We dedicate this blog to all you business owners/employees embarking on your first SEO campaign.
Between the alien sounding terms and numerous methods, we know measuring your SEO campaign can be confusing especially if you’re new to the wild world of SEO. To make things easier for you, here are 5 SEO KPIs we consider absolutely crucial in gauging if your campaign is generating results for your business. Google Analytics is a powerful tool that should be used when evaluating these KPIs and your SEO endeavours so we’ll also share how to do exactly that.
1. Your Keyword Rankings
Page ranking has been connected to SEO success for years and will for decades to come. Rankings are valuable when measuring your entire SEO campaign, highlighting if your keywords strategy, on-page and onsite optimisation is working or not.
By ranking highly on the right search terms, you better position your business to acquire a bulk of search traffic, most of which is driven by an intention to purchase. Conversely, low ranking keywords reduces your business’ likelihood of experiencing a mass of search traffic. As many factors go into SEO, keyword rankings should only be seen as an indicator of being on the right track.
Google Analytics is unable to tell you your keyword ranking, however, the platform does identify which keywords have driven organic traffic. This information right here should be used to your advantage and incorporated into your strategy if possible. To access this data, you need to sign into Google Analytics, select Acquisition, choose All Traffic and then Channels. Upon selecting Channels, choose Organic Search and voila, there are the keywords that have brought traffic to your site.
2. Increase In Your Organic Traffic
For most, the main objective of SEO is to consistently channel traffic to your website from searches. Good search engine optimisation will increase your organic traffic. The most effective way to measure your organic traffic is to compare different time periods. Here are three common ways in which comparisons can be done:
Week to Week
This is best for very short-term analysis.
Month to Month
Given Google’s algorithm is continually changing and it often takes longer than a week for trends to formulate, month to month comparison is great for monitoring different SEO strategies such as a new blog series or on-page overhauls.
Year to Year
Yearly data should be used when evaluating the long-term impact of your SEO. This type of data is particularly important for businesses that are impacted by seasonalities which influence search volumes.
You can measure your organic traffic by selecting Acquisition in Google Analytics, All Traffic and then Channels. Once you’re on the Channels dashboard, click onto Organic Search. Here you’ll be given greater insights into how you’ve acquired your organic traffic. Generally, week to week data is automatically shown hence if you’re looking for other periods, just modify the time selected in the page’s top right corner.
3. Your Page Load Speed
Have you ever been on a website that took more than 6 seconds to load? If you have, we’re guessing you clicked away before the 4th second, right? If you didn’t, consider yourself one of the few. According to Google, the odds of a visitor bouncing from a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load is between 32% and 90%!
Out of all these factors, page speed affects your SEO the least. Even with average page speeds, your business can still rank well. But it’s been proven that the faster your speed times, the better it is for your SEO. It’s noteworthy to mention that page speed becomes a big deal when Google is determining which business out of two very similar ones, should rank higher and when a website is extremely slow.
Like all the other KPIs, your page speed can be found out in Google Analytics. To check, open up Google Analytics, select Behaviour before selecting Site Speed. Additionally, GTMetrix can also provide you with the speed of your site. We love GTMetrix because not only do they offer free speed testing but also basic analysis. You can check them out at: https://gtmetrix.com/.
4. Your Backlinks
At the core of most effective SEO campaigns is a solid white hat link building strategy. This is the case because building link juice (credibility) is vital for helping your website rank higher.
So how can you judge if your backlinks are functioning well?
Simple, just ask yourself the following four questions:
- How many total links have we established?
- What is the number of links that come from authority & relevant sites?
- Are a significant number of links from content sharing or directories?
- Is there any diversity in my linking domains?
What you want is a solid quantity of links. Even with being on fleek for every other SEO aspect, you won’t outrank the top result if you’ve only got 13 links and they’ve got 3000. Not only do you want numerous links but you also need high quality – authoritative and relevant – links that closely relate to your business and offerings. Furthermore, diversity within your linking is ideal because having 1000 backlinks from 500 websites is much more impactful than 1000 backlinks from 10 websites.
Google Analytics doesn’t provide you with every single backlink. However, you can use the program to gauge which websites bring your site traffic. From here you can formulate invaluable insights such as if your backlinks are relevant to your business. Referral Traffic is accessed by selecting Acquisitions, All Traffic and then Referrals. If you’re looking for even more insight into your backlinks, a program like Moz Pro’s Open Site Explorer (https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/) will do you well.
5. Your Conversions and Leads
Conversions and leads, last but certainly not least. As a matter of fact, arguably this is the most important of KPIs and the core goal of any marketing strategy. If your business has experienced an increase in leads, inquiries and conversions since adopting your SEO strategy, there’s a very high probability your SEO is lit.
Google Analytics can measure your conversions once you’ve set up Goals. If you’re yet to do this, we’ll do that now. Go to Conversions, select Goals and there, you’ll be informed you need to create some goals to enable this report. Click Set Up Goals before selecting the red New Goals Tab. Now enter the goals you’d like to measure. This can be a sign up to your newsletter, prospective customer contacting you or a sale itself. After you select your goal, enter a Goal Description and select a Type before entering Goal Details such as the Destination URL and Value (where you can assign monetary value for the sale of a product or service). Upon completing those steps, your Goal is created and Google Analytics will start recording your data. To view this data, you’ll just need to select Conversions in your Google Analytics homepage.
Because we live in both such a digital-focused and competitive society, it’s important that your business not only uses SEO but to its maximum effectiveness too. Hence it’s crucial to consistently gauge, measure, track and determine actions based on measurements like the top 5 SEO KPIs we’ve just discussed!
Here at Start Digital, we’ve been taking care of SEO for many small and big Perth businesses for years now and consider ourselves to be somewhat vets now. If you need any sort of help with white-hat SEO give us a ring at 1300 170 908 or drop us a line. We’ll be glad to assist you and your business!