5 Key Analytics Metrics to Monitor SEO Success
When getting started with an SEO campaign one of the first things that should be done is getting Google Analytics set up on your site if it’s not already. It’s a fairly simple process and it’s free information straight from the almighty Google. Without Analytics data it can be difficult, if not impossible to see the full picture in terms of how an SEO campaign helps to improve website performance. SEO is an ongoing process, so over time you should be able to see a positive trend appear in Analytics for multiple metrics. It’s how you know whether an SEO campaign is on track or if tweaks need to be made over the course of the campaign.
Here are 5 of the most important metrics to focus on in terms of measuring SEO success over time:
SEO improves a website’s performance and visibility in many ways, but perhaps the most important metric to determine SEO success is organic search engine visitor growth. The primary purpose of SEO is to gain visibility for related keyword searches on the search engine results page in order to generate more traffic from the search engines. Within Analytics, you can segment traffic sources a number of ways, including by “non-paid search” (or organic search). Give it at least 6 months (more in a competitive niche) and there should be an upward trend as long as SEO activities are being executed regularly.
Without segmenting, Analytics will show you “all visitors”, meaning visitors to the site that came from any source. This matters for SEO too since SEO activities work to generate traffic in addition to building search engine trust. For example, blog writing might be a part of the SEO campaign but it can deliver traffic to the site once it’s shared in social media.
Traditional link building may no longer be as important as it once was for SEO, and the trend has turned towards “link earning” but it’s still important to increase visibility among target audience members by creating content to share on industry websites that are relevant and high quality. As these links are created, they should generate traffic and the number of traffic sources should increase.
Google Analytics continues to diminish keyword data by keeping more and more of it private but you can still look at the data that is there as a sample size. For SEO it’s important to utilize variations of keywords, specifically long tail keywords, in order to generate traffic from target audience members that are looking for something specific and are further along in the sales cycle. The number of keywords that generated visitors should increase over time.
Website conversions, like filling out a lead form or making a purchase on a site, should be set up for tracking within Analytics. Adding code to a “thank you” page that is seen by the visitor after the conversion happens tells Analytics that the conversion occurred. If your SEO is on the right track, it should not only lead to more website visitors but also to more conversions.
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