Write this on your office wall: keyword rankings still matter for SEO success in 2015.
This remains true, even as personalized search has made it difficult to track them accurately for all users (since no two users may necessarily see exactly the same search results in all instances).
However, for many marketers dabbling in SEO, keyword rankings are where measurement begins and ends. Whether this is due to lack of time, resources or expertise, this approach leads to missed opportunities. Plus, it fails to provide stakeholders with a holistic view of their organic search visibility and performance.
10 Metrics to Monitor
Let’s take a look at some other top-level metrics you should be monitoring as well. Most of these can be tracked using Moz, Google Search Console and Google Analytics (or other analytics or SEO software tools you may be using).
1. Time Spent on Page
How long do users stay on your page? Make sure they’re staying long enough to read and watch your content, or take the desired conversion step for a particular page. If they’re not, this is a sign that content updates are needed.
2. Bounce Rate
Do users leave your pages immediately? This is also a sign that your content needs improvement, or it may be ranking for keywords that aren’t relevant to searchers’ needs.
3. Organic Search Traffic
How much traffic do your efforts generate? Remember, however, that quality traffic may be better than just lots of it. You want visitors who are genuinely interested in your business. Furthermore, you’ll also want to pay close attention to where this traffic comes from. Consider comparing search traffic referrals from Google, Bing and Yahoo.
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4. Referral Traffic
Is your site generating traffic from links placed on other websites? If so, how much and where from? Taking a look at which sites are linking to you and sending traffic your way may uncover deeper cross-promotional marketing opportunities. After all, these sites are obviously interested in your site, right?
5. Most Visited Landing Pages
Which pages on your site receive the most traffic, specifically? Are there any pages that logically should be more popular, but are underperforming? Proactively monitoring exactly where your search and referral traffic is going may uncover content deficiencies (or opportunities for greater success).
6. Conversion Rate
How many visitors come to your site from organic search and convert (e.g., make a purchase, complete a form, download a desired piece of content, click to make a call)?
7. Inbound Links
How many links does your site attract? Do they come from quality sites? Remember, quality often trumps quantity. If you’re serious about monitoring inbound links, you may want to use an SEO platform with link analysis functionality like Moz, or a dedicated link analysis tool such as Ahrefs or Majestic (the latter of which Moz uses for its own backlink data).
8. Moz Domain Authority & Page Authority
This is a metric specific to Moz’s SEO platform. However, you can monitor Domain Authority and Page Authority using their free tool bar for Chrome and Firefox browsers without a paid account. Domain Authority measures how authoritative a website is overall, while Page Authority measures the authoritativeness of the individual page you’re examining. Each is a best-guess estimate compiled using a number of factors and data points.
See the screenshot below of the Mozbar in action. In this example, we’re viewing Moz’s own blog. Note its high Domain Authority and Page Authority scores.
Do you run a local business with a physical storefront or one that offers products or services within specific geographical areas? If so, paying attention to your Google and Bing reviews is important. That’s because both search engines use customer reviews as a ranking signal in local search results. Pay attention to:
- Your review scores
- How fast you earn fresh reviews
- What your customers say
- How you compare to your competition
At the end of the day, revenue is what matters most. How much revenue do you earn directly or indirectly as a result of your SEO campaigns? If you can’t tie your efforts back to your bottom line, you have your work cut out for you.
Are there any important metrics for measuring SEO success that we’ve missed? Tell us @sundogtweets. You may also be interested in downloading our complete white paper “Winning At Local SEO.”