Are you new to SEO? Don’t know what you should be paying attention to? Feel lost in all the raw numbers Google Analytics throws at you? If your answer to any of the questions above is “yes,” then this article has been written for you. Here, we will be discussing exactly which metrics you should be paying attention to? What they mean for your website and how to monitor and track all SEO metrics?
So, let’s jump straight into it!
Keywords are also a huge part of SEO, and even though their rankings aren’t directly tied; to your own site’s metrics you still should monitor them. Knowing the rankings of each keyword in your niche can help you figure out which ones are worth ranking for; which ones have the potential of overtaking the #1 spot, and so on.
Also, don’t be afraid to see which keywords your competitors are using since they will often have lesser-known niche keywords; that you wouldn’t have come up with yourself.
Organic traffic is probably the first metric that comes into mind when talking about SEO. And the reason for it is that; the bigger your traffic flow from search engines – the better your site is performing.
A rise in organic traffic is also one of the main indications of your SEO campaign’s success.
Finding your organic traffic in Google Analytics is quite simple. All you have to do is go to your main dashboard; click on Add Segment, choose Organic Traffic from the list, and hit Apply.
Then you will see your organic traffic on the graph right next to your total traffic.
You can also go a little bit deeper, breaking down your organic traffic by a search engine. To do that, go Acquisition > Overview in the left sidebar and click on Organic Search.
A bounce happens when a user comes to your site and then leaves without interacting with it. Now, keep in mind that if someone comes to one of your articles, reads it without clicking anything and leaves. That’s considered a bounce too.
The bounce rate only matters for pages where you’re trying to encourage your users for purchase, subscription, etc.
If it’s high, that serves as an indication that you’re struggling to achieve your goal, or the user hasn’t found what they were looking for on your page.
To check the bounce rates for all of your pages, go to Behaviour > Overview and then look for the “view full report” button in the bottom right corner.
You can read this article “How to Reduce Bounce Rate of Your Website?“
Time Spent On-Page
The amount of time your visitors spend on your pages is pretty valuable information to know. Keep in mind that there is no real rule for it; and it all changes depending on the page you’re looking at.
Also, more time spent on-page doesn’t necessarily mean better for you. It is the case when talking about long articles that require up to an hour to finish; but if your posts are short but informative and straight-to-the-point, don’t worry if the time spent on them is short.
If it is short for your 12, 000-word beast though, you should start worrying; because what that means is that you’re failing to interest your visitors in your content.
You can find the time spent on your pages in the same menu as your bounce rate; so follow the instructions I gave you in the previous point.
Your returning visitors are the most valuable form of traffic since they are the most likely to make the conversion. And you want that to happen.
I’m sure I don’t need to explain why having no (or next to no) returning visitors is terrible.
Also, maintaining a continuously increasing number of returning visitors means that you can engage with your audience and provide them with what they want.
Ideally, at least 20% of your traffic should consist of returning visitors, and the higher that number, the better.
To find it, go to your Audience Overview, and in the bottom right corner, you will find a pie chart. It will display both new and returning visitors.
Pages Per Session
To conclude our engagement metrics, let’s talk about pages per session. It is precisely what it sounds like and lets you know how many pages an average user goes through.
As you might have guessed, the higher this number, the better you are doing at engaging with your visitors; which causes them to binge through your articles.
But there is also a flip side to having an extremely high count of pages per session. It could also mean that the user can’t find what they are looking for.
To increase your pages per session, you can try interlinking your content to better guide your users through it. The best places for such links are in your sidebar and at the end of each post.
You can find this metric rather quickly in your Audience Overview.
CTR stands for click-through-rate. It is the ratio of how many people see your page in search results pages versus how many clicks on it.
And while the best way of raising your CTR is ranking higher and higher; since the top results have the most people clicking on them; there are a few things you can do to increase it.
Those things being optimizing your title and meta description. A good, descriptive title and a concise yet straight-to-the-point meta description that shows the user that they will find precisely what they were searching for on your page increase the chance they click through dramatically.
To check your CTR, you will need the Google Search Console. You will find it in your Search Analytics.
Backlinks and Referring Domains
Building links is one of the best ways of improving your SEO visibility. What’s even more important than the number of backlinks is the amount of referring domains.
You could have ten links from a single website of 10 links from 10 different resources. Can you guess which would be more beneficial for you? Of course, the latter.
Also, the higher the domain authority of the domains referring to you and the more traffic it gets, the stronger the link becomes.
Now, to view your backlinks and to refer domains, you will need some external software. I recommend ahrefs just because of how functional it is.
These Were Some of the Main SEO Metrics to Monitor and Track
This is far from everything you can learn about SEO; but for the sake of keeping this an essential guide accessible for beginners, let’s wrap up here.
What I’ve shown today should be enough to get you on track. One last advice; don’t be afraid to run audits of your competitors’ sites. Since you may pick up quite a few advanced strategies from them; and be able to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
That knowledge is essential to fine-tuning your website and outperforming everyone else in your niche!
Anyways, thank you for reading this till the end, and good luck with your SEO campaign!