SEO is a science that constantly has to adapt to the changing search environment. The choice of keywords that would’ve ensured you a permanent spot on the first page of the Google search results a few years ago may not work as good today – even worse, it might cost you a few places in the search results. In such an environment characterized by constant change, it is important to keep your eyes on the metrics that matter. It matters less whether you use TypePad or Blogger or WordPress with the latest Genesis Casino template – what’s behind the looks is what matters.
Let’s see a few metrics that you need to look at in 2017 that will show you where you need to improve to be able to grow.
#1. Bounce rate
The more time a visitor spends on your website, the better. But how could you measure the time they spend reading your articles? Well, this is what the “Bounce rate” metric is for inside Google Analytics. It basically tells you what percentage of your website visitors have landed on one of your pages and closed the browser tab without visiting a second page. And as you might expect, the lower it is, the better.
A high bounce rate usually indicates that the page your visitors land on is not relevant to them. Finding the pages with the highest bounce rate and changing them will reduce the number of visitors spending a short time on your website, and increase its overall performance in time.
#2. Average Google rankings
Google’s Search Console is a very useful tool to track your website’s performance in searches. And it can also help you find out how your pages rank in the search based on the keywords used by the visitors to find it. The Search Analytics tool in the Search Console will show you the terms visitors used to find your website by default, but by checking the “Positions” checkbox, it will also tell you how you rank for various keywords. It can also show you the progress you made in the last 7 or 28 days.
By tracking your average rankings, you can find the keywords for which your website is close to the first page (the first 10 results) and work on it a bit to reach your desired position in the rankings.
#3. Link juice
Gathering valuable inbound links is the basis of off-page SEO – it has been since the very beginning. Back in the day, Google offered a simple and accessible metric – Page Rank – to measure the value of inbound links, but this metric has been phased out years ago. Today, we have two alternatives that measure the value of inbound links: Domain/Page Authority offered by MOZ and the TrustFlow offered by Majestic SEO.
As you might expect, the higher the rank the page linking to you, the more link juice it will transfer to your page. Yet this is a bit more complex than that – it will take a complete article to cover that we’ll publish at another time.