When carrying out search engine optimisation on your website it is sometimes a challenge to work out if what you are doing is working and if you are making any progress. I’ve laid out below some key metrics that can help you answer these questions but first there are some important steps you need to make to help.
As an absolute minimum you need to have Google Analytics tracking in place on your website. Google Analytics can help you track your user behaviour and give you insight into areas of your website that are working or that needs improvement.
Next, I would recommend making sure you have Google Search Console set up and integrated into your Google Analytics account. Again, this can provide valuable information and insights into the health of your website, if there are any issues that need your attention and how people are finding you on Google.
Once you have these in place you could use a free tool like Google Data Studio to pull in some of the following metrics and data:
Measure Users Overtime
Measuring your users over time can help you spot a trend. For example, if your organic visitors are increasing month on month you know your search engine optimisation is working for you. However, if it is on a downward trend then what you are doing may need investigating and changing.
Measure Average Web Page Load
With a high priority in the world of search engine optimisation on fast loading websites this is a good metric to keep an eye on and compare against the previous period to see if you can spot a trend. If you spot that your page load time is increasing, then you can investigate probable causes and fix before you lose traffic and revenue.
Average Session Duration and Number of Pages Visited
The longer your visitors stay on your website the better right? In most instances yes, but you want to consider that if the average session direction is abnormally high for what you would expect then it could be taking people a long time to get what they need. Equally, a session duration that is very short say less than 2 mins could indicate you are not keeping your visitors engaged with quality content.
Organic Queries and Other Metrics
If you sign up to Google Console, then you will get a report that gives you a list of the actual search queries someone typed into the Google search bar. This report is very handy as it can help you measure the search engine results you are appearing for and how often the searcher clicks on your listing. If you find lots of search terms that are not relevant to your business, then investigating would need to take place.
So, there you have it, a very quick list of some top metrics you can start to look at to see if your SEO work and is having the desired effect. There are many more metrics you can build in as you get familiar with it, but these will certainly get you started and moving in the right direction.
If you are new to Google Analytics, Google Search Console or Google Data Studio your web developer should be able to help you with this. Alternatively, please do get in touch as I can either set up accounts for you or provide training so you can do yourself.