Important SEO Metrics and Key Performance Areas

Leads and Sales

When your website is your business, you need to sell product if your site is an ecommerce site. Without leads and sales your business can’t survive, so tracking the impact of your SEO campaign on them is vital.


When you are looking to build your pool of leads, typically we ask a visitor to fill in a form in return for a free gift. We use that contact information to qualify the lead and establish whether they are a good fit for our products or services.

To track those leads, we measure the number of form completions by setting up a “Destination Goal” in Google Analytics to see how many people reach that page. We can see Goal completions in Google Analytics by going to Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels, and then click on the Organic Search channel group. Choose the Goal completions you want to see on the right.


E-Commerce tracking should be set up in GA. We are given a choice between Ecommerce tracking, and enhanced Ecommerce tracking. From Google:

  • Standard Ecommerce reports in Google Analytics allow you to analyze purchase activity on your site or app. You can see product and transaction information, average order value, Ecommerce conversion rate, time to purchase, and other data.
  • Enhanced Ecommerce adds functionality by allowing you to see when customers have added items to their shopping carts, when they have started the checkout process, and when they have completed a purchase. You can also use Enhanced Ecommerce to identify segments of customers who are falling out of the shopping funnel.

Irrespective of which option we choose it is a good practice to implement this using Google Tag Manager. Google’s guide to implementing Ecommerce Tag Manager can be found here.

Google Analytics will display all of our Ecommerce information such as Ecommerce Conversion rate, Number of Transactions and Revenue, by traffic type, once that is set up.

Organic Traffic

An important goal of any SEO campaign is to drive more traffic to our website from organic search, because traffic from an organic search is free. To see the progress of your organic traffic:

In GA, Acquisition>Channels>Organic Search: Sessions (def. a group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame.), we need to compare the number of sessions for different time periods such as:

  • Week over week – short term comparisons to measure the effect of a website fix or change)
  • Month over month – long term comparisons to measure the impact of an ad campaign)
  • Year over year – evaluate long term and seasonal trends within your company

The date function at the top right corner of the GA Organic Search page allows the user to select the date range for the required data.


Ranking well for important keywords is a significant part of any SEO campaign. High keyword rankings will help to drive more traffic to our website.

The Google Search Console shows which keywords are driving traffic to our website. The keywords data can be found in Search Console> Search Traffic>Search Analytics. Check the QueriesClicks, and Position boxes to see your average organic position for the queries that drive the most organic traffic to your site.

Backlinks & Referring Domains

Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors in SEO. It is important that you track the backlinks pointing to your website. You should consider the things that matter most with backlinks:

  • The total number of backlinks
  • The relevancy and quality of the sites linking to you
  • Renouncing the bad backlinks
  • The variety of the different linking domains

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is defined as, “the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).”

Bounce rate is one of the best ways of measuring user engagement on our site. A low bounce rate suggests that the user has found your website useful or interesting.

A high bounce rate on a blog post isn’t always a bad thing. It may suggest that the user’s search query was satisfied on that page. A high bounce rate on your home page suggests that there may be a problem with the page and the user leaves the site immediately without further activity.

The bounce rate is found in the fourth column on Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels. For the bounce rate for individual pages, go to Behavior>Site Content>All Pages.

Pages per Session

Pages per Session is another important factor because it means visitors are going to multiple pages on your website. When the Pages per Session count is low it suggests that our content isn’t interesting enough for people to stay on our site and look around. Alternatively, the navigation could be poor and the visitor leaves out of frustration.

This metric is found in the fifth column on Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels.

Average Page Load Time

This metric looks at how quickly your pages load in the browser. Fast webpages are critical for good user experience, especially on mobile devices.

In GA, Average Page Load Time is found on Behavior>Site Speed>Page Timings. Select the second column’s metric to Avg. Page Load Time (sec). You can use the search bar to check individual pages or see your average load times for all pages.

A recommended goal is to get pages to load in under 10 seconds. Important pages should load in under 5 seconds with a stretch goal of 3 seconds.


There are many more metrics we could be tracking but if we are tracking those listed in this post, we will have made major progress to improving our SEO campaign’s performance.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s