To ensure your site’s success in 2021, measuring its performance and optimising it will get you where you want your site to go — on top of Google’s SERPs.
We brought together the most relevant SEO metrics that every site should monitor in 2021. Daniel Law from Red Search, a leading SEO agency in Sydney, recommends the following ten crucial metrics:
1. Core Web Vitals
Google announced that it would incorporate Core Web Vitals into its page ranking criteria around June of 2021. That includes three (3) of its most important metrics, namely:
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) for graphical stability
- First Input Delay (FID) for website interactivity
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) for page loading
They’ll also include a handful of relevant user experience (UX) metrics to Core Web Vitals, focusing on operability, flexibility, and a user-friendly experience. In general, that means you’ll need these metrics to ramp up your site’s technical optimisation in the future.
2. Keyword Rankings
Google’s algorithm is becoming smarter and more intuitive towards keywords and search intent. With regular updates taking place in their ranking algorithm, Google is making sure to deliver the best results relevant to search queries, so your content should do its part as well.
If you find your site ranking high for a relevant keyword, that means you’re heading on the right path to leverage this potential and rank for other keywords.
But if you’re ranking in the wrong keywords or not at all, you may need to focus on long-tail and less competitive keywords.
3. Organic Search Traffic
If you cannot bring reliable organic traffic to your site, your SEO efforts are vain. That said, keeping an eye on your organic traffic is crucial to monitor your SEO performance and marketing success.
Moreover, most of the SEO metrics discussed in this list will determine how your website performs. However, organic search traffic indicates whether you’re driving your target audience to your site.
4. Domain Authority
Having a higher domain authority indicates a good link structure and high page rank. But while DA doesn’t directly indicate user experience and behaviour, it tells you whether your SEO efforts are taking shape.
Since DA is relevant for link building, you may want to monitor it now and then to benchmark your SEO performance properly.
5. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate is a very popular metric for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. But now, CTR has become a reliable SEO metric as it helps brands monitor their SEO success rate.
You can find your CTR by dividing the number of visits your page gets by the number of times it appears in search engine results pages (SERPs). If you have a CTR of 20% with an average of 15,000 search volume, then you’re getting approximately 3,000 site visits out of that traffic.
6. Organic Conversion Rate
The last thing you want is for your audience to visit your site and leave without any engagement or interaction.
With user interaction becoming more important than ever, you need to elevate your campaign and evaluate whether your strategy attracts your target audience from SERPs.
7. Crawl Errors
Search engines rank sites by scouring through them to look for relevant content and index them accordingly. But regardless of how great your content is, all of it will be useless if search engines cannot crawl your site.
Crawl errors happen when search engine crawlers encounter issues when accessing your website. These errors may prevent them from visiting any page and hinder them from indexing your pages.
Daniel from Red Search advises brands to keep a close eye on crawl errors and patch them up as soon as they appear.
8. User Behavior
One way of monitoring user behaviour on your site is by tracking its bounce rate. By definition, bounces are one-page sessions that inform the servers about organic traffic.
It essentially means that the visitor lands on your site and leaves without clicking other pages, ending with a one-page visit. Aside from that, you may also need to monitor relevant behavioural metrics like dwell time and average session duration.
9. Page Loading Speed
Many brands tend to confuse page speed with site speed. Page speed is a more specific metric that measures the time to first byte or when it takes for a visitor to receive the first byte of data from your website’s server.
In other words, the more time it takes for your site to load, the more probable people will leave your site and shift to the next best result from Google SERPs. So if you want to optimise your site UX, you may need to keep your page loading speed in check.
10. Backlinks and Referring Domains
Off-page SEO has become as vital as on-page SEO since dominating your digital niche means establishing a broad network of backlinks from authoritative sources.
As a result, Google will find numerous traffic streams that link your site from others and may significantly improve your performance and ranking in SERPs. Studies also show a strong relationship between backlinks and site ranking, making it the most sought-after metric in 2021, where eCommerce and digital campaigns are becoming stronger than ever.
Search engine optimisation has become more intuitive and complicated than before. With all the updates and algorithm changes, keeping up with the trends is essential to hold your position in Google SERPs.
Aside from that, monitoring relevant SEO metrics will ensure that your site stays in top shape and will keep the user experience as seamless as possible. All of these are possible with the right SEO campaign and a time-tested SEO agency to have your back covered.