If for some, SEO is a mystery, for us, it is science. And what does a scientist deal with? With data. He analyzes them, understands what is happening and, from there, creates hypotheses and accompanies results. In SEO, when the job is done right, that’s exactly how it happens.
To support a scientific SEO approach, we have brought together the top 22 SEO metrics to aid in the analysis and measurement of results.
1. Choose Keyword
Keyword- level metrics are those that refer exclusively to a particular search term.
Search Volume is the number of searches performed for a particular keyword in a given period.
In some tools, such as Google Keyword Planner and KeywordTool.io, this data is updated monthly, while in others – such as SEMRush – this data considers a monthly average for an unspecified period.
The Search Trend, somewhat similar to the search volume, is a Google Trends metric that does not contain absolute but relative data, where 100 is the maximum and 0 is the minimum, for that same term. This ruler (0-100) will hold regardless of the query performed.
Note also that in the search trend, Google may not be restricted to a single term but, in its own discretion, group similar terms. Google is not very clear about that.
Keyword position is the order in which a page is displayed on the search results page, which generally has 10 results.
The Keyword Difficulty, also known as KD, published by tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush, is an absolute metric that goes from 0 to 100 and points out the level of competitiveness of that keyword in the organic search in relation to all the keywords in the market.
CTR (Click Through Rate)
CTR (Click Through Rate) is the click rate that a page receives. In other words, it’s the ratio of impressions to clicks on a page in search results.
2. Landing page or page level
Metrics at the landing page or page level refer to a specific URL.
Keywords Positioning, or “Also Rank for”, is a metric that indicates to which other keywords a given key positions itself.
Organic Visibility of Landing Page
Organic Visibility is a metric that estimates the number of visits a page has based on the keywords positioning, in the respective positions and in the estimated CTR.
This metric, in general, has no seasonal impact, especially on SEMRush. It is very useful for comparing a particular site to its competitor and is used in the benchmarking process.
Quantity of Keywords
Number of Keywords or Word Count is the number of times a keyword appears on a particular page
Keyword Density is the ratio of the incidence of a keyword in a text or page. For example, if a text has 300 words and a given keyword appears three times, its density will be 1%. Very high densities can lead to punishment or simply declassification of the page.
Page time is how long a user spent on that page. It is estimated that Google calculates this to verify the relevance of the page.
Upload Speed of the website is the estimated time for a page to load. It can be calculated manually or by using tools like Pingdom. The smaller the better the metric.
File Size refers to how much it weighs in KB (kilobytes) or MB (megabytes) the HTML file of a page.
Size of the URL or URL length is the count in characters of the width of the URL. There are indications that there is a correlation between Low Length URL and better organic positions.
3. Off-Page Metrics
Off-Page metrics generally refer to aspects linked to link building.
Domain Authority (DA) in the Moz or Domain Rating (DR) in Ahrefs, is a grade, generally from 0 to 100, which assesses how much the domain has authority over all others all over the internet.
DA is improved by increasing the quantity and number of links pointing to the domain.
Curiosity: The only domain with Domain Authority with 100 is facebook.com.
The Page Authority (PA) in Moz or URL Rating (UR) in Ahrefs is a grade, generally from 0 to 100, which evaluates the authority that owns a page in relation to all other websites.
The PA is improved by increasing the quantity and quality of links pointing to that specific URL.
Backlinks are the links that a page or domain receives from other pages, the internet or the site itself. In this sense, we can say that Backlinks refer to all incoming links, Internal backlinks refer to those of the site itself and external Backlinks to those of other sites. However, in many cases, backlinks may be presumed to be external links.
Linking Pages is a metric VERY similar to backlinks and even little used since the only difference is to count a single link coming from each page, whereas in the case of backlinks, if there are two links coming out of the same page, they can be counted in duplicity.
Linking Domains or Referring Domains is a metric that indicates the number of different domains that link to a particular page or domain.
External Links are the links that one page points to other domains.
Internal links are the links that a page receives from other pages in the same domain. It’s the same as internal backlinks. It may, in some cases, refer to links to other pages in the same domain.
4. User Signal Metrics
User signal metrics are those that Google tries to understand user behavior to thereby make sorting decisions. We repeat here the CTR metric since it fits into User Signals and Landing Page.
CTR (Click Through Rate)
CTR (Click Through Rate) is the click rate that a page receives. In other words, it is the relationship between impressions and clicks of a page in the search results.
It is considered as a major ranking factor.
Length of stay
Stay Time is how long a user passes on a particular site after clicking on an organic result. It is considered as a major ranking factor.
Rejection Rate has two meanings. In Google Analytics, Rejection Rate is a metric that indicates the proportion of people who came to the site and did not navigate at least to a second page. In the Google algorithm, Reject Rate indicates the proportion of people who clicked on a page and returned to search results in order to find a more relevant result. It is considered as a major ranking factor.
These are the most common SEO metrics in the day to day of those who work on optimizing websites or even of those who have an SEO agency.
Remember, more important than the metrics themselves, is what you do with them.