SEO performance metrics
When estimating SEO performance, most marketers concentrate on organic traffic (unpaid search engine traffic) and keyword scales (positions for suitable queries). But there are many other useful ways to monitor SEO results.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to track SEO improvement using 10 key metrics
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1) Organic Traffic
Organic traffic is the number of visits that come to your site from search engines organically (without clicking on ads). It’s a good indicator of how nicely your web pages rank for relevant keywords. And how much quality traffic you obtain. The most authentic way to measure your organic results is to use the Google search console where you will see a Search report under ‘Performance’.Like this
Then, benchmark your site against your competitors.
Source: safalta.comIt’s one of the best methods to catch what’s functioning, what’s not, and what you can do to enhance.
Go to Traffic Analytics, enter your URL, and click “Analyze.”
Then, add up to four competitors’ URLs and click “Compare.”
See how your traffic compares across metrics like total visits and traffic sources (e.g., direct, referral, paid social, and organic search).
Scroll down, and you’ll see a traffic journey view.
It allows you to see where traffic is coming from—and where it goes once it leaves (which can help you identify possible competitors).
2) Keyword Rankings
A keyword hierarchy is your website’s position on a search engine results page (SERP) for a specific keyword or phrase. The higher you rank, the more traffic you can drive to your site. Keyword ranking on a website may repeatedly be modified for a number of different reasons. For example, Google may update its algorithm. Several reasons may cause the rankings of keywords on a website to be modified repeatedly. For example, Google may update its algorithm, you lose backlinks, or your opponents post new content. So, following your SEO rankings is important. Losing ranking positions may mean losing traffic to your site—which may damage your business. The soundest way to monitor your keyword rankings is to set up a campaign. It’ll track your rankings daily. To do this, open the Position Tracking tool.
Then, enter your domain and click “Set up tracking.”
If you want to track your rankings, you have to select a domain type, search engine, device, location, and language. Ensure that you do so with careful consideration and attention to detail.
When you’re done, click “Continue To Keywords.”
For optimal tracking of your rankings, it is essential to carefully select your domain type, search engine, device, location, and language. Give careful consideration and attention to detail when making these choices.
If you don’t add any keywords at all, the tool will offer some crucial ones to follow.
Then, click “Start Tracking.”
Once it’s all set up, you’ll see your rankings in the dashboard.
To better understand your version and uncover new keywords, conduct a keyword gap analysis with the Keyword Gap tool.
It’ll display keywords your opponents are rating for, but you aren’t.
Each of those keywords represents a chance to push more traffic.
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SERP visibility is used to measure how often and how prominently your website appears on the search engine results pages for relevant keywords.
It takes keyword ranking into account. But also the presence of SERP features—nontraditional organic results like featured snippets, knowledge panels, image packs, and others.
You can easily check your website’s visibility using the Position Tracking tool we outlined earlier.
First, you’ll see a “Visibility” index in the dashboard.
This percentage is based on click-through rate and displays your site’s improvement in Google’s top 100 results for the keywords in your tracking campaign.
A 0% visibility means your domain isn’t ranking in Google’s top 100 results for any of your tracked keywords.
A 100% visibility means your domain ranks in the first position in the SERP for all your tracked keywords.
The higher your visibility percentage, the finer your chances of getting visitors to your site.
Now, click on the “Overview” tab.
Scroll down, and you’ll see a table with keywords from your campaign that have a SERP feature on the results page
Hold a close eye on this table. and do what you can to get your visibility percentage up.
For example, some best techniques to increase visibility include:
Doing keyword research to find SERP feature opportunities
Add structured data to your pages to help Google understand and better present your content in SERPs
Auditing and optimizing your content
Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of users who click on your website from the SERP.
It shows how effective your title tags and meta descriptions are in attracting searchers’ attention and interest.
It's calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions and then multiplying that number by 100.
For example, if your site appears on a SERP 100 times a week and 10 people click on it, your CTR is 10%.
To review your Google CTR, open Google Search Console.
Then, click on “Search results” under the “Performance” report.
You’ll see checkboxes titled “Total clicks,” “Total impressions,” “Average CTR,” and “Average position.”
Check the “Average CTR” box to see your site’s average click-through rate and top-performing pages and keywords.
That average CTR is your benchmark.
Work on testing out different things to bump that number up as much as possible.
Bounce rate is the percentage of users who stay on your site but exit without additional dealings—like going to another page or filling out a form.
It helps show how tempting and suitable your content is for the visitors who land on it.
And monitoring bounce rate can help determine if there are any imperfections in your SEO approach or website—like slow loading speed, poor mobile optimization, a mismatch between content and keywords, and more.
The Traffic Analytics tool is a great way to benchmark your bounce rate against competitors.
First, enter your domain and click “Analyze.”
Then, add up to four competitors’ domains and click “Compare.”
You’ll see a table with the average bounce rates for all the domains. And the difference compared to the previous month.
You can also see a trend graph by scrolling down and clicking on “Bounce Rate.”
Here are a few tips that can help lower your bounce rate:
Ensure you’re addressing search intent
Make your content easy to read and navigate
Add internal links to other pages on your site
6)Website Authority Over Time
Website authority is an SEO metric that predicts how well your website will rank on search engines.
At Semrush, we call this metric “Authority Score.” And it’s based on the quality and quantity of your site’s backlinks, organic search traffic, and other data.
A logarithmic scale of 1 to 100 presents the score and the stronger and more “authoritative” your domain is the higher your score. You can find any domain’s Authority Score in Domain Overview, Backlink Analytics, Backlink Audit, or the Link Building tool.
Backlinks are links from other sites that point to yours.
And they’re one of the most important ranking factors for Google—they help show your site is trustworthy and valuable for others.
This means: Tracking and monitoring your backlinks is critical.
And you can easily do that with Backlink Analytics.
Enter your domain and click “Analyze.”
You’ll get a snapshot of your site’s referring domains (sites that link to you at least once) and total backlinks.
Work on continuously building high-quality backlinks to your site.
Some popular link-building strategies include:
Broken link building
Unlinked brand mentions
And many others.
Page speed refers to how fast your web pages load on different devices and browsers.
It greatly affects user experience. And Google’s ranking algorithm rewards sites with a good page experience.
Which makes page speed a very important metric to track and measure for SEO success.
A really effective way to audit your site’s page speed is to run pages through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
Start by entering a URL and clicking “Analyze.”
Note: You can only check one URL at a time.
As you can see, you’ll get information about the page’s performance. And recommendations for how to fix any issues.
A few ways to boost your page speed include:
Compressing your images
Using a content delivery network (CDN)
Engagement time (sometimes called time on page) is the average amount of time visitors spend on a webpage before leaving it.
It’s a helpful metric to see how well your content meets search intent.
When a searcher types a keyword into Google, lands on your page, and spends a lot of time there, it suggests that your site satisfied their intent.
They found what they were looking for. And it was useful.
On the other hand, a low time spent on a page is indicative of a mismatch between what the user is looking for and what your page contains.
You can track the average time visitors spend on your site using Google Analytics.
Go to “Reports” > “Engagement” > “Pages and screens.” You’ll see the metric under the column “Average engagement time.”
Then, ensure each page’s content meets the right type of intent.
Conversion rate is the percentage of users who complete a desired action on your site—like subscribing to a newsletter, downloading an ebook, signing up for a trial, making a purchase, etc.—out of the total number of users who visited the site.
It shows how effective your pages are in turning visitors into leads or customers.
One way to track your conversion rates is to set up goals in Google Analytics.
And then you’ll be able to track the percentage of your site’s visitors who convert.
If you need more help with content marketing strategy, explore our Content Marketing Toolkit.
You’ll be able to:
Get tailored templates for SEO-friendly content
Audit your content to identify what to improve
Find content ideas that will resonate with your audience
Uncover actionable tips on how to create high-quality content
How Long Does It Take to See SEO Results?
Implementing an SEO strategy is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to see results with SEO.
Treat each campaign as part of an ongoing project that will never be complete.
Your timeline will also depend on how new your site is, how good your SEO strategy is, and how consistent you are in implementing your strategies.
If you have all that going for you, expect to start seeing results within four months to a year.
Remember that your website’s visibility and ranking will be heavily influenced by who your competitors are and what keywords you’re trying to rank for.
To know if you’re making progress, track results, and refine your strategies as data comes in.
SEO is an investment for which consistency is key.
Over time, you’ll see it pay off. Prioritize sustainability over speed. And you’ll enjoy the rewards for longer.
Learn How to Evaluate SEO Performance
Now that you know how to measure SEO performance, it’s time to take it a step further.
That means making sure your site is optimized through and through. And monitoring its overall SEO health.
To do that, set up automatic crawls with Site Audit. It’ll scan your site for over 140 on-page and technical SEO issues.
Start by entering your URL and clicking “Start Audit.”
Then, click “Start Site Audit.”
After the tool crawls your site, you’ll see a dashboard like this:
Notice your site’s Health Score (also called an SEO score). It measures your site’s overall SEO health based on the number (and severity) of the issues uncovered.
Then, click on the “Issues” tab.
You’ll see your site’s issues conveniently sorted by importance—“Errors,” “Warnings,” and “Notices.”
(Which can help you understand how to prioritize your tasks.)
Work on fixing them one by one.
And if you’re not sure how to click the “Why and how to fix it” link next to the issue for a quick explanation. Ready to get started?
Businesses can obtain crucial insights into their SEO operations by understanding the nuances of keyword analysis, backlink evaluation, and user engagement analytics. It is vital to establish specific, attainable goals and to routinely assess your progress. Accurate tracking and estimate of SEO success are made possible and even empowered by the use of cutting-edge technologies and approaches.
How do I track my SEO performance?
Organic traffic. This KPI measures how many visitors come to your website from organic search results. ...
Search rankings. ...
Search visibility. ...
Organic CTR. ...
Branded traffic. ...
Bounce rate. ...
Average session duration.
What is SEO performance?
SEO is the act of editing your website content to appear higher in search results and using it to drive more traffic to your site. So when looking at SEO performance, you're ultimately measuring where you rank.
What is the KPI for SEO performance?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) for SEO are metrics that help you evaluate the performance of your SEO efforts. Without defining, monitoring, and analyzing the SEO KPIs that matter for your business, there's no way to know whether your SEO efforts are successful.