SEO KPI’s: 5 You Need To Be Tracking
As we write in our ultimate guide to SEO, tracking SEO KPI’s is important. In fact, your entire SEO strategy likely underperforms if you don’t.
Today we dive deeper into the benefits of tracking SEO KPI’s as well as which ones you need to pay attention to.
Why Should You Track SEO KPI’s?
We have written numerous times how important it is to take SEO seriously. As we point out in our SEO blog posts, getting it right can:
- Increase traffic to your website
- Position your brand as an authority in your industry
- Bring in more paying customers for you company
However, while you may strive to improve your SEO, tracking your actual results is the only way to know if you are being effective or not. SEO KPI’s are how you measure this.
Think of all your other online activities. Likely, the areas of your business in which you are most successful are some of the most closely tracked. You know your numbers, and only by doing so are you able to correct course when things go wrong.
It’s the same with SEO. Unless you are tracking certain KPI’s, you have no idea if you’re actually being effective or not. After all, good SEO is about much more than periodic blog content.
Let’s now look at the most important SEO KPI’s you need to be tracking.
The 5 SEO KPI’s You Need To Track
1) Organic traffic
The first and highest priority of any SEO strategy should be bringing more people to your website. This is, after all, why you are creating content in the business context: to bring more people to your “zone of influence.” This is why organic traffic is the first SEO KPI you should track. For more ideas on increasing this SEO KPI, don’t forget to check out our post on increasing website traffic.
Of course, it’s also important to remember that not all web traffic is the same. Just because you are getting a ton of people to find your website doesn’t mean that you are actually getting any advantage from the traffic. Think about it: would you rather have a ton of website visitors that never bought from you, or lower traffic that still resulted in a ton of sales?
That said, even though high quality traffic should be a priority, the overall amount of traffic is a great place to start!
2) Bounce rate
While organic traffic is one of the most important SEO KPI’s you can track, it doesn’t mean much if that traffic doesn’t really result in anything. In fact, website traffic can be nothing more than a vanity metric. That’s why you need some sort of measure of the interest of people who land on your website actually are. This is where bounce rate comes in.
A low bounce rate is essential because it is an indication that the content you are creating for your audience is valuable in some way. A high bounce rate, however, means that people aren’t continuing onto other pieces of your content. They are not deciding to explore your website further and leave after consuming only the first piece of content.
If your bounce rate is quite high, you will almost certainly be penalized by search engines. That’s because a high bounce rate is a clear indication that your site isn’t a great authority on your topic, which will hurt your rankings over time.
Backlinks to your site are one of the most important assets you can have. Not only do they bring more traffic to your website, but they also signal to search engines that you are a trustworthy source of information. That’s why you need to measure them. This includes both the number of links as well as the quality.
For more actionable advice, check out our post on building more backlinks to your website. In it you will learn about five dependable strategies to increase this all-important KPI.
4) Domain authority
Directly related to links is the domain authority KPI. This number is a rough indication of how authoritative or helpful your site is. While it’s not an exact science, a higher domain authority typically correlates to a website that people find valuable.
The reason it’s related to SEO is that good content marketing (the bedrock of solid SEO) is one of the biggest influencers on a healthy domain authority. The higher your domain authority is, the easier everything else in your SEO strategy becomes. You get better rankings, more traffic, more links to your content, and quicker overall results in anything that you implement.
5) Return on investment
Lastly, any good SEO strategy needs to take into account the actual ROI. The nuance here is that different companies will have different standards by which they judge SEO’s “return.” This all depends on what the business is trying to achieve and the goals they are setting for themselves.
With that in mind, check out this guide by Optimize Smart on calculating your SEO return on investment. While it is notoriously tricky to get an exact number, taking the time to consider this SEO KPI is essential. Not only does it force you to consider different tactics (if necessary), but can be the catalyst to new ideas you can apply to your overall strategy.
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