SEO Agency KPI Metrics – Key Performance Indicators
You may have a captivating, aesthetically wonderful website. But without utilizing SEO and targeting your target audience, where’s the return? It’s like having a Ferrari with a lawnmower engine. It looks great, but you won’t be getting anywhere quickly.
Top SEO agencies can be difficult to find. It seems everywhere you look there is an SEO agency that promises this or that. But can they prove success? Are they transparent? Are they overpromising and under delivering? The Social Group™ team is a Google certified digital marketing agency with a hands-on and collaborative approach.
Whether you’re a pharmaceutical agency targeting consumers coast to coast or a local live event, the top SEO key-performance indicators apply whether you need local or national search engine optimization. Below are the top SEO KPI metrics we as an agency and you as a business should be looking at.
Take a look at your bounce rate right now. Is it higher than 60%? Higher than 70%? That’s not great, but you can definitely improve it. A bounce rate indicates when a website visitor comes to your site and exits without taking any action whatsoever. Essentially, a bounce rate reflects the percentage of visitors who bounce off of your website.
Google Analytics considers website interactions by visitors if they clicked on at least one additional page such as “About Us” or your contact page. An average bounce rate is arguably around 50%. A rule of thumb is you don’t want to be over that mark. This means that half of your total website visitors leave without taking any action or clicking any other pages of your site. Keep in mind, however, that this can vary greatly depending upon your industry. Remember, Google needs to provide people with a dependable service. A dependable and consistent service to users means more users, which means more advertising revenue for Google. Because of this, Google needs to return relevant and qualified search results. If a website visitor finds your website, then “bounces” back to the search results page (also known as “SERP”) it indicates to Google that the site is not relevant, is not user friendly or may appear too “spammy” with cluttered ads.
Conversely, if you have a low bounce rate, say around 25%, it’s indicative of your website being well designed, easy to navigate and filled with relevant content. Always try to hit the “E-A-T” threshold. Google defines the EAT strategy as providing Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
Organic sessions refer to website visits that resulted from search engines like Google and Bing. In other words, visits that came to your site organically, and not from paid ads. Organic sessions can be thought of as “free” sessions in that you’re not running Google Ads to drive traffic. Of course, you would need, and benefit from, a consistent and well planned search engine optimization strategy.
Google defines a website session as “the period of time a user is active on your site or app. By default, if a user is inactive for 30 minutes or more, any future activity is attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes are continued as part of the original session”. These metrics can be easily viewed in your Google Analytics dashboard.
Organic traffic growth is absolutely critical. It’s the lifeline of your website because it aligns directly with your SEO strategy and Google’s modus operandi: providing users with relevant and valuable content. In addition to having a strong SEO strategy, social media also contributes greatly to organic traffic by raising brand awareness and generating valuable click thrus. Increased organic traffic allows you to occupy increased digital real estate on Google.
Some basic tips for on-site SEO include relevant page titles and meta description along with clearly defined call-to-actions (CTAs). Reach out to our SEO team if you have questions about starting.
Pages Per Session
Relatively self-explanatory, pages/session is a basic metric that indicates, on average, how many pages a user visits during a single session. Keep in mind that pages/session also counts repeated views of a single page. This is an important SEO metric because it clearly indicates the overall value of your website as well as user-friendliness.
If you have a single page website, then one page per session is great. In that case, you’ll want to take a look at how much time is spent on the site by a user. Increased pages per session show that users are frequently finding valuable content across your website and will likely correlate to increased session duration.
Average Session Duration
This is one of our favorite SEO metrics that can be easily measured in Google Analytics. This KPI will tell you how much time a user is spending on your website within a single visit. If you have an eCommerce site, then you’ll want people to easily navigate through and search different products. If you have a website about a live event, then you’ll want people to easily find things such as performance lineups, different ticketing options and so on. Solid average session durations can increase revenue since it is a common KPI that corporate partners will ask to look at when considering to advertise on your website.
Remember to focus on clear CTAs to convert leads into conversions.
Keyword Ranking Increases
This is commonly the first thing people look at when determining the success of their SEO strategy. The closer you are to ranking on the first page of a SERP, or the higher up you are, the better. Keyword rankings indicate where your site is ranking for any given search query. For example, if you are a winery specializing in California reds, you may want to focus on those keywords. And if you’re ranking for them, that’s great! But there is always, always, always competition so once you’ve achieved a high ranking, don’t falter on your SEO strategy. Once you obtain, it’s important to maintain!
That, of course, is easier said than done. Google algorithm updates can throw a monkey wrench into your rankings. It’s important to stay on top of the latest ranking methods, and to stay in contact with your SEO agency. Drops in rankings commonly occur, so don’t panic. Keep an eye on the above metrics we mentioned in your Google Analytics. If they’re dropping, then you should look at what has changed on your site. The most important thing is to target relevant keywords. Over-optimization and keyword stuffing can be a red flag to search engines.
Step one: rank for relevant keywords related to your industry and products so you can develop leads on your website. Step two: turn those leads into conversions. Whether you are selling products, registering people for an event, or running a data capture campaign, it’s important to convert those who are visiting your site. Examples of a conversion can be a phone call, completed purchase, newsletter signup, contact submission and webinar registration.
Conversions can be easily tracked by your SEO agency by setting up goals and events in Google Analytics. This will allow you to determine various dimensions such as percentage of gender differences, conversion rate differences on mobile versus desktop usage, and commonly visited pages. The most important way to increase conversions is to have an easy-to-navigate website and one that is mobile-friendly. You can test to see how mobile-friendly your site is by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly tool. You’ll also want to look at how clear your CTAs are, how relevant and persuasive your content is, and the ease and consistency of your conversion funnel.
Page Load Time
How annoying is it when you try to navigate to a site and it just loads, and loads, and loads? How patient are you when this happens? Don’t let this be an issue for your website. In today’s world of instant gratification, expedited load time is essential and should not be overlooked. This metric also contributes to the various KPIs we’ve already discussed.
Site visitors will typically abandon a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. So make sure to test yours. Today. Also, whenever you add content or update content on your site, be sure the design is thought out and that images or video are scaled appropriately. Think of it as designing a house. It’s much easier to design the floorplan with a well thought out strategy from the beginning rather than trying to knock down walls and move things around once it’s already built.
An exit page is the final page visited by a site user before leaving. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. People are going to leave your site (hopefully after they’ve converted). An exit page can be a purchase confirmation or thank you page. But be sure to monitor what those exit pages are. If you’re selling mattresses online, and a common exit page is a product page, rather than a purchase confirmation page, then you’ll want to dig deeper and find out why. An exit rate is also an important KPI to consider as it is the percentage calculated by dividing the number of exits by the number of pageviews for any given page on your website.
Last, but not least, crawl errors just sound negative. “Crawl error”. Sounds like something is crawling that shouldn’t be. Anyway. Google and other search engines need to crawl and index your website in order to see and assess its content. If you have crawl errors, it means search engines are having trouble looking at your site and thus determining how it should be ranked.
Our SEO team can identify any crawl errors your site may have and address them promptly. Although you wouldn’t want things crawling around your house (unless of course it’s your baby), you do want Google and other search engines to crawl and index your site. So make sure they’re free to do so.
These are just some of the important SEO metrics we look at. Trust us, there’s a lot more. But this list should give you a good idea of what to look for. Our team has experience with both national and local SEO campaigns across a variety of industries from hospitality and tourism to nightlife and eCommerce. We’re proud to be a Google certified agency and would be equally proud to partner with you.
If you’d like to work with us, drop us a message!