What are SEO metrics the best to track?

To track SEO rankings should be hygiene for you if you work with digital marketing. What search engine optimization (SEO) metrics do you track? If you are not tracking your SEO metrics. It’s essential if you want to drive leads from your website. You must track the right SEO performance metrics today.

Track SEO rankings in a tool like SEMrush but Google Analytics is free. What are your top-ranking pages? Keywords?

If you work in SEO, you know just how difficult it can be to prove your progress to your client, your supervisor, or whoever else it may interest in your results. Determine what SEO metrics to track, there are some universal metrics but might vary in the goals.

I’ll walk you through how to track SEO ranking. You should be able to track SEO rankings with google analytics. But if you are still having problems let me know.

What is SEO metrics?

SEO metrics
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As a modern digital marketer, you can measure the success of your SEO and digital marketing work in several ways. One of those ways is by examining key SEO metrics.

SEO metrics, also called SEO KPIs (key performance indicators), display a measurable value that shows the progress of a company’s business goals. These metrics and KPI’s are tracked on an SEO KPI dashboard.

Track SEO rankings in a tool like MOZ but Google Analytics is free.

Here’s what Matrix Marketing Group has been working on for the past 45 days and shot us to the top.

seo matrix marketing group
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Matrix Marketing Group

There are some people who won’t even look at a report – all they will want to see is results. To most, results equal rankings, and that’s that.

track SEO rankings
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Matrix Marketing Group

There is much more to tracking SEO rankings than boosting rankings, and knowing how to convey that requires experience and confidence.

Before your report ever reaches management – how will you know the campaign you have plotted out and set into motion is working?

The first this you must do is understand your demand waterfall. The demand waterfall is how your lead will flow from first capture (MQL) to a closed sales or another business outcome.

Your demand waterfall targets must answer these questions before you begin.

  1. What is your Visit to Lead conversion rate?
  2. What percentage of your leads become Marketing Qualified?
  3. What is your MQL to SAL conversion rate?
  4. What is your SAL to SQL conversion rate?
  5. What is your SQL to closed-won conversion rate?
  6. What is your MQL to close ratio?

I realize that we all track webpage rankings. Or we should. But rankings, domain ratings or authorities, and numbers of visitors alone will not do much for your future campaigns. 

demand Waterfall
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To build on what you already have, and find better ways to achieve your SEO goals, you need to find an integrated system of tracking different metrics that will show you where to invest more, where to stop investing, and point out all those untrodden avenues you have never thought about exploring. 

If you haven’t been to your Google Analytics follow this quick guide. 

This SEO benchmark is best measured with Goals within Google Analytics, but they must be configured first. If you’re an Analytics expert or already have Goals set up, feel free to skip ahead. But if you’ve never set up goals in Analytics before, here’s a brief tutorial:

1. Navigate to Admin > Goals

2. Add a New Goal

3. Enter a Name and Type of Goal

There are four types of goals to choose from:

  • Destination: This goal works if you want to treat a certain pageview as a conversion (for instance, a thank-you page)
  • Duration: You can set a certain amount of time on page as a conversion
  • Pages / Screens per Session: You can set a number of pages viewed as a conversion
  • Event: You can set a user interaction (a click or download) as a conversion

4. Add Goal Details

Let’s say you choose a destination as a goal completion—you’ll then be asked to set the page you’d like to treat as the destination.

And that’s it! You now have a conversion set up on your website.

Now let’s dive into some SEO metrics to track.

How Many Leads Do You Need to Reach Your Sales Goals?

Calculate How Many Leads You Need to Reach Your Revenue Goals.

Backlinks and Referring Domains

No matter how disputed link building gets, links are still what matters. I cannot envision a time when they don’t. It helps build your authority. 

However, the guest posts will not have the authority they once had had in 2019. Google’s rolling out changes in early 2020.

offpage backlinks
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As the now-famous Backlinko study confirms, your backlink portfolio is very important. And keeping track of who is linking back to you (and how these links are influencing all the metrics I list below) is what I love about SEO. I could write a separate piece about the theory of backlinks – and how they can help you or harm you. But let’s stay on topic.

There are a bunch of ways to keep track of your backlinks – Google Search Console still coming out on top. Never forget to also use tools like Ahrefs or Majestic (both!) to check out what your direct (and indirect) competitors are also doing in this department.

Don’t feel you need to disavow every spammy link you acquire – Google is all about keeping things real, and we will all have very “good” and very “bad” links pointing back to our sites. As long as you build nothing of a questionable nature, you are fine.

Stay away from black-hat SEO techniques.

Organic traffic

Organic traffic is often called the “purest” of SEO metrics, with very good reason. If I was stuck on a deserted island and had to track only one metric, this would be it.

What I am not trying to say, however, is that organic traffic is more important than any other traffic – but it can give you a decent picture of your relationship with both search engines and users. If this number is on the increase, you are doing something right, most likely.

Word of Advice: Don’t track these numbers in Google Analytics every day, as there is no point. You will lose sleep for no good reason. Look for month-to-month numbers to track growth trends that tell the whole story.

Word of Caution: A lack of growth in organic traffic can be used against you. Your defense is everything else I am covering here.

Mobile Traffic

With mobile overtaking desktop searches, track mobile traffic too. It’s different. Have you ever tried to load a 4M image on a 4G network? Try it on 3G. Not everyone has 5G yet.

You can also do this from your Google Analytics account to see how you are ranking for mobile.

In 2019, I am not even going to point out you need to be mobile-friendly. I am also not going to be talking about image sizes, page load speeds, AMPs, and everything else you know about the shift Google is making toward mobile search. I am also not going to scare you off by mentioning those dreaded words “mobile-first index.”

What I will tell you is that depending on the website you run, prioritize mobile over desktop search. Or vice versa. What matters is where your target audience is, not what you read online about how search is evolving., it’s all about user experience, not about accommodating the crawlers. They can fend for themselves.

Referral Traffic and SEO Metrics

denver seo agency
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Just a small side note on referral traffic: this is not a metric you are trying to chase, and so. However, the right referral traffic can bring in more value (in terms of brand awareness and visits, even engagement) than organic traffic, in a smaller segment of time.

The reason I find it so important is that it can tell me a lot about the websites we are targeting in our link building and content marketing campaigns. Getting a link to your valuable resource in front of the eyes of your target audience, from a trusted source, can help you win big SEO points. Keep that in mind when making friends online.

For example, if your ideal audience is millennial women who are interested in make-up and you are getting a lot of referral traffic from publications and websites like Cosmo and Refinery29, you’ve nailed your linking strategy. These reliable sites are being read by your target audience, so attracting their audience to your site is a sign of success.

Domain Authority

When I say domain authority, I don’t mean Moz. You can use the Ahrefs domain rating too (even after their recent DR update has left quite a few bruises in the industry, yes!), or Majestic’s trust flow. Just pick one, and stick to it.

Track SEO rankings and domina authorityin a tool like SEMrush but Google Analytics is free.

These metrics are not, and I repeat, not in any direct correlation with the way Google ranks and sees your website. What they rank you against are your competitors, and that is what you use them for. 

Apart from giving you a decent sense of a website’s quality (for link building purposes), you will also see what websites in your niche who have a higher domain authority are doing better, and how you can improve your own campaigns.

I know they are often used in reporting – just make sure all parties involved know of their nature. A drop in domain rating does in no way mean you are dropping in rankings. Or that you are losing money.

Engagement and Track SEO Rankings

Here you are tracking over one metric: bounce rate, pages visited, time on site, and so on. They will tell you what the people who reach your site are doing, and what you need to fix.

After the Pandapocalypse, engagement metrics are more of a ranking factor than before. As user experience matters most, by improving user engagement, you will improve your rankings.

A high bounce rate speaks volumes about the quality of your pages, so take that into account when ranking them for certain keywords, and building links back to them.

The way to improve these metrics is clear: your pages need to be about what the visitor feels they will be about; your content needs to be well-written and edited, easy to read through; your images need to be appropriate and load fast; your internal linking structure needs to make sense; and so on.

Pages Crawled and SEO Metrics

This is an engine-oriented metric, but I find it fascinating, so I track it. You can see the number of pages Googlebot’s crawl on your site in your Search Console. Read more about crawl budgets here.

You need not track this – but if you are, like me, fascinated by the crawler and how it thinks, you can go to town here. 

This is also the time to fix any crawl errors (also highlighted in your Search Console) and make the little spiders as comfortable as you can. Since you can’t offer them a cup of coffee or a stiff drink, the least you can do to accommodate them is to make your pages crawlable.

Key Marketing Metrics Your CEO Cares About.

Measurement matters now more than ever.

Use this marketing scorecard toolkit to bring structure and meaning to your numbers.

SEO Rankings

Track SEO rankings in a tool like SEMrush but Google Analytics is free. Here they are – your rankings. The only two pieces of advice I have here are:

  1. Remember RankBrain. Remember it well, and forget everything you learned about ranking for keywords three years ago. This is the new Google.
  2. Choose wisely. Selecting keywords to chase is what got me interested in SEO in the first place, and there are hundreds of ways to find keywords to rank for. Remember that SERPs take time to get updated, so give your strategies time to work. We’ve all seen websites that are ranked first for a certain keyword, even when they seem to do nothing to rank for them. Takeaway: there is over one way to rank no.1 – you just have to be diligent enough to find it.
  3. , I have a third piece of advice. Don’t be bullied into chasing rankings. Rankings are secondary.

Track SEO Rankings and Revenue

And here we are: the one metric, and the only metric, that makes any difference to management (and to all of us who run our own websites) is the bottom line at the end of each month.

I am not trying to say that revenue is all that matters and that you should use all means to increase it through your SEO tactics.

What I am saying is that SEO is a marathon (bet you’ve heard that one before), and a slow start does not mean you will not get there. It’s all about a steady, sustainable, scalable plan to climb – and I hope this personal take on how to better it was an enjoyable read.

Wrap-Up on SEO Metrics

Track SEO rankings in a tool like SEMrush but Google Analytics is free. You learn how to track SEO ranking if you want to win at digital marketing.

Your SEO visibility search metrics should be paired with your head (buy intent words) and long-tail words.

There is a lot of SEO metrics tools to measure SEO success metrics and goals.

Are you not getting the results you had hoped for with your tracking SEO rankings? Let the experts at SEO marketing company help you with marketing through SEO. Our team knows just what it takes to build and maintain a thriving website that drives leads. For more information, check out our SEO marketing services or contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs and our services.

General FAQ’s

How is SEO measured?

The organic click-through rate is a good KPI to measure the quality of your website. If web searches like what they see, they’ll dig deeper into your site. A CTR is a straightforward metric: It’s the number of times a search result gets clicked, divided by how many views (or impressions) the search result has received.


What is SEO metrics?

SEO metrics, also called SEO KPIs (key performance indicators), display a measurable value that shows the progress of a company’s business goals. These metrics and KPI’s are tracked on an SEO KPI dashboard.


How does Google Analytics help SEO?

Google Analytics provides digital marketers with essential data to help them improve their website rankings. Google Analytics is an SEO analytics program. It gives you data and insight into your web traffic and your website links. 


What is SEO monitoring?

SEO (search engine optimization) is the method of optimizing the visibility of your website and its ranking among the different search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! within organic search results. Both on-page SEO and off-page SEO strategies you can get found on the search engines.

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