Important SEO Metrics to Track
- Author Alex Pupkin
- Published February 28, 2023
- Word count 1,303
The world of online advertising and search engine optimization is constantly changing. It can feel like a full time job just to keep up with which metrics are important track and which might be giving you misleading data. Whether you employ an SEO company, or manage your digital marketing yourself, it’s always handy to know how your website is performing.
In this article, we will look at what SEO metrics are the most important metrics to track and why. We will also look at a few that you might not need to worry about as much as you do now. After all, you need good data in order to make good decisions about your digital marketing plan. So, let’s looks at which SEO metrics give you the most useful data. The metrics we look at can all be reviewed in your Google Analytics console.
The critical metrics to pay attention to in 2023 are:
Organic click-through rate
Pages per session
Average page load time
Core web vitals
Backlinks and referring domains
Pages crawls per day
This is traffic you get from search engine results pages (SERPS) that doesn’t result from paid ad placements. Basically, this gives you an idea of how visible your website is to search results, and if your SEO strategy is working, you should see this number increase over time.
Organic click-through rate
While the first metric shows you how searchable your website is, this metric shows you how many people actually visit your website after finding it in a search. This shows you how appealing and attention-grabbing your search engine listing is to users. If your click-through rate is low, you can make changes to your listing to improve it.
Any user is going to leave your page eventually, and your exit rate shows you the last page that your visitors view before leaving your website. Ideally, your top exit page should be the page users are directed to after completing your target action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. If users are leaving before they find your end page, you may need to revamp the top exit pages to engage and redirect viewers.
Pages per session
This tracks the number of pages an average user visits before leaving your site. When reviewing this metric, you want the number to trend upwards, which means that visitors are sticking around and exploring your site more. If viewers are not visiting many pages, you may want to check that your content is engaging and that your site is easy to navigate. You may also see this number increase if you solve an exit page problem.
Average page load time
We can’t emphasize enough how important page load time is to your SEO ranking. The longer it takes for your page to load, the higher your “bounce rate” will be. This means, the number of people who get impatient and leave your site before all of your content loads. Ideally, your average page load time should be under a second! If your page even takes three seconds to load, more than 30% of users will leave. This is a critical metric, and if you are seeing slow (more than one second) load times, you should strongly consider making changes to improve your load time.
Core web vitals
At the centre of this metric is the user experience (UX) of visiting your page, and overall load time is a critical part of this. However, this metric goes into more detail about what parts of your content load first and fastest, and how this affects your visitor’s experience of your site. For example, it measures how much the layout of your website shifts around as content loads, as users find this effect offputting. This is another SEO metric that you should take time to investigate and understand.
Referring domains and backlinks
This metric measures two things: how many unique domains have linked to you (referring domains), and how many total links point to your site from external sources. This is a critical ranking signal on Google. However, more links doesn’t translate directly to higher rankings. Getting a few referrals and backlinks from high-quality, trusted domains will improve your rankings more than a lot of low-quality links. Also, it’s more effective to get links from new, unique domains, rather than more links from domains that already direct people to you. You should regularly review what websites link to you, and which of your pages are being linked to. Furthermore, your SEO strategy should work to improve your quality referrals.
Keywords get a great deal of buzz in SEO marketing, and for a good reason: your keywords matter. As trends change, users may be using different terms and phrases to locate your products. Therefore, you want to keep on top of how your current keyword optimization is impacting your visibility, and if you want to optimize for new keywords.
Pages crawled per day
This is a slightly technical metric that measures how quickly Google crawlers can index your site, thereby updating your listings and hopefully improving your SERP ranking. However, Google doesn’t want to increase your page load time or otherwise impact the user experience of your site with excessive crawling. If your crawl rate is low, it might mean that your website is already struggling to load content in an acceptable timeframe and so Google is indexing it less frequently to not impact loading. In our opinion, nine metrics we looked at above are the most important ones for you to pay attention to in your SEO strategy. However, there are two other other metrics that are frequently discussed, so we want to talk about those as well. We’ll also explain why we think they are less important than the nine metrics above.
A lot of traditional digital marketing focuses on conversions and conversion rate as valuable metrics. A conversion measures when a user completes a goal you set on your website, such as buying something or signing up for email marketing. However, you may not be getting high-value data from your conversion metrics. This is because “conversion” doesn’t always have a clear meaning. As we saw above, it can mean making a sale, which is revenue, or it can mean someone signing up for your newsletter, which is not revenue. If you are tracking conversions as a metric, make sure you know what this metric is really telling you.
Bounce rate: Engagement
Simply put, bounce rate measures how often users leave your site after only visiting one page. Essentially, it means that the user didn’t link through to any of your other content. However, like with conversion rate above, you want to make sure you know exactly what your bounce rate is measuring. For example, if your landing page is doing a very good job of answering questions and satisfying the visitor, they may not need to see further content. This is to say, if you are using bounce rate as a metric to assess your SEO strategy, make sure you understand what it is measuring.
In conclusion, digital marketing is always changing and you need to know how to change with it. The metrics that you are expected to track continue to grow, and it can seem like an impossible job to keep on top of your SEO strategy. Hopefully, focusing on the key metrics we discussed will help you manage your digital marketing plan without too much trouble, and remember – you can always consult professional SEO marketers that are out there and ready to take over much of the day-to-day tracking and management of your digital marketing strategy for you.
Alex Pupking is a professional Vancouver SEO Consultant specializing in Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services in Vancouver, BC since 2007.https://articlebiz.com
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