How To Track And Monitor Your SEO Performance

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a fundamental aspect of your digital marketing strategy, it involves many different techniques and strategies that are aiming to improve your visibility in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). However, implementing these strategies is only half of the battle. To successfully implement an SEO strategy, you need to constantly monitor and track your SEO performance. 

In this blog we will be discussing the most important aspects to track, how to track and monitor them over time and why it is so important to track and monitor your SEO performance. 

Why Is Monitoring Your SEO Performance So Important? 

Tracking and monitoring your SEO performance can be important for many reasons: 

  1. It allows you to monitor your progress 

Monitoring your SEO performance will allow you to assess the impact of your SEO strategies and efforts. Are you moving in the right direction, increasing your rankings and organic traffic? Or, have you regressed and you need to adjust your strategy? Either way, it is important to know what is working and what isn’t so that you can plan for the future of your SEO performance. 

  1. It allows you to identify opportunities 

By analysing and monitoring your organic performance data, you will be able to identify new opportunities, keywords to target and areas that need improvement. 

  1. It allows you to benchmark against your competitors 

When analysing your performance, it will allow you to see how you are performing against your competitors and understand where you sit in the market. You will then be able to analyse what your competitors are doing better than you and where you can improve to compete with them in the SERPs. 

  1. It allows you to see the effects from algorithm updates 

As SEOs, we know that search engines, like Google, frequently release algorithm updates and these can affect the performance of your website, and can therefore affect organic traffic. Monitoring your SEO performance will allow you to see if you have been hit by an update, and you can then see what you need to improve based on the update that has affected your site. 

Now that we understand why tracking and monitoring SEO performance is so important, let’s get into how you can do it.

Monitoring and Tracking Your SEO Performance 

When you are tracking your SEO performance, there are many different metrics which you can look into, and it is important that you look at a combination of metrics so that you are getting an overall picture of your SEO performance. In this blog, we will be discussing the 6 metrics that are extremely important to constantly monitor in order to stay on the top of your SEO game! 

Keyword Rankings 

One of the first things to consider when tracking your SEO performance is keyword rankings, where is your website ranking in the SERPs for the keywords that you are targeting? 

A keyword ranking is where your website is positioned in the SERPs for a specific keyword. However, rankings can often change for a number of reasons. This could be due to an algorithm update, a change in user intent, a competitor updating or publishing new content or many other reasons. It is therefore essential to track your keyword rankings. 

Monitoring your rankings is extremely important because the position of your website in the SERPs can have a significant impact on your organic traffic. According to Backlinko, the lower you are in the SERPs, the lower your Click-Through Rate will be. 

Source: Backlinko 

The graph above shows the full Click-Through Rate for Google’s organic results, it shows that if your website is organically ranking in position 1, it will get a 10x higher CTR compared to if your website was in position 10, therefore showing the importance of ranking in those higher positions. 

It is extremely likely that your keyword rankings will significantly affect your CTR and organic traffic, it is therefore vital to keep track of these rankings so that if you do lose rankings and drop down to a lower position in the SERPs, you can figure out why and put your efforts into regaining those rankings. 

So, how do you actually monitor your rankings in the SERPs? Well, there are many different tools to use including SEMRush, Moz and Google Search Console, but the tool we will be looking at today is Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a tool that easily allows you to track your rankings for all of your targeted keywords. 

Above is an example of how Ahrefs displays their keyword rankings. When you first start tracking your website in Ahrefs, you will enter all of the keywords you wish to track for your website. Ahrefs will then display all of your targeted keywords alongside the position that your website is ranking in for that particular keyword. It will give you a thorough overview of the volume, traffic and keyword difficulty of the keyword, alongside this will be the particular URL of your website that is ranking for that keyword. It will give you information about whether your rankings have improved or declined, what the SERP is currently returning for that keyword and how you have ranked for that keyword over the past 12 months.

All of this information is truly vital when you are monitoring your SEO performance as it will give you insights into the history of your rankings, therefore allowing you to further look into what has caused your website to either gain or drop rankings. This can then help to inform your future SEO strategy and how you can maximise your organic traffic. 

Monitoring and tracking your keyword rankings should be a daily occurrence due to the volatility of the SERPs. The SERPs are constantly changing and it is important that you are staying up to date with this so you can focus your SEO efforts effectively. 

Organic Traffic 

Another key metric to track for your SEO performance is organic traffic. Organic traffic refers to the number of users that are visiting your website from the search engines organically (without clicking on an ad).  

Organic traffic can be one of the main ways to monitor and track your SEO performance as you will be able to see exactly how many users are landing on your website organically. 

In order to measure your organic traffic, you can use Google Analytics 4

By navigating to the User Acquisition Report within GA4, you will be able to see how many new organic users have visited your website and which particular page they have landed on. In GA4, you are able to change the date range, compare time periods and add filters so you can thoroughly see how your website is performing organically. 

This will give you a clear overview of how your overall website is performing in the SERPs, which pages are performing well, which pages need improvement and how your organic traffic has changed over time. This can be extremely insightful for informing your SEO strategy and seasonal changes in data will also allow you to spot trends and how you can cater to your users. 

Impressions and Click-Through Rate

Impressions and Click-Through Rate (CTR) are also two metrics that are important to measure when you are monitoring your SEO performance. 

An impression is counted every time you show up in the SERP for a keyword or search query. 

Click-Through Rate is the percentage of impressions that resulted in a click. 

To track the amount of impressions and clicks your website is getting, you can use Google Search Console (GSC) which is a free tool which lets you monitor your sites total clicks and total impressions and will give you a percentage of your website’s average CTR.

GSC will also give you a breakdown of the queries that users are searching for and how many clicks and impressions those particular queries are getting. You are then able to look into your average click-through rate for your overall website and individual click-through rates to see how well you’re performing in the SERPs. This will give you an insight of how many users are seeing your website on the SERPs and then actually clicking through. 

It is a good idea to monitor your CTR as part of your SEO performance because when users are seeing your website on the SERPs, they will be looking at your Title Tag and Meta Description for that page. This will be the only thing enticing users onto your page and if your CTR is low for certain pages, it can show that you may need to edit these in order to improve the amount of clicks to your website.

Engagement rate 

Engagement rate is also extremely important to monitor, this measures the percentage of users that are interacting with your website and this will be based on whether they have stayed on your website for more than 10 seconds, clicked on a link within your website or submitted a form. 

Engagement rate is extremely important as it shows whether users are interacting with your website and finding it helpful, or if they are just clicking off your website as soon as they land on the page. If there is a low engagement rate, it shows that the users have not found your website helpful, and they did not feel as though their intent was satisfied. 

A low engagement rate can potentially affect your position in the SERPs and is therefore an extremely important metric when you are measuring your SEO performance. If you have a low engagement rate, it is important to analyse your website and see how you can improve the experience so that user engagement improves. One of the ways to do this would be to review your website against competitors who are performing well and update your website to better match the user intent and increase the engagement rate. 

To monitor your engagement rate, you can again use the User Acquisition Report in Google Analytics 4. This will provide you with the amount of engaged sessions that have occurred and the engagement rate for your overall website and also individual pages. This will provide you with a great insight for which pages need improving.  

Conversion rate 

Conversion rate is the percentage of users who complete a desired action, this can include subscribing to a newsletter, completing a form, adding a product to the basket, or making a purchase. 

Monitoring the conversion rate for your website can give you valuable insights into the behaviour of your users. It can tell you which pages are performing well and driving conversions, the demographics of the users which are converting and what you can do to better serve your users and improve the amount of conversions. 

Conversion tracking also ensures that you know where conversions originated from, which pages your users landed on in order to complete the user journey, this will help you to determine the quality of your landing pages, and which ones need optimising in order to help the user journey lead to conversions. 

In order to track the amount of conversions you are receiving organically, you can go to the User Acquisitions Report in GA4 and filter by ‘Organic Search’ and ‘Landing page + query string’. This will then give you the amount of conversions that each landing page has received. You can also compare this to different time periods in order to see whether your conversion rate has increased or declined, this will then help you to inform your future SEO strategy. 

Key Takeaways 

Tracking and monitoring your SEO performance using the above is an ongoing process. It is important to regularly review your metrics and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly. Remember that SEO is not a one-off project, it is an ever evolving process that will need adapting regularly. By following the steps outlined throughout this blog and utilising the right tools, you can ensure that your website remains competitive and visible in the ever changing landscape of the SERPs. 

By consistently monitoring your SEO performance and staying committed to improvement, you will see the long term benefits of tracking your SEO. If you require any assistance with monitoring your website for SEO and coming up with a suitable SEO strategy, get in touch with us today and our team of SEO experts will be able to help.