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Top Key Metrics for Measuring SEO Success

by | Jul 16, 2021 | Analytics & Data Management, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

The Top 7 Metrics for Measuring SEO Performance   

When it comes to SEO, the right metrics are invaluable. They let you know which of your campaigns are producing real results and which are wasting your time and money. You can’t improve what you can’t measure. 
SEO experts monitor metrics like search engine rankings, conversion rates, links, and more. They make continual adjustments to ensure the perpetual growth of target audiences, sales, and search engine visibility.  
So, what are the key metrics you need to measure your SEO performance? 

Search Rankings   

Every business wants its website to be at the top of Google search results and other search engines. Your search ranking is more than a bragging point, it’s an indicator of your SEO success. Once you’ve achieved a strong search ranking, the next step is to focus on conversions, leads, and traffic. 
Knowing the right keywords to rank for is key. Tools like Ahrefs and Serpstat can help you track your search positions and find different keywords. You can research how competitor websites are doing and what keywords they are using as well. More importantly, these reports will show you how your current positions are changing. 

Organic Traffic  

Organic traffic refers to the number of visitors that find your site through straight search engine results. This type of traffic is important because the more people who come to your site organically correlates to how well your target audience is growing. 
Google Analytics is a great tool to monitor organic traffic as it tracks how people get to your site based on what they searched. There’s an Organic Traffic field within Google Analytics that lets you see your organic sessions and how they change over time. 

Search Visibility  

Search visibility is an indicator of how many times your domain name appears in search engine results for the keywords it ranks for. 
This is an important metric to pay attention to since you can spot positive trends even before you start building your audience. Your search engine score is also helpful in tracking your earliest optimization results. You can get all of this information from Google Search Console 

Whenever a visitor arrives at a search results page with a link from your site on it, the impression is noted. You can view the total impressions score in the performance report. 

Backlinks and Referring Domains  

Knowing how many backlinks (incoming links) and referring domains your site has is important. Backlinks are all the links from other websites pointing to your site. Referring domains are the number of unique domains those links are originating from. 
These two metrics have a lot in common, but SEO experts like to monitor both. Using tools like Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker makes this task easier.  
Every link to your site boosts its authority for SEO purposes, but keep in mind that new links hit harder than established links. 

Bounce Rate  

Your bounce rate tracks visitors to your site who left without taking any action. This metric is crucial because it serves as a ranking factor in search engines. 
Typically, the bounce rate is somewhere between 40% and 60% but could vary depending on your industry or niche. If your bounce rate is high, the search engine won’t consider it relevant, lowering its rank. 
Keeping an eye on the bounce rate of your individual pages in Google Analytics can help you discover which pages are successful and which aren’t doing so well. From there, you can make changes to engage new site visitors and keep them coming back. 

Branded Traffic  

The traffic that comes from searches using your company name is called branded traffic. For companies serious about building their brand, this is an important metric. For many SEO experts, it’s their top performance indicator. When visitors search for your company name, using branded keywords, it often results in higher conversion rates.  
You can easily track this metric in Google Search Console. Simply add all your brand name keywords, including misspellings, to the console’s filter. From there, you can track how many total clicks and impressions each gets over time. 

Organic CTR  
The click-through rate (CTR) is not only an important performance metric but it’s also a vital search engine ranking metric. It measures the correlation of users who viewed your link in search engine results to the total number of clicks on the link. A strong CTR is an indicator that your site is receiving good traffic.  
If the search engine snippets you’re using aren’t very appealing, a higher rank does you no good and can lower your CTR. A low CTR signal that your users find your site lacking will hurt your overall ranking. 
By keeping track of your organic CTR, you will notice if a high number of impressions don’t translate to improved traffic and fix the situation. This is one of the key metrics you can track in Google Search Console. 


Selecting the right performance indicators based on your individual goals will help you achieve great SEO success. By knowing which metrics offer the information you need to continually improve your SEO efforts, you’ll build a good audience, boost conversions that matter most to your business, and raise your visibility in search engines.  


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