SEO is an absolutely essential tactic to have in your digital marketing strategy. Whether you are doing it on your own or using an agency, it is important to understand which metrics you really need to pay attention to.
So, is it all about your Keyword Ranking progression? Or are there other metrics that deserve our attention more?
While Keyword Rankings are important, they aren’t the only metric to look at to determine the success of your campaign. Different agencies report on their services in different ways, but at the very least they should all contain these base metrics.
Metrics that Deserve Our Attention
Users – The number of people that visited your site during a specific timeframe. (e.g. last Week, Month, or Year)
If the number of visitors isn’t increasing, then your efforts are likely not working, at least not in your favor.
One thing you really want to pay attention to is the New Users. It’s great to see your traffic continue to grow, but that doesn’t mean your audience has gotten bigger. The Users metric represents the number of individual people visiting your site, regardless of how many times they visited your site.
For example, if someone visits your site 3 times, and another person visits it once, you have 2 unique users with 4 sessions. This helps you to see if your audience is growing, and if different marketing efforts are paying off. This really helps for when you are doing marketing that cannot be tracked solely in Google Analytics.
For example, if you put out a coupon in a local newspaper for Black Friday, you can pull the Users for that period and, if you don’t see a corresponding jump, you can assume that it would be best to use that portion of your marketing budget to pursue other efforts.
Top Landing Pages – Pages on your site that your visitors think are most important, based on their engagement.
Looking at the top landing pages can give you a great deal of insight into which pages on your site are performing well. This can give you a good idea of what information your visitors find most useful, and what pages your visitors are converting on.
These insights are particularly useful when building out new content on your site. You can also see what pages are performing poorly and can devise a strategy to tackle that page’s weakness.
When you can determine which of your pages are ranking in the SERPs based on the number of Entrances they are receiving. (Entrances: A click onto that specific page of your site directly from the SERPs.) This will help determine which pages need better optimization if they aren’t the ranking page, but should be.
Conversion Rate – The percentage of visitors that achieved a goal on your site. (Goals can be making a purchase, filling out a form, watching a video, etc.)
Conversion Rate is probably one of the most important metrics you could track because it literally tells you how successful your site is.
Your conversion rate can show you how well your site’s information and interface is convincing visitors they need your product or service to solve their problem. If your conversion rate is low, chances are you need to reevaluate your page’s content to see if it is answering the right questions and if it is attracting the correct audience.
Your conversion rate can also help you discover site issues. For example, if your conversion rate drops suddenly for a form submission, there is a good probability that something is wrong with the form itself.
Traffic Referral – Shows you where online visitors originally came from.
It is important to know where your traffic is coming from so you can see if your efforts in certain areas are paying off. You will be able to see if that social campaign on Facebook is funneling visitors to your service page, or if that post on Twitter lead people to read your latest blog.
If you are not seeing an increase in referrals from these sources, you can determine that some adjustments will be needed.
You can also discover new opportunities here as well. For example, if you notice that you get a decent amount of traffic from a blog post that has linked to you, it might be beneficial to build a relationship with that blogger and strengthen your presence on that blog to gain even more traffic from it.
Chances are some of these metrics were ones you used to glaze over during your reporting, not because they didn’t seem important, but because you may not have understood HOW they were important.
Now that we have a good understanding of what they are and can tell us, we can use that information to make our SEO efforts more successful. Go jump into your Analytics and take a deeper look at these numbers and see just how successful your campaign truly is.