Top 6 Important SEO Metrics You Need to Follow

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“First things first: you really need to enjoy making content, and you have to be consistent. Easiest way to do that is to zone in on what you like and your unique perspective; evolve your content as your preferences change.”- Ashley Villa
(YouTube Creator, @bestdressed)

Optimising your website for SEO is a must, but how do you know if you are on the right track? Search engine optimisation is a continuous process. Your SEO strategy needs substantial time to kick in and show visible results. Tracking important SEO metrics thus becomes a crucial part of your SEO strategy. These metrics allow you to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Important SEO metrics enable you to gauge the performance of the employed SEO tactics and can aid you in altering the inputs to achieve better results. However, what SEO metrics matter the most, and where can you measure them? This article shall discuss in detail the top 6 important SEO metrics that you need to follow, tools that help you measure these metrics, and how to improve each of them. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Top 6 Important SEO Metrics to follow:

1. Organic traffic

Organic traffic represents your website’s traffic solely from Google’s organic search. This number stands of utmost importance because it helps you measure the direct impact of your SEO strategy. Getting click-throughs for your website directly through Google search results implies that your site ranks higher for the particular keyword the user searched for. 

You can easily measure this metric using Google Analytics or Google Search Console. Remember, more the organic traffic, the better. On the contrary, if you cannot fetch organic traffic, something in your SEO strategy needs to be changed. Without organic traffic, you cannot drive sales and conversions, which negatively impacts the revenue. In such a case, you need to rewire your SEO strategy. 

Improving website structure, user experience, content, and relevance to search queries are essential to driving organic traffic. Besides these, tactical methods such as smart internal linking, and white hat backlinks provide a great boost in building organic traffic. 

By not ranking higher for a target keyword in your niche, you lose out on potential leads, which brings us to the next important metric, keyword ranking.

Ranking well for niche-specific keywords forms a significant part of your SEO campaign. Ranking higher for targeted keywords helps you attract more traffic to your website. Many tools such as Google search console or paid tools such as SEMrush and Ahrefs can help you track this metric. It is important to focus on branded and non-branded keywords while conducting your keyword research.

Branded keywords are the ones that are related to your brand and are domain-specific. Customers intend to use branded keywords to learn more about the specific offerings of your brand. Using branded keywords can help you reach consumers who are already looking for your products or services and intend to buy them. On the other hand, non-branded keywords help influence consumers in the decision-making stage of their buying journey. 

Make sure you analyze keyword rankings for each of the categories and related pages on your website. For a given set of keywords, if you see a sudden drop in the keyword rankings, you need to look through the website and SERP results to figure out the root cause and make necessary tweaks to your strategy. 

Utilizing the perfect combination of branded and non-branded keywords in your content, meta-tags, headings, and images can help you build a higher ranking for your website for that set of keywords. Also building a cluster content strategy can help you expand the list of ranking keywords very quickly.

2. Keyword-ranking

3. Organic Click-through-rate

Yet another important metric you need to consider is the organic click-through rate or the organic CTR. This metric is largely based on rankings. However, headlines, meta descriptions, and URLs have considerable sway in influencing the organic CTR. Organic CTR is the percentage of clicks received on search results divided by the total number of organic impressions. For example, if your website ranks on the first search page for a keyword with a monthly search volume of 1500 and drives 150 click-throughs, your organic CTR calculates to 10%. 

What makes organic CTR a vital SEO metric to follow? Firstly, more clicks directly imply more traffic to your website. By tracking and improving the percentage CTR for your website, you drive more traffic to your website, which rewards you with more leads and a higher possibility of conversions. Secondly, higher CTR directly impacts your search rankings. CTR helps search engines figure out what type of content the user searches for and use CTR value to re-rank websites. A higher CTR thus can lead to a higher ranking of your website in the SERPs. Measuring this metric helps you optimise your content to rank higher and improve the overall performance of your SEO strategy. 

Up comes the question, how to improve organic CTR? Numerous factors can help you boost organic CTR, some of which are:

  • Catchy, attractive headlines: Writing attractive titles that create curiosity in the reader’s minds will ultimately urge the reader to click through it, giving you a higher CTR. Using numbers and power words in the headline can drive the reader to click through it to know more about you. 
  • Optimised meta descriptions: Meta descriptions are the excerpts that appear at the bottom of your title in the SERPs, which brief the reader about your page.  A study by Backlinko found that pages with a meta description received 5.8% more clicks as compared to those without meta descriptions. Optimising meta descriptions to persuade the reader to click through is thus, a great way to boost your organic CTR.
  • Short, appealing URLs: Customise your URLs. Since URL is one of the elements displayed on the SERPs, keeping your URLs short and specific can attract the reader’s attention, thus leading them to click-through. 

Use structured data: Use different schema markups to describe different pages on your website. Add structured data to your page, for example, reviews and ratings for your products and an FAQ section for your services. This helps search engines to understand your web page better and enhances the credibility of your page. Ratings, reviews, and FAQs give the reader a brief context about the page, product or service and can help get you more click-throughs.

Domain authority is a ranking score developed by Moz that gives you an overall idea of your site’s performance on a scale of 1 to 100. This metric predicts the possibility of your domain appearing in the search results as compared to those of your competitors. 

Google does not use domain authority to decide the ranking of your website in the SERPs. However, it is important to track this metric to get a clear idea of where your website stands on the web. Tracking domain authority provides you with a quick health check for your website. 

Domain authority score depends upon various factors including the number of backlinks, quality of referring domains, authority and credibility of the sources for the backlinks, amongst many others. Domain authority should be benchmarked with competitors to conclude what’s a good domain authority for your niche. 

Paid tools such as SEMrush or AHRefs can help you measure the domain authority for your website. Getting do-follow backlinks from higher authority sites and linking to unique, different domains can help you boost the domain authority score.

4. Domain authority

5. Page speed or Core Web Vitals

Google uses user experience as one of the main criteria to rank websites. Factors affecting user experiences such as page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and safe browsing contribute largely to your rankings, which brings us to the next important metric – page speed or core web vitals. Following are the core web vitals that measure your website’s response, interactivity, and visual appeal: 

  • Largest contentful paint (LCP): The time taken by the main content on the webpage to appear to the viewer is the largest contentful paint. It is recommended that LCT should be less than 2.5s. 
  • First input delay (FID): FID measures the response time of your web page when a user interacts with it for the first time. Recommended FID should be less than 100miliseconds.
  • Cumulative layout shifts (CLT): CLT points toward the instability of your website. It is the measure of sudden layout shifts of your website which hamper the overall user experience. Ideally, CLT must be less than 0.1s.

Long load speeds and inconvenient navigation can pull the visitor off your website leading to a drop in conversion rates. Page load delays can hurt your rankings and in turn, your business. Tracking and optimising core web vitals for your website thus become an important part of your SEO strategy. Google search console and tools like GTMetrix aid in tracking core web vitals. Optimising your website for LCP, FID, and CLT can boost your SEO results, giving you the optimum advantages of your SEO strategy. Plans to improve CVW scores depend on the tech stack of your website and the prevalent errors.

Organic conversion rate is an important metric as it helps you track down your organic traffic down the sales funnel. With the help of organic CVR, you can judge whether or not your prospects are converting to your business objectives. Tracking conversion rates is a good way to analyze the performance of your SEO strategy. 

The ultimate goal is to capture your target audience and convert them into loyal customers. Organic CVR exactly help you with long term goal tracking for your business. Conversion rates help you understand if your business objectives are being fulfilled, and if not, you can alter your strategies and take rock-solid steps towards fulfilling them. 

Organic CVR can be measured separately for different website pages. For example, your website’s home page drives different conversion rates compared to your product or service page. Hence, you need to look after improving each independently.  

Organic CVR can be measured using Google Analytics and can be improved through compelling CTAs on the page. Including forms in the first fold, adding ‘click to email’ or ‘click to call’ elements in the top navigation panel can aid in increasing organic conversion rates for your website. These tips are just the peak of the iceberg. Improving Conversion rates is a whole science and typically requires a customised approach for each business.

6. Organic conversion rate (CVR)

Conclusion

Search engine optimization is a long term game, and one needs to keep playing until it starts working wonders. Above-listed SEO metrics help measure and understand the efforts you put into optimizing your website for the search engines. It is these metrics that help you analyse if your efforts are yielding the expected results. Without tracking these important metrics, you would just be hitting in the dark. 

Ask us what makes an effective SEO strategy, and the answer would be simple: ‘Tracking, analysing and optimising each of these 6 important SEO metrics’ along with accurate content planning, and regular SEO audits. That’s the path we at Intent Farm follow, yielding a significant rise in search leads, revenue, and ROI for our brands. Curious how we do it? Write to us at brand@intentfarm.com and we shall get right back to you.

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