that your site has crawl errors.
Use Google Search Console to find crawl errors on your site. To check the page crawl-ability anytime, use the Fetch as Google tool in Search Console and select the Fetch and Render option.
Crawl errors can be at different levels: If the bot is unable to connect with the DNS server, the request times-out or your website gets down, then it is a server error. And, it can be a URL error also, if the provided page has an extensive redirect chain or it no longer exists.
In case you observe a rise in crawl errors or dive in the number of pages crawled a day, then you should take an instant action especially if the URL errors have a negative impact on main pages or the crawl errors exists at the server level.
Final Thoughts SEO KPIs
While focusing on all of the above SEO KPIs and making efforts to see the growth, you will also notice a boost in the business KPIs including customers, profit, ROI, etc.
Link your business objectives with your SEO objectives, pick the right SEO KPIs and use the power of Google Analytics and other analytic tools to boost the SEO strengths and fix the issues on your site.