When you’re getting a new website off the ground, knowing exactly what to measure will make or break your success. But with all the metrics that Google Analytics and other platforms offer, it’s easy to get lost.
9 SEO metrics that you need to measure when launching a new website.
1. Monitor is load time.
It has a huge effect on SEO and user experience will make or break your website’s success. You know, I was reading an interesting article that was breaking down some stats from Walmart. Did you know that every second that they saw in load time improvement, they saw roughly a 1 or 2% increase in conversions?
That’s not bad, something’s better than nothing, right? So load time not only affects your search engine rankings but it can also affect your conversion rates.
2. keeps track of is dwell time or at least the average session duration in Google Analytics.
If people like your content, they’ll spend more time consuming it. If they don’t, then you’re kind of screwed. And a simple way that you can improve this is by cross-linking your content together.
So for example, if I have an article that breaks down SEO and an introduction to SEO and I break down all the factors of SEO such as things like link building. Well, if I was to have an article on link building, I’ll link to that article and that will help with this metric.
3. Average Time On-Page
Check this metric off for individual pages to see what’s working and what’s not working. You’ll have some pages that hit it out of the park and you’ll have some pages that just do terrible.
You want to take the pages that are doing extremely well and figure out, all right, what do all these pages have in common? Go look at all the pages that aren’t performing well, what do they have in common? This will give the idea of what you should do more of and what you should do less of.
4. The Percentage of Returning Visitors
The early days, especially when your website is brand new, what you’ll find out is you’ll have a ton of returning visitors. Because that will be you going back to your site or your friends going back to your site.
As your site grows and you start getting some traffic from other sources, you’ll find that you have barely any returning visitors. But as you grow your brand, you’ll find that your returning visitor count will continually
go up and up and up.
In the early days, you’ll live and die by returning visitor numbers. For example, if you’re getting all these visits but you can’t figure how to get any of them back, ensure your trafficking, maybe it can just be growing month over month. It’s growing because you’re adding new people, you have a big leaky bucket.
You need to solve that because the easiest way to grow is to retain the people that are already on your site. And you can do a few things to get people back to your site such as collect emails so you can email people every time you have updates or new content.
Do push notifications, that way every time you have a message to send out. You can also leverage messenger chats such as MobileMonkey or mini chat.
5. Referral Traffic
Organic traffic won’t be great in the beginning but if you can get referral traffic in order to get people to your site, if they’re from relevant sites, you can get sales, conversions. Knowing what is the best referring traffic sources will help you fine-tune your marketing strategy. I look at referring traffic for two main reasons.
One, the more referring traffic I’m getting, usually, that means the more backings I’m getting which means overall time, my organic traffic is going to increase.
Secondly, I like to see which sites cause the most conversions to cause then I need it to know, to focus all my efforts on those sites that is not just driving traffic, but they’re driving sales. Because traffic that doesn’t convert into sales is useless.
6. Track Organic Traffic
In the early days, you’re not going to rank for much so what you want to do is you want to look for your rankings and if they’re climbing up. So you may be in the 100s spot, then you go to the 50, then you go to 10, and as you keep climbing you’ll see your traffic going up as well.
So when you’re looking at organic traffic, look at the total number not jus each individual keyword, because you can see as a whole, are you getting more traffic or less traffic. You can do this through Google Search Console or you can sign up for Ubersuggest and it can track your rankings as well as your search traffic on a daily basis for you.
That will give you idea of what’s working, what’s not, what keywords are driving impressions, what pages are working so you get a good idea of what you should do more of and what you should do less of.
For organic traffic, anything around 50% or lower is good, anything above that level you need to make improvements to your site. Bounce rate’s not just about the content but it’s about the experience. If your site loads slow, you’re going to have a higher bounce rate.
If you’re not interlinking your pages together, you’re going to have a higher bounce rate. The bounce rate is an important metric to measure because it tells you what users think of your website. If you have a low bounce rate that means they like the stuff on your site.
8. Email opts in’s.
Email subscribers will be one of your best sources of traffic. Why? It won’t bring in the most amount of people but it’ll bring in a lot of your paying users, your customers, your subscribers. Whether you’re selling parts or services, emails are effective.
I was once talking to the president of Overstock.com which is a publicly-traded company and he told me emails are one of their best channels and I worked with a lot of Fortune 1000 companies at my ad agency, and we found that emails are super effective whether you’re a big Fortune 1000 company or even a small and medium business,
so make sure you’re collecting emails. And on that note, if you need help with any of your marketing.
9. Pages Per Session
Look, if people are coming to your site and they’re sticking around for two, three, four, five pages per session, that’s good. If they’re sticking to one point something, that’s pretty low.
Look at the behavior flow in Google Analytics to see exactly where users are navigating to. This will inform you and tell you what’s working and what’s not. This will tell you what you need to do to get more pages per session.
That behavior flow is one of the best reports that I love and with it, you’ll get a better idea of what changes you need to make. If you need help growing your site’s traffic, check out my ad agency.