Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your web pages and content to rank high on a search engine. Ideally, you want your content at the top of a search engine’s results for keywords relevant to your product or services. This is why SEO is also the practice of attracting quality traffic to your website. This means that knowing your numbers is the first step in evaluating the performance of your SEO strategy. There are hundreds of metrics you can track. Google uses over 200 ranking factors in its algorithm. Establish which metrics are the most critical for your business and track those metrics regularly.
- Sessions track all the interactions a visitor has across your site — including page views, form submissions, CTA clicks, and more — until they have been inactive for 30 minutes or more.
- Pageviews appear primarily in the pages tab in your traffic analytics tool. A page view is counted when a browser loads a page on your site. If a single page is refreshed multiple times by the same visitor, each refresh will count as its page view.
- Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on a particular page on your website and then leave.
- Direct traffic tells you how many of your sessions are from visitors reaching your site by directly typing a URL into their browser.
- Average time on a page is simply the average amount of time all users spend on a single page.
- Organic traffic is the number of visitors your site generates from people clicking on your web pages when they come up from search engine results.
- A keyword is a term that encompasses anything searched on a search engine. A single word or phrase is considered a keyword if it produces a results page on Google or any other search engine.
- The visits metric, for example, measures the number of sessions on a website, whereas the visitor measures the number of people who make those visits (or unique visitors).
- Impressions are the number of times an ad is viewed once by a visitor or displayed on a web page. Impressions represent the number of opportunities to see an advertisement.
Impressions vary from a page view which is counted when a browser loads a page on your site. When a business wants to increase brand awareness, the number of impressions can indicate how many people had a chance to see your ad. However, the number of website visitors demonstrated how many people took action from your advertisement and clicked on the CTA. One way to determine the success of a campaign is to view the click-through rate, in which users who click on a specific ad are divided by the number of total impressions.
- Clicks are the number of times a visitor clicks on an ad.
- Clickthrough Rate (CTR) is the ratio of users who click on a specific ad to the number of users who viewed it.
When assessing the progress of search marketing, it is crucial to establish a general understanding of web traffic. Organic search traffic is what you want for your website because it’s targeted. It’s also an effective indicator of the overall progress of your SEO strategy. Improvement in organic search results means your website’s visibility through keyword ranking has gone up. While no one metric can be used to best measure the overall performance, SEO progress can be viewed holistically through the increase of organic clicks month over month and the improvements in the keyword ranking. When dealing with Analytics, compare year over year and month over month. It will give a much clearer picture of the performance.