As far as we know, the Google SEO ranking algorithm is a complex machine that takes into account over 200 ranking factors, including signals, parameters and indicators to organize its own SERPs and deliver pages of results for each and every query entered by users. It is not advisable to track only one metric as you won’t get a clear picture of it. Since there are so many ranking factors, which KPI should we monitor? Here are the best seven basic KPIs that you need to know for 2022:
KPI #1: Organic Traffic
The number of visitors that come to your site from the search engine results is known as organic traffic. It is one of the most crucial KPIs to measure your SEO performance. All these visitors have the potential to be converted to customers, as they come to your website with a particular intent. Your website content or the relevant information about your products/services has piqued their curiosity.
Due to the craving for organic traffic, most companies devote time and effort to SEO. However, traffic is not a reliable sign of how well your content is performing as there is no defined amount of visitors that you should have. This is due to each blog and website having distinct goals and a varied traffic level before users convert. One thing is certain, all websites have the same goal in mind, which is to boost traffic.
You should monitor your organic search traffic on a monthly basis with traffic analysis tools like Google Analytics as they can help you acquire a better understanding of your traffic and discover new information about your visitors, including total visits and traffic sources. While tracking the organic traffic results, you might notice that there are some fluctuations owing to seasonality and other factors. Most importantly, you have to ensure that your organic search results are showing an upward trend.
KPI #2: SERP Visibility
SERP visibility is a metric used to determine how visible a website is in a search engine’s organic results based on the calculation that includes a variety of data points, such as information on the search volume of relevant keywords, estimated click-through-rate (CTR) according to the ranking positions and frequency of a domain’s URLs. Most people are concerned with the visibility of their website on the SERPs.
This score can be used to track your total search engine visibility, compare your site’s visibility to that of your competitors and compare your visibility across multiple search engines and geographies.
You have no pages ranking in the top 50 slots in the SERPs if your Search Visibility score is 0 percent. You own all of the ranking places for your keywords if you have a score of 100 percent. In reality, scoring above the mid-40s for non-branded phrases is extremely rare.
A study conducted by Sistrix in 2020 revealed that the average click-through rate (CTR) for the first organic result on Google is 28.5%, followed by 15.7% and 11.0%.
You can clearly see how varied Google users’ click behaviour is from the diagram above. While browsing the Google search engine, we definitely look through and click on the first few search engine results generated, especially for the information displayed on the SERP features that include featured snippets, knowledge panels, video carousel and image packs. They are also known as the Zero Position, which are the search results that are shown on the top of SERPs. Normally, most users will find the answer that they are seeking from the top search results and might not take any further action to look at the other sites.
Hence, your ranking and visibility on SERPs matters as it has a significant impact on the CTR.
KPI #3: Keyword Ranking
Do you know that the keywords you select will have an impact on the position of your website in the search results and organic traffic? If they say content is the king, then keywords undoubtedly will be the palace!
Higher keyword ranks are a sign that your website may be generating more organic visitors. Track your keyword rankings frequently so that you are able to observe noteworthy changes and outcomes with this metric. It also shows how closely your content strategy is connected to user search intent.
Before you publish your content, keyword research has to be carried out to select the right short-tail and long-tail keywords for your site. This is to ensure that your site is optimized to rank at the top of SERPs. Keywords analysis tools like Ubersuggest, Moz’s Keyword Explorer and others are suggested for keyword analysis. These tools can assist you in determining the competitive keywords that are used by your competitors, giving you a better understanding of your keyword performance and help you find new searches that are related to your company’s products and services.
KPI #4: Domain Authority
In fact, domain authority is not a ranking factor officiated by Google but a score determined by a variety of elements, including the number of backlinks, the quality of referring websites and other factors.
Ahrefs Domain Rating, SEMrush Authority Score, Moz’s Domain Analysis Tool, etc. are third-party metrics that determine how well your domain ranks. On a logarithmic scale of 1 to 100, a greater score indicates that your website has more traffic and a higher rating. It is also a useful metric for you to measure and make a comparison between the strength of your site and your competitors’ site. With this, you are able to revise your SEO strategy to achieve a higher score. In light of the scale being logarithmic, you will have a lower difficulty moving from a 30 to 40 ranking rather than improving your score from 80 to 90 ranking.
KPI #5: Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who come to your site but leave without any engagements. It is a user-metric that measures the quality of a visit and is usually calculated as an average of the bounce rate for each loading page on the site for the entire website. The diagram below shows the benchmark bounce rates for different types of websites created by Conversion XL.
The ideal bounce rate for a website is between 26% and 40%, and a bounce rate of 41% to 55% is considered moderate. You must be aware when your bounce rate is 56% to 70%, as a high bounce rate indicates that the audience has low engagement. Your ranking on the SERPs will plummet. This is due to your website content not meeting the intent or expectation of the visitors, so they bounce back to the search engine page after they click on your result. This could mean that you are not using the right keywords to target your audience or your website layout does not appeal to them. It could also be because your site does not appear to be “genuine.”
However, a high bounce rate is not completely a bad thing. It is a sign that the visitors might find the information they need on the page they landed on and then left. Hence, what you can do to improve your bounce rate is to make an attempt to enhance the UX (user experience) of your site by creating the content that matches the users’ search intent, keeping the structure of your site simple and clean, blocking unnecessary pop-ups, having short page loading time and so on.
KPI #6: Backlinks
Backlinks are one of the most important components used by Google for ranking. It is the link from other websites that leads to your website.
A good backlink profile for your website can help you to earn new connections as well as improve your search ranking on SERPs. The more high-quality backlinks you have on your website, the higher your ranking on the SERPs and the more traffic that can be generated. This is a sign that shows that you are doing great in SEO as the content and articles you published on your website are interesting and valuable to the search users. Hence, you should monitor your backlink KPIs on a regular basis to examine how well your link-building techniques are working and obtain some useful insights from the results.
Here are some backlink analysis tools that you can use, such as Ahrefs Backlink Checker, Ubersuggest Backlink Checker, SEMrush Backlink Analytics. With these tools, you are able to examine whether you are getting any relevant links from high-quality domains websites, if there are any poor links that you should get rid of, as well as discovering the list of external connections that you do not create. This allows you to do the backlink management in a timely manner and also determine future link opportunities.
KPI #7: Average Time Spent on the Page
Based on the report issued by Contentsquare of 2021 Digital Experience Benchmarks, the average time spent on a page is 62 seconds across all industries. If a visitor spends about three minutes on your page to read your articles and leave, is it a good sign for your webpage? Yes! It is definitely a good thing as it is considered a quality visit. This shows that the information provided on the website is relevant to them. It can help you to generate leads as well as increase the conversion rate, turning these visitors into your potential customers.
Building a user-friendly website is the objective of every company. Although the ideal average for time on the page varies from website to website, this metric allows you to see things from the audience’s perspective and make it easier to search for the information they require when they arrive on your landing page and immediately navigate to another section of your website.
In a Nutshell
So here are the 7 best KPIs to measure your SEO performance based on the forecasted trends in 2022.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure” is one of the classic quotes from Peter Drucker. The same goes for SEO, you can’t improve and will be locked in a perpetual state of guessing if you don’t have any clearly established KPIs for your organic search strategy.
I hope the KPIs I shared are useful to you! If you have any enquiries about SEO, fill in the form to get in touch with our SEO specialists and learn more!