Many executives have trouble understanding the added value of SEO and the investment they made. But also many SEO consultants find it difficult to identify the impact of their optimizations. In this post, I share with you Top SEO KPIs to monitor closely.
Which SEO KPIs to share with your client?
Who has never had a business manager complaining “not seeing the impact of SEO”? Or worst “not understanding what you do in SEO”, etc.
Often, the first reaction of some SEO’s is to blame the client for not making the effort to understand things.
Unfortunately, we often forget that those decision-makers are not technical experts. They are not supposed to know the detail of our profession or even all the digital vocabulary.
Remember always that you act as an intermediary between the digital world and the client world (turnover, orders, etc.)
Below 5 SEO KPIs, easy to be understood by the decision-maker.
1 – Organic Traffic
It is undoubtedly the simplest way to make people understand the impact of any SEO. Organic traffic from search engines is a key SEO KPI for many customers and digital marketing managers.
Do not hesitate to highlight the share of organic traffic in total sessions. It’s even more impactful to show your client that SEO represents 27% of the overall traffic to their site.
This SEO KPI will reflect and highlight your work. Apart from seasonal variations, an increase in SEO traffic is generally linked to better positioning.
Non-brand organic traffic
It is also important to monitor the share of non-brand traffic in total organic sessions. A rising non-brand organic traffic is a sign that SEO is progressing and the website is gaining visibility in SERPs.
Even if Google Analytics doesn’t track traffic by keyword, Google Search Console helps to retrace certain elements of this KPI.
Go to the performance report in the Search Console. Filter by queries. Then, exclude all the words that contain the brand and thus estimate the number of non-brand SEO clicks.
2 – Ranking
Google website ranking is not a consistent way to give an exact view on the SEO performance of that website. However, you can not ignore this part in your reports.
Your client is searching for things on the web, and – like you – clicks on top position websites. That is why he is expecting you to give him an overview of his website rankings.
I prefer to talk about website organic visibility in two stages:
- First, give an overview of website ranking by category of keywords (thematic)
- Then, focus on a dozen strategic keywords (the one that the customer cares about)
You can use tools like SEMrush or Google Search Console to set up such analysis.
Finally, don’t be afraid to tell your client that he has lost his position! Just, explain:
- why ranking dropped
- which website is ahead
- what is needed to win back these positions
3 – Local Search Visibility
If your customer is also present through physical stores, good visibility on local research becomes crucial. Thus, for a restaurant or a beauty salon, the number of calls or quotes requests can be an important SEO KPI.
With Google My Business you can understand the following:
- How customers search for your business
- How they see your business
- What specific actions are they taking?
4 – Visibility vs Competition
In a competitive environment, clients need to know how they position themselves versus the competition. You don’t need to give the detail of ranking by keyword; but rather identify positioning versus competitors on keyword thematics.
Thus, the visibility score on a given theme vs competition is a good SEO KPI. It is simple to carry out and easy to understand.
Percentage of coverage = (Number of Keywords in the Top 10 / Total number of keywords of the thematic)
Don’t hesitate to tell your client that competitors are ahead – of course, you have to explain why and provide solutions. Believe me, the competitive argument makes things happen (speed up the setup of recommendations, unlock more budget …)
5 – Turnover, Conversions and Goals
In most cases, a website’s objective is to generate conversions, whether it’s selling products, generating leads, or downloading documents.
An important way to appreciate SEO is to highlight its contribution to the achievement of the company’s conversion objectives.
Thus, the income/conversions generated by organic are part of the SEO KPIs that must be followed very closely and put forward with the client.
Don’t hesitate to talk about ROI too. Imagine client reaction when he knows that the 5K monthly fees, make him earn over a million monthly turnover!
Which SEO KPIs to follow on a daily basis?
Some SEO consultants say they are confused in the middle of a service. Because organic traffic does not take off or ranking on some keywords does not improve.
What is important here is that you should not just look at the result, but look beyond the ranking and traffic. Technical SEO KPIs provide a “full picture” of SEO performance and can also help uncover new opportunities for improvement.
Below, I’m sharing with you, a few SEO metrics to observe daily as part of your SEO optimizations.
1 – Search Index
Ensuring that an accurate/complete index of your website exists is one of the main tasks of an SEO manager. Indeed, if only a part of your site or the wrong pages is indexed, then the overall performance of SEO will be affected.
It’s a small part of the overall job of SEO, but it’s probably one of the most crucial.
I recommend the approach below to analyze your website’s health. You can quickly see if there is and where there is a problem.
2 – Crawl Errors
In addition to looking at what has been indexed, you should keep an eye out for what might be missing, or if there have been analysis errors reported by Google. This often happens because a page has been blocked, no longer exists, or the format cannot be crawled by Google.
The coverage report in the Search Console gives you an idea of all the errors that Google has encountered and that should be investigated further and possibly corrected.
3 – Active Pages Ratio
This SEO KPI has gained a lot of visibility in recent years thanks to crawling tools (OnCrawl, Botify). The principle is that you determine the percentage of website pages that generate traffic via SEO (at least one visit).
It may sound strange for some of you, but there are a lot of pages on a website that don’t generate visits from search results.
The example below: 85% of the pages of the site (having 41K pages in total) do not generate visits from the search engines!
4 – Crawl Rate
This technical SEO KPI allows you to check the behavior of Googlebot once on your site. You can also see what is the most crawled part of your website and conclude. Thus, you have the possibility of implementing SEO optimizations to improve your crawl ratio on important pages.
5 – Mobile Usability
Since 2005, Google is taking mobile usability as a ranking factor. This factor has also become crucial since mobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic on most sites.
The Google Search Console gives a clear overview of the usability of a website for mobiles, showing warnings for all problems. Certainly, this SEO indicator has nothing to do with conversions but, it is very useful in the context of mobile-first indexing.
6 – Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is an important KPI as Google’s top priority is to satisfy with most relevant results users when searching.
Indeed, when a user returns to the search page after clicking on a website page, this indicates to Google that the page the user visited the first time is irrelevant, that the navigation may be painful, or that it does not inspire confidence.
In contrast, a low bounce rate indicates that your site is relevant, that it is easy to navigate, and that it meets a minimum E-A-T threshold.
Remember to regularly audit pages of your site with a high bounce rate and A / B test different approaches to see if you can improve this SEO KPI.
7 – Loading Time
Load time is an underlying contributor to most of the KPIs above.
The ideal page load time will vary depending on the complexity of the content to load and the patience of the user. However, the majority of users will abandon a page if loading takes more than 3 seconds.
With each additional second of charge, expect the bounce rate to increase. Indeed, a page that loads in 5 seconds increases the probability of a bounce by 90% compared to a page that loads in one second
Whenever you act on the website, whether to update the template of a page or add an image, keep in mind to check its impact on your website speed.
Follow your SEO KPIs and listen to what data says
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, data determines decisions.
In all areas of activity, some figures stand out from the rest. This is the case of SEO, where traffic, positioning, and conversions are generally taken into account as SEO KPIs.
Other KPIs never see the light but are extremely important in arriving at the 3 KPIs mentioned above.