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SEO is integral to digital marketing strategy. For any business, whether a local brick-and-mortar shop or a national B2B tech company, organic search ranking is essential to obtaining awareness and generating revenue from target customers.
Measuring your SEO performance is also critical to your digital marketing strategy. You need to track your progress to know how effective your SEO tactics are and whether you’re achieving your business goals.
Measuring SEO performance can provide insights into which keywords and phrases are driving traffic to your site, which pages are performing best, and how your competition is performing.
SEO is often described as a black box, or some sort of mystifying process, as if it’s difficult to understand what is actually happening behind the curtain. But there really is a process, and metrics to show it.
By creating measurable inputs and outputs, and analyzing the metrics from the beginning, you can make data-driven decisions about where to invest your time and resources.
Using our own experience, plus this helpful SEO starter guide from Google, we’ve created a guide to metrics for measuring your SEO performance.
SEO Input Types and Correlated Metrics
By focusing on SEO inputs, you can create a strong foundation for measuring and improving your SEO performance.
Measuring your progress over time can help you both identify which inputs are most effective for your business and make data-driven decisions about where to invest your time and resources for continued SEO success.
Once you have identified the inputs, you need to create measurable outputs to track your progress. Those outputs should be directly correlated with each input.
Creating high-quality, relevant content that aligns with your target audience’s interests and search queries is a critical input for SEO. Producing content that answers your audience’s questions or meets its needs is an easy way to improve your website’s relevance and authority in search engine results.
The number of blog posts you publish each month that incorporate a keyword strategy
The level of social media engagement your content generates
The amount of time visitors spend on your site’s pages
When people get to your website, what is their experience like? An easy-to-navigate and well-designed website that loads quickly and provides relevant information to visitors can help keep them engaged and encourage them to return to your site.
A positive user experience (UX) can also signal to search engines that your site is valuable and authoritative, leading to improved search engine rankings.
The speed of your site’s pageload time
Overall bounce rate
Time spent on your website
A strong backlink profile built through partnerships, collaborations, and outreach signals to search engines that your site is trustworthy and valuable. That can improve your site’s visibility in search results and increase organic traffic.
The number of backlinks you receive from press and content partnerships
Your domain authority score
The amount of referral traffic your site receives from those backlinks
Conducting keyword research can help you understand what phrases or questions your target audience is searching for, allowing you to create content that is more likely to appear in search engine results.
Incorporating relevant keywords throughout your website can improve your site’s visibility in search results and drive organic traffic to your site.
The amount of organic search traffic your site receives from each keyword
Clickthrough rate for your site’s pages on SERPs
Optimizing the technical aspects of your website, including crawlability, indexability, and mobile-friendliness, is critical for ensuring that your website is optimized for search engines.
Technical SEO ensures that search engines can easily access and index your site’s content, improving your site’s visibility in search engine results and increasing organic traffic.
Technical SEO metrics:
The number of pages on your site that are indexed by search engines
The number of crawl errors your site experiences
Creating a monthly report to track your progress is a crucial step in improving your SEO performance. Without regular reporting, it can be difficult to identify which inputs produce the desired results and which ones need improvement.
Reporting lets you see the bigger picture of your SEO efforts and track your progress over time. By regularly reviewing your metrics and tracking your progress, you can adjust your strategy and make data-driven decisions about which inputs to focus on in the future.
Performance reports should include the following:
An overview of your SEO strategy and goals
Metrics for each effort (input) and effect (output)
Comparison with previous months
Analysis of what worked and what didn’t
Recommendations for future improvements
Comparing Results With Previous Months’
Comparing your results to previous months is a crucial aspect of measuring your SEO performance. By analyzing your progress over time, you can identify trends, successes, and areas for improvement.
By reviewing your metrics, you may find that certain keyword themes or types of content resonate particularly well with your audience. You can then use that information to replicate that success by creating more content that aligns with those themes or targeting more keywords in that category.
Comparing your metrics with previous months’ is an essential component of measuring your SEO performance. By using that data to inform your strategy, identify successes and areas for improvement, and set realistic goals, you can maximize the impact of your SEO efforts and drive significant improvements in your site’s search engine visibility and organic traffic.
SEO Metrics Matter
Creating metrics for your SEO performance is important for understanding your strategy, and it can help you stay ahead of your competitors. By consistently measuring your progress, you can identify areas where you need to improve and make changes accordingly. SEO metrics can also help you determine the ROI of your SEO efforts and make informed decisions about allocating your resources.
More Resources on SEO Metrics
How to Calculate the ROI of Your SEO Campaigns
Creating Weekly SEO Reports Doesn’t Have to Suck
How to Use Google Search Console Insights for Your SEO Strategy