What Is a KPI?

Aaron Haynes
Dec 8
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Deploying an efficient digital marketing approach and achieving high online exposure while having nothing concrete to give your audience is an all-sizzle-and-no-steak scenario that will almost certainly not deliver you the sought and often elusive long-term success.

Similarly, having high-quality content/product/service is rarely enough to propel your company forward. An excellent website also needs a powerful SEO strategy to ensure that its content reaches all of the relevant people, i.e. your potential clients, in order to achieve all-around success.

But how can you know if your SEO investments and efforts are on track and will pay dividends in the long run?

More significantly, especially for those who provide SEO services to their own clients, how do you determine what data to collect and present so that your progress is as obvious to your consumers as possible?

This is where SEO “Key Performance Indicators” (KPIs) come into play.

This article will help you understand what a KPI is, its importance, KPI examples, and what KPIs to report on to show SEO progress.

Let’s get to it!

What Is a KPI?

Although words like metrics, KPI, and even KPI metrics are (all too) frequently used interchangeably, they do not communicate the same meaning.

  • KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) – These are the key metrics that have the most influence on the success of your SEO campaign. It should give practical, data-driven insight into what has to be assessed and accomplished in order for your long-term specific goals to be met within a certain time frame. A key performance indicator is a measurable metric that measures a company’s ability to meet its objectives or industry benchmarks.
  • SEO KPIs are particular indicators used by marketing experts to assess the performance of their website in organic search results.
  • Metrics – provide data that reflects your development, but they do not serve as key performance indicators that must be watched and measured.

Remember: SMART KPIs are Specific, Measurable, Attainable,  Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Why Are KPIs Important?

Measuring your outcomes is an essential part of any SEO plan.

Because there are so many variables in an SEO campaign, successful efforts rely on a control system to guarantee that the work done produces key results. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) serve as this control system, allowing you to determine what works — and, more significantly, providing the SEO with an early warning system if anything is not moving the needle as intended.

KPIs also allow you to demonstrate success to your clients (or business executives if you work in-house). Traditional SEO KPIs like keyword rankings and statistics from tools like Moz or Majestic SEO may be useful to you but the customers you serve want to see an increase in revenues and leads, not just improved positions and increases in Domain Authority.

According to Ahrefs, 73.6 percent of domains have reciprocal links, which means that some of the sites to which they link also link back to them.

KPI FAQ

How do KPIs work?

Goals and KPIs are among the most essential aspects of your SEO plan, yet they are also one of the most frequently ignored.

Without KPIs, you will be unable to properly track the development of your campaign, verify that your efforts are paying off, or decide if you are on the right route to success.

It goes without saying that SEO takes time to produce results and revenues, but by defining KPIs (key performance indicators), you can better demonstrate the impact of your strategy on the firm.

They can also assist you in managing expectations from other parties. SEO KPIs should be the foundation of your strategy, serving as a means to both evaluate and report on success and advancement, but you must first understand what you should be measuring.

Create interesting KPI Reports to gain better insights. With an SEO Dashboard Report, you can simplify reporting.

Tracking search metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) helps your marketing team to evaluate search engine optimization efforts. Using a dashboard to display SEO analytics may assist your team in improving organic search results and increasing website visitors and leads.

A good KPI can tell you whether you’re on track to meet your strategic objectives. The precise goals and expected outcomes of the campaign will determine how those actionable KPIs are picked and prioritized.

What is a KPI example?

Here are 27 examples of popular KPI examples that businesses use to assess the success of their plans:

Marketing KPIs examples

Examples of sales KPIs

  • Per period, the number of new contracts signed
  • Dollar value for new contracts signed
  • Number of qualified leads engaged in the sales funnel
  • Hours of sales
  • Follow-up resources spent
  • Average time for conversion net sales – dollar or percentage growth

Customer key performance indicators (KPIs) examples

  • Customer retention
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Percentage of market share
  • New customers
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Average time to resolve a ticket/support issue
  • Customer satisfaction

Examples of operational KPIs

  • Time to market order fulfillment
  • Employee churn rate
  • Employee satisfaction

Financial KPIs examples

  • Revenue growth
  • Gross profit margin
  • Net profit margin
  • Cash flow from operations
  • Accounts payable receivables
  • EBITDA

What KPIs do you report on to show SEO progress?

  1. Search engine rankings

It goes without saying that the higher your website ranks for relevant keywords, the better.
Search rankings are an important KPI since they are directly related to your SEO success. Once you’ve achieved improved search rankings, you’ll be able to focus on additional strategic goals like traffic, leads, and conversions.

It is also critical to monitor your rankings for relevant keywords. Using tools like Serpstat or Ahrefs, you may track progress of how your search positions for the desired keywords change. All you have to do is input your website, choose the kind of SERP (organic results), import your keyword list, and begin rank tracking.

  1. Links
    For content marketers and SEO professionals, links should always be regarded as a vital SEO statistic. Backlinks are currently one of the most significant ranking criteria. That is, your SEO approach should revolve around obtaining links.

So, obviously, the more links you get, the better, right? No, not exactly.

By acquiring low-quality links, you will not only fail to increase your site authority, but you will also harm your website’s ranks. It is critical to track the quality score of your link profile to verify that you are creating a quality link profile.

  1. Bounce rate
    This metric calculates the percentage of your website visitors that left without taking any action.

This is yet another important parameter that search engines use as a ranking element. A normal bounce rate should be between 40 and 60 percent, depending on your business. If the percentage is too high, it shows that the page is unrelated to the search query.

Monitor your pages’ bounce rates in Google Analytics’ Overview report to determine which ones have high rates and experiment with different techniques to see what might help you lower them.

  1. ROI 

Return On Investment (ROI) is a metric that can be used to evaluate all of your marketing initiatives. When you calculate ROI for SEO, you’ll see if the net income is worth the money you spend optimizing your website.

Here’s how to figure out your ROI percentage:
(Gain from Investment – Investment Cost) / Investment Cost

Keep in mind that this value is frequently negative at the start. However, if your plan is successful, you will notice favorable dynamics within a few months.

  1. Organic CTR

Click-through rate (CTR) is a performance statistic that compares the number of people who click on your link to the total number of people who read the search results. In other words, a high CTR equals a lot of traffic.

CTR is also an essential ranking indication for search engines. For example, if your search snippets aren’t visually attractive, even high rankings won’t help you attract more people. As a result, your CTR is far from satisfactory. Low CTR signals to search engines that your site does not match the expectations of users, which may result in lower results.

People frequently make a major error by ignoring this KPI while focusing on traffic and rankings. By monitoring your organic CTR, you may determine why your high impressions aren’t resulting in substantial traffic and address the issue.

You can use Google Search Console to track your CTR.

  1. Search engine visibility
    The frequency with which your domain appears in search results for the terms for which it ranks is referred to as search engine visibility.

Tracking search visibility allows you to detect good dynamics even before your site begins to draw visitors. This score may be a major motivator for all of your SEO-related activities. If you want to track the early effects of website optimization, the search engine visibility score is highly beneficial.

You may use Google Search Console to monitor the visibility dynamics.

  1. Organic traffic
    This KPI tracks the number of visitors who arrive at your website from organic search results. It is one of the most important metrics to examine since its increase indicates that you have achieved the primary SEO goal of increasing the number of people who view and visit your website.
  2. Branded traffic
    Branded traffic is traffic generated by people who searched for keywords including your company’s name. If brand recognition is essential to your business (and it should be), branded traffic should be your key business metric.

Because searchers for branded keywords already know what they want, this sort of website traffic has the best conversion rates.

Keep track of how the overall number of clicks and impressions changes (or does not change) over time.

  1. Crawl Errors

This is possibly the most underutilized SEO KPI. Crawl errors are critical for both your onsite and offsite SEO efforts since they may assist you in locating URLs that cannot be reached by Googlebot, which means – sites that are virtually invisible to Google and therefore your prospective visitors.

  1. Page Speed
    The speed of your site may have a detrimental influence on both your search results (and resulting traffic) and your conversions, so it’s important to keep an eye on it.

Choosing the Right KPIs for Your Business

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of KPIs.

Setting and measuring SEO KPIs can assist you in focusing your efforts and continuously assessing the effectiveness of your strategy.

While every marketer has their own set of best KPIs that they must measure and report to key stakeholders, the fact remains that you must have them in place and routinely compare your site’s performance to them.

Using a KPI Dashboard Template allows you to see the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are important to your company.

Tracking all of the existing metrics at the same time is a waste of time. You should choose your own set of KPIs depending on the aims of your project.

Define your business objectives and choose the best tracking tools. Automate the tracking procedure to save time and obtain detailed SEO reports.

Written by Aaron Haynes on December 8, 2021

CEO and partner at Loganix, I believe in taking what you do best and sharing it with the world in the most transparent and powerful way possible. If I am not running the business, I am neck deep in client SEO.

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