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10 Fundamental SEO Metrics You Need to Study in 2018

Understanding how your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts are actually working requires studying the SEO metrics created by the traffic you receive.

No longer is simply looking at keyword ranking enough to assess the effectiveness of your work. To properly measure the return on investment earned by your SEO practices, there are now a wide variety of reports that you need to study.

In this article, we’ll go over the 13 most important metrics you should consider when putting together reports that will evaluate your SEO efforts.

1. Number of clicks

Starting from the Search Console, you can access a report that will tell you the number of organic clicks your site has received as well as which search queries generated those clicks.

You can compare the number of clicks received from month to month allowing you to determine which search queries are responsible for the most clicks.

This report will also allow you to pinpoint which landing pages are attracting the most clicks and what page elements are driving those clicks.

To get to this report, go to “Search Traffic” on the Search Console and click on “Search Analytics.”

You can also filter the results by Search Type allowing you to differentiate between image and text searches. This is the first of the SEO metrics you’ll want to monitor.

2. Goal Completion

Understanding that your goals are successfully completed will play a large role in assessing the value of your SEO campaigns.

It’s possible to construct a report that allows you to determine your goal values, the goal conversion rates and the number of goal completions. By filtering the results to report solely on organic traffic you have the ability to calculate your return on investment derived from your unpaid SEO efforts.

Check under the “Conversions” tab for the “Goals” and “Overview” area.  If you “Add Segment” and choose “Organic Traffic” from the list, you’ll be able to refine the report to bypass any paid or inorganic searches.

3. Bounce Rate

When it comes to measuring SEO metrics, bounce rate is a must. If someone visits a single page on your website and then leaves, Google Analytics reports a 100% bounce rate or one bounce, depending on the type of report you’re viewing.

Depending on what you’ve designed your website for, a high bounce rate can be either a positive or negative metric. A high bounce rate could indicate that the information on your site isn’t what your users are looking for which causes them to leave. On the other hand, a search query may lead a user directly to a page on your site that immediately answers their needs making the necessity of visiting more pages irrelevant.

To view the bounce rate of your main landing pages, go to “Behavior,”  “Site Content” and “Landing Pages.”  If you want to view organic traffic only, make sure to filter for that.

4. Exit pages

Understanding from which pages visitors are leaving your website can give you further insight into the information provided by those pages.

What is it about the highest ranked exit pages that are causing your visitors to continue on elsewhere? Is that the desired effect or do you need these pages to perform better in keeping the user engaged?

By testing various configurations of these pages, you may be able to better achieve your desired result.

For the exit page report, go to “Behavior,”  “Site Content” and “Exit Pages.”

5. Keyword ranking

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, keyword ranking is no longer the only metric you need to track to understand the viability of your SEO efforts. However, it still plays a very important role in getting traffic to your website.

By understanding which keywords are driving the most traffic to the target site, you can increase your chances of reaching the top of the search engine results page (SERP) without having to rely on paid searches or other types of paid marketing.

By using the “Queries” report in the Search Console you’ll be able to see which keywords your site is ranking for, the number of impressions they receive, the click-through rate, and their Google rankings.

6. Mobile usability

Google has announced repeatedly that websites that are slow or do not work well for smartphone or tablet users will be ranked lower on the SERPs.  Understanding where mobile users are having trouble navigating your site can allow you to reorganize and adjust appropriately.

Access the mobile usability report by going to “Search Traffic,” in the Search Console and selecting “Mobile Usability.”

7. Lifetime value

Accessing the lifetime value report allows you to assess the value of a unique user compared to your business goals.

This is a relatively new report offered by Google Analytics which can predict the potential revenue of a user arriving on your site due to various acquisition efforts on your behalf.

The metrics per user you can choose from, include; App Views, Goal Completions, Pageviews, Revenue, Session Duration, Sessions, Tenure, and Transactions.

To access this data, click “Audience” and Lifetime Value.”

8. Crawl errors

If Google isn’t able to successfully crawl your website, your chances of appearing on the SERPs are slim to none. By understanding which pages on your site are preventing the Google bots from crawling your site, you’ll be able to repair them and get them back to proper functioning. By keeping an eye on the crawl error report you’ll be able to correct problems before they seriously affect your page rankings.

Access the Crawl Error report by clicking “Crawl” and “Crawl Error” on the Search Console.

9. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP pages have been around for a couple of years now and should already play a role in your website design to create fast loading web pages for mobile users.

Google’s rollout of AMP has made it much easier for website developers to increase the speed and improve the user experience of mobile users by providing an easy-to-use framework for creating mobile pages.

To view the pages of your site that are having AMP issues, click “Search Appearance” and “Accelerated Mobile Pages” in the Search Console.

10. Inbound link quality

Backlinking has always played a large role in SEO, but as time has progressed the quality of those links has become much more important than just the quantity.

Judging the quality of your inbound links will allow you to assess your off-page SEO efforts and come up with more appropriate link building campaigns to increase your traffic.

To access the inbound link report, click on “Traffic Sources,” “Sources” and “Referral” in Google Analytics.

11. Monitoring your SEO rankings and movements

The process of knowing when, where, why and how your site is ranking where it is in the search results is referred to as “SEO”, but there is plenty more to it than that.

SEO is all about knowing what keywords your site is ranking for, which content articles can be further improved, and also keeping an eye on where your rankings currently are to help you improve them for the future.

An excellent tool to help in this process is Sitechecker, which includes a rank checker, site health checker, backlink checker, and more – all of which are extremely important when trying to monitor and improve your site’s search rankings.

Through the use of such a tool, site owners can monitor their existing rankings, while also seeing the associated volume for a keyword, its competition level, and its movements over time. With data, the more you have, the easier it is to understand and improve.

No matter what SEO tracking solution you prefer to use, it’s important to have one in place. It’s simply one of the best investments you can make, and it’s also one of the most fun and addictive things a site owner can spend hours endlessly reading through.

If you’ve already been researching the many different ways to improve the content and SEO metrics for your site, you might also be aware of the many different Google ranking factors that are being used today.

Whether it’s On-site or Off-site, there are plenty of ranking factors to be aware of. A perfect example of this can be seen through the infographic below from ahrefs.

And while On-Page ranking factors (site content) are always going to be important, the majority of influence in rankings will come as a result of inbound links and the anchor text and power rankings of those sites.

12. Content < Content Marketing

As they say “Content is King”… but guess what? When there are more than a billion different sites on the internet, who needs that many Kings, Queens and Jesters… or whatever you might want to consider your site content.

The truth of the matter is, you can create all the content you want, but if you aren’t actively promoting it, building high-quality backlinks to it and getting it the necessary social shares it needs – it’s not going to rank.

Yes, the wordcount and quality of your content matter, but the continued promotion and SEO marketing of that content is even more important. And according to HookAgency, the ideal length for site content is 1,760-2,400 Words.

The takeaway here is, stay away from 300 to 500-word articles… they are simply no longer going to cut it and won’t do anything for your SEO metrics.

13. Analyzing the competition

Take a look at any of the top SEO sites on the internet today and they are going to provide you with a lot of the same information, case studies, and resources… yet some tend to rank higher than others.

With so many SEO agencies and blogs all fighting for the same keywords, you can only imagine how important it is for them to keep an eye on the competition and where their latest rankings are.

As mentioned earlier, this is why it’s so important to have a quality SEO Checker in place for not only your own site rankings but also your closest competitors. And speaking of competitors in the world of SEO, Search Engine Journal recommends the following:

Use your competitor analysis tool to look at your competitors’ total domain strength and then analyze specific SEO metrics, such as:

  • Domain authority
  • Domain country and age
  • Indexing in search engines
  • Catalog listings
  • Backlink data
  • Alexa rank
  • Traffic volumes
  • Social signals

Again, this is all easier said than done, and not something you should try to accomplish manually. There are just way too many moving data parts and factors in place.

What you can do is hand select your main competitors, and then plug in the data to your preferred SEO tool to make sure you never miss a beat, while also having the necessary tools and data to stay ahead of the curve.

Final thoughts on SEO metrics

At the end of the day, everyone is using the internet for one reason or another, and they can be broken down into the following:

  • To find information
  • To be entertained
  • To buy something

Once you have this service and engagement in place, it’s all about focusing on your backlink building, further SEO optimization and analyzing the competitors already ranking for your sought after terms and search phrases.

This is a long and tedious process, but one that EVERY site on the internet must go through in order to continually rank at the top of Google and to compete with the best of the best.

Take advantage of the recommended tools, resources, and solutions above to get the most out of your valuable time, work, and SEO efforts.

Guest author: Jamie FitzHenry is the founder of Grizzly, a Bristol SEO agency. Zac Johnson is a world-renowned blogger and entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space and has helped his readers generate millions of dollars online. He shares his story and guidance at ZacJohnson.com

The post 13 Fundamental SEO Metrics You Need to Study in 2023 appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

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