SEO Tracking Guide: 9 Indispensable Metrics to Monitor

SEO Tracking Guide

It should go without saying that search engine optimization is one of the most pivotal things for brand recognition in today’s world. Not without reason, a huge number of companies, from small to big, have already put SEO at the top of their priority lists.

Yet, while many businesses see the value of search engine optimization, not each acknowledges the importance of SEO tracking. In a nutshell, tracking the core SEO metrics is an integral element of the optimization process. It enables you to gauge the efficiency of your activities, define the most working elements of your strategy, and also shed light on the gaps and weak spots in your tactic.

It can help you redefine your approach and maximize your efforts in the long run. It will also help you ensure you don’t do your SEO blindfolded, which means you will receive results faster.

One way or another, search engine monitoring is pivotal for achieving success in such a dynamic and complex field as SEO. So, if you are not doing it yet (or aren’t sure if you are tracking your results effectively), now is the right time to change this. In this guide, we will point you to the top website metrics you should start monitoring ASAP and tell you how to measure SEO performance with their help.

1. Organic Traffic

Organic traffic manifests the total site visitors you receive from unpaid results. These are unpaid visitors you target with your search engine optimization, which is why it’s the first metric you should keep an eye on.

Organic traffic matters due to several reasons:

  • It’s a cost-effective way to drive more people right to your site.
  • It’s an opportunity to make your outreach highly targeted, aka reaching out to your ideal customers as they search for specific topics and keywords that align with your business, products, and services.
  • Lastly, if you manage to retain organic visitors by providing them with relevant, valuable, and action-focused content, you can also increase your conversions because more potential buyers will find you on search engine result pages (SERPs)

Google Analytics is among the baseline tools to assist you with this metric. Inside the tool, you can go to “Reports” → “Acquisition” → “Traffic acquisition” and see the total number of visits in the “Organic Search” row. Google Analytics also lets you customize your report to meet your needs.

2. Keyword Rankings

Keyword rankings are your site’s exact positions in search results for a particular keyword. Since keywords are the terms that help you appear in users’ relevant searches, they define your visibility. Besides, it’s worth highlighting that most people only click on the first few results in SERPs, meaning the higher you appear there, the more traffic you can gain. Hence, search engine rank analysis for your target queries is an important part of search engine optimization tracking.

Tracking keyword performance is also easy with the help of specialized tools. You can try to check your keyword rankings using Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or other similar tools.

To evaluate your options and pick a keyword rank tracker that works for your needs, you can check out a comparison of SEO tools by Top 10. Checking complete tool reviews will help you save time on research and evaluate more options for a more informed decision. Choose a tool that works best for you based on factors that matter to you, such as ease of use, price, and available features. Also, pay special attention to brand reputation. The more reliable the selected tool is, the more accurate analytics it can offer.

3. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of people visiting your site and leaving it after seeing just one page or without completing your target action, such as making a purchase, subscribing, etc. This metric is important for your SEO monitoring for several reasons:

  • Visitors who bounce are the ones you failed to convert. Respectively, by reducing this indicator of your site, you can also boost conversions.
  • Bounce rate indirectly affects your rankings. While it’s not a direct factor, leaving visitors may be a sign of deeper problems on your site, for example, bad user experience, irrelevant content, inconvenient page layout, slow loading speed, etc. These deep problems might be holding you back from appearing high in SERPs.

You can use Google Analytics or similar tools to monitor this metric and subsequently improve your SEO performance.

4. Average Session Duration

Average session duration is a metric that demonstrates how much time visitors spend on your site on average within a single session. This indicator can deliver valuable insights into how well you engage users with your content—the less time they stick around, the less engaging or helpful they may find your site. Hence, it’s a great metric to track in order to understand your visitors and their behaviors better and attain greater marketing and SEO results in the long run.

If you have not assessed your average session duration yet, you can get started with it with no stress with the help of Google Analytics. The platform enables you to create customized reports to check the overall average session duration and the average duration of sessions associated with a specific keyword. Interpreting the indicators in your report is easy – session duration is indicated in the hh:mm: ss format.

5. Pages Per Session

The next metric crucial for your search engine monitoring is quite self-explanatory. The “Pages per session” indicator shows how many pages users visit on average during a single session. This performance indicator will also help you better understand your visitors’ behavior. By tracking them, you can analyze how often users get interested in your content enough to browse other pages.

To calculate this indicator, you need to divide the site’s total page views by the total number of sessions you had over a specific period. You can do this manually or create the Acquisition Overview Report in Google Analytics for in-depth insights.

6. Backlinks

Backlinks are links on external resources that take users to your site. A large number of backlinks from trusted sites serve as a signal of your content’s value and quality, as well as your trustworthiness. Hence, such links are pivotal for your performance in SERPs as they indicate to search engines that your site is worthy. 

Besides, backlinks can help you establish credibility, get exposed to larger audiences, and promote your content. So, the better the link profile you build, the greater the SEO result you can attain.

If you want to analyze your backlinks, you can try Google Search Console. You can also rely on other popular tools, such as SE Ranking. These tools will help you analyze the number and quality of your backlinks.

7. Page Load Speed

As you can guess from the name, page load speed is your page’s time to load. Today, it’s one of the most essential website metrics because it greatly affects your rankings, your user experience, and the overall brand image you create. Sites that load slowly can annoy visitors and make them abandon your site, leaving them with a negative impression of your brand.

This metric is also pivotal in terms of SEO. It’s one of the direct ranking factors Google released as Core Web Vitals. The benchmark for this metric is 2.5 seconds or less, so if your pages load slowly, you have to optimize them to load faster. You can run a speed test using Google PageSpeed Tools.

8. Mobile Usability

Mobile usability refers to the performance and user-friendliness of your site for users of mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. It’s all about your site’s responsiveness to different screen sizes.

If you are wondering how to improve website SEO performance, mobile-friendliness should be one of the first things you want to assess and improve if necessary. There are two primary reasons why it matters:

  • Today, there are more than 7.2 billion smartphones worldwide. This means that over 90% of people worldwide use mobile phones. They use it to search for information and explore new brands, among other things, so you don’t want to lose them just because your site doesn’t work well for them.
  • Starting in 2019, when this innovation rolled out, Google evaluated and ranked websites based on their mobile versions. So, if you don’t implement mobile-friendliness, you can’t get high in SERPs.

You can leverage the Google Mobile-Friendly Test to assess mobile-friendliness in your search engine monitoring framework.

9. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is a metric that identifies the percentage of visitors who perform your target action, such as filling out a form, buying something, subscribing, etc. Although it doesn’t affect your rankings directly, the conversion rate is incredibly important for SEO tracking because it helps gain insights into the effectiveness of your content and the overall site performance. 

Conversion is one of a business’s primary goals. Therefore, your search engine optimization should unspokenly aim to provide user experiences and content sufficient to convince regular visitors to convert.

To see how effectively you convert visitors into actual buyers, you can leverage Google Analytics. Alternatively, you can look for other conversion tracking software from trusted providers.

Conclusion

SEO search analytics is crucial for ensuring optimal site performance and achieving greater SEO results in the long run. With accurate and timely analytics, you can understand what tactics work for your business and which don’t. Also, you can understand your users better and make well-informed decisions to improve your strategy.

After reading this guide, you have the list of the most important SEO metrics to help you measure your efforts. Start tracking these performance indicators now to achieve your short-term and long-term goals.