Organic search performance has had a long reputation of being difficult to track. But in reality, it comprises many Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that–when looked at together, can offer an understanding of various aspects of SEO success.
This blog looks at 10 of these KPIs that can be used to track benchmarks and variances in organic search results.
#1: Organic Visibility
Organic visibility measures how a website or web page appears in the non-paid search results of search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
This is one of the most essential KPIs for SEO success. It’s directly related to your SEO efforts and reflects the overall growth of your business and paints an accurate picture of where your brand reach stands.
What does it mean for a website to have high organic visibility? In short, its pages rank high in search results across queries that include the keywords the company wants to rank for. Organic visibility is linked with increased traffic, higher click-through rates – and ultimately, more conversions and sales.
How can you positively impact organic visibility? Here are the key areas to work on:
- Content quality and relevance
- Overall user experience
- Internal linking
- Technical improvements, such as site structure, site speed, and mobile friendliness
#2: Organic traffic
When you have high organic visibility, it attracts organic traffic to your site, too. An increase in overall impressions drives more clicks, which in turn will drive up conversion rates. Organic traffic allows you to track the effectiveness of your non-paid efforts to attract visitors to your site.
How to measure organic traffic?
Botify offers three solutions to track organic traffic:
– LogAnalyzer: This capability within Botify Analytics reflects user data and counts all visits.
– Google Search Console (GSC): this newer method samples impressions and clicks, aggregating the data (it will always display fewer visits than logs or GA). Moreover, it does not record AMP visits and attributes clicks canonically.
The results between these three data collection methods vary because the methods are different. Which one should you lean on? That all depends on what you want to show. For example: if you want to know your crawl budget? Use the logs. Looking to uncover keyword performance? Turn to GSC.
Botify’s SiteCrawler allows you to review visits across logs and Google Analytics in a singular view:
If you’re looking for GSC data, you can find that in Botify’s RealKeywords view.
#3: Conversion rate
This is probably the most critical SEO KPI for any business. Organic conversions can come from sources like social media, newsletter sign-ups, or direct traffic, to name a few.
Looking to hike up conversion rates? It’s not enough to just optimize the site for search engines; you need to focus on the user experience and provide value. Your website should be simple to navigate, provide useful information, and load quickly, too.
Overall, conversion rate optimization is an ongoing process that involves constantly testing, adjusting, and refining your website experience holistically.
With Botify, you get a snapshot of your search performance in the SEO funnel found in the Analytics overview. It allows you to understand the impact crawl improvements have on your overall traffic and revenue.
#4: Keyword ranking
Keyword ranking is critical in your quest for better SEO, increased traffic, clicks, and conversions. It’s important to know which keywords you’re ranking well for, and where you’re falling short.
You can find these insights in Botify’s RealKeywords, under ‘Winning Data Dimensions’ and ‘Losing Data Dimensions’. The former displays well-performing keywords and the corresponding URLs on your site. The latter shows the opposite view, revealing pages that are falling short. This can help you understand your best-performing content and what needs to be revised to better position your site for future success.
#5: Branded and non-branded traffic
Another key metric to track is the ratio of branded and non-branded traffic.
Branded traffic includes a variation of keywords that include brand. When a user types them in a search engine, they’ll be served with content related to your brand: your website, your products, your services, or your social handles.
Non-branded traffic are keywords related to your brand but don’t include your brand name directly. The results will highlight your products, your services, or even topics your company has authority on.
SEO focuses mainly on improving non-branded traffic. Why? While your brand awareness will attract users already familiar with your products and services, non-branded traffic can attract new leads that don’t necessarily know your brand yet, but could potentially convert into customers.
To easily measure the split between branded and non-branded traffic, navigate to the RealKeywords section of Botify.
Backlinks are hyperlinks from other sites that send users, as the name suggests, back to yours. Google views these links as “letters of recommendation” of sorts for your website, boosting credibility and authority in your area. Not all backlinks are created equal. If the quality of your backlinks is poor, it can actually harm your site reputation and search engine ranking.
To evaluate the current backlink health against competitors, consider measuring:
- The total number of backlinks
- The total number of referring domains
- The number of lost links
- The number of links gained
#7: Organic Click-Through Rate (CTR)
While click-through rate (CTR) is not an official SEO metric, it is still interesting to track because it is closely related to your SEO performance. The more people click on your page on Google, the higher your organic CTR will be.
CTR = number of clicks / number of impressions
CTR indicates the percentage of people clicking on your page after seeing it in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) – and obviously, the higher you rank, the better.
It’s a reliable indicator of how relevant your title tags and meta descriptions are to any given user query, as these are the two elements that appear first in the SERPs.
Looking for a holistic view of your organic click-through rates? Navigate to Botify’s RealKeywords feature.
For more information on the topic, check out this article.
#8: Bounce rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of users arriving on a page of your site and leaving it without doing anything. It is a reliable indicator of user engagement after they arrive on your page from the SERP.
Bounce rate is a simple indicator of whether the content on your page is generating interest and fulfilling the promise that people expected when they clicked on it. It’s also a great way to understand how relevant your page is to the search queries it’s ranking for.
What is a typical bounce rate? Depending on the industry, bounce rates generally fall between 40 and 60%. A higher bounce rate means that the page is not engaging enough to its core audience, leading to missed opportunities to turn traffic into sales.
Sometimes it only takes small changes to see a noticeable improvement. However, if you don’t track your bounce rate regularly, you may miss the opportunity.
You can view your overall site or page bounce rate in Botify’s SiteCrawler > Visits > Analysis > Quality.
#9: Average engagement time
It may seem obvious, but the more time a user spends on your site, the more engaged they are. And the more engaged a user is, the more likely they are to convert.
On average, a user only reads or views 20% of your content, so you need to measure the average engagement time and the average engagement time per session on your site. If you find them to be low, you’ll need to strategize to increase both metrics.
How to increase engagement time with site improvements? Consider the following:
- Rework your content
- Add visuals, such as photos, graphics, and video
- Respond to your users’ needs by identifying your buyer personas and tailoring content to them
#10: Page load time
Website speed is probably one of the top five optimizations to take on to improve SEO performance. Parts of your site may remain completely unknown to search engines simply because they don’t have time to explore it. Consequently, you’re losing out on the chance to increase your organic traffic at the second step of the SEO funnel (see #3).
To remedy this, consider the following options:
Increase your crawl budget
Increasing the “crawl budget” means encouraging search engines to increase the time allocated to the exploration of your website by optimizing your most valuable conversion pages.
Improve your page load time
In Botify’s SiteCrawler, you’ll see how bots view your current site load times, which is. The time elapsed between the moment the crawler requested the page and the moment it received the full content of the page.
Lastly, don’t confuse page load time with how the user experiences your page speed, as these are two distinct concepts. User experience is a combination of the page load time and all the associated page elements, such as images, CSS files/ styling, and so on.
At Botify, we recommend an average download time of less than 500 millisecond. This is one of the main areas impacting your overall ranking, so it is worth paying attention to in your overall SEO strategy.
Learn more about how to expedite your website optimizations.