SEO Metrics: What Should I Be Tracking?

Matt Crowley - January 15, 2015

It’s not news to many that SEO is a process, and seeing results takes time. But how can you be sure you’re on the right track? In this post, we’ll look at some specific metrics to track in order to gauge the success of your efforts.

First Thing’s First: Set a Benchmark

It’s important to gauge your starting point. To do this, you need to determine where you rank for your most important keyphrases and what the distribution of organic traffic is to the pages on your website. You can use the Search Queries report in Google Webmaster Tools to get a baseline for the kinds of keywords your website is showing up for organically and how your pages are positioning. Google Analytics can supply the Organic traffic information.

Track Position Trending Over Time

Although the goal of a content optimization project is thematic relevance, you can’t definitively track theme without tracking individual keyphrases. Once you perform your content optimization, track your pages and where they rank for each keyphrase you’ve optimized for, and trend that data over time to see where you’re gaining the broadest reach.

SEO metricsTrack Engagement & Conversions

Don’t stop at rankings. Without content engagement and conversions, any optimization project falls short. Once you achieve increased visibility, it’s time to examine whether your content is “working.” Depending on your brand’s unique content and goals, consider reviewing:

  • top landing pages
  • individual pages’ bounce rates
  • visitor’s average time on page
  • shares
  • downloads
  • etc.

You want to make sure that the pages you have worked to optimize are receiving more organic traffic and more organic engagement. For more on these metrics, check out this post on measuring the performance of onsite content. You should also track your conversions in Google Analytics. Specifically, track your organic conversions.

SEO takes time to show results, but in order to properly attribute those results to the work you’ve done, you’ll want to establish tracking early on and ensure that you’re monitoring performance across all stages from overall visibility, to clicks, to traffic engagement, to conversions.

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