SEO KPIs – Key Performance Indicators and SEO Performance Metrics
Websites are crucial for business operations and SEO is crucial to a website’s success in achieving its goal which is to generate revenue. Business owners engage SEO experts for this purpose. SEO agencies may promise first-page ranking and tons of traffic in order to get clients. Page SEO ranking and traffic are no doubt important in defining SEO KPIs but there are other equally important key performance indicators to measure SEO performance.
A business owner may not care to go into the technicalities of SEO KPIs and only be solely concerned with the return on investment and how much his business grows as a result of the SEO activities. Still, it is worth knowing SEO performance metrics to evaluate SEO activities and to improve websites as well as digital marketing strategies. SEO agencies themselves use KPIs in order to measure performance and give reports to clients.
SEO KPIs and Benchmark Metrics
SEO improves visibility through organic results and helps website owners develop better navigation structure as well as contents that are aligned with what users are searching for and which search engines can quantify as being valuable and thereby assign a higher rank. It involves wide-ranging activities for SEO to deliver results and this is also a time-consuming process that involves SEO KPIs in order to understand progress and fine-tune strategies as the campaign progresses. There are several SEO performance metrics.
- Click through rate (CTR).
- Keyword click-throughs and non-branded keyword ranking.
- Returning visitors, new visitors, unique visitors and organic SEO visits.
- Conversion rate optimization, leads, and sales.
- Google rankings and Google my business page performance.
- Backlink traffic analysis.
- Website load speed time.
- Bounce rate.
- Session duration and user engagement.
- Google indexed pages, landing page performance, Google analytics page impressions and SEO queries.
- Domain authority.
- Social media engagement and others.
All KPI SEO metrics are used to measure SEO performance but not all of them are absolutely necessary for SEO tracking and knowing the website performance as well as an outcome of SEO campaigns.
Of all the SEO KPIs, lead generation is what matters the most to website business owners because this is after all that they expect. Websites may use various methods one of which is a landing page with a form that visitors are required to fill in and provide information that can be used to push products.
You can measure SEO performance simply by the percentage of increases in leads you get over a period of several months after the campaign is introduced and SEO experts to use various tools such as Google tag manager to track forms and Google analytics to analyze purchase activity.
Leads and sales derived from SEO depend on organic traffic that the SEO activities drive. A client may not have the time to use Google analytics but SEO agencies measure SEO performance as part of SEO KPIs week over week and month over month to observe the effect their campaign has on the natural traffic that is funneled through searches.
Page Load Time
Page load time is important for KPI SEO activity. Majority of users now use mobile devices to access websites and if it takes too long for a page to load (beyond 10 seconds average) they are likely to leave and never return.
SEO tracking of page loads will give SEO experts and website owners a fair indication of improvements the landing page or other pages in a site need to avoid this obstacle to visitor engagement.
A website owner may have his own way of describing his product or service but what matters more is which specific terms people who are interested in that product use when they search the web. Keywords are an important pillar of the SEO KPIs process, which is why SEO experts carry out intensive keyword research in order to know the keywords that can generate more organic traffic. There are other benefits for website owners since they can get to know universally used keywords that could become part of the branding process.
Backlinks could well be the backbone of SEO activities and SEO KPIs and SEO tracking involves finding out the number of backlinks and from which domain these backlinks are generated. The quantity of backlinks is important as one of the key SEO performance metrics but of even more importance is the site from where they originate. What this means for website owners in simplistic terms is that there are authoritative sites where your content is posted with a link and which people are most likely to visit and read.
Bounce rates, user engagement, click-throughs to other pages, pages per session
Bounce rate is another of the important key SEO KPIs that tell Seo experts and website owners as to how many people visited the site and then left without interaction.
Equally important are SEO performance metrics relating to user engagement, the time they spent on the site and whether they clicked through to other pages. If they did, then it shows the site has a good navigation structure and interesting contents. If they left it means the website needs remodeling and website owners should give this aspect serious consideration.
There is plenty more to SEO KPIs beyond what is stated above. At the root is the need to create awareness, engage visitors and convert them into sales.
One way to measure SEO performance is by knowing how much their activity has resulted in increased number of visitors, reduced bounce rates, revenue generation and the cost of the campaign. Just being ranked on the first page of search results or getting plenty of traffic is something to crow about due to higher brand visibility but SEO performance metrics must show concrete revenue growth. SEO KPIs do help search engine optimization experts to craft strategies that will deliver results in line with website owner’s expectations. What this means is that SEO experts must use SEO KPIs that connect with a business strategy with specific goals in mind such as more traffic, better brand awareness, more sign-ups, tracking people and behaviors or other parameters.
Should a business website owner engage an SEO expert he will find it to his advantage to employ one agency that crafts a custom strategy aligned with client goal and delivers concrete results with tangible benefits or long-term SEO KPIs such as email lists and signups through social platforms.