October 20


What Are The Most Important SEO Metrics To Track?

By Ian Cantle | President, Chief Marketing Strategist | Outsourced Marketing Inc.

October 20, 2020

Google Rankings, Local SEO, search engine optimization, SEO, SEO metrics

SEO matters. You don’t need me to tell you that – although I certainly have told you all about it!

[pullquote align=”normal”]62% of consumers will disregard a business if they can’t find them online [/pullquote]

Understanding the importance of SEO is one thing – but knowing what to do with your SEO metrics is another. With so many metrics to choose from, how do you know where to put your focus? Which SEO metrics can help you the most?

That’s where I come in. It’s a lot to ask any small business owner to learn everything there is to know about SEO. It’s a complex topic. But here are the SEO metrics that you really should be tracking, even if you don’t have time for anything else.

1. Organic Traffic

The traffic your website generates is the lifeblood of your business online. If your site doesn’t attract new visitors, it’s a sure sign that your SEO isn’t doing what it should.Organic Traffic - Most Important SEO Metrics - Outsourced Marketing

Organic traffic is all the traffic you don’t pay for – in other words, it’s traffic you get because someone searched for a keyword on Google and then clicked on your link. Traffic from paid ads is not organic.

You need to track organic traffic using Google Analytics because it’s a good barometer of your SEO in general. If you get little or no organic traffic, it means your site needs work. If your organic traffic is high, your SEO is doing something for you.

2. Your Target KeywordsTarget Keywords - Most Important SEO Metrics - Outsourced Marketing

What are the keywords you want people to use to find you? Tracking their search volume and variations on them can help you target them on your website.

A tool such as Keywords Everywhere is a good place to start. You should look at the monthly search volume and dig into the search results, looking for opportunities to rank for them. You may be able to identify opportunities that other websites have missed.

3. The Keywords You Already Rank ForKeyword Ranking - Most Important SEO Metrics - Outsourced Marketing

How are people finding your website now? Whether you meant to target them or not, there are keywords that earn your website a first-page spot on Google. Knowing what they are is essential if you want to fine-tune your SEO.

The best tool for the job is Google Search Console. I recommend using your existing rankings to capitalize on opportunities, at the same time you think about how you can use the traffic you have to get the traffic you want.

4. Backlinks

Backlinks are still a huge factor in SEO. A site that has an array of high-quality backlinks is always going to rank higher on Google than a site with few or low-quality backlinks.Backlinks - Most Important SEO Metrics - Outsourced Marketing

There are two aspects to tracking your backlinks. The first is tracking your own, which you can do using Google Search Console. Seeing what you have can help you identify the areas where you’re falling short.

The second aspect is tracking your competitors’ backlinks. There are a lot of potential backlinks out there and I’m willing to bet you haven’t capitalized on all of them. Using a backlink evaluation tool, such as the SEMRush Backlink Checker or Moz can help you spy on your competitors’ backlinks.

If you see an authority backlink that you’d like for your own site, you can work on getting it. Some of the best methods include writing a guest blog post or simply contacting the site directly to ask if they’d be willing to link to your site.

[pullquote align=”normal”]56% of local businesses have not yet claimed their Google My Business listing. [/pullquote]


5. Social Media Traffic

Google says social media posts (and other metrics, including Likes, Follows and Shares) don’t impact your Google rank directly.Social Media Traffic - Most Important SEO Metrics - Outsourced Marketing

“Directly” is the key word because there is evidence that social media activity does impact a website’s rank in some way. There’s a reason that when you search for a big company, their social pages show up at the top of Google’s SERP.

The good news is that you can track your social traffic using Google Analytics, which is free. Pay special attention to the posts and activity that are leading people back to your website. You can use that information to do a better job of targeting your social media posts – and to create the kind of content that people will respond to on social media.

6. Voice Search Rankings

Alexa, are people finding your website through voice search?

If you’re not asking that question, you should be. Voice search is taking over the world of search. As of 2020, 49% of all searches are voice searches. Mobile phones are still the source of most voice searches, but virtual assistants Alexa, Cortana and Siri aren’t far behind.Voice Search Ranking - Most Important SEO Metrics - Outsourced Marketing

You can get your Alexa search rank on Alexa.com. Apple doesn’t release search rankings for Siri, but you should make sure that your business is listed on Apple Maps if you want to rank on Siri, and Google Maps is a must for Google voice search.

One final note about voice search. Unlike regular Google rankings, voice search provides a single answer to a single question. That means your best bet is to identify questions that the people in your target audience are likely to ask and then optimize your content for them.

7. Page SpeedPage Speed - Most Important SEO Metrics - Outsourced Marketing

Nobody likes a slow website and research shows that if your site takes more than a few seconds to load, people will navigate away. That makes tracking your page speed a no-brainer.

This is an easy SEO metric to track using Page Speed Insights by Google. If your page is slow, you’ll need to address it immediately.

8. Organic Conversions

I saved the best for last. Your organic conversion rate is a measurement of how well your organic search rank is converting casual searchers to subscribers, or (best of all) — paying customers.Organic Conversions Google Analytics - Most Important SEO Metrics - Outsourced Marketing

Here again, you can use Google Analytics – which is free – to track your conversions. You might get a ton of organic traffic, but if it’s not helping you build your list, attract leads, and make sales, then it’s not doing you any good.

Most of these metrics are free to track. You don’t need fancy tools, nor do you need to be an SEO expert. With a bit of research and perseverance, you can use your SEO metrics to help you do a better job of optimizing your site – and growing your business.

To see how our team of experts can help you optimize your website for SEO, click here.

About the author

Ian Cantle is the President and Marketing Strategist at Outsourced Marketing. His 20+ years in marketing and communications in a variety of industries have provided him with a unique perspective on what works and what doesn't in marketing. Ian founded Outsourced Marketing to fill a gap in the marketplace between businesses and sound marketing strategies and marketing systems. His goal is to take the mystery out of marketing and show business owners how a systematic approach to their marketing can provide exceptional results while easing the burden on them. Ian has also co-authored the book 'Content Marketing for Local Search: Create Content that Google Loves & Prospects Devour' that provides local businesses with an unfair competitive advantage, available on Amazon. Want to discover the Outsourced Marketing difference? Book a free discovery call or call us at 905-251-8178.

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