While content creators can argue about what works or doesn’t work for SEO, one thing’s for sure — creating effective SEO content can be tedious. For all the hard work you’re putting in, it’s important that you know how to measure its effectiveness, and what areas to monitor to ensure your content is pulling its weight. 

By keeping a close eye on KPIs like keyword rankings and click-through rates, you can adjust your SEO strategy accordingly to get the results you want. Monitoring aspects such as page load time and crawl errors are also essential to ensure your content actually gets read.

We dive into the 9 key KPIs you should be focusing on.

Want to learn a few tips and tricks to make your SEO content work? Read this handy guide here.

9 SEO content KPIs you should be tracking

1) Organic traffic

This is one of the most essential indicators of a successful strategy. Organic traffic refers to the number of users that visit your website through organic search results. 

This is a KPI that you should always track. After all, it indicates whether you’re growing the number of visits to your website, which is the fundamental objective of any SEO campaign. 

A growth in organic traffic can be attributed to a number of reasons. For example, it could be due to more searches for your brand. Higher rankings for your targeted keywords could also be another factor. 

You can use Google Analytics or Google Search Console to track the organic traffic to your site. Google Search Console is a pretty user-friendly platform that lets you track metrics such as the keyword rankings and page visits over time. That way, you can easily pinpoint what’s been driving greater traffic to your website. 

Check out these other useful content marketing tools that can help take the load off your SEO content efforts. 

2) Keyword rankings 

Keyword rankings refer to where exactly your website is positioned on a search results page when users search specific keywords.

Of course, the higher you rank the better. Everyone wants their webpage to be the first search result, especially given that 25% of users click on the first Google search result they see. 

As a business, you’ll naturally rank well for keywords that are specific to your company. This includes your brand name and other long-tail keywords relating to your services or location. 

However, securing rankings for other more generic but valuable keywords will require a well-planned strategy and long-term effort. 

High keyword rankings tend to be correlated with the success of SEO campaigns, since it means a website is getting many views on search engine results. This is especially so if your website ranks high for keywords that have very high search volume.

3) Click-through rate (CTR) 

Click-through rate (CTR) refers to how often your ranked pages are getting clicks. 

Ranking well on search engines is half the battle won. A high CTR is what really seals the deal. Having a good CTR indicates that your meta descriptions and page titles are great at capturing searchers’ interest and clicks. 

On Google Search Console, you can easily track your CTRs and view them by specific pages, locations, and search devices. 

4) Leads and conversions

So your high-value keywords are ranking well and you’re pulling lots of visitors to your site. What’s next?

If you’re a business owner, you probably want to generate as much leads from your user traffic as possible so they turn into actual sales.

A lead can refer to any kind of contact with a potential customer. This includes the following:

  • Contact form submission requesting for more information
  • Phone call
  • Sign up for a newsletter, e-book, or other kinds of content
  • A purchase

With Google Analytics, you can track your leads across various dimensions. For example, you can find out which of your pages drives the most leads, and whether your conversion rate is higher on desktop or mobile. 

You can then use this information to optimise your pages for better conversion results. For example, you may have a page that’s getting lots of visits but with little conversions. What you can do is experiment with different SEO copywriting text to create more conversions.

5) Bounce rate

Are your visitors leaving your website even before you can get your message across? 

Bounce rate is the percentage of users who visited your website but left without taking any subsequent actions. Such actions can include clicking into another page or submitting a form.

A high bounce rate could indicate that your SEO content has low relevance, is hard to navigate, or not trustworthy, among other reasons. If your page has been well-optimised for visitors, then a high bounce rate could mean that you’re ranking for keywords that have little relation to your website’s content.

The bounce rate for your website’s pages can be found on Google Analytics. By keeping track of your bounce rates, you can modify your content in different ways to keep bounce rates low.

So how do you know whether your bounce rate is good, average, or poor? Here are a few performance tiers you can take reference from.

PerformanceBounce rate
Good26-40%
Average41-55%
Higher than average56-70%
BadAbove 70%
Source: RocketFuel
PlatformAverage bounce rate
Mobile59%
Tablet49%
Desktop42%
All devices49%
Source: RocketFuel

6) Page load time

Lady looking frustrated on her laptop due to slow load times.
Make sure your website load times aren’t slow to avoid user frustration.

Page load time is an important aspect that search engine algorithms factor in when determining page rankings. 

Most of us expect high load speeds to be the norm when we’re surfing online. When a page takes a little too long to load, users will move on to other search results instead. 53% of mobile users indicated that they’ll leave a website if it doesn’t load within three seconds.

In addition, there’s a strong correlation between your website’s load speed and how likely users will convert. After all, users are less likely to be converted if their initial interaction with your site was frustrating.

Be sure to keep your site’s load speed in mind whenever you’re making adjustments to your site such as uploading image files. For instance, you can use a compression tool such as tinyjpg to help you compress and optimise images before uploading them. Doing so can help increase your site’s load speed. 

7) Average session duration 

Average session duration is the average amount of time that visitors spend on your website. 

This is an essential KPI to look at. It tells you how motivated users are to remain on your site to consume content and explore other pages.

You’re probably engaging users well with your content if they’re spending a longer time on your website. In general, you can expect the average session duration to be longer if your content and website structure is deeper.

By keeping track of your site’s average session duration, you can gauge the overall quality of the site and figure out whether your SEO content writing is engaging enough. 

SEO content aside, remember to ensure that your internal links and CTAs are sufficient and well-placed. Also make sure that your site is easy to navigate. 

8) Crawl errors

Search engines make use of crawlers to assess the value and relevance of your website. These crawlers in the form of bots assess your site based on its content, technical set up, and other aspects. 

Crawl errors can occur with your site when the crawlers are unable to access a page on your website. If Google can’t access a page on your site, it won’t be able to rank it on search results pages. 

Also, if Google encounters many crawl errors with your website, the crawlers can decide that those pages aren’t worth getting crawled. This can result in new pages taking much longer to get indexed and ranked by Google.  

Google Search Console is a good tool that can check for crawl errors on your website to a good degree of detail. That way, you can fix crawl errors as soon as possible so they don’t undermine your SEO efforts.

9) Backlinks

Backlinks are a major factor behind your site’s search rankings. In general, having more relevant links to your website can improve your search engine rankings. 

You can think about it this way: each link back to your website signals to search engines that your site’s content is trustworthy. Keep in mind that the quality of these backlinks matter as well.

Today, SEO tools such as Ahrefs can track the amount of links to your site, as well as link quality indicators. This includes the traffic and domain rankings of these sites. 

Want to get started on your SEO strategy? Download our free Content Audit Template here to get started. 

We can also generate effective SEO content for you so your business becomes more visible on Google. Learn more here.