While traditional marketing appeals to mass audiences with limited targeting, digital marketing is the exact opposite. It allows you the ability to test, monitor, and optimize your campaigns to a targeted audience.

Having the ability to have more defined KPI goals for marketing campaigns and the ability to monitor KPI performance has revolutionized the field of marketing and online advertising. It has made it possible for companies to grow their customer base and sales online.

Here are our steps to measuring SEO KPI performance for your campaigns. You’ll learn the essential KPI’s for monitoring SEO performance and how you can measure the success or identify areas to adjust. There are a lot of great tools available online at no charge so it is easy to get your program setup at a low cost.

Let’s get started.

What is SEO Performance?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Performance refers to the measurement and assessment of how well a website or online content is optimized for search engines and how it ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs). It encompasses various metrics and indicators that help evaluate the effectiveness of an SEO strategy and its impact on a website’s visibility, traffic, and overall online performance.

SEO KPI Performance

Key elements include:

  1. Keyword Rankings: Tracking the positions of targeted keywords in search results to gauge their performance and visibility.
  2. Organic Traffic: Measuring the volume and quality of visitors arriving at the website through organic (unpaid) search engine results.
  3. Click-Through Rate (CTR): Assessing the percentage of users who click on a website’s search listings when they appear in SERPs.
  4. Bounce Rate: Evaluating the rate at which visitors leave the website after viewing only one page, which can indicate user engagement and content relevance.
  5. Conversion Rate: Analyzing the percentage of visitors who complete desired actions, such as making a purchase or signing up, indicating the effectiveness of the website in achieving its goals.
  6. Page Load Speed: Considering how quickly webpages load, as slow loading times can negatively impact user experience and SEO rankings.
  7. Mobile-Friendliness: Evaluating the website’s responsiveness and usability on mobile devices, which is a ranking factor for search engines like Google.
  8. Backlinks: Examining the quantity and quality of external websites linking to the site, which can influence its authority and search engine rankings.

As an example, a 7% boost in organic traffic is a positive result that indicates the your strategy for search engine optimization is working in achieving higher rankings and more impressions.

However, a steadiness or decrease in keyword rankings, despite optimizing your website, implies that you may be doing something wrong.

SEO performance analysis involves regular monitoring of these metrics and making data-driven decisions to improve a website’s optimization strategies, ultimately enhancing its online presence and achieving business objectives.

What is a SEO KPI?

A SEO KPI, or Search Engine Optimization Key Performance Indicator, is a measurable metric used to assess the effectiveness of an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaign or strategy. These indicators help businesses and digital marketers gauge the performance of their website in search engines and the impact of their optimization efforts. Common SEO KPIs include organic search traffic, keyword rankings, click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and bounce rates, among others. These metrics provide valuable insights into the success of SEO initiatives and help in making data-driven decisions to improve a website’s visibility and performance on search engines.

Why Monitor SEO Key Performance Indicators?

Monitoring SEO (Search Engine Optimization) KPIs is essential for several reasons:

  1. Assess Effectiveness: Monitoring KPIs allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies and efforts. It helps you understand what’s working and what needs improvement.
  2. Measure Progress: KPIs provide a quantifiable way to measure progress towards your SEO goals. You can track changes over time and see if you’re moving in the right direction.
  3. Identify Issues: Monitoring KPIs helps you identify issues or bottlenecks in your SEO efforts. For example, a high bounce rate might indicate a problem with page content or user experience.
  4. Optimize Resources: It allows you to allocate resources effectively. By focusing on the KPIs that matter most to your business, you can prioritize where to invest time and budget.
  5. Stay Competitive: SEO is dynamic, and competitors are constantly vying for the same audience. Monitoring KPIs helps you stay competitive by adapting to changes in the search landscape.
  6. Improve User Experience: KPIs like bounce rate and page load speed are indicators of user experience. Monitoring these metrics helps you enhance the overall user experience on your website.
  7. ROI Evaluation: You can assess the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO efforts by tracking conversion-related KPIs. This helps justify SEO spending and make informed budget decisions.
  8. Adapt to Algorithm Updates: Search engine algorithms frequently change. Monitoring KPIs helps you adapt to these updates and ensure your website remains visible in search results.
  9. Data-Driven Decisions: KPI data provides valuable insights for making data-driven decisions. It removes guesswork and allows you to make changes based on evidence.
  10. Goal Achievement: Ultimately, monitoring SEO KPIs is crucial for achieving your online goals, whether it’s increasing traffic, generating leads, or boosting e-commerce sales.

The 5 Important SEO KPIs to Track and Monitor

Every business has specific targets to measure their success. Here are 5 SEO KPI examples that should be included in all SEO campaigns.

1 – Organic Traffic

This comes first in our list due to the huge effect it has on the rest of the metrics below.

The Organic Traffic KPI is utilized in order to evaluate the volume and quality of visitors who arrive at a website through organic search engine results. Organic traffic represents users who find a website by entering search queries into search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, and then click on the website’s listing in the search results. This KPI is crucial for assessing the effectiveness of a website’s SEO strategy and its overall visibility on search engines. An increase in organic traffic often indicates that the SEO efforts are successful in driving more visitors to the site through improved search engine rankings and relevant content. In essence, getting more organic traffic to your site means that your strategy is working.

How to measure organic traffic

To track your organic traffic, you need to create and verify your Google Analytics account first.
You can check out our beginner’s guide for how you can to get started with Google Analytics.

Then go to Acquisition > Overview, and select Organic Search.

Using Google Analytics to Monitor SEO Success

You’ll get a detailed graph that shows exactly how your organic traffic has changed in a chosen period.

Measuring Change in Organic Traffic Change with Google Analytics

You’ll get a detailed graph that shows exactly how your organic traffic has changed in a chosen period.

You can adjust the period, compare two channels, or see which keywords are bringing you the most organic traffic.

Checking out this graph on a regular basis is a must for any business that’s looking to grow.

It makes it easy for you to notice any anomalies or fluctuations in your results. And that helps you adjust your SEO strategy and update your plans accordingly.

2 – Keyword Rankings

The Keyword Rankings KPI is used to assess how well specific keywords or search phrases associated with a website are performing in search engine results. It involves tracking the positions at which these keywords rank in search engine listings, typically in platforms like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Monitoring keyword rankings is a fundamental aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) because it provides insights into how well a website is positioned in relation to its competitors and how effectively it is targeting its chosen keywords. Improvements in keyword rankings can lead to increased visibility, organic traffic, and ultimately, better online performance for a website.

Keep in mind that keyword rankings can often be misleading. And sometimes, they aren’t necessarily in a direct relationship with growth.

For example, some keywords have low buyer intent. Thus, they’ll only bring you visitors who are still in the awareness stage who may not necessarily buy from you.

Other keywords may be too competitive to rank for. That makes growth impossible for you if you put all your focus on them.

3 – Organic CTR

The Organic Click-Through Rate KPI is a metric used to measure the effectiveness of a website’s organic search listings in terms of attracting clicks from users. It calculates the percentage of users who click on a website’s organic search result when it appears in search engine listings, such as Google’s search results. For example, the CTR for a web page that gets 1000 impressions a month but only 20 clicks is 2%

A higher Organic CTR indicates that a website’s search listings are compelling and relevant to users, which can result in increased organic traffic. Monitoring this KPI helps website owners and digital marketers assess the performance of their search engine snippets (titles and meta descriptions) and refine them to improve click-through rates and overall search visibility. As mentioned, you must optimize your title and meta descriptions to be more clickable and engaging. Once you make them attractive, more searchers will click and visit your pages. And you’ll watch your CTR go through the roof.

But that’s not the only factor. Google has confirmed before that CTR is a ranking signal. The algorithm takes into consideration CTR to determine which results are getting more clicks.

SERP placement is all about getting more clicks on your website. If your site is ranking fourth but gets more clicks, it gets more visitors. Therefore, it may be performing better than websites that are ranking higher.

How to measure organic click-through-rate

To measure organic CTR, you need to have a verified Google Search Console account.

If you already have an account, click on Performance from the sidebar menu on the left.

You’ll get a detailed graph with your total clicks and impressions, average CTR, and average position.

Measure Organic Click Through Rate to Monitor SEO Progress

To get the average CTR for individual pages, click on a page from the list below the graph. The data will change and only show you information related to that single page.

If you don’t already have a Google Search Console account, you must create one and verify before you get access to this data.

Once done, you must wait for a few weeks before the data is generated and stored into your account.

4 – Bounce Rate

The Bounce Rate KPI is a metric used to evaluate the engagement and user experience of a website. It measures the percentage of visitors who land on a webpage and then leave the site without interacting with any other pages or elements on that site. It differs depending on lots of factors including website, industry, traffic, season, etc. A high bounce rate can indicate that visitors are not finding the content they expected, or that the webpage’s design or load times are discouraging further exploration. Conversely, a lower bounce rate suggests that visitors are engaging with the site’s content and navigating to other pages, which is generally a positive sign for website performance. Monitoring bounce rates helps website owners identify areas for improvement and enhance user engagement to keep visitors on the site longer.

Of course, not all pages on your website should be evaluated the same way.

For example, it’s reasonable for your contact page to have a 95% bounce rate. It contains all the information a potential client might need to contact you. So, they’ll leave it once they get what they want.

Thus, a high bounce rate shouldn’t necessarily be associated with low-quality content. Sometimes it just means that users are finding the information they’re looking for on a single page.

Yet, most of the time, a high bounce rate is a bad sign for your strategy. It could mean that the content on the page isn’t meeting the expectations of your visitors. It isn’t providing the information they needed.

How to measure bounce rate

First, access your Google Analytics account — then go to Audience > Overview.

By default, you’ll get results for website visitors from the previous week. You can specify the duration you want by changing the date.

Once done, you’ll get your website bounce rate for that specific period.

Monitor SEO Success Includes Measuring Website Bounce Rate

To get the bounce bate for individual pages, click on Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

You’ll get a list of your website pages with their bounce rates.

Measuring Individual Website Page Bounce Rate

5 – Conversions

The Conversions KPI is a metric used to measure the successful completion of specific actions or goals that are important to a website or business. It comes in many forms and types, and it often indicates the effectiveness of your web design and copy. Conversions can vary widely depending on the nature of the website and its objectives, but they often include actions such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, filling out a contact form, or downloading a resource.

Tracking conversion rates provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of a website in turning visitors into customers or achieving other desired outcomes. It helps businesses assess the impact of their digital marketing efforts, user experience, and content quality. Increasing conversion rates is a common goal for many websites and online businesses, as it directly contributes to their success and ROI (Return on Investment).

Conversions differ between websites depending on the marketing KPI goals set by the company.

Examples of online conversions include:

  • Email sign ups
  • Completed sales
  • Case study downloads
  • Form completions

Conversion rate is the total number of visitors divided by the number of actions taken. This rate reflects the quality of visitors landing on your web pages and how they’re interacting with them.

The ultimate goal for most businesses is converting leads into customers.

If you drive people to your website but never convert them, your efforts will always be fruitless. That’s why it’s crucial for you to monitor your website conversions and improve them.

How to measure conversion rates

To track your website conversions, you must first set up conversion goals using Google Analytics.

Go to Conversions > Goals > Overview, then click Set up goals.

1 – Choose Goal Setup:

Setting Up Conversion Goals to Monitor SEO

2 – Goal description: enter a name for your goal to help you remember it in the future. Select the type, and click Continue.

Setting Up Conversion Goal Type in Google Analytics

3 – Enter goal details: fill in the details depending on the type you chose in the previous step. After that, hit Save.

Setting Up Conversion Goal Details in Google Analytics

Once you finish setting up your goal, Google Analytics will start recording data.

Give it some time to record conversions.

Conclusion

If you’re not tracking your SEO success with SEO metrics and KPIs, it’s time to get started.

Keeping track of your performance is a crucial element in any digital marketing strategy. That helps you improve your products and services by understanding how your audience interacts with them.

Want highly-targeted attract traffic for your website? Start by generating a detailed SEO report for your business website using our SEO Analyzer Tool.

If you need help with anything, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

About the Author: Brad Fogel

Bradley Fogel is a professional web designer and SEO consultant. Bradley has been working in the digital marketing field for over 20 years and is the CEO of Operation Technology, a digital marketing agency based in Chicago, IL. Starting his own company was something he had always wanted to do. It has been very rewarding to him seeing the team at Operation Technology helping small local businesses to large national clients with their digital marketing needs. His passion is developing strong online strategies for clients while making new connections within the industry. Brad’s background also includes a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute. Learn more about Brad Fogel.