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The Ultimate SEO KPIs and Tools to Measure

posted on 20-3-19-Thu 03:48
What is KPI in SEO?
Organic Traffic
Bounce rates
Keywords Ranking
Crawl Errors
Best tools to measure SEO KPIs
Final Thought


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a coordinated digital activity geared towards increasing a website’s visibility. This is achieved through organic search engine results (unpaid, free, and natural). The goal of SEO is to create content that specifically satisfies the purpose of a user’s query through targeted contents that search engines recognize as relevant to the query.

With the world going more digital, SEO has, without a shred of doubt, become a vital part of businesses with an online presence. Millions of users register queries daily in search of one thing, or another and SEO can help you leverage on it and improve your search result page rankings.

However, it is becoming exceedingly challenging to keep tabs with the ever-evolving digital landscape. There is no workaround for this if you wish to keep pace with the competition and get discovered through web searches by the target audience.

Asides the implementation of Search Engine Optimization, it is also very essential that their performances are measured and evaluated as you cannot improve what you cannot quantify. Days have gone by when website optimizations for searches are done just by adding relevant keywords. Even though they are still essential, keywords are no longer the only Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for measuring SEO success.

What is KPI in SEO?

KPI in SEO is a value deployed by digital marketers to evaluate their website performance for organic search results. Search Engine Optimization has become a vital tool for every marketer. There is a need for marketers to evaluate SEO metrics and keep track of changes monthly to further understand their search marketing performance. This analysis helps figure out top converting keywords, top-performing pages, and areas of improvement in your websites. Some of the top SEO KPIs are as follows

Organic Traffic

Many people may have misconceptions about organic traffic and what it is and is not. Well, first, let us highlight what it isn’t. Organic traffic is not the same as direct traffic or paid traffic. There are also other types of traffic in SEO that are not organic traffic eg, E-mail traffic.

What is Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic is a term that refers to users who visit your website through unpaid search results. The major key phrase here is “unpaid search.” Your website is displayed by search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, as a referral for ranking in a specific keyword search by the user. Visits to your website are organic if they come from search engines and not referred by a third-party website.

Whenever users input a request on the search box of search engines, they are given a set of results appearing as page ranks. If any of the results are click by the user, they are taken to a website’s landing page, and the visit is recorded as organic search traffic in analytics tools.

What makes Organic traffic so important?

In order of importance, Organic traffic is the most ranked. It is more important than paid traffic or any traffic from social media, including Facebook traffic. Here are the reasons

1.   It is targeted – there is always an intent by every user inputting a query in search boxes of search engines. When solutions to their challenges or concise answers to their inquisitions are provided on your website, you are more likely to get a new customer, follower, or subscriber.

2.   Website trust is increased – there are a couple of added benefits accompanying this point. Google and search engines generally are trusted by users. This means that the website ranked in top positions of search engines like Google are trusted organically by users. The conversion of an organic visitor is more likely compared to visitors from Facebook and other media.

How to track Organic traffic

You can track your Organic traffic levels using Google Analytics and Google Search Console

Google Analytics

Login to Google Analytics > ACQUISITION > ALL TRAFFIC > CHANNELS > ORGANIC SEARCH GROUP. This indicates the number of visits received from search engines’ organic results.

You can also check for another report. ACQUISITION > ALL TRAFFIC > SOURCE / MEDIUM. This indicates the exact number of traffic generated from individual search engines.

·        Google/organic represents organic traffic generated from Google

·        Bing/organic represents organic traffic from Bing

Google Search Console

Login to Google Search Console > PERFORMANCE > SEARCH RESULTS

The QUERIES tab displays the keywords your website is ranked for in Google organic results (impressions) and how many users visited (clicks).

The PAGES tab displays which of your website pages appeared in Google search and the number of users that visited them.

Ways to increase Organic search traffic

To increase your website’s organic traffic, and earn more visits from search engines, you must get used to proven SEO best practices. Some of the steps to take include

·        Optimize your website for users, not search engines

·        Blog regularly and explore the “blogosphere”

·        Utilize long-tail keywords

·        Craft a compelling metadata

·        Create quality contents consistently

·        Use internal links and encourage incoming links

·        Active social media presence

·        Track data and metrics to optimize results

google console

Bounce rates

Bounce rates can be a scary figure to look at, especially if it is high. It is a no-brainer that high bounce rate and low bounce rate are bad and good, respectively. It is one of the things you notice first in your Google Analytics account. However, those numbers might not tell the full story. Depending on the context and what pages or sections to be analyzed, the question remains, “how high is high?”

What is Bounce Rate?

A bounce rate is an SEO KPI that evaluates the percentage of users who visit a page and do absolutely nothing on the page they visited, like click on the menu or any of the internal links on the website. This implies that the inaction of the user triggers no action from the server.

It is calculated by the number of pages visited per session divided by the number of all the pages on the website. Having a high bounce rate could be due to any of the following reasons

·        Nothing is appealing to engage with. The page quality is low.

·        The user and audience do not correspond with the page’s purpose, and hence no engagement is developed

·        The user has already gotten the information they seek.

What is a good bounce rate?

Numerous variables are responsible for the determination of what a good bounce rate is. Variables like industry, business type, types of devices been used by your visitors all have some influence on what a good average bounce rate would be for your website. Google Analytics help to give you a quick overview of what it thinks is your industry’s average bounce rate or benchmark if you are a little confused.

Keywords Ranking

Looking up companies on phone books is outdated, and nobody tries that anymore. People are searching for a lot of businesses online, be it local or national. They get to your business through your website or third-party websites such as Amazon.

Since 2017, the way of doing business has massively evolved because of technology. You probably would like to rank on a search results page when people look for services related to yours. This has prompted the SEO world to become deeply interested in keyword rankings. Contrary to peoples’ opinions, this short phase need not be mystical anymore.

What are Keywords Ranking?

Keyword ranking is an SEO metric that measures the position your website shows up on search engine pages for a specific keyword. For example, you own a coffee shop in Anaheim, California, and you want your potential customers to find your website when they look up coffee shops within your area. Maybe your website comes in ranked at fourth on Google result pages when the search was for “coffee shops Anaheim CA” - this is probably good news.

However, when the search is for “restaurants Anaheim CA” or “cafes Anaheim CA”, your website does not appear on the result page until the fifth page of the search results. This means that your website is ranked 50-something for “cafes Anaheim CA.”

How to determine Keywords Ranking

Websites are ranked according to their relevance on the searcher’s keyword. So, a coffee shop in Anaheim, CA, will be valid for that particular keyword and will rank well with all other SEO factors being solid. However, the relevance of your site to the keyword “restaurants Anaheim, CA” is low because search engines have realized that your shop does not fulfill all the parameters for a perfect match for that query.

You can try to get an SEO specialist to help you rank number one in restaurants or cafes related searches; however, you have to take great caution. Failure to provide an answer that fulfills a searcher query will prompt them to bounce off your website, which will, in turn, hamper your ranking. Therefore, try to focus on search requests you can fulfill confidently.

Why are Keywords Ranking important?

There is a funny saying, “the Google second page is the best place to hide a dead body.” You catch the drift, right?

Websites ranked on the search engine first pages earn about 95% of web traffic, which means that people will rarely find you on the fifth page. Don’t be a dead body. You can track your average keyword ranking to evaluate the performance of your website and compare it with data from your competitors.

This means that if there is a drop in your ranking for a keyword search, you will be aware and take action to regain your previous ranking before you start losing revenue.

How to track a website ranking on search engines

There are always ways to obtain your website rankings on search engines. There are a whole lot of tools designed specifically for this purpose. There are keywords ranking tools that are free and the tools that are paid.

Utilizing exclusively free tools might not paint the entire picture of your true ranking, although they are handy tools to possess.

Paid tools, however, come with automated keyword rank reporting and usually takes care of all the hard work of tracking these keywords so you can be at ease and get the best possible results. You can check on Google for keywords ranking tools suggestions that match your budget. Some of the top choice tools include Google position checker tool, Moz, SERPs, and Advanced web ranking.

Crawl Errors

Crawl errors are a result of the inability or failure of a search engine to reach a page within your website.

What is Crawling?

To better understand crawl errors, there is a need to know what Crawling is first. The process of search engines trying to reach all pages of your website through a bot is referred to as Crawling. Once a search engine bot locates a link to a website, it begins to find all the public pages associated with that website. The bot crawls the pages, and all its contents indexed for Google use and also adds all links found on these pages to the list of pages to be crawled.

The main objective of every website owner is to ensure that the search engine bots can access all pages on the website. If this process is not fulfilled, then crawl error is returned. The objective is to ensure that all links on the website open to an actual page. Google has subdivided crawl errors into two namely

·        Site errors – the entire site cannot be crawled

·        URL errors – a specific URL per error. It is easier to fix and maintain

Site errors

There are many reasons for site errors; however, one thing certain is that if your website has site errors, it prevents the search engine bot from crawling your website. The most common site error reasons include

DNS errors : this implies that a search engine is experiencing difficulty communicating with your server. It might be a result of downtime, which means your website cannot be visited. This is normally temporal. Google will return at a later time to your website to crawl it. If this crawl error appears on your tracking tool eg, Google Search Console, it means Google has attempted a few times and couldn’t still reach the server.

Server errors : if this displays on your search console, it implies that the bot is unable to access your website. The request or query might have timed out. The search engine attempted to access your website; however, it took too long, prompting the server to serve an error message. Flaws in your code may be another issue for server errors as they prevent the page from loading. The third reason for server errors is that your website has a lot of visitors with many requests which the server couldn’t handle. Many of these errors will be displayed as 5xx status codes.

Robots Failure : before Crawling commences, Googlebot attempts to crawl a file, robots.txt. This helps indicate to the bot the portions of the website you wouldn’t want to be indexed. Failure of the bot to access the robots.txt file will prompt Google to postpone the crawl until it can access that file. Therefore, it is always a smart move to make it available.

URL errors

As stated above, URL errors are crawl errors that surface as a result of a search engine bot’s attempt to crawl a specific web page on the website. URL errors are usually discussed from crawl errors like 404 soft errors first, which signifies not found. These errors could be frequently checked and fixed through Google Search Console. When the subject or page is gone and is never coming back to your website, declare a 410 page. When there are similar contents on another page, serve a 301 redirect. It is always important to update your sitemap and internal links.

Most of the time, URL errors are caused by internal links, which puts the faults of the errors on the website owner. If you take down any page from your website, endeavor to adjust or remove all inbound links associated with that page as the links are of no use anymore. Failure to remove it will prompt the crawling bot to find and follow it only to reach a dead-end, thereby causing crawl errors. Maintenance is frequently required on your website’s internal links.

google dashboard

Best tools to measure SEO KPIs

Measuring your SEO success could be tricky at times. To measure your SEO performance, your goals have to be defined; therefore, you need to set KPIs for those goals and then track them. You may need to do more than setting goals for your SEO marketing campaign to work. Most smart digital marketers create a goal for every piece of SEO strategy and track them individually. We believe you should do the same, and below are the necessary tools to track your SEO performance.

Google Analytics

Enhance the UX for your mobile app and website with digital analysis at no cost. Google Analytics provides companies and businesses with rich, insightful data about their websites, their digital marketing, and their audience. There are a lot of tools to deploy, which are flexible, powerful, and user-friendly.

World-class testing tools and conversion attributes aids businesses, small or large, to build greater UXs and maximize their digital strategies.

Cloud-based analytics platform which aids companies of any size monitor user behaviors and consumer interactions with apps and websites. Obtain user insights gotten only from Google. The tool helps you understand your app and website users to better measure the performance of your products, contents, and more. Google Analytics can help you identify what is working and what is not.

Google Console

It is a cloud-based analytics platform from Google, which aids companies of any size monitor user behaviors and consumer interactions with apps and websites. Obtain user insights gotten only from Google. The tool helps you understand your app and website users to better measure the performance of your products, contents, and more. Google Console can help you identify what is working and what is not. Things that you can do with Google Console include

·        Having your sitemap crawled after submitting it directly to Google

·        Get crawl reports and perform website auditing

·        Search Analysis and Keywords ranking

·        Track keywords position, impressions, and CTRs


SEMrush is a competitor analysis and campaign management tool for every SEO campaign. The tool has a whole lot of features such as Projects which are used for keyword visibility tracking, website problems, and tracking links. There is also another tool referred to as standard keyword/domain research tools for looking at domain ranks for keywords or keyword ranks for domains.

It features more than 20 tools and reports. It provides you access to the biggest keyword database on the Internet. You will have access to over 8.3 billion keywords in 118 countries, rank tracking, backlink management, SEO audit tool, and on-page SEO analysis tool.

If you are looking for a basic insight of competition, volume, difficulty, etc. of a keyword, SMErush is perfect for that.


This tool is cloud-based, providing intelligent solutions for all business sizes. It is of great value to business solution providers, analytics firms, marketing agencies, technology providers, and system integrators as it helps them design business performance dashboards.

Some of the essential features include data-source connectors for multiple applications and databases, real-time dashboards, pre-built visualizations, etc. Users can have their business data present to them as tables, bar charts, area charts, and lines. Users are also allowed to edit selected visualizations or design theirs. You can also specify the particular data you want to be included in the dashboard when connecting a data source. Klipfolio has mobile applications for iOS and Android devices. It can also be integrated with third-party apps like Moz, Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, and Slack.

google dashboard

Final Thought

Measurement can be a bit tedious and tiring, but that does not make it less important. With the metrics mentioned above, you can track your SEO performance and have a good foundation on how to increase your search organic traffic.