13 Most Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy

Is your SEO plan working well enough? How can you be sure that your efforts produce noticeable results? What can you do to improve the functionality of your website with important SEO KPIs to track the performance of your SEO strategy? You can get the answers to these questions by monitoring the appropriate performance measures.

These SEO performance metrics correlate with your key performance indicators (KPIs). In other words, they help you make smarter decisions in your digital marketing efforts. 

Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy

KPIs serve as a monitoring tool that helps you determine which strategies are effective and which are not. Most importantly, keeping an eye on the important SEO KPIs is the most incredible method to save time and money by avoiding investing them in activities that don't result in the desired profit.

Some Important SEO KPIs that will provide value to your website include:

Ranking Keywords: Knowing how many keywords you’re ranking for, what those keywords are, and where they rank will allow you to understand better which keywords you should be optimized alongside important SEO KPIs to track the performance and build your SEO strategy.
Organic Conversion Rate: Knowing what content resonates with your audience and how they navigate through your site is critical to online success. Leverage your analytics platform to identify pages that need to be optimized for more conversions.
Organic Click-Through Rate: Monitoring your CTR will help you determine the success of your content. A high CTR doesn’t always mean success, though. Take note of not only CTR but also sales or conversions after CTR. You may be targeting the wrong audience with your low conversion rate with your content.
Backlink Profile: Building link authority will allow your site to be seen as a thought leader and trustworthy to both Google and its users. Receiving external backlinks from reputable sites will drive more referred traffic to your site.
The Number of Pages Indexed on Google: For your site to appear in the SERPs, your pages must be indexed by Google. The more pages Google has indexed, the more opportunity your site has to rank for relevant keywords. You can check whether or not your pages have been indexed via Google Search Console.

Why Important SEO KPIs Metrics Matter?

As the saying goes, if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. You won’t discover opportunities to increase your organic search traffic and revenue without detailed tracking of important SEO KPIs. At the same time, your digital marketing radar could miss threats to your existing traffic and business. Moreover, there are plenty of important SEO KPIs to track the performance of your SEO strategy that measures broader marketing performance.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about delivering your business results. It seems fitting that you should also keep an eye on its results. The ability to measure the minutest of details and course-correct your strategy as you go along makes SEO such a valuable tool for businesses.

SEO is always changing, and Google constantly updates its algorithm. With this in mind, you must regularly monitor important SEO KPIs to track the performance of your SEO strategy to ensure that your site is healthy, properly optimized, and producing business benefits.

But what are the most important SEO KPIs you should track to measure success? You can track numerous metrics, many of which give you a false sense of success. We pick the right ones to help you grow in the long run.

List of Most Important SEO KPIs That Will Determine the Success of Your SEO Strategy:

Metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are an indispensable part of an SEO strategy. In simple words, they let you see whether the tactics you have employed are working as desired or not.

Important SEO KPIs let you focus on individual aspects of your strategy and give a bigger picture, helping create a comprehensive SEO strategy. They identify areas needing improvement and how prior improvement has affected your performance.

Most importantly, they help you avoid spending your time and money on less than effective methods and identify the best tools. So, let's look at the most important SEO KPIs metrics that help determine the success of your SEO strategy.

1: Organic Traffic

Organic traffic can be defined as website hits that are not from paid sources. It means the countable views on content that come through organic search results, such as Google and Yahoo. It seems counter-intuitive to focus on essentially free views when you spend so much money and effort on paying for them.

But those are the ones that genuinely bring engagement. Organic traffic helps your brand much more than paid traffic does. It is because it results from a potential customer considering you to be a real option for the solution to their problems.

Traffic that is driven by sincere interest increases your chances of conversions. If you are generating lesser-than-expected organic views, your focus should be on creating riveting content that drives traffic to your site.

important SEO KPIs to Track The Performance of Your SEO Strategy

You can also do this by focusing on specific links and creating your strategy around them. SaaS link building helps you build links that drive impact. It goes over and above traffic, helping you enhance MRR and activations.

2: Domain Authority (DA)

Domain authority refers to a ranking score (1-100) that measures how likely a website will rank in the SERPs. Page authority, another similar metric, estimates how well a particular page will rank on search. 

Domain Authority - Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy
Domain Authority – Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy

The Domain Authority score isn’t a ranking factor on Google, but it is nonetheless one of the essential SEO metrics as it helps you gauge ranking potential.

3: Track Conversions

While organic traffic helps you gauge your reach in the online space, conversions are the metric that enables you to determine the impact of your reach. They describe visitors and viewers as becoming paid customers.

If your business is in the early stages, you can also include hot leads in the group. It will give a better idea of what tactics are working and push prospects to engage more with you. Just be sure to set a realistic benchmark for a practical approach.

Conversions are a great way to measure success without accounting for monetary gains. Sometimes businesses are so wrapped in profits that they forget that leads and conversions are the stepping stones to that success.

Moreover, they are a direct result of your marketing efforts. They show which tactic is working and which aspects desire more work. They are easy to track as well, available in Google Analytics.

4: ROI Metrics (Return on Investment)

As much as we want to focus on growth and not define it in monetary terms, earning profits is still the number one goal of a business. Return on investment (ROI) lets you know how much you make overspending on an investment.

It’s as simple as that; you should be making more money than you are spending. You should measure all tactics on that scale. That being said, ROI should not be the sole indicator of success.

You can use many metrics in Google Analytics to determine the success of search engine optimization (SEO). You can monitor traffic, referral sources, conversions, and countless other metrics. But to determine the actual value of your campaigns, one metric that should take priority: Return on investment (ROI).

Coupling the ROI with other metrics, such as organic traffic and conversions, helps you give a clearer picture. For example, if your ROI is not high enough, but you have an increased number of hot leads, it should be taken as a positive sign.

It indicates that your marketing efforts are having a favorable influence on the target demographic. Even though the ROI does not yet reflect that, they are on the right track to success.

ROI is the SEO metric that ultimately helps you understand how your monetary investment works for your SEO efforts. If you’re losing money on the people, agency, or SEO platform you’re using for your SEO strategy, you’ll probably want to change what you’re doing.

To measure ROI, you’ll want to look at what you’re investing in your SEO efforts and determine how much revenue you’re gaining from your SEO strategy. You can look at your conversion metrics to calculate SEO ROI.  

5: On-Page Optimization

Various tools help you optimize every page aspect to rank better on search engines. When a page lags in rankings, it is usually because of a few elements not falling in place instead of the whole page being faulty.

This metric helps you recognize the areas that need improvement. The elements considered under it are keywords and related keywords in heading and subheadings, links to internal and external sources, image alt tags, and keyword density in general.

Pinpointing the one underperforming area helps you identify and improve the problem. It also saves you time and money as you don’t have to redo complete pages to enhance your rankings.

6: Web PageSpeed

The speed of your site can negatively impact your search rankings (and resultant traffic) and your conversions, and it pays to keep close attention to this. Now, we know what you are thinking, that you have already spent time optimizing your site’s Page Speed score, and things are looking good. And that is great. But when was it?

PageSpeed - Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy
PageSpeed – Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy

These metrics can change over time for several reasons. Maybe someone on your editorial team replaced your blog post’s images with new ones but forgot to optimize them, and now they have large file sizes that are slowing down these pages? 

Perhaps your server isn’t performing as well as when you last analyzed your site’s speed. The fact is that these things can change over time, so it pays to keep a close eye on your site’s speed. 

7: Click-Through Rate

The Click-through rate is a straightforward metric that tells you how many clicks your content receives. It is directly linked to the rankings you score and the traffic you generate. In general, the first page of Google gets as many as 90% clicks for any given query.

The top three links earn the most of those clicks, however. That is where you should ideally aim to rank. Try reverse engineering your titles if you get fewer than desired hits on your ads and content.

Think of searching for a prospective customer’s point of view. Then, make your title match the search intent. If you can, include a CTA in the title itself. Make it stand out by using dashes, quotations, etc.

Make sure the URL contains the primary keyword. Shorter URLs work better than longer, confusing ones. Lastly, simply structuring your page with subheadings and lists goes a long way in improving your content and increasing your CTR.

8: Backlinks and Referring Domains

Backlinks and Referring Domains - Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy
Backlinks & Referring Domains – Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy

While on-page factors matter, backlinks are still essential to SEO performance. Between two pages with similar on-page metrics (bounce rate, time on site, content quality, etc.), the one with more backlinks from higher-quality domains will most likely win.

There is a strong correlation between rankings and the number of referring domains.

Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy

Keep track of your backlinks and referring domains from your link-building campaigns to get a general idea of the effectiveness of your search engine optimization efforts. More backlinks might not immediately lead to better rankings (especially if the links are from low-quality domains), but they show you’re moving positively.

You'll need SEO analytics and a backlink monitoring tool to track backlinks. There are three things you want in a backlink tracking tool:

  • Update frequency: The tool should index new backlinks as they appear online. New backlinks won't show up for weeks if the tool refreshes its index too slowly.
  • Accuracy: The tool should only show actual backlinks. It should also show do-follow and no-follow links separately. Tracking anchor text and backlink source authority is also a big plus.
  • Trends: The tool should show you the general trend – whether you've lost or gained backlinks over time.

For free (although often inaccurate) backlink tracking, head to your Google Search Console and click on your site name.

Track Backlinks - Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy
Track Backlinks – Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy

Next, navigate to Search Traffic -> Links to Your Site. It will show you the latest links to your site, as the image above described.

9: Bounce Rate

A bounce rate describes the percentage of users that leave your website without taking any action or don’t visit more than a single page. It is a metric no business wants to look at, but it is crucial to improve your SEO.

An average internet user leaves a webpage within 15 seconds anyway. The trick is to make them stay in a meaningful way. If you have a high bounce rate, you cannot capture your visitors’ attention, engage with them, and thus miss out on opportunities.

Social media platforms like Instagram and Tiktok have aced the formula of engaging their users to make them stay on the platform as long as possible. Like them, you must ensure that your content aligns with the search intent.

Simple tweaks can also go a long way in reducing the bounce rate. Improving the speed at which the page scrolls, legible font, and color themes easy on the eyes are simple tricks that can do wonders for your bounce rate.

10: Average Session Duration

How much time do your visitors usually spend on your website? Do you engage them to stay longer? Average session duration is a prominent metric to measure user engagement on your website.

By monitoring session duration, you’ll be able to assess the quality of your site and understand whether you need to implement any changes to your site structure.

To have a longer session duration, you should build an in-depth content structure: internal linking, breadcrumbs, hamburger menus, etc.

11: Keyword Rankings

Keyword rankings have always been the foundation of SEO. They indicate where a web page appears in search engine results for a specific term. For the most prolonged period, keywords were a simple statistic that businesses could learn and discard.

Now, they are more complicated than ever. And that is because of semantic search. This approach makes searches on the internet more human and reduces spam. But from an SEO perspective, ranking for a keyword is tricky.

Keyword Rankings - Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy
Keyword Rankings – Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy

People see different results for the same query based on location and prior search histories. It would be best to rank your content for those local search results. Similarly, related keywords significantly affect a person's final results.

Therefore, you must keep an eye on many keywords that may relate to one primary keyword. Your keyword search should include both branded and non-branded keywords. They both serve different purposes in your SEO strategy.

Branded keyword searches represent a willingness to buy. They are hot leads that would be easy to convert. Non-branded keywords, on the other hand, may not be hot leads but are worth following to influence the prospect in the long run.

Moreover, keyword rankings are a great way to oversee your organic market share and real opportunity. They also serve as early signs of whether your SEO strategy is on the right path or not.

12: RPM and Average Position

Revenue Per Thousand (RPM) calculates your visitor's value, especially for ad-supported websites. Google Search Console provides a keyword ranking measure which is called position.

The important SEO KPIs can work together to identify keywords and web pages that need improvement. It is one of those cases where two metrics working together can yield better insights.

13: Social Shares

Social shares can simply be sharing your content by social media users. While it’s generally thought that Google does not consider social signals and shares when ranking SERP results, social shares are still significant to your SEO efforts.

Tracking your social shares is beneficial because of social media's substantial impact on SEO strategies. As more people share your content with their followers, the higher the chances that more people will view it and ultimately migrate over to your website. More visits to your website mean a boost in organic search ranking.

Further, social media profiles are indexable by search engines. Social posts with good rankings often have a significant number of social shares. Tweets and Facebook posts are handled as web pages, which is why a company’s social accounts often appear in SERPs and the company website.

The SEO advantage here is that when a company’s social media profiles take the crucial real estate in top positions of a SERP, that’s less space a competitor can occupy.

While it is true that social media accounts can be indexed, some SEO professionals may find it discouraging to learn that not all indexable social network pages are indexed. Because of their vast volume, Google cannot index all of the tweets and other social media information.

When monitoring important SEO KPIs to track the performance of your SEO strategy, watch for any inaccurate geographic or business information on any of your profiles. Mismatched address information, phone numbers, websites, etc., could lower your SERPs ranking.

Another vital point to remember as you’re monitoring your social shares is that many users share content without even reading or viewing it first. To gain visitors and traffic to your website, observe which kinds of posts get users to click the content along with sharing it.

Final Words on Most Important SEO KPIs to Track Performance of SEO Strategy

While important SEO KPIs metrics are an excellent reminder of what works and what doesn’t, it’s essential to trust your instincts. Some strategies take a bit more time than others to show their results.

Don’t jump to conclusions quickly. If a strategy is meant for the long term, maybe give it more time to flourish instead of pulling the plug on it right away.

Let us know in the comments what metrics you track already and what ones you would like to from now on.

Nicholes Henry
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