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SEO Key Performance Indicators You Should be Monitoring

As busy marketers, we understand the daily hustle and bustle of navigating multiple campaigns, deadlines, and ever-evolving strategies. It can be easy to overlook analyzing the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your SEO efforts. Yet, understanding these metrics is vital for steering your digital presence towards success. That's why we're here—to offer practical insights and tips on deciphering your campaign's KPIs without needing to be a seasoned expert. Join us as we demystify the world of SEO metrics, empowering you to make informed decisions and drive tangible results for your business.

Navigating the complexities of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) can be daunting, even for seasoned marketing professionals. With its myriad of features and intricate data sets, mastering GA4 often requires a significant investment of time and resources. That's why we’ve developed AZoIntel. We've streamlined the process by curating all the essential SEO metrics into one intuitive dashboard. Gone are the days of sifting through endless reports and grappling with confusing terminology. With AZoIntel, you can effortlessly track users, page views, engagement rates, and more—all in one centralized hub. This user-friendly interface empowers you to quickly assess the performance of your SEO campaigns, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions with confidence.

Our SEO expert, Eden Cardwell-Lison, shares some tips and insights to help you navigate and understand the key metrics that reflect your business goals success.

1. Users and New Users

These metrics indicate the number of people visiting your website, including first-time visitors. Monitoring user trends over time provides valuable insights into the growth or decline of your website's audience.

If you have any SEO campaigns active, you should be looking out for a steady increase in new users, potential customers that have found your site through search.

2. Page Views

Page views represent the total number of times pages on your website have been loaded within a specific timeframe. Analyzing page views helps you understand which content is resonating with your audience and driving engagement, as well as the most frequent entry points to your site.

Drilling into most visited or engaging pages gives you valuable insight into what your audience wants. If a blog page is the most visited page, think about offering some of that information in other pages or use that blog to redirect traffic towards conversion (downloading a PDF, requesting a quote or filling in a form).

3. Sessions and Engaged Sessions

A session refers to a single visit to your website, while an engaged session lasts longer than 10 seconds and involves interaction with your content, such as clicks or conversions. Tracking engaged sessions helps gauge the quality of user interactions. Monitoring this KPI along with page views can help you pinpoint your best performing pages and learn from them.

4. Engagement Rate

This metric measures the percentage of total sessions that are engaged. A higher engagement rate indicates that users are actively interacting with your content, which is crucial for driving conversions and building brand loyalty.

The focus on engagement over session duration or time spent on site has shifted due to its universality across different industries and website goals. While session duration was previously dependent on company objectives, such as raising brand awareness or offering informational content, engagement rate provides a more objective measure of user interaction.

By comparing organic engagement rate to overall engagement rate, marketers can gauge the quality of traffic brought in through SEO efforts and assess their impact. This comparison ensures that the traffic directed to the website aligns with the desired audience profile and objectives, ultimately enhancing the effectiveness of SEO strategies.

We're still in the process of determining the industry benchmark for engagement rates, particularly with the transition to GA4. It's crucial to monitor engagement rates alongside changes in user traffic, as fluctuations can indicate shifts in the quality of website visitors. A significant increase in users coupled with stable or improved engagement rates suggests a positive outcome, indicating higher-quality traffic. Conversely, a decrease in users alongside stable engagement rates may signal external traffic trends, while an increase in engagement rate despite a loss in users could indicate the removal of low-value traffic. While there isn't a definitive industry standard for engagement rates, we advise aiming for an average rate of 50, with anything above 60 considered excellent based on our observations.

5. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate measures the percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action, such as filling out a contact form or downloading a brochure. Monitoring conversion rates helps evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO efforts in driving meaningful outcomes.

It’s worth noting that once a user has reached your website, the SEO’s job is done. It’s then up to your website content, layout and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) to guide those visitors into the desired goal.

A goal doesn’t always have to be a sale. If a specific page has the objective of informing and educating those visitors that aren’t yet ready for a purchase so that your brand awareness raises and they come back when ready, then measuring conversions like PDF downloads or even time spent on page is a good measure of success.

If the goal of the page is lead generation, you can utilize CRO to increase the percentage of visitors who convert by tweaking the content, colours and CTAs of the page. You can start with your best performing page in terms of Conversions and A/B test some of its elements on your other bottom-of-the-funnel pages to improve leads and sales.

6. Organic Traffic Percentage

Understanding what percentage of your overall traffic comes from organic search provides insights into the impact of your SEO strategies. A higher organic traffic percentage signifies a strong presence in search engine results pages (SERPs).

You want a mixture of organic, referrals and direct traffic, with your organic traffic leading the split. Referral traffic are visitors coming from other websites that have read about your services and want to find more information. Ensure the landing pages and links provided on your referral links are optimised to lead this traffic through the funnel. As an example, for an educational article on a third party scientific site, the landing page for the specific applications or products mentioned in the article will help the user more than your homepage or any other page.

Direct traffic are users that already know you, and have come to your website by inputting your url in the top bar. You still want to see a fair amount of traffic coming from direct, as it’s proof that your brand awareness efforts work, and people are remembering your brand, so when they’re ready to buy, the go directly to you.

However, organic traffic showcases that you are still acquiring new visitors. Even though around 2% of your total traffic at a given time is ready to buy, nurturing those that aren’t yet ready by providing them the information they are looking for and a seamless customer journey is the way to ensure steady new conversions and leads.

Key Takeaways:

  • Year-on-Year Comparison

We recommend comparing metrics year-on-year to account for consistent conditions and avoid seasonal fluctuations, like drops in traffic during holiday seasons or summer.

  • Focus on Engagement

While session duration was previously important, engagement rate now holds more universal significance across different industries and goals.

  • Investigating Changes in Traffic

Utilize tools like activity by day to identify fluctuations in website traffic and investigate potential causes, whether internal or external.

Activity by day can help you pinpoint when the drop or spike occurred. That way you can check if there has been any algorithm updates from Google, or if you have posted a specific article that was specially popular.

Once you’ve pinpointed the day, you can then go to activity by page to check where in your site the drop or the spike has happened, helping understand the change a bit more.

Another metric you can use when investigating changes is the geographical breakdown, so you can check if the change has happened to global traffic or one specific area.

Monitoring these SEO KPIs empowers you to track the performance of your website, optimize strategies, and drive sustainable growth. If you are interested in running an SEO campaign but don’t know where to start, you can request a free SEO Healthcheck from us that will give you actionable insights to improve your online presence.

Posted by Sara López Segura

Originally from south Spain, Sara has always had a passion for telling stories. She has a degree in Journalism, a degree in Audiovisual Communication and a level 3 Distinction diploma in Digital Marketing. Sara started her career in 2014, in the Design department of a language academy in Madrid as part of her University course. At the beginning of 2016, Sara moved to Manchester whilst working on completing her second degree course. Feeling two degrees were not enough, she undertook a level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship, managing everything Marketing & Design for hair and beauty brands. Apart from Marketing, Sara loves anything creative. This includes illustration, crafting and crotcheting. Her rural upbringing has also given her a surprising amount of knowledge about farming and cats.

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