Let’s be real: “success” is a broad term, and its loosest definition still depends largely on several factors. In marketing and business, success is relative. Your goals define your success …
… which is why any SEO company worth its salt will ask about your marketing objectives almost immediately.
In terms of SEO, success needn’t be so general. In fact, there are half a hundred metrics you can use to determine whether or not your marketing approach is actually working.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Organic Traffic
This is perhaps the first thing every business owner/digital marketer looks at—mostly because it’s so easy to find and track.
Organic traffic refers to the number of people who visit your website via the search engine results page (SERP). This number does not include visitors that come through via paid PPC ads—hence the term organic. It will only measure real internet users that actually click on your website’s link.
Which, really, is the essence of SEO anyway. If people are able to find you simply by searching for a word or term related to your niche, then your SEO strategy is definitely working.
2. Organic CTR (Click-Through Rate)
Yes, we know—another organic metric. It’s like Wholefoods.
All joking aside, it is important to focus on organic metrics, because these are the real results. These are the ones that indicate real, actual people who might be genuinely interested in becoming consumers.
In SEO, a click-through rate—or CTR—refers to how many people actually click on the SERP link to your website in relation to how many see the link. You want this metric to be fairly high, as it means that most people who see your website listed in the results actually click on it instead of something else.
Like a competitor’s website.
Put it this way: when Google returns ten results for their search query, how many internet users choose your website? Are your meta title and meta description compelling enough to attract them? Do they like how your brand sounds? Is your URL colorful enough to incite curiosity?
3. Pageviews Per Session
Although website and webpage are often used interchangeably, it’s understood that a website has several pages. For instance; home page, information page (like an About Us or Contact Us), and a content page (typically your blog).
As the name suggests, this metric lets you know how many pages of your website one organic user visited during their session. By default, a session is usually around 30 minutes.
Did they stay on the homepage for the duration of their stay? Did they navigate over to the About Us page or—even better—the Contact Us page? If they ended up on your blog, how many articles or pages did they go through before they ended their session?
An SEO company may typically focus on similar metrics that involve the time spent on-site or average session duration. However, pages per session is perhaps one of the neatest and easiest to track. What’s more, it gives you a pretty accurate indication of which pages are receiving the most engagement. This further gives you an idea of what pages you can better improve.
4. Bounce Rate
In SEO, bouncing is when someone clicks on your site, takes a quick look around, and then clicks out not three seconds later. It does not count as a visit or a session, and it definitely does not factor in to your pages per session metric.
It does, however, still factor into your organic traffic rate. As long as they visit your site through something that isn’t a paid ad, they count as traffic.
Most SEO tools include a way to track or mark the percent of your traffic that is purely bounces. As you might have guessed, you want the percentage of be low. A high bounce rate means that most of your visitors don’t feel the need to engage with your website. If this is the case, it may be best to invest in SEO consulting services to see how you can keep those visitors hooked.
5. Organic Conversion Rate
Let’s end this list with one more organic metric: conversion rate.
Conversion rate refers to how many organic visitors get converted (get it?) into actual sales.
Even if they land on your website … even if they spend over two hours on your blog … even if they eventually follow you on all your social media channels … the end goal is still to make a sale. If they don’t buy anything from you, they cannot be counted as a consumer.
Your conversion rate will tell you how effective your website and sales funnel are at engaging with organic visitors and encouraging them to purchase.
Any reputable SEO company knows that facts and figures are the best basis for any strategy. Knowing where you stand and knowing which areas you need to improve on are key to creating a winning campaign. So choose the metrics that work best for you and monitor them consistently to help you build ironclad SEO tactics.