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Key performance indicators, or KPIs, help you to monitor your search engine optimization strategy to make sure that you are on the right track and that you are getting the results you want for the time and money you are investing.

By tracking the right KPIs, you can improve your overall SEO strategy and get better results more quickly. The trouble for many brands is identifying what the right KPIs are, as these can change based on market trends and based on individual objecties.

However, some of the best KPIs remain so across these different situations. Here are the top SEO KPIs for 2017 that we’ve identified:

 Traditional KPIs

There are some KPIs that will likely always remain important when evaluating your SEO strategy, regardless of the changes in marketing trends.

These include:

  • Keyword ranking
  • Increase in organic traffic
  • Increase in organic conversions
  • Increase in number of pages getting more traffic
  • Number of organic impressions
  • Increase in organic click-through rate

Other metrics can be included here, such as your page or domain authority from Moz, trust and citation flow from Majestic, and your spam score.

So long as your traffic and conversions are increasing, you can be positive that your SEO strategy is working. If you aren’t seeing the increases you want, it may be that you need to give it more time, or it may be that you need to make some tweaks to your strategy.

Referral Traffic

Your SEO strategy should increase more than your organic traffic. If you are getting the kind of organic exposure that you need, you should also be getting more referral traffic.

With good SEO, you will raise your brand authority and exposure among all types of audiences. Other brands will get to know you as an authority in your niche and will be more likely to link to your site. Customers will also be more likely to link to you.

Keep an eye on the percentage increase in your referral traffic and referral conversions. If they aren’t increasing with your SEO strategy, you should make some changes.

Number of Links

Of course, if you are getting more referral traffic, you should be getting more links.

You’ll need to look at the increase in the number of links back to your site as a key performance indicator, as well. Look at the total number of links, as well as the links you get from authority sites and the links you get from relevant sites.

If you are getting a lot of links from irrelevant or low-quality sites, you may need to reconsider your SEO strategy. Fine-tuning your focus should get links from the sites you want.

Branded Keywords

Since your SEO strategy should be improving your brand exposure, you should also be getting more traffic from branded keywords used by those who are discussing your brand or who are linking to it.

Look at the percentage increase in your branded search traffic, as well as the percentage increase in your brand mentions. Include social media in your analysis, as your SEO can influence your brand mentions there, as well.

Lead Generation

Increased conversions are a sign that your SEO strategy is working.

It is important that you look at specific lead generation metrics, such as the number of email signups you get, the number of contact forms being filled out, the number of white papers and other free items being downloaded, the number of course signups, and so on.

If your SEO strategy is targeting specific conversions, you will need to look at these specifically to know if your strategy is working. For example, if your SEO is targeting email subscriptions, you can’t call your strategy a success if your contact form submissions are going up but your email subscriptions are not. Your lead generation metrics need to match your goals.

Tools to Enhance Your SEO

Of course, there are many tools available to help you get more from your SEO if you are not seeing the results you want.

Big names like Majestic and Moz help you to monitor your metrics and get to the bottom of why your SEO is not working.

Other tools, like CodeFuel’s In-tag, help you to boost your SEO by improving your metrics. In-tag is a content recommendation tool that helps you to increase your page views and visit duration. While it isn’t specifically linked to your SEO, it does boost your SEO by increasing your page ranking and helping you to get more search visibility and organic traffic.

By using a combination of tools, you can get better results more quickly. Use the right tools and monitor the right metrics, and you will get more from your SEO strategy without having to waste a lot of time and money. You’ll grow your business to meet your goals.