We all want our content to rank on Google’s top page. That is a fact. Even this article that you are currently reading aims to land on the first page.
Seeing our content ranking and earning a spot on search engines means that we are on the right track with our SEO strategies. Other than that, it gives us somehow the assurance that we are getting something out from our investment.
Search Engine Optimisation is quantifiable. You need numbers to see how your implementation works and where your strategies are leading you.
Peter Drucker said it perfectly, what you can’t measure, you can’t manage. Drucker wasn’t referring to SEO directly, but SEO performance is just like that.
You should have the ability to accurately measure or evaluate your progress – traffic, revenue or lead generations. Aside from evaluating, it must allow you to go check details of all the strategies you laid out; which of these work, and which ones doesn’t.
Indicating these factors that affect your implementation can save you from a lot of headaches, regrets, and resources; thus, giving you more time to focus on the other important aspects of your business.
What is SEO Performance Monitoring
SEO performance monitoring is the act of observing and checking the progress or quality of your website’s search engines visibility, ranking, and converting capabilities based on the setup SEO goals of your business.
Simply put, it is discovering if the established objectives are feasible to what is currently the demands of the digital marketing industry and how these goals still fit into it.
By working on your SEO performance monitoring, you will have a front seat experience on where your business stands when it comes to:
- Organic traffic
- Keyword rankings
- Conversion rates
- Click-through rate
- Page speed
- Bounce rate
Looking at these points may overwhelm you, as they entail a lot of information or data to take into account. You must have a clear understanding of these factors as they can make or break your digital marketing strategy.
These serve as your alerts to turn things around when you can’t make something great out of your SEO strategies.
You are monitoring your website so you can improve more and survive the challenges posed by the competitive landscape of digital marketing.
How to Measure SEO Success
Setting up yourself for SEO success means designing an SEO campaign from the end goals you have established.
So, how do one measure and track SEO success? By monitoring crucial SEO Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Organic Traffic
This KPI determines the number of visitors that drops by your website through organic search results.
If you see substantial growth in this section alone, it indicated that you have reached one of your main SEO goals – getting people to discover your brand.
Organic search traffic involves a large pool of people that may or may not include your prospective customers. These individuals are clearly in search of something; thus providing them with a specific solution may guarantee you an audience turned into a paying customer.
- Search Visibility (Impression)
Each time a user key in a term on Google, Yahoo, or Bing, these search engines creates a search engine results page (SERP).
Users will see vast options from the query they made – organic results, featured snippets, paid ads, and knowledge panels.
Gaining this traction determines your online presence and how often search engines make your domain visible on search results. This KPI will somehow give you an idea of your overall SEO site’s progress and search volume.
- Keywords Rankings
A keyword is a term that covers anything searched on Google. It can be a single word or phrase that you type in the search engine and that can produce a result.
If you consider this factor as one of your KPIs in monitoring your SEO performance, you must optimise your website’s content.
It means that you must rank on top of search engines’ results for a specific keyword – short-tail keywords or long-tail keywords. Having this said, this might put some perspective on how you perform your keyword research process as well.
One of the most straightforward ways to check how you are performing in terms of keyword rankings is simply hitting Google search. The results will give you an idea of where your website position ranks for in a specific keyword.
Taking into consideration keyword rankings as your KPI will help you identify keywords that your brand is ranking strongly, keywords that you are weak, and explore untapped ones that can increase your search engine rankings and visibility.
- Average CTR (Click Through Rate)
CTR or Click-through rate represents the percentages of users clicking your website for results online.
This KPI serves as your barometer to see how well your meta descriptions and title tags catch the audience’s attention.
If you have seen that you are not getting the result that you want in this section, you may resort to optimising your URLs, meta descriptions, and title tags. You have the option as well to incorporate featured snippets that are relevant to your industry and leverage from it.
- Average Session Duration
Average session duration is the fourth-most-tracked Google Analytics metric in the digital marketing arena according to research conducted by Databox.
What is the average session duration?
Average session duration is a Google Analytics element that shows the average amount of time visitors spend on your website.
How does Google analytics calculate it?
Google Analytics calculate it by dividing the total duration of all sessions in seconds during a specified period by the total number of sessions of that same time frame.
For instance, in one week you earn three visitors.
Visitor 1: spent 360 seconds exploring your website;
Visitor 2: spent 180 seconds browsing your site;
Visitor 3: spent 60 seconds on your site.
Out from these data, you will get your Ave. session duration by adding each of the given sessions (in seconds) (360+180+60) and dividing the sum (600) by the number of sessions with three (3).
This means your website’s average session duration is 200 seconds or 3 minutes and 20 seconds (00:03:20).
It is noteworthy that the sessions timer will start only once your visitor decides to click a link, play a video, or fill out a form. The time spent by your visitor to read a blog is not part of the equation. Remember that Google Analytics acknowledges only when the users take action or have interaction on your website.
- Bounce Rate
The bounce rate represents the percentage of people who takes time to visit your website but leave without fruitful interaction.
You may refer to this as the quality of a visit. Did the user click more than one page or didn’t bother to explore more content on your website?
It is good to take note as well that no website operates under the same bounce rate benchmark. Others have a poor content quality that can be a major turn off for visitors, while some have not so appealing website design to make audiences stay longer.
This type of KPI is beneficial for you to be more cautious and conscious of the overall content of your website – from the landing page layout down to the forms you are using says more about your brand.
Make an extra effort to improve your website’s layout and make it more appealing to your prospective market.
Backlinks are one of the most sought-after marketing strategies in the digital field as Google made it clear that this is one of their top-ranking factors for websites.
Do you know that SEMrush’s Ranking Factors research revealed that the more backlinks your content have, 2.2 times more to be exact, leads to URLs in the first position compare to second URLs on search results?
Therefore, backlinks can be instrumental in influencing your SEO performance outcome. Monitoring your backlinks can give you first-hand insight into the strength of your link-building strategy.
One of the ultimate measures of success for an SEO campaign is conversions.
Not everyone shares the same definition of conversions. Conversion for you may mean increasing social shares, but to others, it may simply mean an appointment request or a phone call.
You should define conversions based on your specific SEO goals.
For example, your objective for your visitor is to read your article, watch a video, or subscribe to your newsletter. With these goals, you can track the percentage of your site’s audiences who fulfil these actions and convert.
The information you will get from these may lead you to improve more on certain aspects of your website -design, content, and even products and services you offer to your clients.
Best Practice to Monitor SEO Performance
Analyse Your Website and Its Competitors
Benchmarking plays an integral role in measuring your SEO performance.
It is an advantage to have a strong foundation for your business to withstand internal factors, but it is wise to know what fuels your competitors’ success, right?
Identifying our top-performing competitors allows us to refine, update, or change our SEO strategies to ensure we keep up in the race.
Tracking the keywords, backlinks, and even the type of content they produce will give us an idea of how to structure our website.
Learning how our competitors perform and where they stand on rankings is beneficial to our SEO success as well. How will you know you are doing well if you don’t compete with the best out there?
Set Your KPIs
It is not enough that you identify who your competitors are.
Crafting strategies to outrank them is crucial, thus you need to establish realistic goals and design your KPIs around them.
Again, you cannot manage, what you cannot measure.
Understand what your end goals are and from there, you will know what factors to include in your key performance indicator metric.
Develop Suitable Strategy
From the two points above, you will know what strategy to take for you to attain your SEO goals for your website.
When we say suitable, we mean you craft a bespoke strategy that you know you can perform in a SMART manner. A strategy that your website needs and that addresses the challenges that you are experiencing now.
Monitor Performance Metrics Regularly
Consistency is a game-changer in the field of SEO.
By religiously monitoring your performance, you can identify red flags that can harm your SEO performance in the long run.
Tracking your progress can also lead you to discover opportunities and maximise them to your advantage.
You will have a balance of what is working and not working in the SEO strategy that you have implemented for your website.
Having these pieces of information is a humbling experience because you’ll realise that each of them is trying to teach you something new about business, the industry, and SEO as a whole.
SEO Measurement Tools
To make your monitoring and tracking journey easy and manageable, here are some SEO measurement tools you may want to try or check.
Take only what you think works best for your website or SEO campaign.
Google Analytics is another free tool you can access online. This great tool enables you to “analyze data for your business in one place, so you can make smarter decisions.”
It offers you a piece of complete information about your site and app users to better check the marketing, content, products, and other aspects of your organisation. These pieces of information may include keywords, traffic sources, user demographics, conversions, and many more.
You will enjoy the benefits of accessing insights only Google can give and machine learning capabilities to make something useful to the data you have gathered.
Google Search Console
Aside from Google Analytics, another valuable addition to your SEO performance metric tool is this Google Search Console.
Google Search Console is a free tool that helps you “measure your site’s Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in Google Search results.”
Through this tool, you as a web owner know if your site isn’t loading quickly, not navigable, or contains multiple errors that make users shy away from it. Having these data will be easier to address these challenges and improve user experience.
We know you are familiar with this tool somehow. Ahrefs became a household name to SEO professionals.
Though this is a paid tool, Ahrefs can give you extensive data on backlinks, keywords, page performance, even learning materials to make the most out of your SEO journey.
Ahrefs users depend on this tool to optimise their site, analyse competitors, gain insights on what customers are looking for, and learn a thing or two about the industry’s top-performing content.
Another powerful tool that is also requires paid subscription is SEMrush.
This platform allows you to do content marketing, competitor research, PPC, SEO, and social media marketing in one go.
It is one of the world’s most trusted brands when it comes to measuring results from online marketing as it makes it easy for businesses to find keywords, utilise backlinks, and check competitors.
How Long Does it Take to See SEO Results?
Every SEO campaign is a marathon.
If we are going to tell you that it is an ongoing process you might think that we want you to be our client forever. No. When we say ongoing, we mean continuous tracking and monitoring of strategies.
This is an investment and it is not a one-time thing that can give you a favourable result in just one click. It takes months or even a year for you to see movements to your website’s performance.
We are using different metrics to gauge success here, meaning you may win in some areas but fail on the other side of your campaign. There are external and internal factors that influence your progress.
Never forget that you are not the only business online that implements SEO. That is why it matters you review your marketing plan, refine SEO strategies and remain consistent in tracking results.
Search Engine Optimisation is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Not everyone will try it out and will gamble on it. Some factors push for someone to implement it in their businesses. Sometimes, some are reluctant to just dive into it as they lack the basic knowledge of how SEO works and let alone how search engines behave.
It’s okay if you feel like now is not the right time to engage with SEO and invest in it. If you are confident that you’ll earn more customers or clients with your non-SEO tactics, will leave it to you.
But if you want to be visible on search engines, reach more audiences, and convert leads into sales, you know how to reach us.
SEO is still one of the most efficient digital marketing tactics.
There is no perfect, one-size-fits-all marketing strategy that will be ideal for all businesses but if you are going to check how these brands earn their stripes, they will tell you, its SEO.
SEO ensures your website gains visibility online. That Google knows you exist. The more Google enjoys crawling your website, the more exposure, organic traffic, and conversion you’ll experience.
Search Engine Optimisation is measurable.
One of the most challenging aspects of performing SEO is the ability to articulate effectively the value it adds to your business.
You might be surprised to learn that there are means to quantify and track your SEO performance, but you cannot decide on things that are not presented nor clear to you.
This is where SEO reports come in. If you have in-house SEO or hire a third-party SEO digital marketing it matters that you are on the same page on what metrics to use and strategies to consider.
There are free tools online that you can grab to help you with this project. You must ensure that you understand that there are specific tools intended for each SEO factor you want to look at.
Successful SEO performance is a badge of honour.
SEO professionals can attest to how numbers can mean so many things. It can have a negative impact on your operations, or it can positively influence your online presence.
From an SEO agency perspective, it is critical to communicate to our clients how numbers are improving in terms of traffic and revenue. Simply because it is our proof that we are serious about the services we committed to delivering.
What is SEO Tracking?
SEO tracking is a significant part of evaluating your campaign objectively. This allows you to objectively pinpoint areas of your campaign that need improvement. This process simply gives you an idea of your SEO campaign’s performance and progress.
These are the essential SEO metrics that you must track:
1. Organic Traffic
2. Search Visibility (Impression)
3. Keywords Ranking
4. Average Click-Through Rate (CTR)
5. Average Session Duration
6. Bounce Rate
How Can I Check My SEO Performance?
It matters that you know your end goal and that you are in agreement with the SEO experts working with you.
You may start with:
1. Analysing your website and its competitors,
2. Setting Your KPIs
3. Developing a suitable strategy
4. Monitoring your performance metrics regularly
Which Tool is Used for SEO?
There are various tools that you may use to check your SEO performance. Some of which you may want to consider:
– Google Analytics
– Google Search Console