Simply put, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice that improves a website’s visibility by means of organic search engine results.
The primary objective of SEO is to create content that allows users to access desired information during online searches through customized content, which is recognized by search engines in a quantifiable value.
For any marketing team, KPIs and SEO metrics—measured monthly—are crucial to keep a track of their website's performance.
This is where dashboards and reports come in.
They help marketers determine which pages are performing well, keywords that are driving conversions, and areas of the website that need to be focussed upon.
Dashboards and Reporting:
The two most important tools required to analyze the effectiveness of SEO activities are dashboards and reports. What is the difference between the two?
Dashboards present data in real-time and are very useful in everyday activities. On the other hand, reports give you an overview of your business. You can generate reports on monthly, quarterly, or even on a yearly basis.
How is SEO performance tracked?
Factors that affect SEO performance: Efforts put in SEO can be measured on a variety of factors. Some of them include:
The final goal is to drive customers who are looking for information based on specific keywords to land on a particular page to boost sales.
Tools for measuring SEO performance: SEO metrics generated using an analytics tool is the best way to measure the performance of SEO activities. An analytics program allows you to gather and analyze information about a website. Metrics like keyword ranking are obtained from the website data that these tools tap into. Some widely used analytics tools include:
- Google Analytics
- Matomo (Piwik)
- Open Web Analytics
- Adobe Analytics
Now, let’s take a look at some metrics and KPIs that are absolutely essential for an SEO dashboard:
- SEO Traffic
- Link Building
- Keyword Ranking
- Organic Search Traffic
In the following lines, we will discuss each one of them individually.
1. SEO Traffic:
This KPI denotes the number of customers visiting your website from both paid and organic traffic.
This KPI plays an integral role in providing the marketing team with a clear view of the performance.
Here are a few important terms related to SEO Traffic KPI:
- Organic Search: These are the results that represent web page listings which match the user queries closely. Gaining a higher ranking in organic results is what SEO should achieve.
- Paid Search: When you advertise your website using sponsored listings on a search engine using PPC, it is termed as Paid Search. Sponsored listings require you to pay every time your ad receives a click or when the ad is displayed.
- Traffic: Represents the users that visit your website
- Traffic Ranking: It is the ranking of the total traffic that your website receives in comparison with other websites on the web.
Take a look at this Traffic Ranking metrics
Some challenges in generating this KPI include:
- Environment: Your area of operation and Google are ever-changing. Factors like new technologies, updated algorithms, improved apps, devices and changes in market behavior to name few add to the challenges.
- Pairing: This KPI is very useful in observing SEO efforts. However, it often requires you to pair it with some other metrics and KPIs to get a clear picture.
- Changing SERPs: When Google promotes universal search, it pushes down the organic search results by placing its own products on top.
It is a good idea to use multiple tools to collect SEO data and evaluate traffic metrics. Since the search engines are not a static phenomenon, it is recommended that you keep a close eye on the SEO traffic metric to remain updated about the performance.
2. Link Building
Through this metric, you get to know how many links on the web are directing users to your website. SEO improves when the attached link to keywords point to high-quality websites.
Backlinks or inbound links are the ones that direct to your website from another one. Backlinks metric gives you the ability to monitor the total backlinks to your own website and at the same time keep a check on the competition.
Take a look at this Backlink metrics
Link building is an integral part of SEO because search engines consider websites with quality backlinks credible and more relevant as compared to other pages in the search results.
Backlinking has just one major challenge, i.e. you have to make sure that the traffic driven to your website through backlinks is relevant.
3. Keyword Ranking
This metric allows you to measure the search engine rankings for different targeted keywords. It is a good way to analyze the changes in ranking over a specific time frame.
It is an important KPI in search engine marketing as it validates the overall effectiveness of your efforts to attract organic traffic and getting ranked on Google.
Finding the Why: With this KPI you can get a clear idea about both the positives and negatives of your efforts. However, it doesn’t define the ‘Why’ clearly.
Pairing: As mentioned in the situation mentioned above, it is essential to pair this KPO along with other SEO metrics to have a clear understanding of the keywords.
4. Organic SEO
It is a metric that analyzes the traffic to your website and separates the paid ads from the websites that contain a link to your own. The phrase itself is used to describe the process of obtaining organic search results on SERPs.
Changing Algorithms: This is one of the biggest challenges out there. All search engines update their algorithms without prior information and that constantly affects your SEO efforts.
Indexing Problems: You need to index your pages immediately after keyword analysis. You can confirm if your page is fully indexed by searching – site: yourwebsitename.com – on Google. Since Google has to recrawl a page even after minor changes, you can witness unstable rankings over the next few weeks.
Let’s take a look at some dashboards that we use in our SEO activities.
Best reporting dashboards with combined KPIs
Every metric and KPI discussed in this article plays a significant role in providing digital marketers with a complete view of their efforts and the overall performance of the campaign. You can combine these dashboards and more to get a detailed perspective of your online marketing campaigns.
Additionally, you can also monitor your efforts by pairing your existing KPIs and metrics with the following:
- Click-through rates
- Marketing ROI
- Keyword Opportunity
- Top Viewed Posts
To Wrap Up:
Dashboards can play a major role in determining the success of your digital marketing campaigns. With a well-structured digital marketing strategy, you can add a unique flair to your campaigns and scale -up your brand to the next level of success.
Know of any other points that we missed out? Feel free to share your inputs in the comment section below. We wish you luck and hope that you are able to improve your SEO campaigns with proper reports about your campaign’s performance.
Hardial is a Google Gold Product Expert in Search Console Help Forum and Digital Marketing Specialist at Grazitti Interactive , a digital marketing agency. Grazitti Interactive is a global digital services provider leveraging cloud, mobile and social media technologies. Hardial has spent more than 10 years working in SEO, social media, trends, content and paid marketing.