Search Engine Optimization is an industry surrounded by metrics. Thanks to the likes of metrics packages like Google Analytics, Statcounter, and Clicktale, business and website owners have the availability to be buried under a mountain of data when it comes to visitors to their own website.
With that said, it’s hard to understand where to focus your attention. It’s way too easy to get lost in all of the metrics – and also hard to figure out which ones are important – so this post details the four biggest SEO metrics to watch.
Bounce rate is a key metric that also feeds information back to the search engines, and in turn partially determines your website’s rankings. Bounce rate tells you the percentage of visitors that land on your website, view only the first page, and then leave, or “bounce.” This metric is usually over 50% for small businesses, so don’t fear if your numbers are higher! Too high, though, and it shows the search engines that users aren’t finding what they want, so has a negative impact on your SEO success.
Pages per Visit
Pages per Visit is the best metric for showing user engagement. This tells you the average number of pages that a visitor looks at on your website, so shows how well the content entices them to view more. If you have a bounce rate of 100% then every visitor is only viewing one page before leaving, so your pages per visit number would be 1.0. If your website is very engaging, however, visitors will view three, four, or more pages, so the pages per visit will be much higher.
Percent of Organic Traffic
This figure is the number that will actually tell you how much of an impact your search marketing efforts are having. If your website relies largely on traffic from search engines then this number will be high, which shows your dependence. If it’s not already high, though, then seeing how this number changes over time will tell you if search is becoming more or less important for your traffic numbers.
Percent of Mobile Users
Metrics packages like Google Analytics will also show you the breakdown of users’ devices so you know where your website’s visitors are coming from. This is becoming an even more important metric as Google and the other search engines are looking to websites to optimize towards mobile, since more and more searches are coming from smartphones and tablets. By keeping an eye on your percentage of mobile users you’ll be able to determine how important optimizing for mobile is, and more than likely you’ll see that you need to invest in a mobile compatible website.
To learn more about these metrics and more SEO techniques, check your local events listings to see if there are any SEO training workshops.