Whether you have been running an e-commerce business for years or are just bringing your business online for the first time, digital marketing has never been more important for business owners.
This had been made all the more obvious over the course of the last year, with the pandemic forcing more of us than ever to use e=commerce shopping platforms and a range of other digital services. We can already see the effects of this shift, with global e-commerce sales consistently hitting new records.
In this increasingly digital environment, increasing the volume, frequency, and quality of customer engagements has never been more important – particularly as more and more traditional businesses come online.
In this context, digital marketing approaches such as SEO have taken on a renewed importance as the global e-commerce stakes get more and more competitive.
Despite the importance of SEO, however, tracking whether all the efforts you have putting into it are paying off can often be quite tricky. In an increasingly data-filled world, knowing what metrics to track and how to track them has never been more important.
With that said, in this short article, we will give you a quick overview of some of the most important metrics you need to keep track of to ensure your SEO efforts are staying on top of the algorithms.
What is SEO tracking and why should I do it?
Although it will ultimately come in many different shapes and forms, SEO tracking is essentially the process of monitoring, recording, and reporting your SEO results.
To do this, you will usually choose some key metrics to follow, which you will use to measure how successful, or not, your SEO strategy has been.
You can use a number of different metrics to do this, although it will almost always rely on a least a few different metrics.
When these metrics are recorded over time, it will give you a better sense of how your strategy as a whole is performing or, at a more granular level, what the audience reception of specific posts or content is. Additionally, given that success in SEO requires you to have a well laid out, healthy site filled with working links, engaging content, and logical content, tracking your SEO gives you a good opportunity to undertake some digital spring cleaning.
If you are a business owner or a digital marketing professional, this data is absolutely invaluable. It will not only give you a sense of how your strategy has been performing so far but will also provide you with the information you need to make tweaks to it. This ensures that you don’t slip to the bottom of the Google rankings.
What different types of SEO metrics are there?
Unfortunately, however, there is not one single metric you can keep track of to give you the information you need. Instead, you need to take a holistic approach when thinking about what metrics you might rely on.
With that said, here are some of the key metrics you need to understand and keep track of if you want to stay ahead of the search engine algorithms.
For most people undertaking digital marketing exercises such as SEO, the goal will be to convert a visit to your website into a sale. The conversion rate is essentially a measure of the total number of ‘conversions’ (i.e. a sale or other desired action or goal) divided by the number of unique website visits. While it’s not the only metric you should keep track of, knowing where your conversion rate is falling will give you a rough idea of what kind of return on investment you are seeing. Conversion rates might also be referred to as ‘click through rates’, which is essentially just another word for the same metric.
Time on page
Another very useful metric is how much time an individual user spends on your website. While this metric can be quite limited when taken on its own — primarily due to the many factors that might see someone spend time on a particular page — when looked at holistically, it is very useful. The time on page metric is also incredibly useful for giving you a sense of how well received a piece of work was. For example, if you were posting a 1,000-word blog post and only seeing 10 seconds spent on the page, this might be an indication of low user engagement.
Pages per visit
In addition to the length of time spent on specific pages, you might also want to know how many other pages users visit once they navigate to your website or in the course of reading a blog post. Having a higher number of pages per visit might indicate that users are enjoying the content you are posting. When coupled with a high conversion rate, the pages per visit will give you a great sense of what your sales figures might look like.
Although it might sound like a strange metric to track, scroll depth measures how far down individual web pages visitors to your website travel. When used in conjunction with ‘time on page’, scroll depth is a useful indication of how users are engaging with the material you have posted. This is particularly useful if you post long-form articles, as it will give you a sense of whether visitors to your website are reading what is posted.
The bounce rate essentially measures whether visitors to your website are visiting and viewing particular web pages without browsing your website anymore. While this is often taken to be an indication of whether the user found anything useful on the webpage, bounce rate does not necessarily tell the whole story. The bounce rate is most useful when combined with scroll depth, pages per visit, and time on page to give you a fuller story.
Organic traffic is a measure of how many times you appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) when you haven’t paid for placement. Organic SEO is, in many respects, the gold standard of SEO and is what we are striving to increase most of the time. Organic traffic is also a site-wide measure, which gives you a good high-level overview of how your website is performing as a whole. When you are tracking your organic traffic, you will also be able to parse through the information using various other metrics and qualifiers — such as by location — which are also useful when you are trying to gauge the success of your SEO.
Keyword ranking is one of the most important performance indicators in the world of SEO. Ranking well for keywords that are important and relevant to your area of business or chosen demographic is essential for performing well in the search rankings. Using keyword ranking tools allows you to make adjustments to your SEO strategy in line with what users are searching for. This will, in the long run, help to drive traffic towards your website.
Moving forward and tracking success
While there are a number of metrics you can be tracking, what we hope to have shown you in the above article is the importance of tracking metrics to begin with. It is also important to remember that no single metric alone will give you a full picture of the health or success of your website. To get a better understanding, you need to use a number of different metrics in conjunction with each other and to take a holistic approach.
With that said, if you want some more guidance about what these metrics are and how you can use them to reach your goals, feel free to reach out to a member of the Purecontent team today. By booking a one-on-one consultation with a member of the Purecontent team, we will help you to translate these metrics into a well-thought-out, well-delivered SEO strategy that can increase traffic and drive sales. Reach out and get started today!