Many people new to SEO will spend months working on their website while feeling like they aren’t seeing any results. It may be due to the fact that they have no effective way of tracking their results.
Tracking multiple metrics, rather than just one, will give you an overall picture of the success of your website. Known as key performance indicators, the analytics from your website can tell you what to improve and what to keep doing. The great thing about having various metrics to track is that you don’t have to choose all of them. You can pick which ones are best for you and switch them out based on the success of your site. Here are just a few SEO metrics that may benefit your site.
1. Keyword rankings: These can be used to track specific terms that you’re trying to rank for. They can help determine if you’re choosing appropriate words when trying to outrank competing sites. Keyword rankings can tell you whether you’re growing over time, as they should improve in ranks. Every time you add a post, you should add keywords as well and see how they rank.
2. Organic search traffic: You must ensure that your search engine traffic is increasing. Looking over a period of a few months is a good rule of thumb because seasonal changes can affect traffic. You also have the option to view daily traffic. Regardless of what analytics tool you use, most will allow you break down search traffic by specific search engines.
3. Average time on page: How much time are users spending on your page? Seeing how much time users spend on each page will give you a sense of what content is working, and what’s causing them to leave. Think about your content on a page. If it’s short, you shouldn’t be alarmed when there is low time spent because it’s a quick read. However, if your content is heavy and you’re seeing people are spending only half the time, something may need to change.
4. Returning users: If your content is engaging, people will continue coming back. Continually posting interesting content and adding people to an e-mail list will ensure visitors become regulars. Google Analytics will allow you to see the percentage of new and returning visitors. While new visitors are always great, returning visitors is important to the success of your site.
5. Bounce rate: Satisfying your reader is a great goal, which can mean they logged on your site and left. However, you don’t want people landing on your page and moving around the Google page because they can’t find what they’re looking for. Your site has to be the one that answers their questions the right way so that they don’t land on your competitors page. These users are ones who get to your page but then don’t interact. As with average time spend on pages, your bounce rate will be low if you have a straightforward answer. However, most experts suggest that good content should have a bounce rate of under 50% in general.
6. Page loading speed: If your page takes too long to load, visitors will become impatient and leave. Then, they will associate your site with slow loading and probably never come back. There are various tools for measuring load speed with specific instructions in how to lessen the time. On average, pages should load in two seconds or less.
7. Traffic by device: No longer are people accessing website solely through a computer. Mobile traffic is a significant portion of website audiences and if your website isn’t modified for it, this could mean a lot less traffic. This metric will allow you to see if people are comfortable viewing your site on other devices and will also inform you how it should be optimized.
8. 404 pageviews: Broken links are not helpful and will cause you to lose your audience. Creating a custom 404 page with links to popular pages in your site can help redirect your visitors and hopefully get them on the right track. As a site grows, 404 errors are inevitable. However, periodically going through your site and fixing the links will minimize this problem.
If you’re not tracking metrics, you really have no way of knowing how well your site is doing. Without tracking metrics, you could end up spending time and money for no reason. Think about which metrics are important for your website’s SEO and figure out how to track them.
If you’d like to learn more about achieving measurable results and useful SEO metrics for your website, contact us today.