Metrics For Monitoring SEO Health - Semalt Tips
Table of Contents
- 404 Page Views
- Bounce Rate
- Security Issues
- Keyword Ranking
- Non-branded Keyword Impressions, Clicks and C-T-R
- Server Response Time
- Crawl Errors
- Mobile Device Usage
- Traffic Changes
- Why Monitor SEO Health?
SEO has always been a significant element of organic searches, search engines, and website growth. However, much more than before, SEO is essential for the success of an online business or brand. Not only is SEO a broad canopy of multiple tools and services, but it is also an ever-changing phenomenon. The path of SEO a decade ago is most definitely not its path today. But how do the metrics for monitoring SEO health come into place? It is rather straightforward.
Since SEO trends are constantly changing, businesses need to keep track of what is working and what has been outdated to remain on the top charts of their SEO game. It isn't about Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) alone, it now has to do with keywords, the ability to be featured on search engine snippets, SXO, UX, natural link building, and so much more. Therefore, to ensure that your SEO activity is still top-notch and successful, here are some metrics you can use to monitor how effective and strong your website's SEO is.
1. 404 Page Views and Broken Link Checker
Common features that accompany aged websites are broken links and 404 Pages. Broken links are those that lead to an invalid website that has either been taken down, deleted, or blocked. Therefore, when users click on a broken link, it takes them to a page that reads 'Error 404'. When site crawlers (search engine bots) scan through this website and read through the broken links, it can affect your website's SEO health negatively. Therefore, use a broken link checker or a 404-page view reporter to get alerted of any broken link on your website immediately.
2. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate refers to a percentage increase or decrease in website traffic. It is determined by a calculation where the total number of visits you have is put against the total number of visitors that took action (clicked on a link, checked another page, subscribed to your newsletter, etc.) When you have a high bounce rate, it means visitors bounce your site (or leave your site) the moment they checked in. However, when the bounce rate is too low, it might mean that visitors find it difficult to locate their information of interest. If you already have a steady bounce rate, monitoring its increase or decrease can tell you if you have poorly-written metadata, a slow-loading website, a website with poor UX, irrelevant keyword targeting, and irreverent content.
3. Security Issues
One of the jobs of search engines is to ensure that users are only provided with websites that are safe for them to click on. To that effect, you need to ensure that your site is constantly free from malware and other foreign security-compromising elements. To do this, install a security issues tool to ensure that your website remains safe and protected against malware. It will also keep your website's SEO health intact.
4. Keyword Ranking
This is another metric that is needed to ensure that your website's SEO is still a game. Keywords play a major role in a website's relevancy and positioning. They are principal words or phrases that stand out to search engines. They are also the significant words that users enter into the search bars during search engine queries. But it is not just about adding keywords to a bunch of text. Just like content - it needs to be relevant to the topic and most of all should be a high-ranking keyword.
5. Non-branded Keyword Impressions, Clicks and C-T-R
Starting with the definitions, non-branded keyword impressions are the number of times your website or web pages appear during searches (whether it is clicked upon or not). This is excluding any advert or sponsorship platform (non-branded). Clicks are just what they are - the number of times visitors clicked on your website. CTR is short for Click-Through Rate and it is 'clicks' divided by 'impressions' multiplied by '100'. CTR will help you to monitor how attractive and effective your website heading, adverts, and keywords are in encouraging clicks.
6. Server Response Time
A server is a computer program that is responsible for managing incoming and outgoing resources and information within a network. In other words, a server provides service. When a URL is clicked upon, a message is sent to the server, and information is retrieved, which would be displayed to users. This process usually takes about 2 seconds to 10 seconds. Any longer than this and it can be said that the website has a slow loading speed. But just because your website's server was great last month, does it mean it can't be slow this month? Ensure to check on your website's server response time frequently to ensure that things are still going on smoothly as they should be.
7. Crawl Errors
The essence of website crawling is for search engines to know what a web page is about. In other words, it is essential because it is the only way search engines can help put a website as part of search engine results for numerous keywords. You could also see it as a search engine bot scrolling through a website to know what it entails. When there is an error with the web crawling, it could as well be equated to the website being hidden from the world. Things that can cause crawl errors are 404 errors, broken links, redirect chains and loops, and duplicate content in form of identical titles, meta descriptions, and so on). So instead of looking for these things independently, you can subscribe to a webmaster tool for regular updates to your website crawl status.
8. Mobile Device Usage
Another important metric that can affect your website's SEO health if not monitored is the level of your website's mobile-friendliness. Mobile-friendliness or mobile device usage is the level at which a website is designed for mobile use and a better mobile experience. Here, the fonts could be bigger, fit into the screen, and be more attractive for those with phones. Responsive web design is also important as it ensures that your website fits into the screen size of the device - whatever the device could be. But just because you have set it up does not mean there aren't modifications that can be made. With a mobile device usage analytics tool, you can measure the engagement rate and compare it with previous months.
9. Traffic Changes
Traffic is the name used to refer to users that visit a site. Monitoring traffic changes is the most important of all the metrics because if the traffic is increasing, there may be little or no need to change the other metrics (except for advancements). There are 5 types of traffic change to monitor. To start with, organic traffic is the traffic that comes in through the search engine. When a user clicks on your site from search engine results, that counts as one organic traffic for your website. When it decreases, then there is a problem that needs to be solved.
Direct traffic is the next type of traffic change to monitor. Direct traffic is the number of users that visit your site from entering your URL directly into the HTTP bar. Referral traffic will not only help you check for the quantity of your incoming traffic but also the quality of your backlink profile. Other types of traffic sources to check for are email traffic and campaign traffic from email messages/newsletters and adverts respectively.
Why Monitor SEO Health?
Monitoring SEO health is vital for many reasons, and without active maintenance of your website metrics, you could lose your grip on a high website positioning and a healthy website SEO. But what is the specific importance of SEO monitoring?
- Eliminate Mistakes: Mistakes are almost inevitable, even with website creation and management. Therefore, things like duplicate content, loops, repetitive keywords, and so on could exist, and only by frequent monitoring can these factors be fished out.
- Elements and other websites evolve: Everything is not the same as it was, and that is why a fast server of those days can become slow today, a keyword that didn't exist before can rank high today, and a link that went through before has been taken down today. Therefore you need to be on top of your game - always checking in with your website metrics to stay SEO healthy.
- Malware is unpredictable: Especially regarding security issues, you need anti-malware that constantly ensures that your website is a safe place for users to visit.
Up to 9 metrics for monitoring SEO health have been mentioned with 3 critical reasons you need to be on top of your game with SEO monitoring. But at the end of the day, the truth remains that SEO monitoring is not an easy task, especially for those that don't know where to begin. Companies like Semalt are set in place to help keep watch over your website's SEO, and they give reports frequently with advice on what you might need to do or change. Most of all, there is a free consultation to get started.