Have you ever been told that if you can track something, you can improve it? That saying has been around a while because it’s true. Of course, the opposite is also accurate. If something isn’t trackable, it will be impossible for you to make improvements to it.
When it comes to search engine marketing and search engine optimization, you’re in luck because there are plenty of metrics for you to keep your eye on. While that’s the case, it’s important to know that SEO and SEM aren’t the same thing even though the results of each are both trackable.
The Difference between SEO and SEM
SEO includes the things you do to get your website to rank well in search engine results pages and drive traffic to your website that don’t cost anything. Search engine marketing includes SEO, but it also includes your paid efforts to achieve the same goals.
It’s important to understand the difference between search engine optimization and SEM. Too often, when a website experiences a drop in traffic, SEO is blamed when it’s really caused by a drop in traffic generated by other sources such as paid advertisements. After a quick investigation, it’s often discovered that organic traffic is actually up even though the site’s overall traffic is on the decline.
Key Metrics to Measure the Success of Search Engine Optimization
If you want to track some key performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of your SEO, you’ll be happy to know that one of the best tools for doing so is free and probably installed on your website already. And that invaluable tool is Google Analytics.
With the purpose of SEO being to drive organic traffic to your website by improving where your website lands in SERPs, it’s only natural that you should track your organic traffic to evaluate the success of your search engine optimization efforts. To get a look at your organic traffic, open your Channel Grouping report. If you don’t know where that is, click Acquisition, then click All Traffic and select Channels.
You can then view all the traffic your site attracts by channel, including organic search. For more details about your organic traffic, you can click on your Organic Search channel which will reveal a more detailed report on your organic search traffic exclusively.
As you look through your organic search report, you can learn some meaningful specifics about your organic search traffic. You can see the keywords that drive the most traffic, for example. You can also see the landing pages that attract the most organic search traffic and which search engines are driving the most traffic to your site, among many other KPIs.
Organic Bounce Rate
Whether you’re focusing on local SEO or your SEO campaign is more broadly based, you should pay attention to your organic bounce rate. Bounce rate measures the number of visitors who leave your website without visiting more than the page they land on. Your organic bounce rate tracks the number of people who visit your website as a result of your SEO campaign and then leave without viewing more than one page.
Clearly, the lower your organic bounce rate is, the better it is for your website. A low bounce rate means people are interacting with your website after they navigate to it, which is always good news. When you’re reviewing your organic bounce rate, you should look at the figure for your website in aggregate. You should also examine the organic bounce rate for every landing page on your website to identify the pages that turn people away and those that motivate users to explore your website.
If a given landing page has an unusually high organic bounce rate, the page needs some work. Make sure the content on the page is in line with the keywords that are driving people to that landing page.
Organic Conversion Rate
While SEO is intended to drive organic traffic to your website, even highly effective SEO campaigns can’t guarantee that your visitors will buy anything when they visit your site. For this reason, you have to keep your eye on your organic conversion rate.
If you ask a seasoned SEO consultant about organic conversion rate, it’s likely you’ll be told to track this metric in several contexts. You’ll want to keep tabs on the KPI for your website overall. You’ll also want to see the organic conversion rate for each of your landing pages and by location, device and browser as well.
Exit Pages for Organic Traffic
An exit page is the last page a person visits before the individual leaves your website. You need to use Google Analytics or another analytics tool to identify your top exit pages. Why should you track your leading exit pages? Because they’re causing people to leave your website and possibly look elsewhere for information, products or services you can provide.
Review your top exit pages carefully and look for things you can do to improve them. Remember – if you can track it, you can improve it. Since you can track your top exit pages, there is something you can do to make them better at retaining the interest of your website’s visitors.
Page Load Times
Page load times can have a direct effect on your conversions and sales, so it’s important to measure them. With page speed being one of the ranking factors search engines like Google use to rank sites in SERPs, load times can also negatively influence the results of your SEO. Slow load speeds can drive visitors away from your website in search of a website that loads faster, too.
To see your page load times page by page in Google Analytics, click Behavior, then Site Speed and click Page Timings. You’ll be able to see the average load time for your webpages and you can also see the percentage of visitors who exited your website by page. Don’t be surprised if you see that a greater number of visitors exit from the pages that take the most time to load.
Improve Your SEO Metrics with Our SEO Services
If you’ve reviewed metrics related to your SEO and you’re unhappy with the numbers you saw, our SEO company can help. We offer a full suite of SEO services that can improve your metrics to levels that will make a difference. Read about our SEO services now and contact Beyond Custom Websites to learn more about how we can help you improve your SEO metrics today.