Search engine optimization (SEO) describes a method for increasing website visibility and delivering leads. But the benefits don’t end there. Successful SEO allows for easier website navigation, increases conversions and helps form part of your long-term marketing strategy.
So, what is the best way to go about effectively tracking your website’s SEO metrics to discover how well your efforts are really working?
The answer comes from tracking your site’s SEO metrics. There are some crucial SEO benchmarks you’ll need to test to ensure your campaign is on a path toward success. If you discover that it currently isn’t, you can always make some tweaks to better optimize your results.
How Do You Track Your SEO Efforts?
The easiest way to track your SEO efforts is by using a SEO measurement tool so you can analyze your data. There are plenty of free SEO measurement tools available. However, the paid versions will provide you with a greater range of options than the free versions.
When you pick the SEO measurement tool of your choice, make sure you are monitoring the following key SEO metrics:
Don’t stop at simply monitoring your website traffic. Measure the organic traffic across all of your online advertising (including landing pages, blogs, etc) to get a fuller picture of how well your SEO strategy is performing.
Organic Keyword Conversions
- Securing new subscribers
- Generating revenue
- Otherwise providing value
The next part of the equation is how many leads your organic traffic delivers. If you are wondering what the average percentage of leads is, SmartBug Media says it is 16%. However, this will vary from niche to niche.
The number of high-quality backlinks your site has will considerably impact SEO by increasing your website rankings and boosting your overall credibility. And according to Authority Hacker, backlinks “are still the most strongly correlated for SEO success.” This is because backlinks help Google find your site and index it.
Your keyword rankings allow you to see how well your target keywords are performing. However, you will need to look at your keywords alongside other SEO benchmarks to get a better idea of your overall SEO performance.
The length of time a visitor stays on your website is often a key indicator of how engaging your content is. A high bounce rate can mean the content on the page is not resonating with the reader. However, this will not always be the case. A high bounce rate can be the result of factors such as:
- Pages loading slowly
- The specific type of content (blogs often have higher bounce rates, as will contact pages or other pages with limited content)
- Pages per session
- Technical errors
When it comes to to tracking your website’s SEO metrics, your specific bounce rate will vary depending on the niche you are in. For example, ecommerce and retail sites have typical bounce rates of 25-45%, while landing pages have a 60-90% bounce rate.
Pages Per Session
Your pages per session SEO metrics are an indicator of how interesting your content is to visitors. Most website owners want their visitors to click through to multiple pages, as this indicates they have an active interest in the featured product or service.
The average number of pages viewed per session is just two. But if you want something to aim for, achieving an average of four pages per session would indicate that you are in the top 20% of websites.
If your pages per session are particularly low, possible causes include:
- Limited accessibility
- Poor navigation
- Lack of content that interests your target audience
When your site has repeat visitors, you know you’re doing something right when it comes to how well your SEO efforts are working. Keep monitoring this figure using SEO measurement tools over time to see how your return visitor numbers are growing.
The longer your web page takes to load, the more likely it is that a potential visitor will navigate to another website. So, what should you be aiming for? According to recent research, between zero to four seconds is the optimal load time for conversions. In other words, the quicker your webpage loads, the better.
To boost conversions, make sure you measure your page load times, and if you find yours is lagging, try giving your times a boost by:
- Simplifying page design
- Optimizing and compressing images
- Sending out trigger emails
- Limiting HTTP requests and external scripts
- Fixing broken links
- Using caching
Mobile traffic is one of the most vital SEO benchmarks in today’s digital world. Keeping track of your mobile metrics will show you how accessible your site is to mobile users. This metric will also tell you if you need to make any improvements in this area, such as incorporating a responsive design.
Don’t limit your SEO tracking to mobile, though — measure traffic from other devices, too.
Cost Per Lead
You have got traffic to your site that is driving leads, but how much is this costing you? When you know your cost per lead, you will have a better idea of your SEO’s return on investment. For some guidance, you can see the average cost per lead here.
One of the often-overlooked SEO metrics is your content length. It is recognized that Google prefers longer content, and for this reason Alex Vale of Fundstack recommends including content length among your metrics.
Another overlooked SEO metric is the number of index pages. As founder of nightwatch.io and formaviva.com, Aljaz Fajmut explains that indexed pages should remain linear. If your number of indexed pages is decreasing, this usually shows a problem somewhere.
Your SEO benchmarks and SEO metrics provide vital clues to how well your SEO campaigns are performing. SEO metrics also offer important information on how engaging your content is and can help identify areas for improvement.
All marketers should measure and analyze their benchmark metrics with a SEO measurement tool to ensure they are on the right track and to enable them to adapt their SEO plans where necessary.
Get a greater insight into key SEO benchmarks and SEO metrics with SharpSpring’s marketing automation system. To find out more about what SharpSpring offers, or to request a demo, visit our website today.