Any online marketer will know the importance of analytics data for measuring website performance. Without these metrics, you have no way of evaluating different marketing strategies. But you don’t always have time to analyze everything – you just need to know the data that gives you a good overview. There are a number of important SEO data points that every marketer should pay attention to in order to optimize future marketing strategies.
Created by Moz, a leading online SEO resource, Domain Authority is one of the most comprehensive and revealing measurements about your website. Basically, by combining various website statistics, including link counts and MozRank, this metric tells you how well your domain is likely to rank in Google’s search results pages. Measured on a 100-point scale, a high Domain Authority score translates into better search rankings and more organic traffic. Use Moz’s Open Site Explorer tool to compare your site with others and measure its authority over time.
Number of Indexed Pages
Put simply, the more pages you have indexed by search engines, the more opportunity you have to rank higher for certain keywords. Having more pages also allows you to build a more solid internal linking structure. But beware – just like backlinks, having more is not necessarily always better for SEO. The content still needs to be high quality and the keywords must be relevant and non-repetitive.
Site Speed (Page Load Time)
Do you know how many seconds it takes for your pages to load? Site speed is a critical factor in determining how your website ranks with Google and other search engines. Faster page load times also enhance the user experience. Check out your site speed statistics with Google’s PageSpeed tools, and use the tips to improve your site speed. Google has repeatedly stated the importance of page load time in rankings, so neglecting site speed is no longer an option.
Getting more organic site visits is one indication of a successful search marketing strategy. Unlike “paid” traffic, which comes from Adwords or other advertisements, the amount of organic traffic shows how successful your content strategy is. Make sure you are regularly publishing unique content. If the number of organic visits is steadily rising for specific keyword phrases, you’re on the right track. Use Google Analytics to find out which keyword phrases are attracting visitors to your site, and which web pages these visitors are landing on.
Backlinks are one of the most important factors in Google rankings. Quality backlinks from authoritative websites show Google that your site is useful and relevant, and you’ll be rewarded with higher search rankings. However, remember that quality counts. A high percentage of poor-quality links from untrustworthy websites is not good for SEO. Develop relationships with relevant, credible websites that add value to your website and try to get links to your site from these domains.
Since Google’s Hummingbird update, social signals have become increasingly important to SEO. Boosting your presence on social media platforms not only promotes your brand to a wider audience, it also improves your credibility score with Google. Monitor the number of Facebook Likes, LinkedIn Followers, Twitter Followers, and Google+ Follows your site has and track these figures over time. Some effective ways to boost social media engagement include keeping an active blog (you can always look to outsource a freelance blog writer if you do not have the resources within your company to do this), creating polls or competitions and posting articles that are easily likeable/sharable.
Technically speaking, this is the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your site after viewing only one page. Along with other user metrics like organic click-through rate, Google measures the quality and value of your content, and adjusts your ranking accordingly. For this reason, it’s crucial to reduce your website’s bounce rate by delivering quality content that is relevant to the keyword phrases that drive people to your site.
Now that you know some of the most important SEO data points for your website, you can take the necessary steps to improve your site’s ranking with search engines. You won’t see the results of your work overnight, but when you start to focus on the SEO metrics that really matter, you can maximize your online visibility in the long term and keep up with the competition.