Performance Indicators to Track When Optimizing Your Website

February 15, 2023
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Today, businesses would be remiss if they formulate strategic plans that don’t include digital marketing. Building an online presence is the most efficient way to reach a wider audience or gain more customers. If you want to succeed in content marketing, you should understand how SEO contributes to your results.

You have to know which metrics to track. You must also know why they apply to your campaign or business goals. Here are familiar KPIs marketers use in content marketing.

Number of Relevant Links

Many SEO professionals count backlinks as a metric of success. When your website gains high-quality and relevant links, it means others regard your content as authoritative, which means Google will consider your posts as more valuable.

However, not all links are created equal. For example, you might violate search engines’ guidelines and get penalized if you participate in link schemes. Too many link exchanges, excessive use of keywords in anchor texts, and links created through automated services won’t do your ranking any favors.

Track your backlink performance using Google Search Console, SEMrush’s Backlink Analytics tool, Majestic, or other link index tools that enable you to build a detailed link profile.

Ranking on SERPs

Search results page rankings have always been a significant indicator of website quality. However, ‘SERP ranking’ isn’t a single thing but a combination of factors like local pack listings, personalized search, and ad space allocated for a particular keyword.

Today, getting a good search ranking involves many other metrics like impressions, organic traffic, and CTR. You have to understand how search queries and ranking positions interact—using rank tracking tools like SEMrush’s Position Tracking will help.

Organic Search Traffic

More critical than SERP ranking is your organic search traffic. Ultimately, business comes from people, so user traffic matters when you’re trying to gain conversions. Organic search data is useful when you’re deciding on the next steps of your content strategy.

You can find data on your organic search traffic through Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, and other search analytics pages. 

Click-Through Rates

Your CTR or click-through rate gives you an idea of the number of people who find your ads and off-site SEO persuasive. If you have plenty of impressions but few clicks, you need to improve your CTR. You could change aspects of your PPC ads or your social media strategy to drive more people to your website.

Meanwhile, if you have low impressions but high CTR, research other keywords to increase your impressions. One possibility is that your ads are appealing, but you aren’t targeting the right audience or phrases.

Organic Conversions

This is arguably one of the most valuable metrics in an SEO campaign. When you optimize your website, your goal is to drive either a hard conversion (purchase or subscription) or a soft one (email signup, downloading a free book). Tracking your organic conversion rate will tell you the number of visitors who complete your CTA versus the number that just visit.

This metric is a good starting point for improvements to your content marketing strategy. If you have many visitors but few who complete the CTA, it means something is getting lost in translation on your website. Meanwhile, if you have few visitors but a high CTA, you should seriously consider boosting your traffic.

Mobile Optimization

Today, Google employs mobile-first indexing, which means it will prioritize the mobile version of your website for SERPs. It makes sense since most people browse Google results on mobile devices instead of desktop ones. 

Besides organic search traffic through mobile devices, you must also monitor your AMP analytics. AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages allow content to load quickly on mobile devices.

AMP lets you get more granular, tracking user data like client ID and time zone, browsing data like page view IDs and referring pages, screen height, screen width, and much more. If you want to measure these in your campaign, you need to use the AMP Analytics tag on your website. You also have to disclose how you collect and use data and offer users the chance to opt out.

Page Speed

Page speed is a well-known ranking factor, but many people still confuse it with site speed. The former refers to the load speed of a single page, while the latter measures how long it takes for a sample of pages to load. Page speed can also refer to the time it takes for the first byte on a page to load. Slower page speeds mean you will use up your allocated crawl budget quickly, so you should ensure that your pages load as quickly as possible.

Crawl Errors

Besides your achievements, you must also keep track of your areas for improvement, like crawl errors. There are two types of errors—site and URL. Usually, site errors are DNS or server errors, while URL crawl errors consist of 404s or broken links.

Crawl errors need immediate attention, so you have to monitor these regularly through your site editor.

Index Status

Your website’s index status lets you understand which of your URLs search engines have crawled and analyzed correctly. 

Ideally, you should have a gradually increasing indexation graph—the more pages you have, the better Google understands what you do. You can view your website’s index status report in your Google Search Console.

Duplicate Data

One of the fundamental aspects of SEO is ensuring that each page has unique elements like title tags and meta descriptions. However, when your site is large, you could easily overlook this guideline.

Monitor your website for duplicate data since errors like these could negatively affect your rankings. Check for duplicate data regularly through your search console and rewrite it accordingly.

Dwell Time

If a user spends time on your website, going through different pages, and engaging with it, Google will interpret your site as high-quality. It’s not enough that users click once, stay for a minute, and then close the tab. They should go from top to bottom, consume the content thoroughly, or leave comments and respond to the hooks and triggers in the content.

Like page rankings, Google does not publish a single metric called ‘Dwell Time.’ Instead, you have to consider several factors like bounce rate, customers’ journey through internal links, and time on a page.


Understanding why you’re using specific KPIs is crucial to your content marketing campaign’s success. If you ignore SEO, your miss out on conversions and traffic to your articles. Teaming up with an SEO specialist enables you to optimize your website without spending time fixing it yourself.

Trust Ranked to help you firm up your brand’s online presence. We are an SEO platform and service helping enterprises and agencies engage with their audiences and build authority. Get in touch with us today or activate your free trial!