SEO and KPIs

SEO and KPIs

As a practitioner of SEO with a background in statistical analysis, I believe the most important components of any SEO project are implementing tools for measuring progress, establishing a baseline and defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs have been used for a number of years in various industries and have been adopted as a useful element in web analytics.

The purpose of KPIs could be described as follows:

  • Help define online strategy or strategies for your organization
  • Set benchmarks that that allow you to measure progress of your online initiatives
  • Summarize data in a meaningful way

A rule of thumb for KPIs is that they be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).

Specificity is key. Measuring the increase in the number of visitors to your site is fine but segmenting the visitors by source or location will give you more insight into how your online initiatives are performing.

Measurable goes without saying. Typical units of measurement include averages, percentages, ratios, rates and monetary values

Actionable means you can tie results to a specific course of action. For example, an increase in the bounce rate might result in investigating any changes in the site content, site architecture or changes in SEO strategy.

Relevant KPIs are KPIs tied to specific business objectives that will vary from company to company. For example, if a company was interested in expanding its brand awareness than KPIs related to social media might play a bigger role than traditional visitor metrics.

Finally, establishing a time period to achieve your KPIs is important. This allows direct comparisons between time periods and the tracking of trends across a period of time.