What Are Website Metrics and What Are They Used For?
SEO Metrics are tools that measure the performance of your pages within the search engine results. They are used to give an indication of how well your pages are performing and bring a host of benefits to a business as they point out where you can improve.
Identifying the parts of your strategy that are working and those that aren’t will give you an enormous advantage over your competitors. For example, you will be able to maximise your SEO efforts by developing more relevant content for your visitors, identifying any errors you may have with your SEO strategy and helping you to track more leads.
LINK AUTHORITY METRICS
Google ranks a website based on the level of trust it believes it to have. You will get an insight into how trusted Google thinks your website is by looking at the link authority metrics. You can check these against your domain and individual pages.
There are several tools available that measure trust but they all measure this in different ways. Below we outline a selection of such tools – It is best to choose just one of them and use only that tool going forward. All of the different tools measure site metrics differently and if you use more than one they will cause confusion.
1. MOZ DOMAIN AUTHORITY (DA) SCORE
This tool measures the quality of your backlinks and assesses, on a scale of between 1 and 100, how likely it is for a website to rank in the search results. MOZ uses a variety of factors to calculate this score, such as linking root domains and f links coming from other sites. The higher this number is for you the greater the chance for you to rank highly.
By continually improving your linking strategy, you should be able to see an increase in your score as you progress.
2. TRUST FLOW FROM MAJESTIC
Trust Flow also uses a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the score, the higher the trustworthiness and easier to rank. Websites that are more closely linked to these types of sites are given a higher score.
To access this score, enter the domain name that you would like to examine in the search bar. This will give you the Trust Flow score and several other metrics that you might find useful.
WEBPAGE LINK AUTHORITY METRICS
These metrics are used to assess individual web pages. Again we will look at MOZ, AHREFS and MAJESTIC.
MOZ page authority is similar to domain authority. Moz page authority is measured by using the quality and quantity of internal and external backlinks. Page Authority statistics should be used to compare web pages on the same domain.
AHREFS – URL RATING based on a score of 0-100 and shows how strong that URL’s link profile is. This metric is very similar to Google’s page rank but offers a deeper understanding of how likely it is that the page will rank within the search results.
MAJESTIC CITATION FLOW – This measures the number of links that point to a given URL and so the more links a URL has then the higher the score. It does not take into account the quality of the backlink and so should be used in conjunction with, for example, Trust flow from Majestic.
KEYWORD RESEARCH METRICS
Keyword research finds which words and phrases users type into search engines when looking for products and services. No score is given to these metrics as they don’t directly measure the SEO performance of your website.
SEARCH VOLUME – this figure measures the number of times that users search for a specific keyword per month – so the higher the search volume is then the more traffic you expect to generate from that keyword.
However, you will find that search volume metrics reported by various platforms, will not report the same figure.
(a) The Google Keyword Planner tool is not accurate as it only reports search volume in a specific range and does not supply a specific number.
(b)The AHREFS KEYWORDS EXPLORER TOOL, however, is more accurate. It combines Google’s Keyword planner and Clickstream data to give a more accurate result.
(c) The SEMRUSH KEYWORD OVERVIEW tool, however, gives the average monthly search over the previous 12 months. It also has a useful tool that shows volume trends over time, which can be useful in predicting whether or not to use a keyword in the future.
KEYWORD DIFFICULTY – this figure shows how hard it is to rank on the first page of Google for a chosen keyword. If you are using paid advertising, it will also help you to decide if it is worth the investment or not.
You may find it difficult to rank for a high-difficulty keyword if you are competing against high-authority domains. We recommend that you begin concentrating on keywords that have low difficulty scores that have a decent search volume. By doing this you will stand a better chance of ranking well for multiple variations of these keywords as well.
AHREFS and MOZ’s keyword explorer shows keyword difficulty as a score from 0 to 100. It is best to focus on keywords with a keyword difficulty score of less than 40 if you are a new or smaller business.
SEMRUSH shows keyword difficulty in virtually the same way except that it is shown as a percentage.
The Google Keywords Planner tool is slightly different in that it describes this score as either Low, Medium or High.
CURRENT SEARCH POSITION – this is where your website currently ranks in the search results for specific keywords and you are able to check this ranking on a multitude of sites including SEM Rush, Moz and AHrefs.
CLICK THROUGH RATE (CTR) – this is the ratio of users who click through to a website, divided by the total traffic for the keyword. As a guideline, you should be looking for a click-through rate of about 10-20%. You are able to measure CTR on AHREFS and SEMRUSH.
In SEMRUSH this can be found by going to its Keyword Manager and then clicking potential.
These metrics determine the effectiveness of your existing SEO by referencing data from your own website.
A. Organic Traffic – this refers to the number of visitors naturally arriving at your website – those coming from paid channels are not counted. These visitors are free visitors that you are receiving because of your organic SEO work.
B. Google Analytics – This free Google tool separates traffic arriving from the search engine results and other channels.
This tool provides a multitude of information regarding your website. For example, you can see how much traffic each of your keywords generated for your site by looking at the Google Analytics left-hand panel, going to the acquisitions overview and then the organic traffic report.
When in GA look at the left-hand panel – go to acquisitions overview – organic traffic report.
C. The organic bounce rate. This measures the percentage of users that click off your website straight after visiting just one page. This is typically your home page or a landing page.
Search engines use this metric to understand the value that users are getting from your site – the lower the bounce rate the better. A low bounce rate shows search engines that users are deriving a lot of value from your website and therefore it should rank higher in the search results.
Alternatively, if the bounce rate is high and users are clicking away from your site quickly and so is not serving their needs and so Google will rank you lower down in the search results.
To find your bounce rate in Google Analytics, go to your audience overview and then click on bounce rate. You are also able to see the bounce rate of individual pages by going to the site content section, and then clicking on – all pages.
AVERAGE SESSION DURATION -this is the average time users spend on your website. It is the combined duration of all sessions on your domain (in seconds) divided by the total number of sessions. To find this in Google Analytics, simply go to Audience – Overview- Session Duration. If you are offering a great page experience, and visitors are staying on your page for longer. then your bounce rate will be low.
A. ORGANIC CONVERSION RATE – the proportion of traffic that reaches a particular page that results in a sale. Basically, it measures the quality of your traffic and depends on you initially setting goals to track your conversions.
To find this in Google Analytics – go to conversions – goals.
B. CLICK THROUGH RATE (CTR) TO YOUR WEBSITE – this refers to all the users that click on your site links after seeing them in the search results. To find CTR in Google Analytics go to – acquisition – search console. Then from the drop-down menu click the metric that you want to analyse e.g. landing pages. You will then open a table showing you the CTR for any of your channels.
TECHNICAL SEO METRICS
TECHNICAL SEO is where you improve the technical aspects of your website that help it rank higher in the search results.
PAGE LOADING SPEED – How quickly your pages load when a visitor is trying to access them is a big determining factor in how high Google may rank the pages in the search results. There are several tools available to allow you to measure this metric.
Here we recommend you to use the Google Page Speed Insights tool to check your particular page speed. The tool shows you how you can make improvements to your pages to improve the page load speed.
CRAWLABILITY – Search engines need to crawl or read a website before ranking it. The site’s ability to allow search engines to crawl it is known as its crawlability.
Sites can prevent search engines from crawling them through a variety of factors, such as problems such as broken links and errors, poor site structure, incorrect URLs, page errors and internal linking structure.
Crawlability can be assessed using a variety of tools:
GOOGLE ANALYTICS – This allows you to check for broken links and redirects on your site.
- GO TO BEHAVIOUR – SITE CONTENT – LOOK FOR REPORTED 404 ERRORS.
AHREFS – This has a broken link checker.
- GO TO the SITE EXPLORER and type your domain into the search bar – click on OUTGOING LINKS and then select BROKEN LINKS from the drop-down menu. You will then be able to view all of your 404 errors.
SEMRUSH has a site audit tool that lets you detect crawlability issues by providing you with a complete list of technical errors in its reports.
SEO POSITIONING METRICS
When Google visits a web page, it scans it and adds it to its database.
Google finds these pages in two ways:
1. Their crawlers find that page via another link on another page or
2. website owners request that search engines crawl their sites manually.
The easiest way to see if Google has indexed all of your pages is by typing site: your website into the regular Google search box. You will be given a list of all the pages it says it has indexed and you can check this alongside your site.
If you can you should not have too many pages indexed because this can cause SEO issues for your SEO by creating competition between your pages.
NEW BACKLINKS AND REFERRING DOMAINS.
Backlinks, to and from your site, are a major SEO ranking factor. More accurately we can say that the quality and quantity of your backlinks are major ranking factors. The higher the quality of backlinks you have pointing to your domain, the more Google rewards you.
It is of critical importance, therefore, to measure these backlinks on your website in order to compare them with your competitors.
To check for backlinks on AHREFS, go to their site explorer and go to the backlinks report on the left-hand menu.
With SEMRUSH – go to the analytics tool, and open the backlinks tab to see the backlink profile. You will be able to find unique referring domains by clicking on the referring domains tab.
Using Google Search Console – navigate to links-external links- top linked pages. This will then show you which of your pages has the most links from unique websites.
This metric allows you to assess how well you are ranking for particular keywords and helps you to refine your current SEO strategy. It is important to pay the most attention to your top-ranking keywords as these are the ones that will bring you the most traffic.
It is imperative that the content on the landing pages ranking for any of those keywords is relevant. By doing this you will be keeping bounce rates low and will also increase the time spent on your page.
You can determine what keywords your site ranks for by using GOOGLE’s SEARCH CONSOLE. This will show you the keywords that a particular page ranks for. Simply click on performance and then scroll down to the page and click the queries tab. Here you will see all of the keywords that led users to click through to your site.
AHREFS uses a similar system in its RANK TRACKER tool. Type in the URL you want to analyse into the search box and head over to the overview page. For each keyword, you will be shown the search volume, the traffic your website received and the keyword difficulty score.
KEEPING TRACK OF KEY METRICS IS CRUCIAL FOR YOUR SEO STRATEGY – YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ALLOCATE YOUR MARKETING BUDGET, IMPROVE YOUR SEARCH VISIBILITY AND ADAPT TO CHANGES IN THE GOOGLE SEARCH RANKING ALGORITHM.