Search engine optimization is a data-driven digital marketing strategy. Like any method of online advertising, you need to constantly check results to determine success. Since SEO is time-consuming and challenging at times, you need to ensure that your efforts yield favorable results. There is a right way and wrong way of tracking results. The good thing is, every aspect of digital marketing is measurable. You can generate numbers for almost any parameter. The question is, how do you know which of these parameters are essential? How do you prevent wasting time tracking results that won’t make a difference to your campaign?

How do the best SEO companies define SEO tracking?

Monitoring SEO results is a process. But, it’s straightforward and easy to master if you know what your business wants to focus on. Indeed, the best SEO companies Washington DC recommend starting the process by identifying specific metrics that provide the most value for your business. Looking into hundreds of reports is overwhelming and inefficient. And by choosing which metrics or KPIs to focus on, your marketing team can come up with reports that are useful and manageable. 

SEO metrics should be specific indicators that make success measurable. Depending on your niche, these metrics could differ. Of course, there are SEO parameters that remain universal regardless of the industry. Even so, your entire SEO strategy will improve if you simplify the monitoring process and focus only on the critical indicators. 

Which SEO metrics matter most?

Website owners today can access massive amounts of information relating to site performance. Yes, all of these offer good insight. But if your concern is regular monitoring, then poring through mounds of data isn’t efficient. It’s burdensome for you and your marketing team. So, as suggested by the best SEO companies Washington DC, here are five of the most vital metrics you need to focus on to monitor SEO success. 

  1. Organic site traffic. Why is organic search important? Because this number pertains to how many visitors land on your site by merely using a search engine. The main point of SEO is to rank higher in SERPs. Of course, the more organic traffic you get correlates directly to the success of your SEO strategy. When there are more users discovering your site through organic search, it also means that your website is gaining better visibility and you’re using the right keywords to promote your site. Organic search numbers are easily available if you use Google Analytics. Generating reports on a weekly or monthly basis will help build your strategy as you monitor the rise and fall of organic traffic performance. 
  2. Website click-through rate. CTR is the percentage representation of how many visitors choose your site after looking at search results. For example, if there are ten unique users that viewed your page on Google’s search results and two of these visited your site, then the CTR is 20%. Of course, the CTR rate differs for each keyword or set of keywords used. The purpose of this metric is to show whether or not your page grabs the attention of users. As such, it’s the best indicator if meta descriptions or title tags used for your page are high-quality. Low CTR means your marketing team may need to re-evaluate title tags and meta descriptions. Nevertheless, search rankings also impact CTR, so these two are interconnected. 
  3. Bounce rate. When a user chooses to visit your site, the option is either to leave or stay and browse more pages. If the user leaves, it adds to the bounce rate. This metric is an indicator of whether your site content meets your user’s expectations or needs. The relevance and usefulness of the information you provide to the user affect the bounce rate. It follows that a higher bounce rate means visitors don’t find your website content valuable. But, if the site bounce rate is low, you’ll have more confidence that your content is on track and succeeds in providing the users what they need. 
  4. Keyword ranking. Perhaps one of the most straightforward metrics to consider is keyword ranking. The primary goal of SEO is to rank high in search results. Therefore, low rankings will defeat the purpose and effort you put in. Remember, however, that it takes time to achieve high rankings. Low rankings will give you an insight on which keywords to abandon or keep. The good thing is, there are many tools you can use which will provide you with comprehensive and actionable data relating to keyword ranking. 
  5. Conversions. Conversion is vital for online businesses because it’s the ultimate goal of SEO. You promote your website not only to gain visitors but to convert these visitors into customers. If you want a better way to track conversion progress, you can set goals in Google Analytics. For example, you can set a goal for the number of completed purchases, lead submissions, sign-ups, and anything that your business deems as an important customer action. As you continue to monitor these goals, you can adjust your SEO strategies accordingly. 

In addition to these five metrics, there are other factors that also impact SEO performance. One example is page speed. Google puts precedence to the user experience when ranking websites. Website crawlers look into page speed as a critical indicator of user-friendliness. Therefore, it’s also important to monitor page speed as it will impact other metrics such as bounce rate. 

Final thoughts

In conclusion, focusing on these metrics will enhance the effectiveness of an SEO strategy. The best SEO companies Washington DC also recommend taking advantage of all available tools that generate the right metrics and data necessary to track progress. Most of these tools are available for free, while some are paid. Depending on the scale of the campaign, free tools work just as well. But if you want to access more features, paid tools also have added advantages. In the end, what’s more, important is knowing which metric to focus on so that you can get the most comprehensive insight and actionable data for your business.