No business can grow its SEO rapidly year after year without performing strongly across multiple parameters. Unfortunately, there is rarely a consensus regarding the best SEO Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor because KPIs differ from one business to another. However, if you consider a broad spectrum of online businesses, you will do well to focus on a few Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It is not always necessary for these KPIs to reflect your successes. Some may well point out areas where you need to improve your performance. Even though nobody can fault you for focusing on metrics that allow you to improve conversions or sales, you should not ignore KPIs that warn you of your failures, since you can then identify what has gone wrong and focus on improving your performance. Some of the top SEO KPIs you should monitor actively:
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
According to Forbes, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a performance standard that measures the amount of earnings each customer generates for the business. As far as SEO is concerned, the CLV metric can help a business identify which of the various SEO activities have the maximum financial impact on the business. According to experts, CLV is a unifying metric because it is what everyone is aiming for at the end of the day. It forces those with a more myopic view of the sales funnel to be more customer-centric and take in the larger picture. As far as SEO web content is concerned, it shifts the focus on a few keywords to the entire sales funnel and the different personas of its customers, past, present, and future. The concept of CLV forces the team to care about the quality and effectiveness of SEO content that will make possible customer support, success, renewals, and rapid growth. A high level of focus on CLV ensures that all members keep refining their processes to ensure that the business keeps growing year after year.
While most people are aware of the need to optimize content for SEO, content efficiency is a metric that allows you to examine if you are achieving your goals for the content. It is all about the number of content pieces published, updated, and optimized compared to finding out the frequency of the pages meeting their objectives and estimated ROI. If you discover your team is achieving 10% content efficiency, it means you are actually spending 10x of what you are spending on content. When boiled down to figures, it means if you spend $500 per page of content, you are really benefiting to the extent of $50. By using content efficiency as a Key Performance Indicator, you can start using hard data to drive your decision-making on content strategy and will be able to decide better on what to update or create.
Conversion Goals by Metrics on Percent Basis
There is no doubt that the most important KPI is achieving goals or conversions because only these make money for your business. However, you must not look at event values only but also at goals by metrics based on percentages. The reason is simple – if your traffic is growing, it is natural for the number of goals to increase also. Done on an absolute basis, it can throw the math out of gear, but if you express the goal conversion rate in percentage, you can establish if you can maintain the efficiency of your organic SEO campaign. If your conversion rate is rising despite falling traffic, it means you have managed to improve your focus on your target audience.
Accurate Search Visibility KPIs
It is common for search ranking reports to operate on the traditional model of the top 10 results; however, the fact is search results have evolved considerably. Today, many businesses are tracking KPIs that are more accurate for assessing search visibility. These companies are increasingly looking at metrics that reveal the story of SERPs better, especially on the more important terms. As desirable as “Position 1” is, it no longer represents the whole search engine ranking narrative. Other ranking information like “Pixels from the Top” is increasingly being looked at. Search engine optimization agency are also switching from traditional rank to actual rank that takes everything into account that can have an impact on the organic ranking like answers, knowledge Graph, PPC, and other elements of Google.
Measuring brand visibility is unarguably one of the most important KPIs. However, it is now evolving to include all the assets of the brands, specifically the off-site assets of the brand that influence the overall representation of the brand in a search result. The intent is to figure out to what extent the search results are influenced by brand assets like the content on the site, social media, videos on YouTube, images, answers, Knowledge Graph results, etc. that help the brand to represent itself well and drive awareness and sales. Optimization of assets are proven useful since it can get the brand ahead of the competition in the SERPs
New and Returning Users
A relatively new school of thought says that you can use the metric of new and repeat users as a key performance indicator for optimization of web pages for promoting conversions, especially for websites in the B2B sector. It may be argued that the concept of new and returning visitors to the site is not new because like many other KPIs it is also situational and varies as per the type of website and the target audience. All KPIs have something in common – visitors must undertake a conversion. What is important is to understand how users move to the conversion event because then you can expand on it and get more people to reach that stage. By understanding the behavior of new and returning visitors, you will be able to tailor the content of different pages to suit the intent of the visitor.
Even though the concept of top SEO KPIs is highly situational and depends a lot on the business niche, the target audience, and the goals of the business, it is vital for all businesses to identify the most relevant and important KPIs. By figuring out what you want your website to deliver; you can discover ways of measuring success.