September 22, 2020
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help you analyze how your marketing is going and make it easier for you to analyze how you are reaching your goals.
In the SEO world, there are a lot of articles on KPIs, many mention bounce rate, time spent on the page and many more things. These are vanity metrics that have no connection to the overall marketing or business goals.
In this article, we will go into detail with what we think are worthy SEO KPIs
Usable for: Any website
Tied to: Market share
SERP visibility is the SEO version of one of the most important marketing KPIs: SOV (share of Voice). It measures how visible your brand is in the market among the competitors.
This is important because there is a strong relationship between SOV and market share. In general, the higher your SOV, the greater your share of the pie. And the fact that it is a relatively easy measurement to make makes it a more appropriate KPI than organic traffic growth.
You can get a very rough feel for your SERP visibility by comparing your estimated organic search traffic with your competitors' traffic on Google.
However, these numbers will usually be wrong because they include branded keyword traffic and those that your competitors rank for have no business value to you. For example, if one of our competitors offers social media marketing tools, any search traffic to such topics is irrelevant to us.
Useful for: Any e-commerce site
Tied to: Sales
This is guaranteed to be the most used SEO KPI that most people use to analyze their SEO KPIs.
Common examples of a website's goals or conversion actions include visitors going through the checkout or subscribing to a service. That's fine, but it does not reflect its value to the company if people buy several things at once.
So if you work for an e-commerce store, it would probably be a better KPI to increase the average order value for the organic traffic segment.
Many things can go wrong when setting up Google Analytics or other analytics software. I encourage anyone who makes marketing decisions based on analytics to first understand how this data is collected and processed.
The positive and most important takeaway here is that we typically make a time comparison of data that is skewed in the same way. This means that a relative change in conversions must correspond to reality.
That said, be sure to compare periods that make sense to compare. For example, if your business has seasonal fluctuations in sales, compare year-to-year results.
Usable for: All e-commerce sites or lead generation website
Tied to: Sales
Use this KPI only if you are already using the KPI for conversion. It is actually a supportive metric and should not be used alone.
This is important because the default attribution model “last not direct click” in Google Analytics is uncommonly poor. The problem lies in assigning 100% of the credit to a channel. It's like praising a player to the skies who only scores one goal. Goalkeepers and defense would not be too happy.
Your site is likely to drive organic traffic at all stages of the customer journey. For example, people may land on ten of your articles from Google and then convert after clicking on a search or retargeting ad.
I'm convinced you do not need more than these three KPIs. However, this does not mean that you should not measure other things.
Keeping track of other meaningful measurements that correlate with KPIs is one way to assess your daily SE work. For example, it would be almost impossible to improve your SEO KPIs if search engines could not index your pages correctly.
So you can get all sorts of action insights from Google Analytics, create boundaries that determine whether a link building campaign is successful or a failure, run technical SEO analytics and so on.
And one more thing…
Being “data driven” is something that seems to describe today's marketers. But understanding why something is happening from GA or GSC data is challenging as it is mostly quantitative data. It is important to remember this and understand that this data is not a substitute for talking to customers, common sense and occasionally relying on your gut feeling.
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