10 SEO KPIs Your Business Should Be Tracking - BFO

February 18, 2022

7 Minute Read
10 SEO KPIs Your Business Should Be Tracking

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) metric is a measurable value that demonstrates the performance of a particular campaign. In our case, SEO KPIs measure the performance and effectiveness of your SEO campaign

Every SEO campaign needs to track key metrics to ensure that you are getting results for your efforts, and if not, that you have the data necessary to make impactful adjustments. That said, determining the “right” metrics to focus on can be difficult with the amount of data available to most organizations. It’s better to focus on a few that show real results than many metrics with no real value. For that reason, we have complied a list of ten crucial SEO KPIs to track in your SEO campaign. 

1. Core Web Vitals 

Core web vitals are part of Google’s plan to create the best user experience for people on its search engine. These are continuously being updated by Google, but the current list of core web vitals include:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)— how long it takes for a page to be visible to the user
  • First Input Delay (FID)— the amount of time it takes for a page to become interactive
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)— the visual stability of elements on a page

It’s essential to track core web vitals because they give you an overview of how users interact with your website. In turn, the data from core web vitals enables you to improve the overall user experience on your site. 

Core Web Vitals improve your brand across two verticals: ranking and experience. If Google terms your website’s core web vitals as good, you have a better chance of ranking organically. 

On the other side, when you offer users a great user experience, they are more engaged and likely to return or recommend to others.

2. Organic Traffic

Measuring organic traffic helps you determine how many users find your site organically on search engines. After all, the main goal of a SEO campaign is to enable your brand to gain online visibility and build an engaged organic audience.

If your organic traffic increases after a SEO campaign, it means that you are heading in the right direction. There are three important metrics to track regarding organic traffic: new users, users, and sessions. It’s important to not only focus on one of these metrics, but instead to use them to paint a picture of what kind of experience your website is offering to its users through search results.

3. Page Load Time

Page load time, or page speed, is one of Google’s ranking factors. This means that page load time directly affects your ranking position within search results, so a page that loads slowly can result in lower rankings with less visibility. Page load time can also influence other ranking factors like bounce rate.

Page speed is not just important to Google alone. Your target audience also expects a website that loads fast. The more time it takes for a page to load, the more traffic you lose. In fact, according to Google,  if a page load increases from 1 second to 3, the bounce rate increase jumps to 32%. If the page speed increases from 1 to 6 seconds, the bounce rate catapults by 106%. To give your users the best experience, and increase your ranking position, ensure that your website loads in 3 seconds or less.

4. Keyword Rankings

Tracking your keyword rankings helps you determine how you are positioned within search results for the key queries your business wants to show up for. The more keywords you rank for, the more traffic to expect, ultimately influencing your organic sales. However, intent is important when it comes to keyword rankings. You want to ensure that you are ranking for relevant phrases to your organization and your targeted audience. For instance, if you run a water bottle manufacturing company, but you are ranking well for phrases like “playground equipment for sale” something is off in your keyword targeting strategy and needs to be adjusted. 

Overall, you want to track the total number of keywords you rank for, those on the top pages of SERPs, those that bring in the most traffic, and your positions for the most relevant keywords to your business. With this data, you will know which topics to cover often, which to optimize, and the topics to slash off from your strategy.

5. Conversions

Measuring organic traffic helps you determine how many users find your site organically on search engines.

Conversions are the meat of any SEO campaign. Through conversion tracking, you get to know whether your SEO efforts bring any monetary value. After all, you don’t want to achieve online visibility alone. You want to acquire organic leads and customers too. 

There are two main ways to measure conversions: leads acquisition and client conversions. 

Lead conversions will include newsletter/ freebie signup, request for a demo, contact form submission, phone calls, adding to cart actions, webinar registrations, etc. On the other hand, customer conversions will include actions like clients placing orders or making immediate purchases.

You can take a step further and set up goal and event tracking in Google Analytics to determine the pages that bring the most conversions and the type of audience that converts.

6. Coverage Issues

Also known as crawl errors, coverage issues mean Google is having a hard time accessing or reading your site. If your site is inaccessible to Google bots, your website will not be indexed (will not show up within search results) nor will it be given ranking consideration.

Crawling issues can result from a variety of issues including problems on your DNS server’s end or when Robot.txt files are added to your website incorrectly. They can also result for not properly redirecting URLs that you have removed or incorrectly canonicalizing your site. Although crawl errors are not a direct performance metric for your campaigns, keeping them minimum ensures you aren’t losing out on organic traffic and that Google can properly crawl and offer your site pages in search results. Google Search Console is a reliable (and free) tool to use to track any coverage issues your site may be experiencing.

7. Branded vs. Non-Branded Traffic

Branded traffic comes from branded keywords, which are keywords with your brand’s name or a variation of it. Non-branded traffic is the traffic from keywords that do not reference your brand name.

When a new site starts SEO campaigns, non-branded traffic will be the primary source of organic traffic. However, as your traditional and digital marketing efforts grow, you will add branded traffic to the mix of organic traffic.

In any SEO campaign, you want to measure by how much your traffic is split between branded and non-branded traffic. If brand awareness is your goal, then you want to see a spike in branded traffic as your campaign progresses. But if you want to rank for competitive keywords and reach new audiences that may not be familiar with your brand, your focus should be on non-branded traffic.

8. Backlinks

The number of backlinks is another measure of your sites’ credibility in the SEO world, and contributes to a metric known as Domain Authority (DA) which is an indicator of how strong a site is. Backlinks are also a ranking factor by Google. Hence, when selecting the SEO KPIs to track, the total backlinks to your website should be on the priority list. 

However, the focus should be placed on the unique referring domains and not necessarily the total number of backlinks. You want to look at whether the backlinks to your site come from reputable websites and whether they are relevant to your industry.

Tracking the referral traffic from backlinks is also vital in determining whether your backlink-building efforts produce results. Finally, track lost backlinks. The data from your analysis will help you know why you lost backlinks and whether you can gain them back.

9. Organic CTR

Organic click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that tracks percentage of impressions within search results that resulted in a click. Although organic CTR is largely influenced by ranking position, it’s also influenced by the title tag, meta description, and presence of a rich snippet. 

A higher CTR indicates more traffic and is a signal to search engines that your website is relevant to people. Ultimately, you want to keep tabs on your organic CTR and do everything possible to improve it.

10. Bounce Rate & Pages Per Session

Measuring organic traffic helps you determine how many users find your site organically on search engines.

Bounce rate tells you the percentage of people who left your site after viewing a single page and completing no secondary actions. It’s a critical SEO KPI and a way to assess your content’s relevance and engagement level. If you have a higher bounce rate, your content may be irrelevant, unengaging, or uninteresting to your target audience. 

Tracking your bounce rate will help you keep it at average, around 41% to 50%, by updating content to meet your audience’s needs. 

On the other hand, pages per session lets you know how many pages an individual visited in a single session. If you have a good number of pages per session, it means your internal linking strategy is working and your audience is staying engaged with your site. 

Wrap Up

There are many SEO KPIs you could choose to focus on. What matters is to select the ones that make the most sense for your SEO campaign goals. If all these metrics make your head spin, how about getting help from an expert? Be Found Online can help you create a SEO strategy that meets your unique goals and show you the results by tracking valuable KPIs. Contact us to find out how we can help you reach your organic traffic and revenue goals.

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The BFO Team

Here at BFO, we're always striving to bring you the latest and greatest in digital marketing insights and education. We're not ones to brag, but we've been lucky enough to be featured in all sorts of fancy publications and media outlets, strutting our stuff and showing off our industry expertise.