5 Top KPIs for Measuring SEO Performance in 2018


With digitization, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has undoubtedly become an integral part of any business that has an online presence. Millions of users are searching the internet every day to find something or the other. And SEO can certainly improve your search rankings.

However, it is getting increasingly difficult to keep up with the continually evolving digital landscape. Unfortunately, there’s no way of getting around if you’re interested in being discovered by your target audiences via web searches.

Apart from implementing it, it’s also very important for you to measure your SEO performance. Peter Drucker once said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

Gone are the days when you could easily optimize your website for searches just by adding relevant keywords. Although keywords are still important, they’re no longer the only Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for SEO.

So how do you measure SEO success? In this article, we’ll talk about the top Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that’ll help you measure your website’s SEO performance.

1. Keyword Rankings

Keyword rankings are the most common KPI used to measure SEO performance. Keyword rankings reveal by how much your target keywords might have dropped or improved in an SEO project.

When SEO was a fairly new concept, optimizing your website with target keywords was quite simple. Then Google launched their Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) that improved search results based on search intent of users. This meant that stuffing your web content with random keywords would no longer do the trick.

So how do you optimize your content with the help of keywords? For best results, make sure that you have a good mix of the following.

  • Generic keywords, which although have high competition, can get you high traffic.
  • Global keywords that help to describe your website's contents, i.e., the products and services you offer to local customers
  • Broad keywords for which your brand’s advertisement will pop-up whenever users search for related keywords.

Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, and KeySearch are some of the popular tools that can help you look for suitable keywords.


Image via Moz Keyword Explorer

Also, using FREE tools like Pro Rank Tracker and Keyword Tracker, can help you keep a track of your SEO rankings. Their state-of-the-art algorithm lets you know how your website ranks for local searches, mobile devices, and more. This reduces the guesswork so that you can concentrate on improving your rankings further.

2. Leads

When you’re running a business, conversions are obviously going to be your end goal. However, conversions need not mean only sales or revenue. A conversion takes place when a visitor takes an action on your website towards becoming your customer.

In most cases, when someone visiting your site provides their contact information, it is considered a lead. So one conversion metric can simply be the number of leads you have generated on your website. And the same can be a metric to measure your SEO performance too. Since the goal of SEO is also to drive conversions.

You can use Google Analytics to measure your leads or conversions from SEO. All you need to do is set up your conversion goals on your Google Analytics dashboard. For example, form submissions, email signups, or purchases.

You can apply goals to the pages viewed by users, time spent on pages, or triggering certain events. When any of these above actions are performed by a visitor to your website, Google Analytics will log it under conversions. You can later view them in your reports and make any SEO adjustments that might be necessary.


Image via YouTube

3. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors to your site who leave after checking out a single page only. Monitoring the bounce rate will help you understand how effective your website’s design and content are in attracting and engaging visitors.

Here’s the formula for calculating the bounce rate:

(Number of visitors leaving the website after viewing one page/Total website visitors) x100

You should understand that bounce rate is not the measurement of how long visitors stay on your website. Rather, it is a measure of how engaging your website is. So, a website having a low bounce rate means it has a captivating design and content.

It has been seen that pages with information that satisfy the search intent have a low bounce rate. A perfect example of a website that generally has a low bounce rate is Wikipedia. A low bounce rate signifies that users have found what they were looking for. And they’re well engaged because they’ve found the information useful.


Image via Wikipedia

Google Analytics can help you track the bounce rates of your webpages.

4. Organic Sessions

Organic traffic refers to the number of times users land on your site from organic searches, not paid ads. This is the completely opposite of paid traffic where visitors find you through advertisements or being referred by other sites.

So why is it a great measure of your SEO performance? The better your web pages are optimized for searches, the higher are the chances of people finding you via search.

Monitoring your organic traffic and making structural changes as needed will help you boost traffic. For an ecommerce website, most of the traffic needs to go to the product pages. Similarly, for news websites, most of the traffic needs to be directed to the latest news articles.

Here’s a perfect example. When you search for “sport shoes” in Google, Amazon.com shows up both under paid ads as well as organic results. As a business, your objective should be to get more hits to your website organically than using ads.


Image via Google

If your webpages are well optimized for searches, you should see a high volume of organic sessions. You can check this from your Google Analytics account. If not, you need to make improvements and rethink your SEO strategy.

5. Page Load Time

Site load speed is one of the major factors Google considers for search results ranking.

Just think about it for a second. Will people have the patience to wait for long for your site to load? No, they certainly won’t. And this will make your conversions suffer.

So, in case you have not checked out your site load speed, now might be a good time to check. Google’s PageSpeed Tool is great at helping you track the site load speed. The best part is, it also provides data on your mobile site’s performance.


Image via Google PageSpeed Insights

Final Thoughts

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of digital marketing. Taking the right steps and doing it correctly are bound to get you more traffic and conversions. Spending adequate time in creating the right modules and investing in the right tools can take you a long way. The above-mentioned KPIs will surely help you in measuring your SEO performance effectively.

Do you know any other KPIs to measure SEO performance? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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