KPIs or Key Performance Indicators often act as a constant source of worry for SEO experts. A lot of pressure gets placed on SEO to improve KPIs and meet KPI goals. Of course, KPIs are influenced by a vast number of factors. But if you are confronted with pressure to meet or choose certain indicators, you need to understand how modern SEO influences results – and what indicators best show SEO success. The following are examples of important, realistic KPIs that will provide valuable information on the website without getting you too tangled in marketing knots.
Total Conversions: Conversions are going to be the name of the game for a while longer and possibly forever, simply because they turn all that SEO work into cold hard cash – or at least sign-ups and promotion follow-throughs and things like that. Managers love the conversion rate, because it shows how effective SEO marketing efforts are and if they really produce a worthwhile return on investment. The total conversion rate looks at all the conversions ever across the website, showing general activity when can then be broken down into particular categories if a business wants closer analysis. For those without the necessary tools, there are substitutes like the Google AdWords Estimated Total Conversions. These can still give you a good idea of general conversion rates and where they come from.
Conversions in Combination with Search: Conversions can be broken down into many different parts, but few parts are as valuable as conversions resulting from searches. Since keywords have been lost in the algorithms that time forgot, it is now difficult to pinpoint the total effect that keywords have on conversions. However, you can still see which conversions come from people hopping onto search engines. This indicator is brilliant because is shows you the overall impact of SEO on web rankings from a very real-world perspective. It is one of the KPIs that is almost entirely affected by SEO and little else, so marketers love it dearly.
Visitor Loyalty: Visitor loyalty refers not only to who visits your site, but who visits it repeatedly from the same location, and how often they do it. This is a great metric for judging your fans, how many fans you appear to have, and how many fans you are gaining over time. This loyalty metric is great for building a strong customer base that you can rely on.
Average Order Value: Average order value is a KPI that shows, on average, how much customers order. This may not sound very important, but it is a very useful stat when tracked over time because it shows how good your cross-promotions and cross-selling are. If you are a business that sells a lot of related products, average order value will tell you how successful that cross-selling content is.
Task Completion: Task completion is one of those painful but necessary KPIs that show where things are messed up. Essentially, this provides a look at each step of the conversion process, from first contact or view all the way through the final goal, the sale or sign-up or whatever. By looking at this information, managers can tell exactly where visitors give up, lose interest or move away. This is useful not only for SEO but for general web development, content, and marketing improvement.
Referral Traffic: Referral traffic refers to how much of your traffic comes through backlinking and similar types of connections apart from general searches. Referral traffic is a good way to judge how effective those links are when examined over time, and can show if your linking strategies are particularly effective or not. This works best when compared to things like task completion, as well.