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SEO Tracking: Monitor SEO Performance with These Metrics

When you invest time and energy into implementing a search engine optimization strategy, you don’t just want to accept that your campaign is working as it should. Learn how to track SEO and start measuring your SEO progress so you can identify what’s working and what’s not.

Jun 5, 2024

8 m read

SEO campaigns generate an overwhelming amount of data. With a targeted plan, you can leverage this information to see how your SEO strategy affects everything from rankings to conversions and how your efforts drive business growth. But first, you have to make sure you’re tracking the right SEO metrics for your goals.

This guide explains how to track SEO, why you should monitor your site’s performance, and important website metrics you should track. 

how to measure seo ebook image

How To Measure SEO

Download this guide to unlock the concepts & tools that will help you track your SEO success. 

What Is SEO Tracking?

SEO tracking involves the examination of measurable SEO metrics for the purpose of evaluating the success of your SEO endeavors. This includes reporting on the effectiveness of your strategies and making necessary adjustments to your execution process based on the insights gleaned from the data.

Monitoring SEO Performance: Why It Matters

As more users continue to use Google as their source for shopping, services and information, understanding where you business ranks in a search engine is becoming increasingly important. SEO metrics are the means to understanding where you’re at in this confusing online world. These metrics will allow you to make adjustments that can help improve your company’s overall performance.

When you regularly monitor performance, you ensure you’re on the right SEO track to meet your goals. Tracking SEO metrics helps you:

  • Adjust tactics to improve performance
  • Identify new SEO opportunities (if a page is performing better than expected)
  • Stay on top of search algorithm changes to maintain search visibility
  • Monitor return on investment (ROI)
  • Decide if you should invest more time and resources in your current strategy or if you need to make adjustments to it

How To Track SEO

SEO metrics let you measure different aspects of search engine optimization performance so you can track patterns and changes over time. There are thousands of data points you can look at, but they won’t all be relevant to your goals.

In fact, the challenge most site owners face isn’t a lack of data. Tracking tools deliver impressive amounts of information. The issue is deciding which metrics you should pay the most attention to. 

Choose the Right SEO Metrics for Your Business

Effectively tracking your SEO efforts starts with clear goals. What are you trying to achieve with your campaign? 

I won’t go into the details here, but your SEO campaign goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

The SEO metrics you track should relate directly to the objectives you’ve set. 

For example, if the goal is to attract qualified leads to your site and make sales, be sure you’ve got conversion metrics in the mix.

Once you establish your campaign goals, you can pick the SEO metrics that’ll help you measure progress toward your objectives.

Monitor Your Results Regularly

How frequently you review metrics will depend on the metric itself. You can see our general guidelines for monitoring SEO metrics here. 

If you’re new to SEO, it’s not unusual to check your data frequently early on, only to have your attention wane and check in less often as time passes. A sustainable search engine optimization strategy takes time to implement and produce results, and it’s good practice to regularly monitor your tools and reports to identify patterns and opportunities. This helps you stay focused on the strategy, not just the results. You can also chart and compare progress over time.

Before jumping into the most important SEO metrics to track, let’s talk about how you can capture that crucial data.

The Best SEO Measurement Tools

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

Peter Drucker

If you want to get more people to your website, more email signups, or more purchases, you need to have a system in place to measure what’s already happening on your website. 

The following tools will give you insight into how people are interacting with your website, how you’re performing in SERPs, who’s linking to your site, and more. Use as many of these SEO tools as you need to capture the data that aligns to your goals. You can also use keyword monitoring tools to keep an eye on your rankings.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console helps you understand how users find your site and which pages drive the most website traffic. It also gives insight into:

  • Performance in search results
  • Click-through rate
  • Page indexing

We recommend that all website owners set up Google Search Console.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free and powerful tool for measuring visitors’ actions after landing on your website and is great for tracking your conversion metrics. Google Analytics has over 100 unique reports in addition to extensive options for customization. 

You can use Google Analytics to isolate organic traffic for analysis or track SEO campaign activity using Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes. Month-over-month and year-over-year reports can show your progress over the long term.

SEMrush

With a paid SEMrush account, you can analyze your site and competitors’ sites. You’ll also be able to: 

  • Audit your webpages
  • Check your on-page optimization
  • Run a backlink audit

Ahrefs

Keyword Rank Checker is a free Ahrefs tool that shows where you appear in SERPs for any keyword. 

You can see essential SEO metrics right from the dashboard with a paid account, including organic search traffic, organic keywords, referring domains, and backlinks. You’ll also have access to keyword research tools and Site Explorer, which lets you see every keyword a site or page ranks for.

SEO Tracking: Important Metrics To Monitor

Visibility Metrics

Visibility metrics give you insight into how well your pages are ranking for your desired keywords. The more keywords your website is ranking for, the higher your visibility in search results.

Keyword Rankings

A comprehensive SEO strategy will include keyword targeting and content creation. To monitor your SEO success, you’ll want to track your keyword rankings so you can see how well your content is performing for your targeted keywords.

A single web page can rank for hundreds of keywords. Monitoring your success with a tool like Ahrefs simplifies the process. Their keyword ranking report shows all of the keywords your pages are ranking for and where the pages rank. Check the report to identify high-performing content and pages that need improvement. (For content to rank well, it will need to be indexed by search engines and generate backlinks. This can take a few weeks, so don’t expect your latest content to rank immediately.)

Ahrefs organic keywords example

Page Rankings

In addition to checking how well your keywords are performing, you’ll want to see how each of your pages is ranking. This is especially important for your homepage and select target pages, like your location pages or service pages.

SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Google Analytics all provide info on your top-ranking pages so you can see how much traffic they’re generating, which keywords they’re ranking for, and more. Monitor your most important pages regularly to identify any traffic changes that could impact your business quickly.

top 5 pages example for seo tracking

As you begin ranking higher, you should notice changes in other metrics such as traffic, click-through rates, and conversions. If those metrics don’t change — for example, if you’re getting a lot of new traffic but not many conversions — you may need to identify why your new search visibility isn’t increasing your other metrics. 

Learn more about SEO visibility and how to measure it here.

Engagement Metrics

Are people going to your website? What do they do when they get there? Engagement metrics help you pinpoint whether your SEO strategy is drawing qualified traffic to your website.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is web traffic derived from organic search results. Qualified organic traffic is extremely valuable because individuals who clicked through from the SERPs are interested in what you’re offering. These site visitors ran a search for a particular word or phrase and chose to visit your site based on your search snippet. 

This metric doesn’t include other sources of traffic, such as paid ads, social referrals, or email marketing campaigns. In addition to total organic traffic, you’ll also want to track new visitors and returning visitors.

organic traffic example in ahrefs for seo tracking

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-through rate (CTR)is an engagement metric that represents the number of people who visit your site from SERPs compared to the total times your site appears in search results (impressions). 

For example, a page that has 8,000 impressions in a week in SERP and 200 click-throughs has a CTR of 2.5%. A different page with 1,400 impressions and 60 clicks has a CTR of 4.3%. Even though the second page was viewed by fewer people, more users were compelled to click through.

CTR can help you gauge the performance of your SEO page title and meta description and whether they’re persuasive enough to entice users to visit your page. It can also help you determine whether your page is aligned with the keyword’s search intent.

Pages per Session

Pages per session gives you an estimate of how many different pages visitors go to on your site on average. To get your pages per session, divide your total page views by the total number of sessions. A higher pages per session means that people click around on your website and explore more than just the initial page they land on. 

These metrics are just the tip of the iceberg. You can pinpoint which engagement metrics you should add to your reports here.

Conversion Metrics

Organic traffic and CTR can be considered conversion metrics as well as engagement metrics since they measure people who took a particular action (clicking on a link from SERPS). Knowing which pages are driving traffic or which have low CTRs can help you identify what’s working and where to make changes. Make sure you’re also tracking the following metrics.

Organic Conversion Rate

Conversions indicate if and how visitors are engaging with your site or taking action. This is one of the most important SEO metrics for ecommerce sites.

Now, a conversion doesn’t have to be a sale. It can be any action that moves a website visitor along the buyer’s journey, such as email signups, account creations, and form submissions. 

To track conversions, decide which consumer actions are important to your business. Add your goals to Google Analytics and then monitor the numbers for a better understanding of how SEO is impacting revenue generation.

conversion rate equals total attributed conversions divided by the total number of clicks, times 100

Sales Conversion Rate

Your sales conversion rate is the number of sales from a product or service page divided by the total number of organic visitors to that page. It helps you better understand which of your pages, products, or services are driving the most sales and which can be improved. You can measure this metric in Google Analytics by creating a goal and monitoring goal completions.

This article does a great job explaining additional conversion metrics to track and shares how to get started.

Technical SEO Metrics

Indexed Pages

To show up in search engine results pages, web pages must first be indexed. Google regularly crawls sites, but it may take a few days for a newly published page to be indexed.

 You can create an Index Coverage Report through Google Search Console to see:

  • Which pages Google has found on your site
  • Which pages are indexed
  • Indexing problems

As you add content, your indexed pages should increase on your Index Coverage Report. If they don’t, check your Google’s Crawl Stats report to see if Googlebot has encountered any issues.

Page Speed & Core Web Vitals

Web pages that contain videos and images create a great user experience, but they can also make pages load slowly. Unfortunately, according to Google, 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. That means you need to balance great content with fast load speeds for optimal user experience.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights checks the core web vitals of a page on mobile and desktop devices and provides feedback on how to improve them. This includes:

  • Loading time
  • The time it takes before a visitor can interact with a site page
  • The time it takes for visual elements to stay stable on the screen

When you check your page speed regularly, you can tie page optimizations to changes in page speed and solve issues before they become problems. 

example of core web vitals report for seo tracking

Achieve Your SEO Goals With Victorious

It takes time and resources to implement an SEO strategy and monitor its effectiveness. When you partner with Victorious, our specialists will help you identify meaningful metrics, interpret data, and implement changes to maximize your SEO campaign. Learn about our full suite of SEO services and schedule a free consultation today.

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