3 SEO performance indicators to follow in 2017 2020 -

SEO is a long-term acquisition strategy and measuring its efforts can sometimes seem time-consuming as there are so many metrics to monitor. Knowing the right SEO performance indicators can save you considerable time during your natural SEO audits. This article aims to present 3 key and actionable SEO performance indicators to monitor to measure the success or improvement areas of your campaigns …

The frequency and the crawl ratio

The frequency of crawling is an important performance indicator to monitor. In order to index and position your pages on search results, Google needs to browse the pages of your site. However, it has a limited crawl budget, that is, a sum allocated to your websites, to visit the pages of your site. It is therefore necessary to be sure that Google comes to visit your most important pages, that is to say your pages generating organic traffic and conversions.

Several factors can positively or negatively influence your crawl budget:

  • Site response time : the faster the server will respond, the easier it will be for the Google robot to crawl a large page volume;
  • The volume of popular pages to crawl : Google tends to crawl popular pages more frequently than less popular pages so that they are up to date in the search engine index;
  • The volume of new pages to crawl : The frequency of adding new pages will have an impact on the crawl budget compared to a static site without update. Google likes fresh, rich content;
  • Changes to URLs / domain names following a redesign: revamping a site with a change of URLs has a strong impact on Google’s crawl, as it must quickly update old URLs with new ones.
  • Duplicated content : Duplicate content forces Google to index multiple versions of the same content at the expense of larger pages.
  • Broken links : Too many 404 errors will send a negative signal to Google about your user experience. Results, he will come back to visit these pages less often.
  • 301 redirect chains : Redirect chains are bad for your crawl budget in several ways. When Google reaches a URL and sees a 301, it doesn’t always follow it immediately and instead adds the new URL to a list and then follows it. Also check that your XML sitemap is up to date.

It is also interesting to understand what proportion of your site has been crawled and seen by Google robots. To do this, it is therefore important to group your URLs by group in order to segment your pages by business objective and understand if your money pages (those generating conversions) are sufficiently crawled compared to less important pages.

Log analysis tools like OnCrawl can help you track these KPIs.

googlebot behavior - oncrawl

In the example above, we can see that some categories are less crawled than others. It is therefore important to ask the following question: are my important pages those visited by Googlebot? Are you wasting chances of positioning your products / articles / services? This data can help you make the right decisions to redirect your crawl budget to the pages that matter.

The rate of active orphan pages

The orphan page rate is another SEO indicator to take into account to measure your performance. An orphan page is a page that is not attached to the internal link structure of a website that users cannot find from the website. It is therefore absent from the tree structure and potentially invisible by search engines. It can happen that it is indexed, but in general, it does not help to increase the SEO visibility of your site.

If the problem affects only one page, then the impact on visibility will be limited. But in very many cases, orphan pages are linked to a bad internal mesh and affect a set of pages. The number of potentially indexable pages will therefore be impacted.

A simple crawl of your site will not allow you to detect these pages, because a crawler is content to follow the links on your site. The orphan pages are not linked to the structure, no chance of detecting them! It is therefore necessary to analyze your logs and cross this data with that of your crawl in order to have an exhaustive overview of your pages!

If Google knows these pages, it will continue to visit them at the expense of larger pages. Orphan pages do not generate any traffic. However, some orphan pages are considered active, that is, they generate traffic from organic results. With this data in mind, it will be interesting to ask you whether these pages are worth linking to the structure in order to maximize their impact.

The rate of active pages

Last KPI to follow, your active page rate. Indeed, knowing the number of your organic visits is not enough. This is an interesting metric to follow (which you can find via your analytics), but which does not allow you to have a global view of your SEO performance. What proportion of your site receives this traffic? Which page groups receive most of it? Are these your most important pages?

The active page rate refers to pages generating traffic from an organic result over a given period and is opposed to inactive pages which do not generate any SEO visits. The ratio of active pages not only tells you the volume of traffic generated, but also where it is directed. The goal is to reach 100% active pages. But it is also necessary to assess your ratio of active pages by groups of pages. It will certainly be more important for some competitive and income-generating groups to increase this ratio.

oncrawl active page ratio

Clearly, these three SEO KPIs allow you to measure the effectiveness of your SEO strategy and work with clear and actionable metrics.