Although each business is unique and each site has its own SEO metrics to check, the list below is almost universal.
We’ll talk about SEO-critical metrics and what to track in SEO optimization. We did not include more general metrics in the article.
From the article you will learn:
Share of conversions from search engines
Google Analytics Demo Transition Data
Every month you need to track the contribution of each traffic source to the site, including:
Direct navigation: when a user enters your site into the search bar, bookmarks your site, forwards a link to it in the mail without a tracking code; Referral traffic: from links on the Internet or mail, from links from advertising campaigns;
Search traffic: traffic from queries from search engines.
If you know the percentage of traffic and the exact numbers, this will help determine traffic subsidence and provide a basis for future comparisons. For example, if you see that traffic has grown significantly, but it comes from referral links with low relevance, you should not be very happy. On the other hand, if traffic from search engines drops dramatically, this is a cause for concern. You need to use this data to track marketing efforts and plan how you will increase traffic.
3 major search engines account for 95% + of all traffic in the States: Google and Yahoo! -Bing. For most countries outside the US, 80% + of the search traffic comes from Google, with the exception of some countries like Russia and China. It is useful to measure the contribution of each search engine to traffic to a site for several reasons: Better Understand Potential Traffic Reduction
If traffic from search engines drains heavily, knowing the relative and exact contribution of each search engine will help to understand the problem. If the traffic from all search engines sags equally, most likely the problem is the availability of the site. If the traffic from Google falls, and from the rest of the search engines it remains at the same level, most likely, Google has imposed sanctions on your site or discounted your SEO efforts.
Understand strategic value
Most likely, some of the efforts you make in SEO optimization will have more positive results than others. For example, we saw that pagination optimization tactics, such as including keywords, give more results with Bing and Yahoo !, than with Google. Getting certain anchor text links from more domains gives more results with Google. If you can identify tactics that are more successful with a particular search engine, you’ll better understand what to focus on.
Percentage of conversions from a search term or phrase
For example: 5.80% of visitors who came to Moz’s site on the request of SEO Tools registered during this visit. This is a much higher conversion rate compared to other keywords.
Knowing this information, we can do two things:
Checking our positions, we see that we are in 4th place for this keyword. If we work to improve our position, it will bring us an even higher percentage of conversions.
Our analytics will also show which page users came for for this keyword. Therefore, we can begin to improve the user experience on this page.
The real value of this simple check is to find keywords that constantly turn visitors into paid users. In addition, you can focus on improving positions in the search engine and landing pages.
The number of pages that received at least one visit from search engines
Knowing how many pages traffic gets from search is a basic metric for monitoring overall performance. Knowing this number, we can look at indexing – the number of pages from a site that search engines place in their indexes.
For the largest sites with 50,000+ pages, just including them in the index already gives an increase in traffic. Therefore, this metric shows a number that can be regarded as success or failure.
When you work on things like site architecture, getting links, site map, uniqueness of content and metadata, the trend line should grow, showing that more and more pages are displayed in the search results. Therefore, pages receiving search traffic are probably the best indicator of the presence of a “long tail of queries.”
Services for analytics
Google Analytics Start Page
Useful Paid Tools
Useful free tools
No matter which analytics software you choose, we strongly recommend testing different versions of the pages on the site and improving the conversion rate based on the results.
SEO Optimization Metrics
It is difficult to optimize the site for the behavior of different search engines, since their algorithms are not public. But combining different tactics is quite effective. You can also use what you have learned, quality analytics and SEO knowledge to create an action plan to optimize your site.
Checking page indexing on Google
Google Page Indexing Example
Limit your search to a specific site. It is useful to see the number and list of pages indexed by a specific domain. You can expand this value by adding search parameters to it. For example, site: moz.com/blog inurl: tools will show only those pages in the Google index that are already on the blog and contain the word “tools” in the link. This number will fluctuate, but it is a fairly reliable indicator.
Corgi Key Request Popularity on Google Trends
At google.com/trends, you can search for a volume of keyword searches and popularity over time. Log in to your Google Account for more in-depth data, including numbers instead of regular trend lines.
Page authority – predicts the likelihood that the page will rank well regardless of content. The higher the authority of the page, the more potential it has to rank higher.
Mozrank – 10-point scale of global authority or popularity of links.
MozTrust is another component Open site explorer, Moztrust, distributed via links. First, reliable sites are identified that serve as the basis for calculating the metric. These sites include large international sites of universities, media, and governments. Sites that receive links from the most reputable sites can then transfer that authority further through their links. This process continues throughout the internet. MozTrust of each link decreases as its distance from reputable sites increases.
Number of links – the total number of pages that contain at least one link to the page, with a maximum of one corresponding link on the page. For example, if the homepage of the Library of Congress links to the White House homepage in content and footer, this will be considered one link.
Number of root domains referring to each other – the total number of unique root domains containing a link to a page, with a maximum of one corresponding domain link. For example, if topics.nytimes.com and www.nytimes.com both link to the Moz homepage, this will be considered one referring root domain.
External MozRank – while MozRank measures the weight of internal and external links, external MozRank measures only the number of external links. Since external links can play an important role, external MozRank is an important metric for predicting page rank in search engines.
Domain authority – predicts how well a web page will be ranked for a particular domain. The higher the authority of the domain, the higher the potential page rank on this domain.
Domain MozRank – MozRank at the domain level, or DmR, calculates the popularity of a particular domain compared to other domains on the Internet. DmR is calculated for subdomains and root domains. This metric uses the same algorithm as MozRank, but is applicable to the link-level link graphic.
MozTrust for domains – calculated among domains. New or poorly linked pages can inherit some trust from a good domain.
Number of links – the number of pages that contain at least one link to the domain. For example, if the sites http://www.loc.gov/index.html and http://www.loc.gov/about contained links to the site http://www.nasa.gov, this would be considered as two links to the domain.
The number of referring root domains – the number of different domains that contain at least one page with a link to any page on the site. For example, if the sites http://www.loc.gov/index.html and http://www.loc.gov/about contained links to http://www.nasa.gov, this would be considered as one referring root domain on nasa.gov.
How to apply this data
To notice fluctuations on the search engine page and in the number of links
The numbers in the “site:” and “link:” requests are rarely accurate, so you should not worry about strong fluctuations – only if they are not accompanied by a drop in traffic. For example, any day Yahoo! shows between 800,000 and 2,000,000 links for the moz.com domain. Obviously, we do not gain or lose hundreds of thousands of links every day, so this gives us little understanding about the increase or decrease in the number of links.
If the drop in the number of indexed links or pages matches the drop in traffic in search engines, you can really lose the link weight.
In this case, check:
Are there still important links that used to drive traffic to the site or increase the ranking?
Do you lose your position due to fines, hacking of the site or malware.
Thorough analysis of your site with analytics and Google’s Search Console help identify potential problems.
Track traffic drop from one search engine
If there is consistently less traffic coming from one search engine to you than from others, for a wide range of search queries, there are several reasons why this happens: The search engine has imposed penalties on you for violating the quality of the site or the rules of the search engine. Check out the post about how to determine search engine penalties and solve a problem.
You accidentally blocked access to the search engine bot. Double-check the robots.txt file and meta robots tags, as well as check Webmaster Tools for a search engine for possible problems.
The search engine has changed the ranking algorithm in such a way that it negatively affects the site’s position. Most often, this happens because the links pointing to the site have lost value. This is especially true for sites that engage in manual link building campaigns with low or medium quality links.
Track traffic drop from multiple search engines
This is possible because you did something that blocked bots or stopped indexing. The reason may be in the robots.txt file or meta robots tags, in the uptime of the hosting provider, a problem with DNS or other technical problems. Communicate with the system administrator, programmers, hosting provider on this subject, carefully review Webmaster Tools accounts and analytics to determine the possible causes of the problem.
Track individual rating fluctuations
An increase or loss in ranking in one or several terms occurs a million times a day with millions of pages, and usually you should not worry about it. Ranking algorithms change, competitors gain and lose links, search engines can sometimes even make mistakes when crawling pages and ranking.
When the rating drops sharply, you should carefully review the elements on the pages for any signs of over-optimization or violation of the rules. Also note that sudden leaps in the ranking of new content, and a temporary period of high visibility, which is accompanied by a strong drop, is normal.
Notice positive growth in link metrics without rating increase
Many website owners assume that once they have applied traditional SEO techniques – page-by-page optimization, link acquisition, they can expect immediate results. Unfortunately, this is not so – especially for highly competitive new sites, pages and content, ranking growth takes time. Even if you earn a lot of great links, this is not an accurate recipe to instantly get to the top.
Remember that search engines not only have to go around all these pages where you purchased the links, but also index and process them.