Now more than ever, having a well performing and content rich website is crucial to increasing your visibility and traffic, and helping you reach your target audience of both existing and potential clients and customers. In this article, the marketing experts at V Formation highlight some of the key SEO metrics you should be tracking to assess your website’s performance.
We are experiencing extraordinary times at the moment. Social isolation measures mean people are spending more time indoors – and presumably online – than ever before. As such, having a robust digital marketing plan in place that includes closely monitoring your website’s SEO performance is more important now than ever before.
Measuring SEO performance
Through measuring your website’s SEO performance over time, you are able to see areas in which the site is performing well, as well as key areas in which it can improve. By following SEO techniques, best practices, and strategies that abide by search engine rules, you can ensure both your website, and therefore your products and services, are reaching the right people.
The marketing team at V Formation is highly experienced in optimising websites. As part of this service, we provide detailed SEO analytics reports, which identify and analyse a number of important factors that contribute towards your website’s performance.
Acquisition refers to how people have found your website. Google can determine whether users came directly by typing in the URL; organically by searching a relevant search term and clicking through on Google; via a social media channel; or via referral, by clicking through from another website. From an SEO standpoint, you ideally want to see ‘organic search’ as the most popular way that people access the site, as it demonstrates that the site is ranking for relevant keywords and is therefore visible on Google.
When analysing a website’s SEO, it’s important to look closely at website traffic. You can identify:
- Users: The number of visitors to your site over a period of time.
- Pageviews: The number of visits to pages on your website.
- Average pages per session: The number of pages visited on average by users during a single visit.
- Average session duration: The average length of time spent on your website.
- New visitors: The percentage of users that visited your website, that hadn’t visited it previously.
- Bounce rate: A ‘bounce’ is when a user leaves your website after only visiting one page. The ideal is to have a 50% rate or lower.
Ideally, you want to see website traffic going up over time, though short-term fluctuations are normal, for instance B2B clients tend to see a drop during holiday periods.
As part of understanding how well your website’s SEO is working, you need to understand how your keywords are performing.
For example, if you have identified ‘estate agent Nottingham’ as a keyword for your site, you will want to monitor on a regular basis how your website ranks against this search term. Page 1 of Google is, of course, the ultimate goal but with only a small number of ‘organic’ search spots available, it can be very competitive. Longer-tail or more specific terms can also help to bring the right people to your site, so it’s important to identify the right keywords for your business and to continually review how your website ranks against them.
Internal links (links to other pages within a website) help with the user journey, allowing visitors to easily navigate around your website. This helps to reduce bounce rate. The more internal links your website has, the more user-friendly it becomes, and the more likely you are to see conversions/leads directly through the site.
External links are links from your website to another relevant website. Google likes to see websites linking to other high-quality websites with related content. This may be for example, clients, customers, partners, or publications that you have had articles featured in. Linking to trustworthy and informative websites from your website helps to improve its authority. In contrast, poor-quality, spam links will damage your website’s credibility.
Domain authority is a score from 0-100 given to a website based on over 40 different factors. You want your domain authority to be as high as possible; the higher it is, the better you will rank on Google. Among many things, some elements that affect domain authority include the quality of content on your site, links and reviews.
Linking domains are links to your site from another. They are considered as a ‘vote’ for your website from another. This suggests to Google that your website contains useful content. The more domains you have linking to your site, the better you will rank on search engines.
Once a website’s performance has been analysed, and key areas for improvement have been identified, the next step is to implement change. Whether that’s adding in extra or more relevant keywords, improving bounce rate or securing more linking domains, once an SEO report has been carried out, you can work to develop the specific areas that need improvement.