Monitoring SEO results is a crucial task for anyone looking to improve and capitalize on their efforts. However, with a thousand-and-one KPIs you could be tracking, this can quickly turn into an exhausting topic.
That’s why the metrics you’ll track have to be directly tied to your goals, helping you answer questions such as:
- Are we attracting enough organic traffic?
- How does our performance compare against industry averages, competitors, or previous months?
- Based on the insights we've gathered, how can we optimize our efforts down the road?
Getting insightful answers to these questions means keeping an eye on your metrics and, most importantly, acting on your data. With that in mind, here are some of the most important SEO metrics that you should consistently monitor and assess – plus, how you should best monitor them to get actionable insights.
Let's dive in!
The overall health metric is like a complete blood count for your site, as it provides vital insights into your SEO. It condenses aspects like link quality, load speeds, security, and technical SEO into a clear and direct score.
If you’re a SiteGuru user, your website's health is one of the first things you'll see on your dashboard at Overview > Home, along with your number of sessions and Google clicks.
SiteGuru calculates the score based on your on-page optimization to show you at a glance where you stand with SEO (and what you can do to get even better at it).
In SEO, not tracking keyword rankings is like throwing random solutions at a page and hoping one sticks. And guesswork has no place in SEO, particularly regarding your important keywords.
If you're a SiteGuru user, you can track your rankings by going to Insights > Keywords and navigating to the "Tracked keywords" tab. If you haven’t started tracking keywords yet, you can do so by entering your desired terms in a dedicated field.
All of the keywords you're tracking will be neatly presented in the following report, complete with the number of clicks, impressions, click-through rates, positions, and more. This data comes from Google Search Console, so it’s more accurate than other tools.
You'll also see how many of your tracked keywords have gone up, which have gone down, and which ones are ranking for top results.
Want to get granular? Click on any keyword to see a larger view of the KPIs, as well as the keyword performance over the months. You can toggle with two dates to see exactly when your performance may have spiked or plummeted.
As Jim Oborny, SEO expert and co-founder and president of JP Innovation, Inc., shared on LinkedIn:
"We categorize the most valuable keywords for each of our clients. We then track our clients' rankings for these keywords and their competitors' rankings. This way, we can easily spot positive and negative changes and take appropriate measures to leverage these improvements, yielding positive results.”
The biggest perk of attracting quality organic traffic is that you don't have to pay a dime for it – at least not directly.
If people found you through organic traffic, that means they're finding your site through relevant keywords that potentially match their search intent. And, if your content does a great job of answering their query, you've got yourself potential leads.
What's more, an uptick in organic traffic represents a huge opportunity to A/B test your efforts and further optimize your content to meet your audience's needs.
You can use Google Analytics Traffic acquisition report to view and analyze your organic traffic sources. Just go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels, and click on “Organic Search.”
If you'd like to dive even deeper, you can use Google Search Console to discover the exact keywords users were searching for when they clicked on your SERP listing.
If using SiteGuru, you’ll see your traffic breakdown in Insights > Dashboard:
Domain Authority (DA) is another wonder metric that, despite not being a Google metric, gives you invaluable insights into your site's (and your competitors' sites) overall performance.
Essentially, your website's DA measures your ranking potential compared to the authoritative folks out there. It considers data such as backlink quality and quantity, site structure, and social media authority – then bakes them into a score ranging from 1 to 100.
Your DA isn't a ranking factor, but it shows you how well you’re doing compared to other sites in your niche. You can check it for free with Moz’s Free DA Checker.
Monitoring your backlinks can help you discover brand-new link-building opportunities. If you're doing the same for your competitors' backlinks, you can fill in gaps in your own strategy.
As you know, high-quality backlinks endorse your content. By "high-quality," I mean backlinks from people who, just like you, know their stuff. As Lavall Chichester, CEO at Growth Skills and winner of the 2022 Search Engine Land SEO Innovation Landy Award, explains:
"The trick with backlinks is to make sure that you are getting links from sites that are also authority to your niche or topic. This really works like human relationships. If people know you are a great baker. They will come to you and ask about baking. If you then say hey go also ask Bill about baking he is incredible at it. You have given Bill a "backlink" or an authority vote of confidence for the topic of baking."
Any broken or low-quality links in sight? Getting rid of them ASAP is crucial for keeping your website's reputation intact by avoiding any link-related strikes from Google. Ideally, you should conduct regular backlink audits to identify any culprits.
If you're a SiteGuru user, navigate to Links > Broken links to spot any outliers.
Note that links may naturally decline over time, which makes monitoring your link-building efforts all the more essential!
"Picture this: A customer clicks on your site, waits, waits some more, and...leaves. Page Speed is that crucial but often ignored metric that can cost you conversions. Online shoppers have the patience of a toddler; if your site takes forever to load, you're playing a losing game," says Jörg Dennis Krüger, conversion optimization expert and author of Conversion Boosting.
People are not settling for slow-loading pages. And for that purpose, Google PageSpeed Insights is your best friend.
The goal is to make all of your website pages fast and intuitive, no matter which device your visitors are on. That could mean spending a little extra money on hosting, using browser caching, using CDNs, and implementing other actionable tips I've shared in the guide on applying PageSpeed Insights suggestions.
In SiteGuru, you can view your PageSpeed report exactly as it looks in PSI, without the need for moving between tools.
You'll see everything from your high-level score of Core Web Vitals like LCP and CLS scores. Plus, you'll get recommendations you can act on immediately.
Your click-through rate (CTR) measures the percentage of users who click on your SERP listing.
Simply put, it reflects how well your meta descriptions and URLs meet the users' search intent.
The more people click through to your SERP listing and land on your page, the higher your chances of proving your value to those people and converting them.
Bonus points if you've added structured data to make your result more comprehensive and compelling.
If you'd like to dive deeper, check my post on how to improve your CTR, including tips on how to improve meta tags, use descriptive URLs, add structured data, and more.
Your conversion rate measures the percentage of people who have taken a desired action on your website – such as subscribing to your mailing list or buying a product.
It's the whole reason why you're optimizing your SEO efforts in the first place: so you can turn more leads into loyal customers. The conversation rate is the ultimate metric, and I always like to keep a close eye on it in GA4.
GA4 allows you to create an event for a user interaction that indicates a conversion (adding to cart, signing up, buying something) and mark that event as a conversion.
Here's how to do it:
- Navigate to the "Property" column
- Click "Conversions"
- Enter the name of the desired event
- Save changes.
Once you do this, every time an event is triggered, it’ll be documented as a conversion.
You can also use the Reverse Funnel Report to see which pages people typically visit on your website before the conversion event. I’ve discovered quite a few high-converting blog posts that way, allowing me to identify why they work so well and replicate it at scale for all my other content!
If you look closely and use the right tools, you'll find improvement opportunities all around you.
SiteGuru user? You'll start seeing opportunities the moment you enter your dashboard. Starting with your weekly SEO to-do list.
It’s a weekly audit that will give you an actionable to-do list you can check off at your own pace, depending on your SEO goals. It looks like this, and it presents both quick and long-term fixes.
Another cool SiteGuru feature is the Historical timeline. You can access it by navigating to Overview > Timeline. It'll tell you if the speed of certain pages went up or down, how many new pages you're ranking for, and so on.
This way, you can see how much you've grown during a specific time span.
Speaking of growth, some of your content could potentially reach the top 3 SERP spots. Those are your low-hanging fruit, and they get a bespoke report on SiteGuru at Insights > Low-hanging fruit.
So...how do you reach for the juiciest low-hanging fruit that's the #1 spot? It’s simple: you figure out what to fix.
Start by clicking the checklist to find a few tweaks you can perform to boost your rankings right away.
On the flip side, SiteGuru also features a dedicated report for content that could use some love. That's your content requiring attention, which dropped on the rankings but is still salvageable. It lives in Insights > Content requiring attention.
By using the above tools, you'll always know exactly where to focus your efforts – as well as exactly what to do to climb higher in the search results.
...some of which may not necessarily be SEO-related. You may find that your content isn't meeting your audience where it's at. Could it be that you're targeting the wrong audience? Possibly.
Just tracking your results isn't enough if you don't ask questions, answer those questions, and act on the data. Passively looking at your results isn't equivalent to a data-driven SEO strategy!
So dig deeper. Understand the metrics. And, of course, invest in the right tools.