SEO in 2019: Get started with 5 essential metrics
SEO initiatives are usually time-consuming, but these key SEO metrics are easy to track. They not only help you to measure the success of your SEO initiatives but also improve it. Let’s have a look.
Search Engine Optimization is an important aspect of digital marketing. As most of your promotional activities begin with your website, optimizing it for search engines is necessary to get higher rankings on SERPs. Thus, measuring the organic traffic to your website is one of the primary metrics that determine the success of your online business. However, there are other important metrics that could define your SEO strategy in 2019.
For most small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) the website (e-commerce portal) can be the pivot that supports their entire business. It can not only act as the primary point-of-sale but also the main platform for communication with the customers.
Even for companies with a predominantly physical model of business, the website can be an important channel to collect leads. Because of this, tracking the leads generated through the website can be the ideal way to track the performance of your SEO campaigns.
The website visitors’ name, email address and phone number, when provided accurately, can be denoted as a proper lead. This information can then be used to qualify the lead, and the business can verify whether the lead is a good fit to purchase their product or not.
However, the measure of completion of the subscription form is the ideal way to track the leads. The lead can be counted as a completed goal only when all the mandatory fields of the form are completely filled.
The ‘Thank you’ page that follows the completion of the form can be set up a Destination goal in Google Analytics. By this you can you can track the number of leads that have been generated.
#2. Referral Traffic
One of the core objectives of SEO is to get links from other websites, which would eventually generate the traffic. When these inbound links are able to bring in more quality traffic, it also results in an increase in your website’s authority. They can also add much more relevancy to your website, which in turn can boost its rankings.
When a website experiences an increase in the referral traffic, it actually indicates a rise in awareness about your online business. It can also potentially boost your brand's reputation and give you the opportunity to showcase your products and services to the visitors who are looking for similar things.
#3. Conversion Rate
Most online stores operate in niche markets. So, irrespective of the traffic they receive, it is the conversion rate that matters the most to them. This is especially true for e-commerce portals because unless until the visitors buy from the site, the amount of time they spend on it can be irrelevant.
However, the process of conversion of a visitor into a customer can go through different phases of a sales funnel and can involve socio-economic factors such as culture, demographics, income levels, etc., which only add to the complexity.
Nevertheless, from the SEO point of view, there are many ways to improve your conversion rate, and it involves technical aspects ranging from the design of the site, responsiveness, content, and ease-of-use.
Apart from this, various other aspects such as the reputation of the brand, the quality of the products, and overall branding can help in boosting the conversion rate.
#4. Bounce Rate & Event Tracking
The bounce rate is one of the ideal metrics to measure the amount of user engagement with your site. It can be described as the ratio between the single page sessions and all other sessions on a website. Whereas a session concerned, it is the specific instance of a user visiting or opening a web page on his browser.
All this means that if a visitor lands on a page of a website and leaves without further interaction, then it can be termed as a bounce. And many such sessions lead to an increase in the bounce rate. When this happens, it can be assumed that the website is unable to cater to the basic requirements of the visitors, which is prompting them to leave without performing the additional activity.
So, if you find the key pages on a site to have a high bounce rate, then you need to analyze specific factors such as the page-speed, navigability, UX, etc., and optimize them further.
On the other hand, a high bounce rate for a website’s pages displaying awareness content or content meant to educate on a topic, such as a blog post may not be a bad thing. It merely says that the users’ were satisfied as their query was answered on that page and so they left without further interaction. Hence, event tracking can be the ideal way to measure the success of a page irrespective of its bounce rate.
#5. Organic Click-Through-Rate
Organic CTR is an important metric that can add coherence to your SEO initiative. The number of impressions on a website is the basis to calculate the organic CTR, which is nothing but the single display of an ad on your website. The CTR is derived by taking the percentage of the clicks by the visitors against the number of impressions your website has in Google Search. This implies that if your website had 10 clicks for 100 impressions from different visitors, then the CTR would be 10%.
The click-through rates on Search Engine Ranking pages can have a huge influence on a site’s rankings. For instance, if SERPs list a website on the top, but no one clicks through, it will automatically get replaced by the site that is clicked more often, even if it has a lower rank.
Also, there is a direct correlation between the CTR and your keyword rankings. This is the reason why CTR is termed as a key metric. If CTR is improved, you can certainly see an increase in your keyword rankings and vice versa. This means, if the search engines see that your website get more clicks for a particular keyword than others, they will eventually rank your website higher whenever the visitors use those keywords in their search phrase.
So, it makes sense for you to monitor the CTR of the most important pages on your website. Your goal must be to get each of the pages in the top 3 position in the keyword rankings. This can be done by experimenting with the meta-description and title tag of the page. Once you find the outcome to be favorable, you can continue the optimization to improve the ratings.
These are some of the ideal metrics that can be used to get a profound picture of your SEO performance. While this may not be a comprehensive list, these metrics included in it form the core of the micro-management techniques to achieve your digital marketing objectives.