Search Engine Optimization is crucial to every digital marketing strategy, and as all current indications lead, it is taking an even more central stage. Organic searches now contribute to about 53% of web traffic. With this percentage, the importance of SEO to digital marketing can’t be overemphasized. This is why having an efficient SEO strategy is crucial, as it will allow you to boost your revenue.
So, your SEO strategy must be optimal if you hope to increase your revenue over time. The big question is how do you know that your SEO strategy is an optimal one.
How do you follow success?
The endgame is for you to have an impressive placement in the SERP (at least the first 5 websites on the first page).
Which metric do you measure to ensure that you land on that first page?
Short answer is SEO KPIs or key performance indicators. These are the answers to tracking the success of your SEO strategy. You have invested your resources, time, and money in your SEO, and with these KPIs, you can determine the success of your investment. Through these key performance indicators, you can identify areas where you need to track your SEO efforts and make adjustments.
You can track many KPI metrics, but which are the main ones? This is the treat we have for you in this post. Read on and find out the main SEO KPIs you should track in 2023.
What are KPIs
KPIs are the pointers that show the behavior of your SEO strategy. It allows you to note the success or otherwise areas of improvement and the total failures in your search engine marketing strategy. With these indicators, you can get data on how an audience interacts with your content, your website health, or the way SEO interacts with your website.
If you want to think of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), think along the lines of evaluation, performance, and control. The bottom line of checking your key performance indicators is increasing your website’s organic visits.
The issue with them is that you analyze many key metrics. Notwithstanding, it is not all metrics that are key. There is a fine line between these critical metrics and standard metrics. However, identifying them may not be easier because experts have different answers for their key metrics.
In this post, we will examine the main KPIs which usually pop up when different experts discuss KPIs. We emphasize that KPIs are not only to track success but areas for improvement. Also, it allows experts to note areas that need an overhaul. So, let’s discuss these main ones.
Main KPIs to Track
Below are KPIs that you can track, and the best part is that you can track them on Google Analytics 4, if you are using the Google search engine. The need for testing arises to ensure that you achieve SEO success. When you achieve SEO success, you can make the revenue you want to make.
The Average Engagement Time
This allows you to discover the amount of time a user spends on your website pages. You can do this for all the pages of your website or multiple pages of your website. This allows you to learn how interesting your content is. When a user gets on your website, usually they get there via a search query.
Dwelling on your website means that your content is engaging, and when they spend time on other pages, it means the content there is equally engaging. It suggests that after staying on the first page, your related content on other pages provides other valuable information to the user. If your website doesn’t provide the answer users are looking for, it means they won’t stay long before leaving.
Apart from your content, a longer dwelling time means your site is user-friendly. A positive experience allows people to spend more time on your site. If you have engaging content, but the website doesn’t deliver a positive experience for people, they wouldn’t stay on it. They would leave.
Essentially, this indicator could allow you to determine your website’s pages with engaging content. In addition, it could allow you to identify pages with technical issues.
Having visibility on the search engine is one of the aims of having a search engine optimization strategy. So, tracking the visibility of your website allows you to determine how valuable a search engine thinks your website is by its position on the results page.
This metric also includes the different parts of the SERP that your brand dominates. This includes SERP aspects like videos, images, and links to social media posts.
Tracking this metric is essential as it allows you to determine how well your website is doing in terms of visibility. This is so when you consider that most people on the internet don’t check the second page of a search engine. Once they can’t find the answer to their query on the first page, they assume there is no answer to it.
When you are visible, chances are you would get engagement, but this isn’t a given. To really resonate with users, you must ensure they have a positive UX on your website. This means that your content must be enticing, and your website’s technical aspects must be sound. You can’t underestimate how vital user interaction is for brand visibility.
SEO is an organic means of leading traffic to your website using search engines. So, the very nature of it demands that you follow this crucial metric. The CTR from SEO is to state the obvious, organic, and it helps you discover the number of users choosing your content from the SERP.
From the snippet of your content, folks determine if it would be relevant to getting the answer to their query. So, your organic CTR is interplay of your visibility, snippet, and eventually clicks by people.
Your visibility is the number of people that see your post. A snippet is like a preview of what will go on in your post that search engines bring up on their results page. Clicks are the number of people that eventually choose to read your content. To mathematically determine your CTR, divide clicks by the number of people your website is visible to and multiply by 100.
Tracking this KPI is crucial for your search engine optimization success. SEO aims to help you achieve traffic by allowing you to have a juicy SERP placement. The higher your SERP ranking, the more traffic you will get. The traffic here is organic, so it excludes the clicks you get from paid advertisements or search engine marketing.
Tracking this organic traffic allows you to classify the traffic coming to your website. It will let you know if you have to increase your SEO efforts. Also, you can discover the pages on your website that are getting more attention in terms of traffic. You would also find out where you need to pay more attention.
Essentially tracking this key metric allows you to know:
- If your keywords influence rankings
- User interaction and impact with your business
- The impact of backlinking and other off-site efforts affect your rankings
CLV or Customer Lifetime Value
Some experts call this metric the one that unites all. As we have mentioned (perhaps you are bored of seeing it now, but don’t be), SEO brings traffic. Traffic is a fancy way of saying customers or users. Now, customers bring revenue if you manage to convert them.
The CLV captures everything that SEO brings as it translates to what marketers want in the end.
CLV is the value that the customer brings to your website. It covers issues like:
- Did the customers find your content engaging?
- What is the user experience that customers had on your website?
When your content engages them, and your website also gives them a positive experience by managing the technical aspects, you could convert them. When you convert them, they bring value or revenue, or growth. This is what the CLV tracks. The value the customer brings in relation to the amount you spent to get that customer value.
Bounce and Exit Rate
These two are crucial indicators you must note to determine SEO success. When someone visits your website while accessing a page and leaves without checking out other pages, they bounce. To calculate your website’s bounce rate you divide the users that viewed your page by the total of all page views and multiplied by 100.
Bounce rate could help you determine your website’s page quality. Do they have a bad experience? Is the content poor? You can easily find answers to these crucial questions when you track your bounce rate. You should note that bounce rate doesn’t necessarily mean your webpage is poor. It may not be a negative to your SEO.
Here’s why. Your business determines how you will view bounce rates. If you own a food business with prices and contact online, your customers could decide to call you or physically visit your business. In this circumstance, your business has converted users, but they bounced from your website.
Your exit rate is when a user interacts with your website by performing an action and leaving. It could be that they visited another webpage and exited. When you are checking your exit rate, analyze your customers’ time on a webpage. You noticed that the prospective customer was looking for something, got it, and left. It doesn’t have to be negative.
To visualize this, we will use the restaurant example. A prospective customer could visit your website, get on the homepage, look for your contact page and leave as they get it. So, the bounce and exit rate may not be negative. However, if your business is such that you need people to linger on your website and take specific actions, then you need to take these metrics seriously.
Use the return to SERP period to determine if the prospective customer bounced from your website. This return to SERP is the time between which your page loads and the return of visitors to the SERP. With this, you could determine if the visitor did some exploring around your webpage or left. Through this, you would find out if your webpage was relevant to the user or not.
Tracking how users, old or new, interact with your website is a vital metric to track as Google now gives users who visit your website a unique ID. This is irrespective of those users visiting your website across multiple devices. So, if users use a desktop, phone, tablet, or PC, it will still regard those users as one.
With each user having a specific ID, you can identify new or returning visitors. So, you would know if you have retained a user or not. It will also help you learn if your content or webpage has problems after different users visit and none return. You identify the aspects you need to work on when you track this metric.
You can begin to improve your content, update them if need be, and fix the technical issues that affect the visitor experience.
Leads are people and potential customers. Through visits, you can get vital customer information, allowing you to work further on converting them into loyal customers.
You can use this indicator to track if you have converted a visitor. This could be the specific action you would like your visitors to take while on your website. It could be downloading e-books, or whitelists, subscribing to your email list, buying a product or service, and registering for an event.
Some of these things won’t lead to direct revenue. For instance, buying an e-book or a whitelist doesn’t lead to revenue but could help you retain the person for the future. You can predict how much you can make or assign a cash value to each person you’ve converted through conversions.
If you get users visiting your web pages, but you aren’t able to convert them, something is wrong. You have to check your website and analyze not only the technical aspect but your content. You could fix issues like page load speed or find other areas that give visitors a poor experience.
Also, don’t underestimate the need to test and test aspects of your website with A/B testing.
Why Are We Talking About KPIs in SEO for 2023?
With SEO, thorough is the watchword, and to be thorough, you have to have foresight. This means that you must constantly look into the future, determine trends and work towards an advantage. Michelle Thomas, an expert marketing analyst, and blogger in Scanteam, believes the hallmark of great SEO specialists is to leave no stone unturned.
Leaving no stone unturned includes the willingness to look forward and make projections. The nature of SEO permits this. SEO is organic, and because of this, it is a long-term strategy. It is not something you do today, and think you will start seeing results tomorrow or in a week. It is a long-term strategy that could take months before you begin to reap the rewards.
We are already in the second half of 2022. An expert strategist would have begun to make SEO improvements that could be noticed in the later part of 2022 or early 2023. Essentially, the focus of SEO strategies right now is to claim the top spot for 2023. This is why it is necessary to learn about the KPIs you use to check if your strategies are working.
Is it Necessary to Track KPIs
It is important that you track SEO KPIs. SEO or search engine optimization is an organic way of increasing traffic to your website through search engines. Essentially, it is a way of getting visibility by using search engines to bring traffic to your website without paying said search engine.
Apart from increased brand visibility on the web and improvement in web traffic quality and quantity, search engine optimization has the following advantages.
- It allows you to improve your bottom line. This is the direct effect of having more visibility and traffic on the web. The more people notice and visit you, the more money you will make.
- When you are on the 1st page of the SERP, there is this implied notion of trust that comes with it. When a user inputs a query and your website is among the first 5 or, preferably, the first 3 that answer that query, the user will trust your website. After all, it wouldn’t make it to the top of the SERP if it isn’t good.
- When your brand has search visibility, it translates to your brand growth and awareness on the web. In the end, you’ll make more sales than the next guy. It also means that the customers themselves would be advertisers for your website.
- One of the criteria for SEO is user experience. When you fulfill other SEO requirements and make your website friendly to customers, search engines will rank you high. SEO encourages you to have a user-friendly website.
You can see the importance of a well-executed SEO strategy and guess why tracing KPIs is necessary. By measuring SEO KPIs, you can determine the areas of your SEO strategy that are successful, need improvement, or have completely failed. Essentially, tracking KPI is a way to ensure that your revenue increases.
- SEO KPIs are crucial to sustaining a viable SEO strategy.
- There are different KPIs to track.
The main KPIs to track are
- Search Visibility
- Bounce and Exit Rate
- CLV or Customer Lifetime Value
- Organic Traffic
- The Average Engagement Time
To attain SEO success, tracking key performance indicators are extremely crucial. Tracking these indicators will allow you to discover aspects of your strategy that you need to fix.
Michelle Thomas is a marketing Analyst and Blogger in Scanteam and has been working with web analytics, data collection, and analysis for 7 years. Additionally, she also works in the area of Big Data and her experience helps to be a professional in marketing and related industries.