How do you measure the success of your SEO efforts? Now, if we were to conduct a poll, we would get many answers. Most of them revolve around the same concepts, though. This is why SEO specialists have created standard terms for them, called key performance indicators (KPIs). They represent the specific metrics that you have to monitor in order to know that you are getting the results you need. In this article, we will discuss the most important SEO KPIs you should track in 2022.
How Frequently Should You Track SEO KPIs?
As a business owner, your time is one of the most precious and scarcest resources. You understand that you have to monitor SEO KPIs, but how much time do you have to spend on this activity? Should you do it every day? Every week? Every month?
Fortunately for you, Google Search Console is working around the clock, recording these SEO KPIs and allowing you to generate reports that cover various periods of time. However, no matter how busy you are, you should set aside one hour every week to look at SEO KPIs and understand how well your strategy is working.
The Most Important SEO KPIs to Analyse on a Regular Basis
Google Search Console and other SEO tools collect and measure dozens of KPIs. Some of them are more relevant for some businesses than for others. However, every marketer or business owner should track the following:
1. Core Web Vitals
The Core Web Vitals is one of the newest but also most important SEO KPIs. This is one of the new factors that the Google algorithm measures in order to determine page rank. As part of the Page Experience index, Core Web Vitals refer to:
- Page load time (Largest Contentful Paint – LCP)
- Stability (Cumulative Layout Shift – CLS)
- Interactivity (First Input Delay – FID).
The Google Search Console now offers you real time data about the Core Web Vitals of your website, together with a list of problems that need to be solved and helpful optimisation tips.
2. Keyword Ranking
Now, this is a critical SEO KPI to monitor. Years ago we used to say that no user will go to page two of Google search results. Things are much tougher in the present. Even below the bottom half of first page results is a bad place to have your site listed.
A research study conducted by a marketing company found that only 0.78% of users will click on a link below the 20th Google search result. Thus, measuring keyword ranking is just as important as checking that your pages are properly optimised.
Since this is one of the most important KPIs to track, it is worth investing in the paid plans for one of the most popular SEO tools of you choice – Ahrefs or Moz.
You get the clicks, you get website visits, you get a low bounce rate (which means that users find your site helpful and don’t leave it in a hurry). But this will not really reflect in your monthly revenues.
This is why one the most important SEO KPIs to track is conversions. A conversion does not always mean a sale. It means that the user got to your page and did what you want them to do:
- Subscribe to your newsletter
- Register for your webinar
- Started a free trial of your product.
Each initial conversion turns a simple website visitor into a lead. Next, you can continue your marketing efforts and complete the conversion from lead to customer.
4. Number of Backlinks
Backlinks serve as indicators of your website reputation and authoritativeness. If a high quality page links back to your site, it actually transfers page rank equity to you. Thus, the more quality backlinks you earn, the better.
We have already discussed the importance of high quality backlinks and the dangers of accumulating low quality backlinks in a previous article. We encourage you to read it in order to understand that not all backlinks are desirable and sometimes it is even recommended to remove low quality ones.
5. Branded Clicks
Branded clicks come from searches where the user typed in your brand name. Why is this one of the most important SEO KPIs to track? It shows you the level of brand awareness you’ve reached.
If a lot of people go to Google to search specifically for your company of for your products, it means that they:
- Have been exposed to your brand image and messages
- Have tried your products and liked them
- Want to buy specifically from you.
This means one thing: customer loyalty – something which every business tries to achieve.
6. Coverage Issues
Google does not index an entire website by default. Sometimes, there are some issues on your page, in its code, preventing the Google bots from crawling and indexing it correctly.
The Google Search Console has a specific section which details the coverage of your site in four distinct categories:
- Valid – the page is fully and correctly indexed
- Valid with warnings – the page is indexed, but there are some issues with it
- Excluded – the page is not indexed, because the search engine found reasons for it
- Error – the page is not crawled and indexed.
You must look at these warnings and exclusions and fix your site so that Google can index all of it correctly.
7. Amount of New Content Pieces
Some sites are constantly getting updated with short content pieces – sometimes on a daily basis. But they do not perform well at all. Why is that so? The reason is that users are now more selective and want to get complete and detailed information on a topic of interest from the same place. They don’t want a bit of information from here and a bit from there.
This is why long form content is the winner in Google’s eyes. And it is also great for SEO, because you can target several secondary keywords and long tail keywords. This SEO KPI cannot be measured by any tool – it is your own job to make sure that you create high quality long form articles.