There are over 100 billion searches on Google each month. Is your SEO campaign taking the best advantage of them?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to online marketing in this technological age. But it can be hard to measure the performance of such a complicated beast.
If you've opened Google Analytics, you know there are pages upon pages of metrics. They're a valuable tool for analyzing your campaign and adjusting it as it progresses.
Do the metrics show that your SEO campaign is succeeding? Today, we'll get into which metrics to pay attention to and what they should look like.
Keywords live at the heart of SEO. They're a valuable reflection of your campaign, but they're not the end-all-be-all of your success.
During your SEO campaign, measure the performance of the top keywords you're trying to rank for.
If they're not ranking, that's a sign you're choosing keywords that are too competitive. Try choosing less competitive keywords, like long-tail keywords.
Once keywords rank, you want their ranking to improve over time. If they're not improving, there may be trouble with the rest of your SEO strategy.
Keep an eye on your main converting keywords throughout the campaign. It's a good idea to follow your secondary keywords as well for a more in-depth look at your performance.
But again, keywords aren't the best or only indicator of SEO success. They only provide an easy, surface-level reflection. For the best use of your metrics, dig a little deeper.
Organic Search Traffic
Increasing your organic search traffic is the goal of any SEO campaign, right? You want to get more traffic without paying for advertising or pay-per-click results.
Try to find a graph in your metrics that shows only your organic traffic. Track it over time.
It's important to track organic traffic by itself. Overall traffic can decrease despite organic traffic increasing.
With a graph of organic traffic alone, you can show others how the SEO is performing.
You can also prove monetary value of the campaign with organic traffic.
In your metrics, find the number of clicks each of your top keywords brought you. Then, on a platform like Google AdWords, check how much those keywords are selling for in a pay-per-click scenario.
By multiplying your site's number of organic clicks by the price AdWords would charge, you can put a dollar amount on what this traffic is worth.
Quality of SEO Traffic
You may say that traffic is traffic and quality doesn't matter, but you would be wrong. The quality of your traffic and links directly affects your SEO scores.
For a successful SEO campaign, focus on the quality of your traffic instead of the quantity.
Compare your organic clicks to the number of assisted conversions they bring. If your traffic isn't converting, it's not good quality.
A big part of your traffic and SEO score comes from backlinks and linking root domains. These are basically other websites linking to your websites.
When those are good quality websites, linking increases your SEO. Bad quality or "spam" websites, however, lower your rankings.
Pay attention to the quality of your links to further assess your traffic quality. Some online tools exist to "score" your domain based on what websites are linking it.
If only poor-quality websites are linking you, your content could be poor quality. Improve the quality of your content to strengthen your SEO campaign.
Try to reach out and build a relationship with high-quality websites that link you frequently. That way, they'll give you more high-quality links in the future.
Several metrics serve to show how users are interacting with your site. If these metrics are poor, your campaign probably isn't doing well.
The bounce rate shows how often users visit your page and leave without clicking on any of your links.
Google interprets bouncing as your web page not providing the results users need for that search. If your bounce rate climbs too high, your ranking lowers.
If you notice a high bounce rate, try to analyze how clearly your content answers the need of that search term. Try re-formatting the page to make relevant information more obvious. Also, be sure to include a clear call-to-action or some element that may drive user engagement.
Average time-on-page shows how much time a user spends on average on each page. You can find this number for each individual page on your site.
This relates to your bounce rate. You want people to spend an adequate amount of time on your website and not just bounce to another.
Think about the function of each page when analyzing the average time spent there.
If the page serves a quick function, a short time is good. For long-form content, the time should be longer.
Pages Per Visitor
This metric tells you how many pages someone visits when they land on your site. You want this number to be higher because it's more likely to lead to a conversion.
If your numbers are low, strengthen the internal navigation on your site to improve your SEO campaign.
Technological Optimization of Your SEO Campaign
A few technological metrics can set back your campaign, too. If the tech behind your website is having issues, fix it to improve your SEO ranking.
Time is of the essence. Check the page load speed of your site. If it takes more than 3 seconds to load, 53% of users will leave.
You could be getting 53% more traffic just by improving your load time. That doesn't even require "work" on your SEO!
Mobile optimization is another major component of SEO. Google penalizes any website that's not optimized for browsers on mobile devices.
Your website should have a responsive design that adapts to the size of the screen. Not only does mobile optimization increase SEO scores, it also increases your conversion rate.
Check the index status of your pages with Google. If Google indexes a page, that means it considers that page for search engine results. You can check how your site is being indexed by typing "site:" before your domain name (ie. site:imaginethatcreative.net).
Google de-indexes pages when they don't serve the best function for users. Investigate the reason why Google de-indexed your page to improve your other pages.
Achieve Success for Your Campaign
The most successful campaigns are the ones that pay attention to performance and adjust accordingly throughout their duration. SEO requires persistence and patience.
Tons of SEO metrics are easily accessible. If you pay attention to them, you can adapt your SEO campaign on a continual basis.
If you have any questions about these metrics or you want to apply best practices on your SEO campaign, contact us for a free consultation. We're happy to answer your questions and help you reap the benefits of being listed at the top of organic search engine results.