Digital marketing...the strategy and process that connect advertisers with their audiences across digital channels. And did you know that digital marketing generates, on average, three times as many sales as traditional advertising, but costs 62% less? That’s a huge difference and one reason why understanding the online architecture is the great equalizer in terms of business. However, understanding the cornerstone of digital marketing, otherwise known as SEO, can be a little overwhelming. With everything from on-page to keywords and keyword rankings to off-page factors, it’s hard to know what actions will provide a genuine return on your investment of time and money.

Today we’re going to examine 5 metrics to focus on, and why, in your SEO game plan.

#1: Micro vs. Macro

Let’s first talk about micro metrics and macro metrics in SEO. Macro metrics, these are things like traffic, revenue and conversions. The BIG metrics you are ultimately after.

Micro metrics are things like keywords, off-page and content-specific metrics.

And what we know to be absolutely true is that micro metrics move macro metrics so make sure to track and set a plan to influence the micro metrics first and foremost, as those will ultimately gain you macro results.

Let’s deconstruct those metrics a bit more.

#2: Organic Keyword Rankings

Google is run by one language that we all use - keywords. If you’ve been through our Advanced Keyword Research webinar with Paxton Gray then you know how to find the keywords that are not only the best in terms of search volume for your site but benefit, as in engagement which leads to conversions and revenue.

Once you understand what keywords you want to rank for and set about doing the work to rank for them, you’ll want to ensure you are properly tracking and measuring those keyword rankings for your site. Ahrefs will pull your top organic keywords and report on everything from your current position to volume, traffic and what pages are ranking for each keyword. If a keyword isn’t moving after a few months of effort it may be wise to shift to another keyword set.

So, half the battle is knowing the best keywords from the start and then knowing when to shift to a new set of keywords if certain keywords are moving or they shoot to position one and only need a little bit of effort to maintain.

#3: Featured Snippets

Otherwise known as rank zero or the answer box. Most people are familiar with them but most people don’t know that you can orchestra your content to populate that answer box, because it’s all part of the Google algorithm. We talk about how to do this in our Rank Zero: Beating Your Competition with Featured Snippets webinar but the short of it is, once you are ranking on the first page you have the opportunity to dominate that space before rank 1 while you’re continuing efforts to move up in the search engine results page. So, make sure to monitor and manage all your keywords and make note when they move from page 2 to spot #10 on page 1. That’s when you can fast track to the top.

#4:Off-Page Metrics

Let’s move onto off-page metrics or what we largely know as backlinks or links pointing to your site. This is one major way Google evaluates your site and assigns you authority. Think of every backlink as an up-vote by a third party.

However, Google wants to ensure no one is gaming the system so you want to measure certain metrics to ensure you don’t look like you’re doing anything remotely spammy, even on accident, but instead deserve all the credit and authority Google wants to send your way. For this, make sure to track not only the number of backlinks you have to your website but the number of referring domains giving you links to your site. If you have 1000 backlinks to your site and only one referring domain, that looks spammy and doesn’t help your case online.

#5:  Content Metrics

There’s a lot of metrics to consider when it comes to the content you produce but the top metric to move the needle on those macro metrics, specifically conversions and revenue, is your website's top 5 pages. These are your biggest points of entry to your site and biggest opportunities in terms of moving users down the sales funnel. Examine your top pages and ensure they are the right pages to rank for your keywords and then the content - is it on point, as in, does it compel action? Is there a call to action? It doesn’t have to be Buy Now but may be Read this Next or Opt in Now. Whatever is the most natural next step in the buyer’s journey, that’s what you want to serve up within the content on your top pages.

That’s it, 5 SEO metrics you need to worry about. For more on this specific topic and tools mentioned be sure to catch our webinar SEO Metrics that Matter webinar with Enterprise Campaign Manager PJ Howland. Until next time!