4 SEO Metrics You Should Be Tracking

Shweiki Media Printing Company teams up with expert Alicia Lawrence, the Content Coordinator for WebpageFX, to present a webinar on the four SEO metrics you should be tracking.

“What gets measured, gets managed.” –Peter Drucker

Recently, there has been a huge push in PR and marketing to show tangible ROI. SEO is all about the results that can be measured. This is an overview on four very important metrics one should be tracking to get an idea on how they are performing and perhaps, how to improve them.

1.) Keyword Rankings: More Keywords, More Traffic, More Money

The reason I am framing this as keyword rankings instead of page rankings is because I want you to think strategically about your keyword choice. For instance, there is a page that ranks No. 1 on Google for dozens of keywords but none of those keywords get a lot of traffic or are relevant to the industry. Therefore, it does not actually produce anything of value. People who find that page will bounce quickly off the website. It is important to to quickly optimize your site right and create content to rank with the right keywords in order to get quality traffic that will convert. One way to help with this is by creating a keyword mapping report so you know what keywords to target. When creating content, it is important to spend time finding the right keywords that are feasible to rank for and apply to your audience. Once you know your keywords, you can proceed in measuring how well you are doing.

Google Analytics is a very useful tool in measuring keyword rankings.  In order to see the keywords you are ranking for in Google Analytics, go to “Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels>Other, then click “Landing Page” to show keywords by a specific landing page. On the second dimension, go to “keywords” to see keyword rankings, although a majority of them will not be set or provided. In order to easily see the keywords Google Analytics provide, go to Advanced Filter and exclude any keywords that contain “not.” By doing that, it should knock out those vague keywords that Google is giving you. If you want to see a specific page, you can use that page’s URL.

Ahrefs is another great tool.  You type in a specific domain, and choose organic keywords. This will show keywords that domain is ranking for, the volume and the results when it was last updated.

RankWatch is a keyword tool that we use the most at Webpage FX for clients. RankWatch allows you to easily keep track of keywords that are your goal for ranking. The only bad thing about RankWatch is that you actually have to find the keywords yourself whether through a keyword mapping report or through another tool like Ahrefs. This is a paid tool but it gives a lot insight into how many spaces keywords are moving up or down.

SEMrush is a tool used to see how keywords rank organically. For this one, all you have to do is put in the  URL and click “Organic Research” and it will show all the keywords that page is ranking for so far that SEMrush has catalogued in their system.

2.) Traffic: Organic, Referral & Social

The second SEO metric is traffic. As a result of ranking better, your traffic will go up which is great as long as it is quality traffic. There are a few areas to look at to determine if your traffic is sending people to your site.

Under Google Analytics, go to Acquisitions>All Traffic>Channels and once again you will see it has a few main default channel groupings: organic search, direct, referral, social, paid search, and display.

Direct Traffic: Direct traffic is when people put a URL directly into their browser. Direct traffic also involves clicking links from an email or pdf document. If you are really curious about where your traffic is coming from, you can always create a tagged URL using Google’s URL builder tool.

Paid Search: Traffic from paid search is beneficial to explore if you are running ads because it will help analyze how online ads are converting.

Organic Traffic: Organic traffic is traffic that is coming from a search engine.

Referral Traffic: This is traffic that is coming to you from another site. For example, people click links that are built into a blog post and come to your website.

Social Traffic: Social traffic is traffic coming from social networks like Facebook or Pinterest.

Organic, referral and social traffic are the three one should be checking regularly.

3.) Links: Domain Authority, Rankings & Referral Traffic

The third SEO metric is links. Although sometimes criticized, link building correctly is still one of the best things you can do for SEO besides optimizing your site in general. Normally, you can see link impact in the search engine result pages when rankings and domain authority increases. Domain authority is MOZ’s metrics for overall ranking of a site.  You can also tell if links are doing a good job through referral traffic.

To see a site’s domain authority (DA), download the Moz bar. Most sites have DA scores between 30 and 50. Really good websites have scores between 50 and 80. Domain authority is more of a brief overview metric. Moz also has a spam metric that shows the link coming in, if their site is from a bad area and also how many links are being built into the tool.

4.) Goal Completions: Contact Page, Subscribers & Purchases

The last metric I want to cover is goal completions. Goal completions will look different for every business. One type of goal completion comes in the form of contact pages. Someone filling out a contact page and inquiring about the business can be considered a goal completion and be tracked in Google Analytics.  Another type of goal completion could be subscribers to an e-newsletter. Subscribers are one of the best ways to get in touch with your target audience. Purchases can be tracked in Google Analytics by setting up goal completions in the admin tab. Many times, one will be tracking the “Thank You” page after someone purchases an item on the site.

I would highly encourage you to set up as many goal completions as you think would be profitable in determining what type of SEO strategies work and perhaps where you need to improve.

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Alicia Lawrence

Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for WebpageFX. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Yahoo! Small Business, and Advanced Web Rankings.

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