Measuring the success of your SEO campaigns can be tricky. One of the first things we always get asked is how we measure SEO. Today, I want to share with you what metrics matter when looking at the progress of your SEO campaigns.
One of the things you will notice changing as your SEO campaign progresses is site traffic. This is an important metric because your initial goal for doing SEO is to increase visibility, and increased traffic means your SEO methods are working. Installing analytics tools like Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools lets you monitor activity on each site. Check how many visits you are receiving from each search engine you are trying to rank for. Make sure to take month-over-month (MoM), quarter-over-quarter (QoQ), and year-over-year (YoY) traffic comparisons to get a clearer picture.
Brand vs. Non-Brand Growth
Tracking your brand vs. non-brand growth lets you know two things: how much brand awareness you are developing, and how well your website ranks for non-branded keywords. See how many visits you are getting from both branded and non-branded keywords. Analytics tools include different filters and allow you to set goals that you can track and monitor. Make sure to add your conversion goals so you can track how many conversions your branded and non-branded marketing efforts bring in. Monitoring your branded vs. non-branded growth also lets you know if you distributed your keywords properly. Use our previous blog post as your guide for targeting branded and non-branded keywords.
Time on Site
Checking how much time visitors spend on your site allows you to measure their level of engagement. It tells you your landing pages are effective at engaging your audience, and it also shows what services they want to learn about the most. You will get an initial view of this by checking your click-through rate. You will see how long visitors stay on your page on average by going to the “Engagement” section of your analytics program. Google Analytics provides a more advanced view of this in their “Visitors Flow” feature. You will see where your traffic is coming from, which page in your site serves as their entry point, where they go next, and where they leave your site. You will also see which pages are most effective at leading to conversions through this activity map.
Part of the anatomy of an effective landing page is having a low bounce rate. This lets you know if your landing pages need improvement. Higher bounce rates could mean your site does not answer a visitor’s queries, making him turn back to the SERPs for other results – for you, this means losing potential conversions. Check the average time your visitors spend on your page, under the “Engagement” tab of your analytics tool, and use this as your benchmark for improving your bounce rate. Your goal is to keep visits 0-10 seconds long to a minimum for the best results. Remember that Google uses dwell time as a ranking factor – the higher your bounce rates, the more likely Google will view your site as low quality.
This is the most obvious of all the metrics you need to monitor in your SEO campaign. You need to watch whether you’re hitting your target for specific keywords. Being indexed for your target keywords means your campaign is going in the right direction, and getting higher rankings increases your visibility.
Analytics tools provide keyword rank tracking features, but you can also check by going to your target search engines, typing your target keyword, and seeing where you appear on the SERPs.
A Final Note
These metrics are the very basic ones you should be checking – it’s a good start, but it’s not enough. Your performance indicators will vary depending on what you want to achieve. None of these metrics will be effective without combining them with your business goals. Make sure to establish your goals first before choosing how to measure the success of your SEO campaign.
Contact your account manager today or log into your dashboard to see how your campaign is going. If you’re not yet our partner, make sure to sign up for a free account today!