These days, starting a small business is the easy part. Small business SEO is a real challenge.
Let’s face it, in these technology-driven times your online presence is also the backbone of your business. So what do you do?
Your online presence depends on how well you optimize your brand. The sales on your products or services alone aren’t enough to let you know how well you’re doing (especially if you’re sales aren’t much to look at). You have to use other metrics to measure your progress as a growing business.
You need specific key performance indicators to let you know what’s working and which areas need more TLC. If you want to know more about measuring your SEO performance, keep on reading.
Measuring the Success of Your Small Business SEO
Your online success depends on how well you’ve optimized your website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t exactly something that you can set up and let run on its own. It’s a part of your digital marketing campaign that can take weeks—sometimes months to come full circle successfully.
During this time it’s crucial to periodically assess your SEO’s performance in order to know if your digital marketing campaign is really making progress. To measure its progress, you have to have specific metrics in place that reflect each stage of your goals. These metrics will let you know what’s working and what isn’t working.
Monitoring SEO performance takes Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
A KPI is a measurable value that can be tracked. For example, a KPI could be how many new Instagram followers you gain in a month. If your goal is to gain 5,000 new followers but fall short by half, it’s an indicator that your social media marketing needs to be tweaked.
Of course, with KPIs for SEO, it takes a bit more data to establish the results. You need to track where traffic is coming from, where users are most engaged, and where they end up on your sales funnel.
If you want to know and improve how well your overall SEO strategy is working, these are the website KPIs you need to pay attention to:
The point of SEO is to improve your organic search traffic. It’s also what makes it such an important search KPI for small business SEO.
Your organic search traffic growth is directly related to your SEO efforts, making it the most accurate way to measure just how effective your SEO strategy is over time. Search engine traffic is relevant because it’s targeted—you want to generate as much traffic as possible so that in the end you get more conversion.
If your organic traffic is not increasing, it’s an indicator that you may have bad website links, bad backlinks, not enough SEO driven blog content, bad keyword rankings, a poor internal linking system, and so on.
Organic Search Leads
Yes, there is a difference between your search traffic and your leads.
People end up on your website for a variety of reasons—content, advertisements, keyword ranking, clickbait, organic searches, etc. In a general sense, that is all considered search traffic.
Your organic search leads are what stands between your search traffic and conversions. Your ultimate goal is to increase your rate of conversions. So, having an idea of the percentage of leads out of all that traffic is pretty important.
When you’re monitoring your SEO performance, the organic search leads is a KPI that lets you know how well your website is ranking—and how many people are visiting with a purpose.
If your percentage of leads is low, but your organic search traffic is high, it could be an indicator that your content is reaching the wrong audience.
This is one of the most popular SEO KPIs to track.
Your keyword rankings will indicate whether or not you’re targeting the right keywords in the first place. If you can’t find your website using your target keywords, it’s time to re-evaluate. You may have to go for less competitive words.
The same rankings will also indicate whether your site is growing or at a standstill. If you begin to see growth, it means that you’re gaining more long-term traffic as an authoritative site. It takes time, but you should begin to see improvement in your ranking as well.
It’s more important to see an increase in how many keywords you’re ranking for, rather than starting out with good keyword ranking.
The amount of time that your visitors spend on your webpage is definitely one of the more important KPIs for SEO. It’s simple—if your visitors are spending a good amount of time on your page, it’s an indicator that you’re providing valuable content.
Most people have specific intentions when they type keywords into the Google search bar. So if they land on your page and stay, it means that you’re answering their questions and satisfying their needs.
Adversely to the KPI mentioned above, your bounce rate indicates the number of visitors who click and run. In other words, they spend less than a second on your page before hitting the back button. It’s a great overall indicator of where the holes in your digital marketing campaign are.
Google senses these things. If people are continuously leaving your site just as quickly as they clicked on it, it’s going to affect your rankings. In a negative way.
This one of those page by page website KPIs, because you have to monitor each page individually to get your true bounce rate. Your bounce rate ultimately has a lot to do with your target audience. If your bounce rate is high it means that the message you’re sending isn’t getting through to the right crowd.
As mentioned before, people search with intent.
If your content lends a quick answer to someone’s question, they will stop there and leave your page, which will also negatively affect your bounce rate. This is ideally where you would want to beef up your content and quit giving away the goods. Make em’ work for it!
Having 50,000 visitors a day in organic search traffic doesn’t help if it doesn’t convert. At the end of the day, you want people to buy whatever it is that you’re selling. Tracking your conversion rates is one of the most important SEO KPIs.
Having a low conversion rate could mean a few things:
- Your site is difficult to navigate
- Your call to action is ineffective
- Your conversion process is ineffective
- Your page’s load time is slow
- Your site isn’t mobile-friendly
- You’re not providing valuable content within the context of your niche, products or services
Your conversion rate is directly related to your bounce rate as well. Chances are, if you have a high bounce rate then you also have a low conversion rate. If this is the case, then it may be time for a complete overhaul of your SEO strategy.
If you have a high rate of returning visitors it means that you’ve established yourself as an authoritative source for information, products, or services. The same goes for direct visitors. Again, Google picks up on these things.
The real value comes from your retention rate. If at least 30% or more people continue returning to your site it means that you’ve retained a third of your traffic. Anything less than that means that there’s most likely an issue with your content.
This is an important KPI if your income depends more on traffic than actually selling a product or service. It indicates how much your visitors like and trust your content.
This KPI is more valuable than you know. If you think about it, people use their phones to Google information much more than they use an actual computer. Google knows this too.
Mobile traffic ranking is different from desktop rankings in terms of SEO. But if you can conquer both then you’re ahead of the game. A high rate of mobile traffic means that your site is responsive, quick to load, and has engaging content. It also indicates that your website is viewed as an authoritative site.
Know Where You Stand
If you don’t keep track of these SEO KPIs, then you’re basically swinging blindly into the unknown. The success of your small business SEO depends on these KPIs because you’re not just competing with other companies for rankings—you’re competing for business.
Monitoring your SEO performance is about more than just getting higher rankings. It lets you know where you need to spend more time and energy in your digital marketing campaign. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is the difference between success and failure.
Want to know more about getting your business ranked higher on Google? We know exactly what to do.