In today’s digital age, search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer optional. It’s a must for any business that wants to supercharge its online presence.
The challenge is there’s no one way to do SEO. Brands that want long-term digital marketing growth must constantly adapt to trends, track campaign results and improve strategies as data comes in.
If you’re wondering how to improve SEO strategies, you must first be familiar with SEO key performance indicators (KPIs).
As your leading SEO consulting company, Thrive explores what SEO KPIs are, why they’re important and how to measure SEO success.
How To Track SEO Performance
Analytics tools and programs such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Ahrefs and SEMRush provide a wealth of data related to traffic and engagement. These numbers provide deep insights that inform your strategy rather than depending on broad industry trends and gut feelings.
The best way to measure SEO performance and boost your overall digital marketing efforts is by looking at data and setting concrete SEO KPIs.
What Are KPIs in SEO?
SEO KPIs are the metrics by which you gauge your search performance and determine areas for improvement. SEO metrics can tell if your campaigns reach the right audiences and translate into sales. They also help you focus your resources on what’s important.
KPIs for SEO show how long visitors stay on your page, how they react to certain types of content and how much return on investment (ROI) results from your SEO efforts.
Investing in performance based SEO strategies can help you outrank the competition and gain more market share. Without setting, observing and analyzing relevant SEO performance metrics, there’s no way to check whether your campaigns have been paying off.
What Are the Most Important SEO Metrics To Measure?
The truth is there are hundreds of SEO metrics to measure. Google alone uses 200 ranking factors in its algorithm. Tracking every single one of them is impossible.
Every brand is different and will need a certain set of SEO metrics to measure. That said, we listed six of the most important SEO metrics for any business or industry.
1. Organic Search Visibility
Search visibility indicates how often your domain appears in search results for relevant keywords.
You can use this metric to:
• Compare your site’s visibility against competitors.
• Assess how your web pages rank in comparison to each other.
• Compare your visibility across different locations and search engines.
While search visibility alone doesn’t guarantee engagements or conversions, a lack of visibility can obstruct desired outcomes. It doesn’t matter how great your product or content might be. If prospective customers can’t find you on Google, you won’t be able to drive traffic and sales.
How to track SEO performance and visibility: Different rank-tracking and analytics tools, such as Ahrefs and SEMRush, have certain ways to gauge search visibility. Google Search Console displays your total number of impressions for a set period to give a rough overview of your search visibility.
2. Conversion Rate
Among all the metrics for SEO, conversion rate is the simplest way to determine whether your efforts are paying off.
A conversion rate refers to the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action, such as subscribing to a service, purchasing a product, or completing a form.
Conversion rates are important metrics for SEO because they indicate how well you convert traffic into revenue. Site traffic is only valuable if it converts into actual customers.
According to Statista, the average conversion rate of eCommerce websites in the U.S. was 2.3% during the second quarter of 2022. A “good” conversion rate depends on your niche, target demographics and business objectives. Remember to establish a conversion baseline before you begin a campaign. This will allow you to measure your site’s performance over time effectively.
How to measure SEO success via conversions: Conversion Rate = [Number of conversions / Number of visitors] * 100
3. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your website after viewing only a single page without performing any action. A high bounce rate can indicate that your landing page needs to be more engaging and informative for visitors to stay and convert.
Data from SemRush shows that the average bounce rate can vary according to industry and traffic source. For instance, retail and eCommerce websites can have an average of 20% to 45% bounce rate, while lead generation websites have 30% to 55%.
Monitoring your bounce rate helps determine whether your website has issues with navigation, content relevance, user experience, or mobile responsiveness. This way, you can adjust elements accordingly and improve your website’s performance.
How to measure: Page Bounce Rate = Number of single-page visits / Total visits
4. New Backlinks
Backlinks are votes of popularity or confidence from one website to another. They’re also an important Google ranking factor. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your website can rank.
But new backlinks only work as KPIs if you proactively seek outreach opportunities and connect with industry-specific websites to earn links.
How to measure: One way to know whether you have enough backlinks is to compare it to your competitor’s backlinks or the industry benchmark.
5. Average Dwell Time
Dwell time is one of the most important SEO metrics to measure. It shows how much time a visitor spends on a web page from the search results before returning to the search engine result page (SERP).
The industry benchmark for average dwell time lies between two to four minutes. It usually takes around this time for a visitor to evaluate a web page and see whether it satisfies their needs. A higher dwell time indicates that the web page is engaging and helpful.
Users return to the SERP to look for better results. So even if your SEO strategy led visitors to your site, it would be worthless if it didn’t lead to conversions.
How to measure: In Google Analytics, you can calculate dwell time by looking at “Average Session Duration,” which measures the duration of a user’s entire visit to a website.
Ave. Session Duration = Total duration of all sessions, or visits, in seconds / Total number of sessions
Average Session Duration differs from dwell time. Dwell time can only come from the SERPs, while Average Session Duration can include visitors who found your page via another landing page, email link or social media platform.
You can add a segment, “Organic Traffic,” on Google Analytics to filter landing page metrics related to the SERPs.
6. Customer Lifetime Value
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the total revenue you can generate from each customer over the lifetime of an average business relationship. By knowing how much earnings each customer brings, you’d also know how much to spend to acquire them.
Using CLV as a base, you can assess how good your performance based SEO strategy is and which campaigns result in the greatest financial returns.
Unlike other SEO metrics, CLV is a metric tracked by other departments, not just search marketing experts. Tracking CLV helps brands retain valuable customers and reduce acquisition costs. You can use CLV metrics to categorize customers based on their lifetime values. This will let you improve resource allocation and deliver more tailored and compelling messaging.
How to measure:
CLV = [average value of a purchase * number of times the customer will buy each year] * average customer lifespan (in years)
How To Improve SEO Using Performance Metrics
If you know how to track SEO performance, you’ll be able to troubleshoot traffic drops, monitor competitors and maximize ROI.
But measuring SEO performance metrics is just the first step to continuous growth. Bounce rates, conversion rates, average dwell time; these numbers won’t mean much if you don’t put them into action. You need to turn these SEO metrics into actionable insights, so you can adjust your performance based SEO approach accordingly.
Tracking the right metrics for SEO takes time, skill and the right tools. This is where an SEO consulting company can come in handy.
Seismic Audio, a professional audio equipment manufacturer in Memphis, partnered with Thrive to improve lead generation and sales volume.
Thrive’s search marketing experts integrated SEO campaigns and Amazon advertising to boost the client’s daily sessions, page views and monthly revenue. Our affordable SEO company performed in-depth keyword research, link analyses, site audits and on-page and off-page optimization.
Our efforts led to a 26% increase in sales volume and a 21% increase in Amazon product listing page views. We also boosted sales on underperforming products and reduced the client’s advertising cost of sale by 40%.
The client’s marketing success was gauged based on several KPIs for SEO, including full-price sales volume, organic traffic and ad and website conversions. Our SEO consulting company consistently monitored SEO performance metrics and market changes to adjust ad strategies and identify expansion opportunities.
Hire SEO Experts With a Proven Track Record
Data is the heart of a winning digital marketing strategy. When you hire SEO experts that leverage real-time data and in-depth analysis, expect stellar returns in the long run.
Thrive is an affordable SEO company that has been helping brands monitor KPIs for SEO, outrank their competition and generate more revenue since 2005. Let our SEO team help you launch strong campaigns, expand your local reach and drive conversions.
If you want to learn how to quantify SEO success correctly, hire SEO experts now. Contact us for a free proposal.