Digital marketing encompasses many individual tactics, some of which might be more important than others depending on your goals and aspirations, your industry and the trends in your niche. That said, search engine optimization is definitely one of those marketing tactics that can benefit any business in any niche, simply because you use your SEO efforts to build brand authority, visibility, and trust organically and over the long term. And as you might have guessed, when search engines love you, so does your online audience.
And besides, if you allow your ranking on Google to drop, your brand’s credibility and social proof will take a fall as well, which is a surefire way to drive your business straight into the ground in this digital day and age. So, let’s prevent this from happening by sharing with you the most important SEO metrics that you need to track on a regular basis in order to measure the success of your SEO efforts, and optimize your strategy to achieve better results.
Monitor your organic traffic
One of the main reasons why business leaders invest so much in SEO is to improve organic traffic and get as many quality leads over to their website as possible in a “natural” way – meaning through organic search results and branded searches instead of paid advertising. While there’s nothing wrong with complementing SEO with a comprehensive SEM strategy as well, it’s important that you monitor your organic traffic so that you know exactly how effective your SEO strategy is overall. Simply put, a rise in organic traffic probably means that your SEO efforts are bearing fruit.
The best part is that monitoring organic traffic is quite easy and straightforward if you’re using Google Analytics, which you should be doing as a leader of a growth-oriented business. Simply go to Add Segment on your Analytics dashboard, choose Organic Traffic, and click Apply. You’ll see a new graph line appear next to your existing traffic telling you how many people are landing on your site through organic search.
Assess the quality and quantity of backlinks
Over the years, backlinks have remained one of the most important ranking factors on Google, which is why it’s imperative that you monitor the state of your links across the online world at all times. There are numerous ways backlinks can affect your ranking, and you want to make sure that your link building strategy is generating quality links that lead traffic to your site and transfer link juice from other reputable sources in the industry.
To achieve this, you need to earn backlinks by guest posting on other authority websites in your industry and beyond, and you have to check if those links are active over the long term. Keep in mind that broken or inactive links won’t improve your rankings, and they might even lower your SEO score. Be sure to use a dedicated link building tool that will give you a comprehensive overview of your backlink portfolio.
Time on page and bounce rate
There are many metrics that impact your ranking in the SERPs, some experts say more than 200, but only a handful are really important for your overall SEO strategy. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to keep track of every metric when you’re using multiple platforms, especially when the time comes to create an SEO report. Consider the following two metrics: the average time on page and the overall bounce rate.
Combined with the aforementioned metric, these KPIs can give you a pretty good overview of ranking potential, but only if you use integrated SEO reporting software that automatically collects and collates all of that important data and allows you to create comprehensive reports that you can use to connect the dots and establish a causal relationship between the metrics. When you have the right software in place, then you can easily see how your time on page correlates to your organic traffic, and how your bounce rate impacts your other metrics.
Ask any experienced business leader and they will tell you that customer retention is the way towards success in a competitive industry, simply because of how much it costs to incentivize a repeat purchase than to convert a new lead into a paying customer.
It is, therefore, important that you improve your content creation strategy and that you build a solid business blog that will engage your existing customers and give them a reason to come back to your site. What’s more, an SEO-friendly content strategy will help you improve your ranking in the SERPs, so be sure to monitor repeat visitors through Google Analytics in the Audience Overview section.
Monitor your mobile traffic
Finally, don’t forget that we live in an age of mobile browsing, and that Google favors websites that are optimized for all handheld devices. If you want to rank higher in 2020 and beyond, you need to leverage accelerated mobile pages to make mobile browsing a breeze, and you also need to monitor your mobile traffic. Go to your Google Analytics dashboard, click on Audience, and choose Mobile, and then Overview. Here you will see how many mobile users visit your website, and how your mobile-friendly your site actually is.
In the world of digital marketing, SEO is definitely a tactic that you should focus on the most. Follow these metrics, and you will be able to optimize your SEO efforts on a moment’s notice to rank higher in the SERPs.