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6 SEO Metrics for Free Traffic
If you have a website, you’re probably aware that there are lots of sources which you can bring traffic from.
However, none of them is as powerful as traffic coming from search engines.
Organic traffic is considered one of the best traffic sources, mainly for two reasons:
- you don’t have to pay for it
- it generates a high conversion rate
So, Search Engine Optimization, SEO for short, is one of the main contributors of your online game.
There are certain SEO metrics that you should keep your eye on, to ensure the success of your SEO efforts.
Here are some of them, with no specific order
1. Organic conversions
First of all, conversions are the main goal of your website.
It might be sales, but it could also be lead generation, sign-ups, or any other action that your users need to take.
These need to be relevant for your business.
Of course, conversions coming from organic traffic are an important SEO metric.
This helps you to understand if you’re getting the right organic traffic to your site.
If your traffic numbers are high but conversions are low, this might mean that you’re not getting the right people to visit your site.
You might be attracting users that aren’t actually interested in your offering.
Picture this: in your custom-made jewelry website, you feature a blog post about celebrities that use such pieces.
When looking at the traffic numbers vs engagement or conversions, you might see a low conversion rate.
This shows that your blog post might be attracting users looking for celebrity gossip instead of real prospects, people interested in buying custom-made jewelry.
In order to increase your conversion rates, try to find relevant keywords at the top, middle, and bottom of your customer’s journey and create content that answers those particular keywords.
2. Keyword Rankings
With Google continuously changing search results towards customization, is there any need to track keyword rankings?
Yes, that’s a very important SEO metric to keep an eye on.
Despite the fact that 20% of searches are entirely new and, thanks to Google’s AI-powered algorithm for customization, rarely the results are the same, at the user level.
However, tracking keyword rankings tells you two things:
- The effectiveness of your current SEO plan.
- The quality of your keyword selection
Let’s look back at the high traffic / low conversion example.
If this happens, you need to look at the keywords driving traffic to your site and then determine whether they actually match your customer acquisition funnel.
When doing keyword research, focus on branded and non-branded search terms and try to adjust them to your customer’s journey.
3. Organic Traffic
As you might expect, one of the principal goals of an SEO campaign is to drive more and more traffic to your website.
This organic traffic comes from search engine results pages, or SERPs, for short.
So, how can you track how your organic traffic is doing?
Go to your best friend, Google Analytics, and you will be able to see it under Acquisition>Channels>Organic Search. Check the number of sessions in the first column.
To measure the success, you’ll want to compare time periods:
- Week-over-week, to see how your traffic is evolving in the short term
- Month-over-month, which allows you to see the longer-term effects of your SEO campaign
- Year-over-year, to see the true “apples to apples” timeframe comparison, but also to see how your business is impacted by seasonality
In most cases, these are the 3 different time frames that allow you to draw the best conclusions.
4. Click-through rate (CTR)
Click-through rate (CTR) is an often dismissed metric. And this shouldn’t happen.
CTR shows how many people click on your website, on Google SERPs.
If 100 people see your website in their search results, and only 1 user clicks, you’re going to have a 1% CTR.
This means that it’s not just a matter of ranking higher for your chosen keywords, but it is also a matter of knowing how to catch the user’s attention.
Improving your click-through rate brings further benefits to your organic results.
If Google sees users clicking on your website, for a particular keyword, rather than other websites, it makes perfect sense to rank your site higher on their SERPs.
Keep in mind that the higher you rank on average, the more clicks you’ll earn.
To improve your website’s CTR in search results, make sure to
- match your page title to search intent
- include a compelling call-to-action (CTA) in your title if possible
- craft meta descriptions that entice users to click through to your page
- use short and descriptive URLs that contain your primary keywords
- structure your data to improve the way your page displays in search results
By following these tips, you can ensure that your website is way more visible and appealing to potential visitors.
5. User Behaviour
The way your users interact with your website is also a signal of how well your SEO efforts are paying off. For these, you must be on the lookout for 3 main signals: bounce rate, pages per session, and average session duration.
Let’s see how they fit together.
5.1. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is one of the most crucial aspects of user behavior that determines a website’s performance.
A bounce happens when a visitor lands on a specific page, on your website, and decides not to visit any other pages, makes any kind of further interaction, and leaves your site.
So this session starts and ends with a single-page visit.
A low bounce rate shows that the users find your website useful and/or interesting.
However, a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes this just means that the user found the answers that he needed to his search query.
However, to lower your bounce rate, keep tracking the events that occur on your website.
This will help you understand where all the bottlenecks are and solve them.
5.2. Pages per session
Another user engagement metric is Pages Per Session.
This metric shows you how compelling your content is to move your user forward in the marketing funnel.
The higher the number the better.
5.3. Average Session Duration
Average session duration is calculated by dividing the total duration of all sessions (in seconds) during a specified time frame by the total number of sessions during that same time frame.
For Average Session Duration to be calculated, the user needs to interact with your page, like clicking a link or playing a video.
This means that bounce sessions aren’t taken into account.
Here are a few tips to help you increase your Average Session Duration:
- Include Videos
- Break Up Text With Engaging Images
- Understand the Customer Journey
- Track the Right Metrics
- Make Sure Your Interface Is User-Friendly
- Format Your Content so it’s Easy to Read
- Link to Other Pages of Your Site
- Build a Library
- Publish Content That’s Worth Reading
6. Page speed and Core Web Vitals
These are the more technical SEO metrics.
A higher page speed is more likely to lead to higher conversion rates.
At the same time, to improve user experience, Google introduced Core Web Vitals as a search ranking factor in 2021.
These Core Web Vitals measure the page load time in three aspects – loading, interactivity, and visual stability, and they are categorized as below:
- Largest contentful paint (LCP)
- First input delay (FID)
- Cumulative layout shift (CLS)
How to track them?
Well, on your Google Search Console you can find the Enhancements area that shows you how your website performs based on the Core Web Vitals.
How to win at SEO?
The first step is to learn more about SEO.
But if this takes the focus out of your business you can rely on Vettted’s curated SEO freelancing services
Vasco A. Monteiro, hailing from Lisbon, Portugal, and holding a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Instituto Superior Técnico, showcases his dedication to search engine optimization beyond his ventures. He runs a successful YouTube channel and manages a private SEO Facebook group, Vasco’s SEO Tips. These platforms allow him to share valuable insights and expertise in the digital world, further solidifying his position as a respected industry leader in the SEO domain.