Are you putting effort into improving your SEO and feel like you’re not seeing results? It might be because you’re not looking in the right places. Unlike paid media, SEO grows organically over time which means you need to be focusing on specific KPIs in order to truly measure success.
From keyword tracking to backlinks, here’s how to track SEO performance and results.
What is SEO tracking?
SEO tracking is the ongoing measurement of SEO performance and campaigns. To begin SEO tracking, you should have campaigns already set up so you can accurately assess the results.
When setting up a campaign, you should consider what you want to achieve once it’s over. It could be an increase in traffic or backlinks, for example. Either way, setting clear campaign objectives will allow you to have a clearer picture of how well your SEO is working for you.
SEO KPIs to track
Now, you might be wondering what an SEO key performance indicator is. A KPI is a particular metric that you’d like to measure. Your KPI is determined by the thing you’d like to improve as a result of your SEO work. So, if you want more people to find your site online, your KPI would be organic traffic. It’s possible to have multiple KIPs per campaign but if you’re a beginner, maybe just stick to one and see how you go. Here are some common SEO KPIs to track:
Conversion rate is the percentage of people on your site who have completed a desired action. That could be buying a product or inquiring about a service – or whatever else it is you want people to do on your site.
Here’s how to work out your conversion rate: conversions / total visitors * 100%.
Don’t worry, most SEO tools and platforms will do all the number crunching for you. All you need to do is log in to see how your conversation rate is changing.
When it comes to the technical side of your side, page speed can make or break your domain performance. Recent studies have found that improving your site speed by just one second can double your returns.
Page speed is determined by how quickly your page loads when someone lands on it. Not only does page speed count towards Google’s Core Web Vitals, but it also has an impact on conversion and bounce rate. After all, no one wants to be on a website that is slow and clunky – it puts people off!
To improve your domains authority over time (DA), you’ll need to be gaining quality backlinks. A backlink is basically another domain that links to yours. This will probably be via your blog or other content on your site that is a source of information.
If someone links to your site, the Google algorithm picks up on this and begins to recognise your domain as a trustworthy, authoritative website. The more backlinks you get, the more your domain authority improves which boosts your SERP (search engine results page) rankings. The higher you appear in relevant SERPs, the more organic traffic you’ll get, and the wheel keeps on turning.
Your click-through rate (CTR) tells you how many people are clicking through to your website from SERPs. For example, your CTR is 10% if your site appeared on a SERP 200 times in one week and 20 people clicked on it.
Your click-through rates are a great way of gauging how good your title tags and meta descriptions are. The better they are written and optimised, the more likely people are to click on them.
When someone searches for something in a search engine, they are served with a whole load of results in a SERP. Organic traffic is the measurement of people clicking on your website organically without coming from paid media.
Organic traffic is a common growth goal as it is a solid indicator of how your overall SEO strategy is going. The end goal for any business is to be the first result in SERPs for relevant search terms. This not only proves your brand is authoritative but also gives you the highest chance of a conversion.
To measure organic traffic, you will have to be tracking your keyword rankings. Keywords are words or short sentences that people most commonly search for. Some keywords have more search volume behind them than others which makes them tricky to rank for.
For a domain to rank for keywords, it needs to have lots of quality content throughout the site. This can be via landing pages and or blogs. By including a handful of relevant keywords within your content, your page stands a good chance of performing well in SERPs. Blog content is a fantastic way of boosting keyword rankings as it provides an informational resource for potential customers in the research stage of their buying journey.
How to track SEO
If you’re totally new to this SEO thing, you might be wondering how you actually track all of these SEO metrics. Well, fear not, there are plenty of industry-standard tools all SEOs use to measure success. Most tools specialise in one thing or another so you might have to get yourself set up on more than one to get a true picture of performance.
Once you’ve determined your KPIs, it’s time to put some tracking in place. This will allow you to see your progress and make any changes or tweaks for future SEO work.
Plus, you don’t need a specific campaign to track your ongoing SEO work. Of course, tacking results from campaigns will give you more tangible results. But using these tools all the time will give valuable insight into the performance of keywords, organic traffic and backlinks over time including historical data.
SEO ranking tools to use
Since there are so many SEO tools out there, it can be tricky to know which one’s are worth your time. Here are some of the core SEO tools used by SEOs in the industry:
When it comes to tracking keywords and traffic, look no further than SEMrush. This handy online tool is essential for all SEO work. SEMrush easily has the largest bank of keywords and data out there which makes keyword research not only easy but accurate. One of the best bits about SEMrush is the ability to look into your competitors. With their comparison tool, you can see exactly how your competitors are performing and which keywords and or pages are driving their growth.
Google Search Console
Let’s be honest, reporting isn’t anyone’s favourite task. That’s where Google Search Console comes in handy. Good reporting makes SEO tracking a breeze and Google Search Console automates everything for you. As well as reporting, Google Search Console highlights a lot of the technical elements on your site. For example, page redirects, URL inspections and sitemap analysis’. So, if something isn’t quite right on your domain, Google Search Console will tell you what it is and how to fix it.
Moz is a great online tool for measuring the performance of your site. Using their handy domain authority (DA) check, you can see how well your site is doing over time. The DA score is out of 100 and the higher the score, the more trustworthy your site is. This is important because the more authoritative your domain, the higher up it appears in SERPs. Moz also allows you to analyse your audience to see how they are getting to your site and even has a feature called Moz Local to help businesses optimise their site for their geographic location.
Speaking of domain authority, one of the best ways to build it is through links. The more external sites link back to yours, the more Google starts to recognise you as an authoritative source. Ahrefs is the backbone tool for link analysis. Within the platform, you can see how many backlinks your site has, where they are coming from and how good they are. You can also see how the pages on your own site are performing and where there may be opportunities to further optimise your content.
And there you have it, a guide on how to track SEO performance and results. Every SEO campaign is different, so, remember to set up clear KPIs at the start, give yourself a timeframe and monitor your performance through industry tools. If you’re looking for advice and help with your SEO, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.