SEO makes it possible to source a variety of analytics on a variety of subjects. But just because something has a number behind it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily useful to you.
When you’re collecting and monitoring statistics that don’t move your business forward in terms of Google rankings, as far as online marketing goes, you’re wasting time and resources. You really don’t want your client to be known as the business that got screwed over by their search agency.
1. What are the SEO metrics that really matter?
Several things which may be defined as vanity metrics include the age of a website, whether G-suite is being used or not, signals pertaining to social media, what sort of technologies are in use, and the list goes on. As an industry professional, ask yourself: which metrics are you using that are beneficial, and which ones are unnecessary?
The truth is, there are sometimes strange things which can unexpectedly bump your rankings upward in a positive way. But you can’t just pick a metric, focus on it, and hope things work out. You need a little bit of industry insider information. Not sure where to begin? Here are some of the most common SEO metrics that can impact your website:
- Organic Traffic - How many visitors is your website getting from social media? Google Analytics makes it easy to monitor your organic traffic over time so you can see if your efforts are paying off in real-time.
- Keywords - One of the biggest SEO success indicators is your keyword performance. How well are your chosen keywords performing? What are the people who find your website searching for?
- Bounce Rate - How are users interacting with your website? Are they spending time browsing your pages or are they quickly clicking away?
- Rankings - is your website ranking for more keywords, that are related to your business offerings and are your landing page rankings improving on Google search
No matter your industry, these key metrics can make or break your SEO. While website age is a factor you cannot effect, something like your organic traffic or bounce rate will always be important when it comes to success.
2. What is your client’s feedback?
Additionally, you need feedback based on new programmes you’ve put into practice. Sometimes your best indicators of success come in an “anecdotal” sense from your clientele. Or potential clientele.
Look at it this way: if a client is happy with something, the odds are the are representative of a certain overall percentage of your clients. Of course, what one client says isn’t something you can use to influence your entire organisation.
But if you’ve got a hundred clients, and 10% of them have one perspective, while 90% have another, that’s a pretty good indicator.
3. How do you weed out the irrelevant metrics?
But how do you get that kind of information? How do you find the means of expediently, cost-effectively communicating with clients in a way that you can glean information which allows you to focus on the right metrics? Well, one way is through what have become known as grading tools.
Depending on your needs, there are a lot of different grading and SEO analysis tools available. The most well-known option is Google Analytics which provides invaluable insight into how your website is performing. With things like real-time traffic monitoring and demographic information, you can learn more about what matters in your industry. Add Google Search console to this as it helps you monitor and maintain your site's presence in Google Search results - and both these tools are free. Another option is SEMrush which is a comprehensive SEO analysis platform with free tools. Using their Keyword Position Tracker, you can see how your website performs for different keywords all on one screen.
Many are on the hunt for the best SEO strategies, and for good reason.
Techniques like this can help you identify proper metrics which are idiosyncratic to your organisation. But before your organisation hits a critical, profitable, and sustainable level of forwarding operations, you’re going to want to figure out what universal metrics make the most sense. For that, it’s wise to consult varying case studies. Review successful SEO experts to see how they’re making an impact in different industries online. EvolvingSEO and GotchSEO have a wide variety of case studies from different industries to get your research started.
A Forward Strategy
Vetted techniques bring predictable results.
Something else to consider, in terms of controversial metrics gathering and forward marketing techniques, is courting controversy itself. Sometimes having a controversial opinion will do nothing to affect your Google rankings. Sometimes the wrong position can knock you off a primary SERP page. Depending on your business, this could be a liability.
Finally, ensure you’ve got taught SEO metrics. Your goal is to be at the top of the page, and funnel traffic your direction composed of potential clients who may not even have known your organisation exists. Following case studies, studying your metrics, and avoiding vanity data are all great ways to help do this.
Now that you've asked the question, check out our handy reporting template, How to consolidate your inbound marketing reporting into 12 slides, to help you put these insights into action.