In SEO (and not only there, by the way), it’s crucial to know where to invest your efforts to gain the best results. If you google “most important SEO metrics,” you’ll find dozens of metrics but the question is whether you really need to track all of them. My experience says you shouldn’t. In this article, we will review five SEO metrics that do impact your rankings and three that might not be as telling as many believe.
The main issue with SEO is that it often feels overwhelming. There are so many aspects and metrics that it’s really hard to stay organized. I’d love to introduce you to five core metrics that I always prioritize in my analysis. I just focus on them in the first place and then take care of the rest.
Ever felt overwhelmed by the multitude of keywords? Well, keyword difficulty helps simplify this. It gives you a clear sense of how tough it will be to rank for a specific keyword. You can use a free keyword difficulty checker and, once you’ve got the results, focus on attainable keywords.
Tips for improving keyword difficulty:
- SERP analysis: Before you start keyword optimization, scrutinize the top 10 results for your chosen keyword. Analyze the content quality, backlink profiles, and domain authorities. If several newer domains or less established websites rank high, it’s a sign that you can compete.
- Long-tail variants: Consider longer, more specific keyword phrases that might have lower search volumes but also less competition. These can often provide quicker wins.
- Quality KD checkers: It’s okay to use a free tool, just pick a quality one like those SEO PowerSuite offers. Beyond keyword difficulty, you’ll access keyword storage solutions, scheduled ranking checks, and many more perks.
A potential client searches with a clear intention to buy, and you offer them…an informational guide? Perhaps you’ve been there. That’s what I call missed opportunities.
And to avoid this, you must grasp the searcher’s intention behind a keyword, be it informational, transactional, navigational, or commercial. Align your content with what your audience actually wants and you will boost conversion. After all, it’s about meeting them where they are and guiding them to where you’d like them to be.
Tips for improving keyword intent:
- Skyscraper technique: Identify the best-performing content for keywords with the same intent and create even better content. This could mean more depth, updated information, or a more engaging format.
- Search query analysis: Monitor the “People Also Ask” and “Related Searches” sections on Google for your target keywords. They may introduce you to the nuances of user intent.
You might be ranking high, but is anyone actually clicking through? Organic traffic tells that. Scan free audit reports for the number of visitors who land on your site without you spending a dime on ads. A surge in organic traffic is, in fact, a pat on the back, signaling that your SEO strategies are on point. But remember that numbers aren’t everything. You must draw in the right crowd who truly resonate with your content and offerings.
How to improve organic traffic:
- CTR optimization: Experiment with your meta titles and descriptions. In case with the former, aim for 50-60 characters. Place your primary keyword near the beginning and use action verbs to grab attention. In case with meta descriptions, keep those between 150 and 160 characters. Incorporate keywords naturally and highlight the unique benefits the user will gain from clicking.
- Historical data revamp: Revisit old, well-performing blog posts or pages and update them with fresh content, modern keywords, and current data. This will surely help (at least, to an extent) because search engines, especially Google, give preference to up-to-date information.
Ever wondered what all those organic visitors would cost if you tried to get them via paid ads? Traffic value gives you that number. High traffic value means that you are attracting quality traffic that others might be shelling out big bucks for. It’s a very solid evidence of the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
How to improve traffic value:
- Gap analysis: Use free trial seo to analyze competitors’ organic keywords. Identify high-value keywords they’re ranking for, which you might be missing out on. Find gaps in your content strategy and fill them.
- Landing page optimization: For high-traffic value keywords, optimize landing pages for conversions. One strategy I especially like is to A/B test different call-to-action placements and optimize those for the best performance.
Let’s get real for a moment. Are your keywords actually getting you noticed? The metric that provides the answer is search visibility. It measures the percentage of clicks your site garners for its ranking keywords. Improved visibility translates to more clicks and, thus, more leads and conversions.
How to improve search visibility:
- Featured snippet optimization: Provide concise, clear answers to commonly asked questions in your content. This way, your content has better chances to be picked as a Google Featured Snippet.
- Internal linking with anchor optimization: Link to your most important pages from high-authority pages on your site using optimized anchor text.
When studying SEO, I was taught to track tons of different metrics. But real-life experience has shown that some of those are not as useful as I was told. Like, you won’t miss much if you stop tracking them.
This is the percentage of visits that were the last in the session. But the thing is that while it shows where users leave, it doesn’t indicate dissatisfaction. In effect, your users might have found exactly what they needed and then exited.
This is a super popular metric that shows the rate of visitors who navigate away after viewing only one page. Again, a high bounce rate might be due to various factors, both good and bad! And, in some cases, it’s underpinned by a good user experience. It sounds paradoxical but I’ve encountered it many times. Your users have found their answers immediately and left.
Time on Page
As the name implies, it’s the average amount of time users spend on your page. My major concern with it is that time spent doesn’t always equate to engagement. A user might leave a tab open and be inactive, skewing the data. So yes, I wouldn’t rely much on this either.
All in all, if you want to optimize your SEO journey, you’ll have to see beyond numbers. Focus on metrics that you understand and witness bringing tangible results. And don’t be scared to overlook some popular metrics if those are of no value to you. Stay informed, prioritize efficiency, and your digital footprint WILL grow.