There is software to track almost all SEO data. For marketers, this is both a blessing and a curse. Access to data helps make marketing decisions and, when properly analyzed, helps to better understand users.
That said, having access to data doesn’t necessarily mean you have to control it, especially if it’s not useful or feels overwhelming.
For this article, I reached out to marketers and SEOs who share what SEO metrics they’ll be following in 2023 and why they’re important.
What are SEO metrics?
SEO metrics are data sets that help determine the success of SEO’s role in digital marketing campaigns.
By analyzing the data, marketers can understand the value of SEO’s contribution to marketing. It allows marketers to benchmark success and understand what went well and what didn’t.
More importantly, SEO metrics help businesses improve their marketing campaigns to focus on meeting their marketing goals.
Some SEO metrics are more useful than others. You may be familiar with the term “trivial metrics,” referring to metrics that can be boosted by marketing efforts, but don’t move the business needle. In SEO, vanity metrics can include impressions as well as clicks.
But does that mean these measures are not important? no
The truth is, the metrics you measure will depend on your goals.
The skill – which comes with time – is knowing which metrics to monitor, which metrics to measure with others in mind, and which metrics to ignore.
SEO metrics you can track in GA4
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is here, and with it comes valuable reports like traffic acquisition. Also, engagement rate, which is (if you ask me) a much higher metric than bounce rate.
1. Engagement rate
Engagement rate is one of the more recent metrics that has graced us with its presence with GA4.
Engagement rate is an SEO metric that measures meaningful engagement on your website. Out of the box, engagements include clicks, scrolls, conversions, and more.
When it comes to engagement rate, SEO professional Kyle Rushton says:
Low-engagement pages that fall short of expectations will benefit from additional work.
2. Enhanced measurements
GA4 tracks conversion data as an event. Enhanced metrics provide a level of detail into user behavior that we didn’t have “out of the box” with Universal Analytics (UA).
Freelance SEO consultant Natalie Slater shares the value of form interactions and form submissions. Slater says:
Form interactions and form submissions provide two great data sets for SEO.
You can use these metrics to identify potential CRO issues on a site.
3. Landing pages
The Google Analytics Landing Page report seems to be a favorite among SEOs, with many citing it when asked about SEO metrics.
The landing page report is perfect for understanding how effective the first page a user visits is.
You can see which landing pages are converting in the same session – perfect for identifying sales directly from your SEO efforts.
Originally you had to customize your report in GA4, but (probably) thanks to its popularity, GA4 has released a standard landing page report.
It’s important to note here that looking at sales directly from SEO does injustice to SEO’s contribution to conversion, which is why it’s important to track other metrics that may not seem so obvious.
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SEO metrics you might not think to track
SEO has tangible metrics like traffic, clicks, impressions, and revenue. But you may not have considered tracking the metrics of other marketing efforts to understand SEO’s contribution to sales.
SEO will always be a driver of traffic, and the goal is to drive qualified traffic to a site. Qualified traffic is traffic that is interested in what your website has to offer and can buy.
For many of your web users, SEO will be the first touch point in your marketing funnel. Users will search for a problem and come across your page or article. From here, they can sign up for emails or engage with PPC retargeting audiences.
4. Email sign-ups
Zack Reboletti, SEO consultant at Get Web Focused, says:
It’s easy to see how SEO improves the metrics of other marketing tactics.
Also, when it comes to email marketing, SEO data provides trends and click data to see when your users are searching for certain types of content.
For example, an article may be of particular interest at a certain time of year. Instead of waiting for your audience to search and find you (or worse, for your competitor to find you), you can be proactive.
The data provided by SEO should inspire your content calendar for email or social media. You can put content you know people are looking for in front of your audience based on SEO metrics.
5. PPC metrics that are influenced by SEO: Retargeting and keywords
SEO drives traffic that PPC can redirect. And long-tail keywords work well because they attract relevant traffic that has specific ad problems.
Think about ranking your articles for longer tail keywords, such as “[product] for [specific problem]” or your “[how to fix problem] guides.” Clicks on this content provide qualified traffic to ads with specific problems.
Display ads and retargeting messages can be highly targeted to capture attention, nurture a potential buyer, keep your brand in mind, and then convert.
Leigh Buttrey, paid media specialist, says:
As SEO supports PPC, PPC supports SEO. PPC is the fast track to the top of the SERPs. You can test the keywords you want to convert and determine if they are making efforts to rank organically. Align SEO and PPC to dominate the SERPs.
In 2022, Google expanded its continuous scrolling to SERPs. With constant scrolling, websites need a listing that stands out in the SERPs more than ever.
It’s no secret that scrolling is addictive, and users can find it easier to scroll through the SERPs until they reach the most attractive listing.
In 2023, as we explore this new way of searching, we may be able to track the impact of high-quality images.
You can see how many clicks you got with your images using Google Search Console. To access this report:
Which pages are generating the right clicks? What images can help with this?
Bonus Tip: Increase your chances of ranking images in the SERPs by optimizing your alt text. (And remember to be natural about it.)
SEO metrics that aren’t going anywhere in 2023
There are some metrics that are as old as SEO itself and are still as useful as ever. If you’re not tracking, here are some of the steps you probably should be taking.
7. Content engagement
Content monitoring has been improved in GA4. The loss of bounce rate and the new engagement rate means that the value of great content is less damaged by bounce.
In GA4, you can measure by page:
All of the above metrics help determine the value of a page. If someone scrolls to 90%, reads the entire article, then leaves the site, the content was still useful. In UA, bounce rates can undermine these meaningful actions.
A deep download or file downloading content is an indicator of an engaged audience that can then be retargeted or nurtured through marketing automation.
8. Customer lifetime value
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is very important for SEO revenue tracking. Subscription businesses are a great way to demonstrate this.
If a user lands on your site through an unbranded Google Search and signs up for a subscription, the initial payment might be $10 in the first month.
But, if they signed up for 10 months, the value of that interaction is actually $100. If he offers that customer a referral scheme and brings three friends to a subscription, the CLV increases again.
Customer lifetime value allows you to see the longevity of your SEO efforts.
9. Brand visibility
Tracking brand mentions and clicks on brand search terms can help marketers determine how brand searches are converting. In theory, people searching for your brand are looking for you and what you have to offer.
Tracking brand searches can be useful to understand which pages are earning brand clicks and which are not. If you have pages that are getting clicks from Google, but not many (or any) brand-related queries, then SEO can be attributed entirely to clicks.
If these pages also result in a conversion, SEO is likely solely responsible for the click and conversion. These conversions are harder to come by, but great when they come!
Brand search tracking lets you see how people are searching for your brand. You’ll find brand searches you’d otherwise miss.
10. Missed brand searches
If you stay close to how users search for your brand, you’ll gain insight into how users trust your brand.
Search Engine Land Contributor Sara Taher says:
If you don’t stay on top of brand searches, you can miss out on ranking and losing clicks (and users) to competitors or non-authoritative sites.
Potential buyers who are close to converting, but perhaps a little nervous, might look for the following:
A good example of these search terms can be found on Groupon.
The nature of the industry (discounts and coupons) adds to buyer beware, but these searches can be found for many other brands.
Reviews, in particular, can cause brands to lose clicks with websites like Trust Pilot or Facebook taking the site’s domain rank.
Brands can handle these queries by creating pages that satisfy intent. By doing this, the brand’s site is more likely to rank, earn a click, and control the narrative that potential buyers see.
11. Conversions and conversion rate
Conversions and conversion rates (CVR) are two metrics that should be looked at side by side.
A conversion is a meaningful action taken on your website. For e-commerce, it can be sales, but it can also be a contact form submission, download, or other.
Rebecca Oliver, Digital Marketing Manager at Sixty Eight People, shares the importance of conversion and conversion rate tracking.
Marketing should always be a revenue generator. After the initial investment, if marketing isn’t earning more than it costs, it’s failing.
When tracking revenue, consider organic metrics, but don’t overlook overall revenue. Remember, SEO helps with other marketing channels that drive qualified traffic to your website.
Regarding revenue tracking, ecommerce SEO expert Louis Smith says:
13. Clicks and impressions
After all, gaining clicks and traffic for a website will always be one of the main goals of SEO. So clicks will probably be something that will follow you in 2023. You don’t get a conversion without earning a click and you don’t get a click without an impression.
When monitoring the value of clicks you need to track clicks along with other SEO metrics such as:
The key is to identify which SEO efforts drive qualified traffic to a website.
Benefits of tracking SEO metrics
Benefits of tracking SEO metrics include a deeper understanding of:
Which SEO metrics shouldn’t you track?
It is not easy for anyone to say which measures are valuable and which are not. The truth is, the metrics you value will depend on what you’re trying to achieve with your marketing.
The most important thing is to look at the bigger picture. When looking at SEO metrics, you need to look at some metrics along with others.
For example, users spending a long time on the site is generally a good indicator in isolation, but if the traffic isn’t converting, maybe you’re attracting the wrong people, or the site is heavy and difficult for people to use. to the page they want to navigate to.
SEO metrics: A summary
If you were to track all the metrics recommended by our experts, you would track:
This is not an exhaustive list, but these items came up time and time again when we contacted the experts. Not all metrics apply to your website or goals, but if they do, keep track and see what you find.
Remember: have fun tracking SEO metrics and approach it from a place of curiosity.
Don’t fall victim to analysis paralysis. Instead, enjoy the ride. You can get incredibly close to the data with GA4 reports and track audience behavior in detail.
It doesn’t hurt to track “too much” and if you’re looking into SEO monitoring, it may be better to track more until you find the metrics that you think are most valuable to you and your site’s goals.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily those of Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
Zoe Ashbridge is the Chief SEO Strategist and co-founder of forank. Zoe has a background in digital marketing and digital project management. Zoe supports businesses worldwide with actionable SEO strategy, consulting and search engine marketing implementation for internal teams. Zoe writes about SEO, Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship.
What are the 3 SEO KPIs you should be tracking?
Once you’ve set up your Google Business Profile, you’ll see a number of metrics built into the platform by default. Including searches, views, clicks, direction requests and calls. These are all very important metrics for a local business and should be tracked as SEO KPIs.
What are the top 5 KPIs you would track? The most important KPIs to track
- Sales Growth. …
- the leads …
- Return on Investment (ROI)…
- A customer’s lifetime value (LTV)…
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)…
- Conversion rate …
- Open Tariff …
- Click through rate
What are 3 KPIs?
The types of KPI are as follows: Quantitative indicators that can be presented with a number. Qualitative indicators that cannot be presented as numbers. The main indicators that can predict the outcome of a process.
What are the KPIs of SEO?
SEO KPIs are quantifiable values used to measure the effectiveness of a marketing team’s SEO efforts and performance. Keeping an eye on your most important search metrics gives you deeper insight into your search engine ranking and visibility, and conversions that can be attributed to organic performance.
What are the 4 key metrics to measuring digital marketing?
What are the 4 types of digital marketing goals? Digital Marketing can be divided into 8 main categories including: Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email, Mobile Marketing, Marketing Analytics and Affiliate Marketing.
Which reason for continually measuring the performance of your SEO strategy is most important?
One of the most important aspects of SEO is earning new links to your website and content, so it’s important to look at all aspects of your backlink profile to ensure you’re earning relevant links from quality domains.
What is the most important reason to use SEO? In short, SEO is key because it makes your website more visible, which means more traffic and more opportunities to convert prospects into customers. Check out the SEO tools you can use for optimal ranking.
Why is it important to use measurements to track your SEO performance?
SEO tracking and measurement is a key aspect of the search engine optimization process. You can use it to measure whether your strategy is working, to understand whether you’re getting the results you want, and where and how you can improve moving forward.
Why is it important to measure SEO performance?
SEO professionals track everything from rankings and conversions to lost links and more to help prove the value of SEO. Measuring the impact of your work and continuous improvement is critical to your SEO success, customer retention, and perceived value. It also helps you change your priorities when something isn’t working.
What is performance measurement in SEO?
SEO is all about using your website content to appear higher in search results and drive more traffic to your site. So when you look at SEO performance, you’re ultimately measuring where you rank. However, there are other important elements that you should consider and measure.
What is SEO performance metrics?
SEO metrics are data points or indicators that you need to track and monitor to measure performance and maintain a healthy and optimized website. Whether it’s tracking engagement or reflecting on SERP authority, monitoring your SEO metrics can help you plan strategies for the future.
Why is it important to measure SEO performance? SEO professionals track everything from rankings and conversions to lost links and more to help prove the value of SEO. Measuring the impact of your work and continuous improvement is critical to your SEO success, customer retention, and perceived value. It also helps you change your priorities when something isn’t working.