15+ SEO Metrics That Actually Matter (And 20 That Don’t)

SEO Metrics 2024
Table of Contents

Forget keyword stuffing and backlinks for a second. Did you know most SEO metrics are vanity metrics? They might look good on a report but do little to tell you if your website attracts real users.
Organic traffic, keyword rankings, bounce rates – the list continues. But amidst this data deluge, many website owners struggle to identify the metrics that translate into a thriving online presence. Especially when optimization isn’t the only thing they are worried about. Managing your brand presence across different social media channels can further slow the process.
However, many effective social media management tools can make maintaining a strong presence across various platforms easier by offering features like scheduling posts in advance, analyzing engagement metrics, and even automating responses to interactions.
This blog post cuts through the clutter and dives deeper than surface-level metrics, exploring the 15+ SEO metrics that truly matter for driving organic traffic and conversions and 20 that don’t.
Get ready to ditch the fluff and focus on the metrics that make a tangible difference in your website’s success!
Read on to find out!

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15+ Important SEO Metrics to Track

Many business owners struggle to decipher the endless stream of metrics, unsure which ones truly matter for driving organic traffic and conversions. Let’s explore the 15+ essential SEO metrics to track that truly matter, empowering you to make data-driven decisions and propel your website toward organic search success.

  1. Organic Traffic: This metric refers to the number of visitors who reach your website through unpaid, organic search results on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Tracking organic traffic helps you understand the overall effectiveness of your SEO strategies in driving relevant traffic to your site.

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    Screenshot of Organic Traffic
  2. Keyword Rankings: Keyword rankings indicate where your website’s pages appear in search engine results for specific keywords or phrases. Monitoring keyword rankings helps you assess your visibility for targeted search terms and identify opportunities to improve your ranking positions. Focus on tracking primary and secondary keywords relevant to your business and adjust your SEO tactics accordingly.

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    Screenshot of Keyword Ranking
  3. Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR measures the percentage of users who click on your website’s link when it appears in search engine results.
    A higher CTR indicates that your search listings are compelling and relevant to users’ queries. To improve CTR, optimize meta titles and descriptions with relevant keywords, and use rich snippets and schema markup as well.
  4. Bounce Rate: Bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page without interacting further. A high bounce rate may indicate irrelevant content, slow page load times, or poor user experience. Analyze bounce rates across different pages and device types.
  5. Pages per Session: This metric measures the average number of pages a visitor views during a single session on your website. A higher page per session value indicates visitors exploring multiple pages and engaging with your content. To increase pages per session, create internal links between related pages, suggest relevant content, and improve site navigation.
  6. Conversion Rate: The conversion rate measures the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action on your website, such as purchasing, filling out a form, or subscribing to a newsletter. Tracking conversion rates helps you examine the effectiveness of your website in driving valuable actions from visitors.
  7. Backlink Profile: Your backlink profile consists of external links pointing to your site from other websites. Analyzing your backlink profile helps you assess your inbound links’ authority, relevance, and quality, which are crucial for SEO rankings.

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    Screenshot of Backlink Profile
  8. Page Load Speed: Page load speed refers to how quickly your web pages load for users. Fast-loading pages improves user experience, reduce bounce rates, and positively impact search engine rankings, especially with Google’s emphasis on page speed as a ranking factor. Use tools like Google Page-Speed Insights to analyze and optimize page speed and time.
  9. Mobile-Friendly Design: With the rise of mobile device usage, ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly and provides a seamless user experience on smartphones and tablets is essential. Mobile-friendly design impacts SEO through mobile responsiveness, page load speed on mobile devices, and mobile usability.
  10. Indexing Status: Indexing status refers to how search engines like Google crawl and index your website’s pages for inclusion in search results. Ensure that search engines can access and index your content effectively by submitting sitemaps, using robots.txt directives, fixing crawl errors, and monitoring the indexation of new and updated pages.
  11. Crawl Errors: Crawl errors occur when search engine crawlers encounter issues while accessing and indexing your website’s pages. Common crawl errors include 404 Not Found errors, server errors, and blocked resources. Regularly check crawl error reports in Google Search Console and fix broken links.
  12. Site Structure: Site structure refers to the organization and hierarchy of your website’s content, including navigation menus, categories, and internal linking. A well-structured site enhances user experience, facilitates search engine crawling and indexing, and improves SEO by establishing logical pathways for users and search engines to navigate your site.
  13. Engagement Metrics: Engagement metrics measure how users interact with your website and content, indicating user interest and satisfaction levels. Key engagement metrics include time on the page, scroll depth, social shares, comments, and form submissions.
  14. Local SEO Performance Metrics: If your business operates in specific geographical areas, tracking local SEO performance metrics is essential for attracting customers and improving visibility in local search results. Local metrics SEO includes local search rankings, Google My Business (GMB) insights, local citations, reviews, and local search visibility.

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    Screenshot of Local SEO Performance Metrics
  15. Competitor Analysis: Comparing your SEO performance with your competitors provides valuable insights into industry trends, competitor strategies, and areas for improvement. Conduct competitor analysis by identifying top competitors and analyzing their keyword rankings, backlink profiles, content strategies, and SEO tactics.
  16. User Intent Alignment: User intent alignment ensures that your content and SEO efforts align with user search intent, which can be an informational, navigational, transactional, or commercial investigation. Analyze user queries, search trends, and SERP features to understand user intent behind search queries related to your business.
  17. Algorithm Updates Impact: Search engine algorithm updates, such as Google’s core updates, can significantly impact your website’s search rankings, traffic, and overall SEO performance. Stay informed about major algorithm updates, monitor fluctuations in search rankings and organic traffic, and analyze the impact of algorithm changes on your website.

Related Article: How to Grow Instagram Organically in 2024

20 Popular SEO Metrics That Don’t Matter

Many popular SEO metrics can be misleading or irrelevant. Focusing on these metrics can distract you from the bigger picture and hinder your SEO progress. Here’s a breakdown of 20 popular SEO metrics you can (mostly) ignore:

  1. Social Media Shares & Likes: Engagement is valuable but doesn’t directly translate to SEO success. Focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your target audience.
  2. Exact Match Domain (EMD): An exact match domain is a domain name that exactly matches a target keyword or phrase. In the past, having an EMD was seen as advantageous for SEO. A relevant and informative domain name is valuable, but lying solely on an EMD for SEO is ineffective.
  3. PageRank: PageRank, a metric developed by Google to assess the importance of web pages based on backlinks, used to be a significant SEO metric. However, Google stopped updating public PageRank scores in 2013, indicating a shift away from solely relying on PageRank for ranking purposes.
  4. Social Media Shares: While social signals like shares, likes, and comments can indicate content popularity and engagement, they have a limited direct impact on search engine rankings. While social media engagement is valuable for audience interaction and brand visibility, it’s not a primary SEO ranking factor.
  5. AdWords Competition: Google AdWords competition metrics, such as low, medium, or high competition for keywords, are relevant for paid search advertising but may not accurately reflect organic search competition. Organic search competition depends on various factors beyond AdWords metrics, including content quality, backlinks, and user intent.
  6. Total Pages Indexed: The total number of pages indexed by search engines is a technical metric that doesn’t directly impact SEO rankings or visibility. Search engines prioritize indexing relevant and high-quality content, so focusing on content quality and relevance is more important than the sheer volume of indexed pages.
  7. Domain Age: While domain age can be a factor in SEO, particularly for domain authority and trust, it’s not the sole determinant of search rankings. Newer domains with high-quality content and strong SEO practices can rank well, emphasizing the importance of content relevance, backlinks, and user experience over domain age alone.
  8. Keyword Stuffing: Keyword stuffing involves excessively using keywords in content to manipulate search engine rankings. However, search engines penalize keyword stuffing as it leads to low-quality, spammy content that detracts from user experience. Modern metrics for SEO focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that naturally incorporates keywords.
  9. Meta Keywords Tag: Once used to indicate relevant keywords to search engines, the meta keywords tag is no longer considered by major search engines like Google for ranking purposes. Search engines prioritize content relevance, user experience, and other on-page factors over meta keyword tags.
  10. Link Exchange Schemes: Link exchange schemes involve trading or exchanging links with other websites solely for SEO purposes. Search engines like Google consider such practices manipulative and may penalize websites engaged in link exchange schemes. Building a natural, diverse, and high-quality backlink profile is a more effective metric for SEO strategy.
  11. Duplicate Meta Descriptions: While unique meta descriptions can improve click-through rates and user experience in search results, having duplicate meta descriptions across pages doesn’t directly impact search engine rankings. Search engines prioritize content relevance and quality over meta-description duplication.
  12. Raw Traffic Numbers: While high traffic volume is desirable, raw traffic numbers alone don’t indicate the quality of visitors, engagement metrics, or conversion rates. SEO success is measured by factors like organic search visibility, click-through rates, user engagement, and conversion rates rather than raw traffic numbers.
  13. Time on Site: Time on site refers to the average amount of time visitors spend on a website. While user engagement metrics like time on site are valuable indicators of content quality and user interest, they don’t directly influence search engine rankings. Search engines prioritize factors like content relevance, backlinks, and user intent for ranking purposes.
  14. Follower Count (Social Media): The number of social media followers a website or brand has doesn’t directly impact organic search rankings. While social media can contribute to brand visibility and audience engagement, search engines prioritize content relevance, backlinks, and user experience.
  15. Keyword Stuffing in Meta Tags: Similar to keyword stuffing in content, over-optimizing meta tags (such as title tags and meta descriptions) with excessive keywords can lead to penalties from search engines.
  16. Exact Match Anchor Text: Excessively using exact match anchor text (anchor text that exactly matches a target keyword) in backlinks can appear unnatural and manipulative to search engines. Diversifying anchor text and using natural, contextually relevant anchor text in backlinks is a more effective SEO practice.
  17. Directory Submission Quantity: Submitting websites to numerous low-quality directories to build backlinks is an outdated and ineffective SEO strategy. Search engines prioritize backlinks from authoritative and relevant sources, so focusing on quality rather than quantity is essential for SEO success.
  18. Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA): Metrics like Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) provided by tools like Moz are proprietary metrics and don’t directly impact search engine rankings. While they can provide insights into website authority and backlink profiles, search engines use their own algorithms to determine rankings based on various factors.
  19. Number of Inbound Links: While backlinks are an important SEO factor, the quantity of inbound links alone doesn’t guarantee high search rankings. Search engines prioritize quality backlinks from authoritative, relevant sources over sheer quantity.
  20. Exit Pages: Knowing which pages users leave your website from can be helpful, but it’s not a direct SEO metric. Analyze exit pages in conjunction with user behavior data for a more holistic view.

Related Article: How to Leverage Insights From Your Social Media Analytics Report for Growth


In conclusion, understanding the distinction between SEO metrics that truly matter and those that don’t is crucial for crafting an effective and sustainable SEO strategy. While organic traffic, keyword rankings, click-through rate, and backlink profile directly impact search engine visibility and website performance, metrics such as keyword stuffing, exact match domains, and raw traffic numbers have limited relevance in modern SEO.

Businesses can make informed decisions, optimize their online presence, and achieve long-term SEO success by focusing on meaningful SEO tracking metrics that align with user intent, content quality, and user experience.

In addition, enterprise SEO metrics refer to the key performance indicators (KPIs) that large-scale businesses or organizations use to measure the effectiveness of their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. These enterprise SEO metrics are also used to monitor keyword ranking and engagement.

Featured Article: Crafting Social Media Handles That Mirror Your Brand Identity

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is SEO Metrics?

SEO metrics are measurable indicators used to assess the performance, effectiveness, and impact of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies on a website’s visibility, rankings, and organic traffic. These SEO tracking metrics help businesses analyze and optimize their SEO efforts for improved online presence and search engine performance.

2. Why Are SEO Metrics Important?

SEO metrics are important because they provide actionable insights into how well SEO strategies are performing and where improvements can be made. They help businesses track progress, identify areas of strength and weakness, measure ROI, and make data-driven decisions to enhance search engine visibility, user experience, and overall website performance.

3. How to Check SEO Rank?

You can use tools like Google Search Console, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, or other SEO ranking tools to check SEO rank. Enter your website’s URL or target keywords to view rankings, track changes over time, analyze competitor rankings, and monitor performance metrics related to search engine rankings.

4. What Is a Backlink in SEO?

In SEO, a backlink is a hyperlink from one website to another. Backlinks are important because they signal a website’s relevance, authority, and credibility to search engines like Google. Quality backlinks from authoritative sources can improve search engine rankings, organic traffic, and overall website visibility.

5. What Does SERP Stand For?

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. It refers to the page search engine displays in response to a user’s search query. SERPs typically include a list of organic search results, paid advertisements (if applicable), featured snippets, knowledge panels, and other search engine features related to the user’s query.
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Daniel Clark

Daniel is a guru of B2B marketing and professional networking. His in-depth knowledge of LinkedIn's unique environment has paved the way for business success.

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