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Measurement is crucial to SEO success. Although every business is unique and may use different SEO metrics, we would like to share with you in this post how you can track and measure SEO success using Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Depending on their goals, there are tons of metrics an SEO professional can track like rankings, traffic, conversions, etc. to measure SEO success.
First, you need to ask yourself what you want to achieve with your SEO strategy? The reason is that different goals require different metrics to track and measure. For example, higher Google ranking may not mean more traffic if the keyword does not match the search intent of the users. Higher Google ranking may not mean better conversion perhaps because your product or service page does not appeal to your prospects. Only after you set your goals, you can lay out a strategy to measure SEO success.
Conversion rate means the percentage of visitors who take a desired action on your website. This can be online purchases, article downloads, newsletter subscriptions, video views, etc. You can set up these custom goals in Google Analytics.
Organic traffic is the traffic your website generates from people clicking on your webpages appearing in their search engine results pages (SERPs).
Besides all organic traffic, you should also track organic traffic by landing page and by location. The former can tell you which pages require more SEO efforts. The latter can tell you which geographic locations send you the most traffic or insufficient traffic for the countries you are targeting. Then allocate your resources where you will likely get the optimal ROI.
Organic bounce rate is the percentage of users who visit not more than one page of your site and leave. It measures the quality of a visit.
A high bounce rate may mean more efforts need to be done to keep visitors engaged. It may lower your Google ranking because your website does not meet search intent.
You should measure your organic bounce rate by landing page. This tells you which pages bounce visitors and which ones keep them engaged longer.
You can find the bounce rate in Google Analytics under behavior.
Keyword ranking means a keyword ranking position a webpage has on SERPs. Your webpages need to be optimized to rank on top of SERPs for specific keywords and long-tail keywords.
You may use search result position in Google Search Console to track the average ranking of each keyword you target. Your final goal is to be on the top of the first page of Google.
Click-through rate (CTR) means the percentage of visitors who clicked on your website from SERPs. It provides insights on how effective your title tags and meta descriptions are written for SEO purposes.
You can track the CTR in Google Search Console where you can find average CTR of your website and CTR for each webpage.
External links or backlinks are an important ranking factor based on Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. Monitoring your backlinks provides insights how effective your external link building strategy is. Read how you can improve your external link building for your SEO.
You can track your external link traffic in Google Analytics under Acquisition => All Traffic => Referrals.
It means the average amount of time that visitors spend on a page of your website. A high average time on page indicates that the content of that page meets the searcher intent based on the page’s keywords. It varies from page to page. For example, a contact page normally has a lower average time on page than a blog post.
You can track your average on page in Google Analytics under Behavior => Site Content => All Pages.
Page speed or performance affects your website’s ranking, conversion rate and bounce rate. The lower the page speed, the higher will be the bounce rate and the lower will be the conversion and ranking. Google Developers says in an article Why does speed matter? that performance retains business, improves conversion, and improves user experience.
You can test your website on Google’s PageSpeed Insights to find out how fast your webpages load. Besides, you can find the Site Speed reports in Google Analytics under Behavior => Site Speed. They show how quickly your visitors can see your content. You can then make and track improvements.
SEO to improve your website’s ranking on Google is an investment. If your SEO strategies are good, consistent, and sustainable, you may start seeing results within a year. Your SEO strategies entail understanding and implementing keyword research, internal links, external links, on-page SEO, and technical SEO.
A good SEO strategy means to enforce an SEO plan, track the results, and refine your strategies. Measuring your SEO success using the metrics mentioned above can tell you how effective your SEO tasks are. For example, you may want to change the titles and meta descriptions of those pages which have low CTR.
Your SEO success will be inevitable.
Now you know how you can track and measure SEO success. This wraps up our SEO series. We hope that the SEO series has helped you understand what SEO is and how you can use SEO to improve ranking, drive traffic, and increase conversions of your website on search engines.
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