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SEO Key Performance Measures

“Performance benchmarks exist for a very specific purpose, to measure conversion and marketing objectives, but KPIs (key performance indicators) also allow us to extend beyond one-dimensional thinking…” .

This statement, made by Jeffrey Smith, prominent SEO blogger, is a well-articulated description of why monitoring SEO metrics is important to your web marketing goals. It simply helps you to evaluate your standing by the numbers. We’re here to help guide you through understanding what these measures can help you gain and aid in determining the effectiveness of your SEO campaign. Here are some top key performance measures for SEO:

1. Branded to Non-Branded Keyword Mix

One of the very important SEO key performance measures is the brand to non-brand keyword mix. Simply put, this performance indicator demonstrates how well consumers know your brand or products. It is the ratio of how many branded keywords to non-branded keywords power your search. For example, if you are the head of marketing at Petco, you would most likely want to strike a proper balance between getting search traffic from the terms “kitty litter” and “kitty litter Petco”. The brand to non-brand mix gives an indication of how well you are performing for long-tail, product specific searches, related to brand search terms such as the name of your business. Depending on your marketing strategy, you should develop an appropriate mix that makes use of brand-related advertising dollars and captures new business through non-branded search. For advice on selecting relevant keywords for your site, visit our article “Choosing Relevant Keywords for your Website”.

2. Pages Yielding Traffic

A second example of important SEO key performance measures is pages yielding traffic, a metric which determines how well the pages on your site drive search engine traffic. A high percentage could indicate your site employs a strategy to target non-branded keywords. Dr. Surinder Kahai, professor of Management Information Systems at Binghamton University and a strong advocate for SEO, says he believes this is a crucial key performance measure in seeing the level of traffic and whether it meets users’ expectations. As a website creator, it is key for your pages to be visible to search engines to draw new traffic to your site. Keeping your pages relevant, but more importantly exposed, to new potential users is a crucial component of SEO.

3. Index-to-Crawl Ratio

Another one of the SEO key performance measures is the index-to-crawl ratio, a comparison between the number of pages indexed by a search engine to the number of pages crawled on a site. A three to one (3:1) crawl ratio illustrates that for every page crawled by a search engine like Google, three were located in its index. Changes associated with this number usually show up with changes in the search engine index, but sometimes are found in the crawl signal patterns. It is important to monitor this ratio to determine your website’s “indexability”; the higher the number, the more information Google is indexing on your site.

4. Visitors per Keyword

The fourth metric on our SEO key performance measures list is visitors per keyword, which shows on average, how much traffic a site is getting given the keywords entered in the search engine. It is important to examine the performance of keywords on average for all pages yielding traffic. This measure will help indicate which keywords are performing best for your site.

5. Unique Pages

A fifth important figure on our key performance measures list is the number of unique pages on your site. Generally, the more content you have, the more useful your site can be to a greater base of consumers. It is useful to track the number of pages that have been crawled by the search engines, which can generally be estimated over a 30 or 60 day period. Making your site adequately robust to achieve keyword goals is a staple in search engine optimization.

Be sure to keep track of these key performance indicators and set objectives for improving your SEO processes. By monitoring key performance measures on a regular basis, you can best assess whether your search engine optimization efforts are yielding the results you desire.

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