KPI’s for Measuring & Tracking SEO Success

Data can be daunting and confusing, and oftentimes you don’t NEED all that data – you just want to go straight to the source. You want to know the meaning of it all, and quickly get the information that matters to you. Have no fear – we’re here to help.

While I like poking around in Analytics and over-analyzing, most of my clients don’t. Their business owners with a lot on their plate, marketing managers that need simple reporting to show their executives, and sometimes they’re just not as analytically inclined – their talents lie in their line of business, not in digging into data.

That’s why we employ customized dashboards for our SEO reporting. Today, we’ll be walking through setting up a dashboard that gives you the data you need at a glance.

Executive Summary

There might be times when you can’t read through the report, or the report gets passed around. Your boss might not want to read a super long, detailed SEO report, and that’s okay! We include an executive summary with every report which quickly reviews:

  • What we worked on
  • The results of those efforts
  • Both good and bad news about your campaign, and
  • What we’ll be working on in the upcoming month so that you’re always up to speed.

Starting With Goals

Before you even begin thinking about setting up a dashboard to measure your marketing successes (or lack thereof), you need to establish the KPIs and your goals for them. In our experience the most common KPIs we measure against are:

  • Goal Conversions (contact forms, product downloads, etc.)
  • E-commerce Revenue (or, if not an e-commerce store, Goal Value)
  • Phone Calls (for lead generation, service businesses)
  • Organic Visitors

If you’re an e-commerce shop, this is easier – your primary metric will be organic revenue. If you’re not, it gets a little bit trickier, but there are a few ways you can set goals and estimate an ROI on your campaign by figuring out your customer sources and average customer value.

A basic example would be:

On average for every 10 phone calls (leads) you get, 5 of those will be qualified leads, and of those 5, one will become a customer. This means you have a 10% lead to sale rate.

So if the average revenue from a customer is $10,000 and you had a goal of $100,000 in revenue from organic traffic, then you would need 100 calls in order to reach that mark. 100 leads * 10% lead to sale rate = 10 customers @ $10,000 each is your $100,000 goal.

You can apply the same principle to conversions in Google Analytics.

If you have 20 people that download a trial of your software and on average 1 person in every 20 downloads become a customer, then you have a 5% lead to customer rate in this case.

If your software costs $10,000, in Google Analytics you can set the value of a goal completion to $500 (10,000 * .05) to reflect this and get an estimated ROI.

Every campaign and report we make starts with goals, and we have a customized gauge widget so that our clients can know at a glance their progress to those goals.

Custom goals dashboard

In this example, we can see at a glance that we’re beginning to approach our organic visitors, organic conversions, and organic phone call goals, and not quite where we want to be yet on our organic revenue goal.

E-commerce Revenues

If your site offers e-commerce functionality, it’s easy to set up a dashboard that gives you the metrics about your store’s revenue at a glance. Here’s our recommended layout for E-commerce tracking:

e-commerce revenue dashboards

Revenue From Organic

At a glance with period/year indicators (top left) and last twelve months (to the right – Revenue Trend). The chart to the left makes it simple to see your growth over time with percentages, and the one off to the right allows you to quickly spot seasonal patterns.

Average Order Value

While not a KPI, you may want to track average order value over time and make adjustments based on this data, such as including a free shipping offer.

Organic Assisted Revenue

Organic is often only one touchpoint in the buyer’s journey; sometimes when shopping, you start with organic, leave the site, do some research, and then come back via direct traffic to buy. Assisted Revenue is a measure of revenue in which organic search was part of the conversion path, but was not the final point of entry before sale.

Revenue by Source

So you can compare your organic revenue to other channels.

Lead Generation

If you’re not an e-commerce retailer, you’re going to be relying on your goal conversions as your indicator for lead generation and ultimately, revenue. In this example we have goal values assigned, which gives us an at-a-glance view of the return on our investment.

Lead generation dashboard

Organic Conversions 

The total amount of Organic Conversions for every goal – everything from a newsletter signup to a contact form is included in this number. Organic Goal Value is the combined total of all goals with their assigned values.

Organic Phone Calls

Phone calls that were generated by someone finding your site through organic search.  This requires setting up a call tracking phone number for each organic channel you would like to track i.e. Google organic, Bing organic, etc. (Realistically, those are the only two).

Goals By Source

This is a great way to break out the goals you care about most and see their trends across all channels. In this example I’ve broken out the two goals I care about most, a contact form and a software download, and see how they’ve changed month to month on each channel.

Organic Conversion Rate

is the conversion rate of organic visitors, and Organic Assisted Conversion Rate is the conversion rate of any visitor that has visited through organic in their conversion path.

Organic Assisted Conversions

are any conversions which organic search was part of the conversion path. Organic Combined Conversions are attributed + assisted organic conversions.

Organic Overviews

And here, we get into the overview of organic traffic. You should always look at conversions and revenue first – after all, if your traffic isn’t converting into customers, what good is it? But despite this we always need to monitor organic traffic, and here’s how we do it.

Organic traffic dashboard

Visits from Organic

Self-explanatory, with period and year indicators easily at your disposal.

Organic Visits By Device

With the Google ‘Mobile Optimization’ update now in effect, it’s important to monitor the devices your customers are coming to the site on so you can adjust your tactics and make on-site changes where necessary.

Number of Landing Pages

A good indicator of how the site is being indexed and the quality of the content in the site. As you improve your site, add blog posts, and add new content, this number should always be moving upwards. If it’s not, you might need to take a step back and look into indexation issues or the quality of your pages.

Traffic Trends

Organic Traffic from the last twelve months at a glance.

Top Search Engines

Likely, this will always be Google – however, this is another indicator we use to adjust strategy. If you’re getting more traffic from Yahoo then Google…then something is probably wrong.

Top Landing Pages

Knowing what pages perform is critical for website success – that way you can create more similar pages, or adjust pages that seem to be slipping.

In Conclusion

The possibilities are limitless with custom dashboards – and that’s not always a good thing. In these examples, we’ve shown you the most common indicators we use to track success, but every dashboard for every client is unique. We have the ability to simplify and only include the metrics you care about. We can give you the details that matter to you. We can create custom widgets for things like top-selling products through organic search, social referral sources, and more! Every campaign is custom to your needs, so why wouldn’t your report be?