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What KPIs should I be measuring in my SEO strategy?

Business & Marketing Strategy / April 8, 2020

Okay, so let’s clear the air. While Lifted Logic believes that web conversions (or “goals” in Google Analytics) should be the number one indicator of success on the web, there are a few other metrics we can look at to gauge the overall performance of a website. 

We check our clients’ accounts on a monthly basis to ensure the following KPIs are trending positively compared to, and since the date of, their site launch. (BTW, looking at periods shorter than that don’t typically offer much actionable data).

So what are these secondary KPIs? Well, here are the secondary KPIs we look for to determine the success of our SEO strategy.

1. Number of New Users

We’re not going to say that looking at Total # of Users isn’t helpful for a variety of reasons, because it 100% is. However, # of New User is a better indicator of how “discoverable” your website is across the web, and it tells us how many new “eyes” have been lurking on your site during a given time period.

Wait, definition check. A “new” user is a user that hasn’t previously visited your site in the last two years. Okay, now we can move on. 

Across the web, we see an average split between Returning and New Users as right around 75%/25%. Don’t get us wrong. We still want Returning Visitors on the site, but honestly, New Users have a much higher value. Why? It’s mainly because we can assume they are organically discovering your brand (oh hello there, effective SEO). 

2. Source / Medium

Measuring the source of your traffic is a huge component of our overall Ongoing Marketing Strategy. These are a few of the main sources we will be tracking:

Google, Bing, & Yahoo / Organic

We want this to be your top source of traffic to (and conversions on) the website in regards to Number of Users. Organic traffic is free (does not require a direct cost of ad spend or labor to acquire) and typically has the best performance, including metrics like Conversion Rate, Session Duration, Pages Per Session, etc.

Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, GoogleMyBusiness, Reddit, & YouTube)

The goal of our Ongoing Marketing Strategy is not just to increase your visibility in Search Engines; it is to increase your brand visibility across the web. And since so many people are on social media nowadays, you bet we’re going to meet them there. 

This is why we implement social media posting to the above listed platforms. Different audiences search for answers to their questions and needed services in a variety of ways, and we want to ensure that your business is visible in these various spaces.

However, our ultimate goal for social media isn’t necessarily to increase engagement on that platform (though that can be an added perk); it’s to drive additional traffic to the site. So when we’re assessing site performance, we track socials as a means of acquiring web traffic rather than how many likes you got on a post. You might not become instafamous #SorryNotSorry, but you’ll definitely get more people to your site, which is what really matters in the long run. 

While Google Analytics does a good job of tagging this traffic automatically, we also use Campaign URL Tracking to ensure we are clearly able to measure our efforts.

Email / Newsletter

First thing’s first: yes, people still read newsletters, so you shouldn’t just ignore them. The goal of the newsletter is to engage your existing clients/customer base and drive recurring traffic to the site. They say the best customers are the ones you already have. Newsletters can help inform your audience on what you have going on and continually establish your business as an expert resource and thought leader in its industry.

Like social media, newsletters are not meant to convert an audience member into a lead. Its job is to drive traffic to your website and allow your site to do the heavy lifting. We use Campaign URL Tracking  to clearly distinguish the volume of traffic coming to the site exclusively from the monthly newsletters.

Referrals

We monitor Referral sources to the client website (any website, excluding social media platforms) that contains a link back to the client. For example, if a news website publishes an article citing one of your staff members and links to your website, and a reader clicks on that link, this action would generate “referral traffic,” which we can effectively attribute to the performance of that linking domain (versus our own efforts).

Here’s what you can do in conjunction with Lifted Logic’s SEO-centric marketing plan: continually reach out to outside referral sources (such as news websites, scientific journals, influencers, local bloggers, other businesses, and even public entities if applicable) to promote your website, newly published articles, and SEO Blog Content. The more links your websites receive from other high authority sources, the more authority will be attributed to your website by various search engines.

3. Number of Pageviews, Pages per Session, & Average Session Duration

Fact: the more time a user spends on a website, the more engagement they feel with that brand. It indicates how much time they spend reading your content, interacting with the site, and ultimately learning more about who you are and what you do. 

Average Session Duration across the web is 1:30. If a client’s website does not already hit this benchmark, we can look for ways to improve and increase this metric to meet and then exceed this goal—with the continual publishing of kick ass long-form content being our main strategy.

Additionally, we also assess Number of Pageviews (varies greatly) and Pages per Session (internet average is between 1.5 and 1.8) to help us further understand the level of engagement users have on the website. 

Total Number of Pageviews is more quantitative rather than an average, and can ultimately depend on which page we are referring to.

In general, we don’t just want “all-time page views” to increase, we want the “average monthly pageviews” to increase to help compound our efforts. For example, if a new blog post gets 50 views in the first month it is posted, we hope to achieve 60-70 views the following month. You know what we call that? #Growth

4. Landing Pages

We specifically monitor various Landing Pages to assess where users are entering the website. We can cross-compare Source / Medium to ensure that new content added to the site (in the form of blog content) is performing increasingly well over time. We want users to land on pages that are relevant to them; so we also cross-compare this metric with Average Session Duration & Pages per Session.

5. Queries & Click-Through Rate

Enabled by an integration Google Search Console, you can view a Queries Report that provides the majority of terms a user types into a search engine during any given time period for which your website appears in results. 

We want to ensure that the website is not only continually displaying properly for branded keywords (such as “Lifted Logic”), but also non-branded keywords (such as “Web Design in Kansas City”). 

Plus, we can also use this report to view the Click-Through Rate (CTR) of these queries. This will allow us to understand user intent before one even gets to the website, and assess the market for what types of information and resources users are seeking online that your business provides—or could be providing. 

While CTR is typically a bit lower on non-branded keyphrases, we can continually monitor this to ensure a positive trend. (Average Click-Through Rate changes depending on Average Position in a given Search Result Page, so we also take this into account).

Not sure where to start with SEO? Cue in: Lifted Logic

We’re not going to pretend that SEO isn’t a monster. Fortunately, our team at Lifted Logic has our sleeves rolled up, and we’re ready to put in all the dirty work so you don’t have to. We are a small-but-mighty digital agency in Kansas City, and we serve a small number of new clients each year so we can dedicate our time and effort toward each project (no, we don’t believe in half-assery). 

No matter the size, if your company needs help driving web traffic through great SEO, we’re here to help. We’ve got you covered with high-quality content, superior web development and design, and all the SEO tools needed to ensure that your business grows. 

To get started, feel free to contact us or you can use our free cost calculator tool today.

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