Top 15 Most Important SEO Metrics to Track Performance

What are the benefits of SEO metrics?

You can't manage what you don't measure, as the phrase goes. You can't progress or grow if you don't measure it. Metrics for SEO enable you to assess the efficacy of your SEO activities and make corrective changes based on the data for improved business performance.

The top 15 SEO metrics to keep an eye on

Not all key performance indicators (KPIs) and SEO success metrics are created equal. Although Google's algorithm contains roughly 200 ranking variables, some are more essential than others.

To ensure that your organic search performance moves the needle, concentrate on KPIs that have the biggest impact. As a result, your SEO campaign will provide a higher return on investment (ROI) on marketing spend.

To that end, these are the 15 most critical SEO KPIs you should be monitoring on a regular basis.

Important points

  • SEO metrics enable you to assess the efficacy of your SEO activities and make adjustments depending on the data.

  • If you don't keep track of critical metrics, you'll miss out on both opportunities and dangers.

  • Many of the most essential KPIs are directly related to Google ranking variables and should be regularly monitored.

One of the reasons search engine optimization (SEO) is so effective is that you can track and measure almost everything linked to it. SEO metrics provide critical insights into how your organic search strategy is performing, whether you look at ranks, traffic, engagement, leads, orders, or revenue.

SEO analytics also offer you with the information you need to develop new strategies or revise and improve on existing ones. But how do you decide which metrics to track? After all, Google Analytics and a variety of SEO tools provide access to hundreds of data points.

In this piece, we'll go through the 15 best SEO KPIs and the tools that can help you keep track of them.

If you don't maintain a careful eye on the essential indicators, you won't know if the effort and money you've spent on SEO is paying off for your brand. Furthermore, you may overlook possibilities to boost your organic search traffic and revenue. Simultaneously, your digital marketing radar may overlook risks to your current traffic and business.

SEO is constantly evolving. Google's algorithm is continually being updated. With this in mind, it's critical that you review key SEO indicators on a regular basis to verify that your site is healthy, appropriately optimised, and providing business benefits.

1. The addition of new referring domains

One of the most essential Google ranking elements is backlinks. Most of the time, relevant backlinks from high-quality domains will increase your domain authority. Links from domains that have not previously connected to you, on the other hand, tend to be more powerful than extra links from websites that have previously linked to you.

If a site already links to your domain, Google considers you to be a reliable authority. A second link from the same website is worth slightly less than one from a fresh, equivalent domain.

Track your overall backlinks and referring domains, of course. However, if you want to significantly improve your organic traffic, you need also raise the quantity of new referring domains. Keep an eye on this measure to ensure that your link-building activities are complementing your SEO strategy.

2. Domain rating / domain authority

Domain Authority / Domain Rating is a score utilised by the majority of major integrated SEO tools (Moz, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and so on) to determine a website's overall SEO strength. The score is determined by a variety of factors, including the amount of backlinks, the quality of referring domains, and others.

The score is based on a logarithmic scale and spans from 0 to 100. As a result, increasing the score from 80 to 81 is far more difficult than increasing the score from 20 to 21. All else being equal, sites with higher scores are likely to rank higher for search queries than those with lower scores.

Domain Authority, to be clear, is not an official Google ranking criteria. Nonetheless, it is critical to watch this measure because it is calculated using ranking considerations. Work on boosting your Domain Authority if you want to appear at the top of search results.

Page Authority is another something to keep an eye on for your most important landing pages. This statistic assesses the authority of single pages rather than the domain as a whole.

3. Scores for on-page optimization

On-page optimization is the practise of optimising a page's content for both visitors and search engines. Tools Ahrefs Site Audit assists you by analysing a page and then offering a score indicating how effectively the page is optimised for SEO. The score may take into consideration factors such as:

  • Density of keywords

  • Headings and subheadings with keywords

  • occurrences of related keywords

  • Keywords in headings and subheadings that are related

  • Internal and external connections

  • Meta description

  • URL

  • URL canonical

  • Title of the page

  • Alt tags for images

4. Readability of the text Metrics for SEO

The majority of SEO metrics measure easily quantifiable data such as page visits, traffic data, and target keyword rankings. But how can you measure the quality of your site's content?

Users value text readability and relevancy because they provide a smooth experience. Furthermore, they are vital to search engines like Google and Bing because they make your material more understandable. Simply simply, actionable material with clear takeaways outperforms excessive fluff.

Fortunately, there are methods for determining the quality of content.

Yoast assigns a readability score to each page on your website, as well as a grade based on the Flesch reading ease score. Yoast also suggests adopting shorter sentences, paragraphs, and sections, as well as active voice and transition words. That is not due to the fact that those are ranking factors. This is due to the fact that they make your text easier to read.

Clearscope, on the other hand, analyses content for relevance using relevant search phrases and entities discovered in rival content. The more relevant terms from their list you add, the higher your grade.

Clearscope broadens the scope of your content marketing, while Yoast cuts it down to make it more digestible. They can work together to help you rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

5. Initial Impression

Every time your page appears in a Google search result, it counts as an impression, even if the user does not scroll down to see it. Impressions are a good early sign of how well your SEO effort is performing. Impression levels will rise as ranks rise. When you reach the top three, your traffic will begin to increase.

Google Search Console's Performance module makes it simple to track impressions.

To be clear, impressions and clicks are not the same thing. They are referred to as vanity metrics by many because they do not drive traffic or income. Impressions are just a count of how many times a specific page from your website appears in the SERP.

6. Rate of click-through (CTR)

CTR informs you what proportion of Google SERP impressions resulted in a click-through to your website. If 100 people see the page in the search results that includes your listing and one clicks through, your CTR is 1%. CTR can be tracked directly in Google Search Console's Performance module, much like impressions.

The ranking position and CTR have a close relationship. The higher your average ranking, the more clicks you'll receive. Although the first page of Google receives 90% of all hits for a query, the top three places in Google receive the majority of traffic.

Here are some short recommendations for increasing your CTR on specific pages:

  • Match the title of your page to the search intent.

  • If at all feasible, include a strong call to action in your title.

  • To make your title stand out, use brackets, dashes, or pipes.

  • Create meta descriptions that persuade users to click and read on.

  • Using your title and meta description, elicit an emotional response.

  • Explain what they'll get after viewing your page.

  • Improve the way your page appears in search results by using structured data.

  • Make use of short, descriptive URLs that include the primary keyword.

7. Rankings for keywords

Keyword rankings are a simple yet important SEO metric to monitor. They assist you in benchmarking your success and provide an early indication that your SEO approach is functioning. Rankings also provide a snapshot of your existing organic market share as well as the entire opportunity.

Focus on both branded and non-branded search phrases while conducting keyword research. Branded keywords are valuable since they reflect clients who are ready to buy. These terms are also important for your internet reputation. Non-branded phrases for ecommerce products such as women's running shoes, on the other hand, are critical for influencing clients during the decision-making stage of the customer journey.

Although keyword ranks fluctuate all the time, a rapid decline in rankings could indicate a problem. There are numerous SERP monitors available, including Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, and STAT.

8. Organic visibility (organic market share)

Organic visibility (also known as organic market share, SEO visibility, search visibility, and so on) is a number that compares the amount of organic search traffic your site receives to the total accessible clicks. It considers both search volume and ranking position, which influences click through rate (CTR).

Many SEO tools will provide you with a sitewide visibility score based on your ranking for all tracked keywords, as well as a keyword-specific score. Both scores are critical to monitor since they provide a fast overview of how your site is performing in terms of SEO.

However, most existing technologies just provide a snapshot and do not allow for the analysis of patterns. That is why Stridec created Carina, proprietary software that gives an in-depth analysis of your past, present, and forecast online market presence.

It's critical to understand how to measure market share based on organic traffic because they are effectively free visits from consumers looking for information in real time. Organic market share may appear to be a straightforward indicator, but it actually reflects how successfully you target and connect with your ideal clients.

Stridec employs organic market share data such as the one shown below to demonstrate the value of high-level search performance as a metric.

9. Organic traffic.

To express the obvious, you should monitor the amount of organic search traffic that your site receives. It is a critical SEO indicator that indicates whether your SEO efforts are laying the groundwork for a successful SEO programme.

There can be no SEO-based conversions or revenue without organic traffic. If you're not getting traffic, something is plainly broken and needs to be fixed.

Google Analytics allows you to track your organic traffic. Keep track of your organic traffic on both desktop and mobile. Also, attempt to cross-reference your organic traffic figures with your other SEO indicators so you can always evaluate the quality of your visitors.

10. Organic conversions

Organic conversions are an important SEO metric since they tell you whether your site is receiving the correct organic traffic. If your traffic is high but your conversions (sign-ups, leads, sales, etc.) are low, it could be a sign that you're not attracting the proper people to your site. You're attracting people who aren't interested in what you have to give.

If this is the case, you should examine the keywords that are bringing visitors to your site and decide whether they correspond to your client acquisition funnel.

Assume you sell organic coffee beans and have a detailed blog post about celebrities like Sofia Vergara who are fascinated with strong, black coffee. Looking at the data for this page, you can see that it generates a lot of organic search traffic but no engagement or transactions. This indicates that the audience is more likely to be people hunting for celebrity gossip than actual coffee enthusiasts and prospective buyers.

Identify relevant keywords at the top, middle, and bottom of the marketer's funnel and then focus on developing content around those specific keywords to achieve higher conversion rates.

For additional information, see our entire ecommerce conversion rate checklist.

11. The number of pages that have been indexed

Google must first index a page before it can display it in its search results. Any of your pages that aren't indexed will never receive organic search traffic. To guarantee that all relevant pages on your site are correctly indexed, use Google Search Console.

One crucial note: if any of your indexed pages are duplicated, old, irrelevant, or thin (fewer than 300 words), your entire site authority may suffer. A content audit of indexed pages can assist you in identifying these types of pages, after which you can:

  • Replace any outdated content.

  • Remove unnecessary stuff and redirect links

  • Merge and condense several poor pages into much stronger, more valuable pages, and redirect links as needed.

12. Core Web Vitals and Page Speed

Google is more concerned with user experience, and a fast-loading website is one of the metrics it uses to assess this. Many studies have shown that increasing page speed leads to increased conversion rates, and conversely, increasing page load time leads to lower conversion rates.

Google took it a step further by introducing Core Web Vitals in 2020. Core Web Vitals, which are set to become a search ranking feature in May 2021, are a more granular, sophisticated method of assessing page load speed. This is why they are particularly mentioned here as a key SEO statistic.

The current set of Google Core Web Vitals metrics focuses on three components of the user experience, which are as follows: loading, interactivity, and visual stability.

  • The most contentious paint (LCP)

  • Delay in the first input (FID)

  • Changes in layout throughout time (CLS)

The Enhancements section of Google Search Console tells you how the pages on your site perform based on the Core Web Vitals, and you can also check the data using Google'sPageSpeed Insightstool.

13. Crawl errors 

The average number of pages per visit measure provides information about your ability to bring users farther down the conversion funnel. If the majority of people simply see one page and then depart, you're passing up a potential to convert them later.

Remember that increasing traffic is merely the first step toward increasing revenue. The next step is to persuade them to act. However, not every visitor is prepared to make a purchase. Find new ways to interact with them and keep them interested in your material. Pay specific attention to exit pages, where the majority of visitors appear to leave.

Here are a few ideas for increasing engagement metrics such as pages per visit:

  • Make sure your page layout is straightforward and your site navigation is simple to understand.

  • Create subject clusters based on themes to ensure that your visitors always have a next step.

  • Make use of internal links to direct users to other useful sites on your website.

  • Include intriguing content, such as movies, surveys, tools, and so on, that encourages site visitors to interact with your site.

14. Pages per visit

When it comes to SEO analytics, having a high number isn't always a good thing. Crawl mistakes, for example, should be avoided at all costs.

A crawl error occurs when a search engine tries but fails to reach a page on your website. Crawl failures can be caused by a variety of factors, including deleted sites, pages tagged as noindex', and pages prohibited in the robots.txt file.

If a page cannot be crawled, it cannot be indexed and will not receive organic search traffic, hence it is critical to keep track of this scenario. If there is an increase in crawl issues on your website, Google may lose trust in the site and begin to demote any current rankings.

Crawl problems can be identified using a tool such as ContentKing, Screaming Frog, or Google Search Console.

15. Bounce rate

We define bounce rate as the percentage of visitors who only visit one page on your website.

Although the statistic isn't a ranking signal, a high bounce rate could indicate a problem with individual pages or your entire website. At the very least, it's a squandered opportunity to interact with your audience.

So, how can you lower your bounce rate? Finally, you must ensure that site visitors have a positive experience. There are several options for accomplishing this:

  • Check if the page matches the search aim.

  • Make the page's goal evident right away, and place key information above the fold.

  • Create legitimately amazing content that entices readers to spend more time on your site.

  • Make the writing easy to read and visually appealing.

  • Avoid anything that will detract from the user experience (pop-ups, ads, unintuitive navigation, etc.)

  • Increase the page's speed.

  • Make use of appealing CTAs.

SEO metrics tracking tools

There are a number of tools (some of which have previously been mentioned) that make it simple to measure the top SEO KPIs.

Google Analytics may be used to track metrics such as organic search traffic, pages per visit, and bounce rate. Use Google Search Console to track impressions, click-through rates from Google SERPs, crawl problems, and the number of sites indexed.

Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMRush can keep you up to date on new referring domains, domain authority, and keyword ranks. ContentKing, DeepCrawl, and Screaming Frog let you to find and fix technical faults on your website. Page load time can be measured using Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom. For on-page optimization and text readability, use Yoast and Clearscope.

Implementing SEO metrics for a higher return on investment

Let's go over the main things we discussed. To achieve greater SEO ROI, it's critical to set SEO analytics as benchmarks that assist you identify areas for improvement. Look for ways to improve your rankings, organic traffic, conversions, income, and ROI while employing SEO metrics.

With this in mind, here are the top 16 SEO indicators you should be tracking:

  • New domains for referring to

  • Domain stewardship

  • Scores for on-page optimization

  • Readability of text

  • Impressions

  • Rate of click-through

  • Rankings for keywords

  • Market share of organic products

  • Natural traffic

  • Conversions

  • The total number of pages indexed

  • Page loading time

  • Web Essentials

  • Pages viewed per visit

  • Errors in crawling

  • Rate of recurrence

According to a Databox report, 81% of SEOs track revenue and leads (conversions) to determine ROI.

The good news is that you can readily monitor all of these SEO variables with a few tools. You must also keep an eye on them. SEO is, in many ways, a zero-sum game. When one page climbs in the search results, another lowers. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you must constantly monitor your SEO performance indicators and optimize based on the insights found.


What are SEO analytics, and what do they mean?

SEO metrics are quantifiable data points that give you measurable information that you can use to develop new strategies or iterate and improve existing ones.

What are the most important SEO metrics to monitor?

Regardless of your SEO programme or company strategy, you should monitor the following SEO KPIs to assess the effectiveness of your investment:

1. organic traffic

2. organic conversion rate

3. Positioning of keywords

4. Percentage of organic search visibility

5. The bounce rate

6. Scores for page speed and fundamental web vitals