There’s a lot of uncertainty in SEO.
In many cases, it can seem like a black box — we do the work, we watch performance fluctuate, but we’re never positive what exactly the algorithm is doing.
On top of that, many out-of-the-box reporting and analysis solutions don’t give you the full picture of what’s going on. You might be able to see a snapshot of your data but can’t see how it’s trending over time. Or, maybe you have one tool/report where you look at your keyword performance and another to look at your crawl data, making it difficult to make connections where they may very well exist.
We need a way to not only stitch all our data together, but also the ability to see it over time. Only then will we be able to truly dig into what’s happening on our sites and what we should be doing about it.
That’s where custom metrics tables come into play.
If you’ve ever wondered how the uniqueness of your pages correlates with how often they’re crawled, how your page load speeds change over time (or questions like those), custom metrics tables have you covered.
Custom metrics tables are available in the Botify platform, so if you’re reading this and you’re not a customer, no worries! The principles we’ll be covering today are still helpful for understanding how to conduct advanced SEO analysis and KPI tracking. If you are a customer though, we’ll be providing step-by-step instructions to teach you how you can create your own custom metrics tables.
To understand custom metrics tables, let’s look at what you can populate in the rows and columns:
For example, you could end up with a table that looks like this, showing “Average of Delay First Byte Received” next to “Average of Delay Total.” This type of setup is called a multi-column table, and they’re great for seeing how different metrics correlate (or not) with each other:
Or, you could choose a single indicator to view over time — instead of different metrics populating the columns, it’s a single metric as it appeared in your last five Botify crawls. This type of setup is called a history table, and they’re great for showing progress or change:
If you’re a Botify customer, you can navigate to Botify Studio and select “Metrics Tables” from the left navigation. You’ll see an option to “Add New Table” — click that.
You can also add a custom metrics table to an existing report, in which case you’d start on a report in Studio, click “add component to your report”
Then select “metrics tables” (note: you’ll be taken to a new page, away from your report).
Once you’ve selected “metrics tables” from either your left navigation or via adding a component to your existing report, you have the option to select a multi-column table or a history table.
Then, it’s time to start selecting your rows and columns.
Rows/lines come first. Remember, rows are how you’d like to group your URLs. Botify gives you two main options for clustering your URLs into groups. You can group using:
Once you’ve selected what groups of your URLs you’d like to compare, it’s time to select your columns — what data points would you like to compare? You can select as many indicators as you’d like if you’re creating a multi-column table.
And be sure not to miss the dropdown that allows you to select COUNT, SUM, AVG, MIN, or MAX of the URLs.
For example, if you selected “COUNT,” you’d get the total number of URLs in that category. By selecting SUM, AVG, MIN, or MAX, you’re able to select different indicators.
For example, I’m creating a metrics table that’ll show me how many indexable and non-indexable URLs I have (which are the rows I selected), and also the average number of non-template words that are on the pages in those categories.
Which would end up looking like this:
All that’s left to do is name your table! You can then access it any time from your “Metrics Tables” page.
There’s so much that you can look at with custom metrics tables that it can be tough to know where to start. If that’s you, here are a few examples to get your wheels turning.
Maybe you’ve noticed from looking at Botify’s standard reports that your site has some issues with H1 tags, like you have a high number of URLs categorized as “Indexable URLs with Bad H1.”
That could spark your interest to run a larger H1 project to audit the quality of your H1s, see how they’re affecting your overall performance, and track your progress over time as you fix those issues.
This is where saved filters can come in handy, because you can use them to create subsets or groups of your URLs for comparison.
If you’re not familiar with saved filters, you can simply navigate to your URL explorer, filter your pages in any way you choose, then hit “save” for that filter to be added to your list of saved filters, which you can then use as rows in your custom metrics tables.
The benefit of saving filters is the ability to see really custom groups of your URLs. For example, you wouldn’t need to create and save a filter for “URL contains ‘blog’”
…if you already have your blog pages set up as a segment.
But back to H1s, you could also create tables for things like:
And don’t forget that you can pair out-of-the-box reports in Botify with your custom reports to create well-rounded dashboards! When you’re in or creating a custom report, just click “add a component to your report” and you have the option of adding both to a single dashboard.
Here’s an example:
You might be interested in understanding how crawl frequency correlates with how you rank, both number of keywords and keyword position.
You can create a metrics table that groups your pages by crawl frequency (below, pages are bucketed by those that get crawled fewer than 10 days per month, those that get between 10-20, and those that get more than 20 per month).
Then, you can add columns for COUNT (to understand how many URLs are in each group), and keyword metrics like average number of keywords.
We hope this has given you a lot to think about when it comes to analyzing your SEO metrics! Custom metrics tables are one of the best ways to find correlations in your data and track progress over time, so we hope you check them out.
If you do, the following tips would be good to keep in mind:
So, instead of jumping between reports, not knowing the “why” behind rankings, traffic, and engagement metrics, and not being able to track your progress against specific SEO initiatives, we hope you try custom metrics tables!