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How is SEO Ranking Measured? - 23 KPIs to Measure Besides Traffic

When measuring SEO ranking for businesses, many often make the mistake of solely relying on traffic increase as a metric. Being a premium Hutto Texas SEO company, PXEL7 understands that this approach is flawed. While an uptick in website visitors is undoubtedly a positive sign, it fails to provide a comprehensive picture of your SEO performance.

To truly measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts, you must go deeper. A multifaceted approach that considers various factors is crucial. Let’s see what that approach encompasses in this detailed guide below:

Is Traffic Increase the Only Thing Important For Measuring SEO Success?

It is not advised to rely solely on observing rising traffic numbers to determine SEO success in the long run. While traffic is definitely a crucial indicator, focusing only on it can lead one astray. For one, some not-so-credible SEO agencies may try dubious tricks like dubious backlinking solely for a quick traffic boost, leaving the site vulnerable. As a competent Hutto Texas SEO company, we strongly discourage these practices.

A core algorithm update by Google can remove the rankings and reduce traffic to nothing. Therefore, alongside monitoring traffic, it is wiser to evaluate additional technical SEO key performance indicators that ensure the site's search-friendliness is built to withstand future changes.

Key On-Page SEO Factors To Consider

Optimized Content Well-researched articles with something of value to offer to readers having 500-1,500  words in length at least and optimized for on-page with target keyword inclusion are crucial.
Site Speed Page load speed has to be top-notch, as slow sites frustrate users. Google favors faster sites and regularly updates algorithms to rank them higher. Site speed optimization through image compression, caching, CDNs, etc., is essential.
Mobile Friendliness Websites must be easily usable on mobile phones since half the web traffic is via mobile devices. Pages must also be responsive, with correct viewport settings and touch-optimized elements, for high mobile rankings.

Additional Technical SEO Ranking Factors

  • Site Architecture - Internal linking between pages, redirects, sitemaps, etc., ensures bots can access all pages for indexing.
  • Backlink Profile - The quality (and quantity) of links from relevant third-party sites build authority and trust with search engines.
  • HTML Issues - Pages must pass validation checks without JavaScript errors or unused CSS and perfect schema implementation.
  • Load Time - Under 2 seconds is ideal for a strong user experience and SEO factors like time spent on the site.

Continually tracking and optimizing the above technical ranking signals alongside user metrics provide a complete picture of campaign progress and at our Hutto Texas SEO company, we continuously keep an eye on these indicators. Neglecting any can stall gains or mean the site fails to rank sustainably in the face of algorithm updates.

Hutto Texas SEO company

6 Basic KPIs to Measure For Long-Term SEO Success:

Position in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)

Your website's position SERPs when users search for relevant keywords is one of the most important metrics for an SEO professional to monitor. PXEL7, a premium Hutto Texas SEO company, recommends tracking positioning separately for different search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, as rankings can vary across search providers. 

It's also important to analyze rankings for long tail keywords in addition to main targeted keywords. If targeting an international audience, consider also analyzing rankings across different locations/countries. Monitor movement in positioning across different pages of SERPs, too - for example, moving from position 5 on page one to position 2. Track rank tracker data over time to analyze ranking trends and the impact of SEO efforts and changes made.

Impact: This directly impacts the visibility and click-through of your website.


The number of links pointing to your site from other domains is a crucial ranking factor. You should:

  • Track the number of new and lost backlinks each month
  • Analyze the top domains and pages providing backlinks
  • Monitor changes and issues in your backlink profile

Impact: Search engines like Google view backlinks as endorsements of your content's quality.


Impressions, or the number of times a website appears in search results, is another important metric for SEO professionals. Impressions should be segmented by keyword, search engine, location, and other relevant factors. 

Comparing impressions to click-through rates can provide insights into relevance. Analyzing fluctuations in impressions caused by algorithm or ranking changes and seasonal trends also offers valuable learnings. 

Setting impression goals based on targeted search volumes and Levels of competition is recommended. It's also a good idea to monitor zero-result impressions when a page appears but is not clickable.

Impact: More impressions mean higher visibility and potential traffic.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR represents the percentage of search impressions that resulted in clicks to your website. Marketers should:

  • Monitor CTR figures and identify trends over time
  • Compare the CTR for top-ranking pages and landing pages
  • Determine if your CTR correlates with ranking changes

Impact: A higher CTR indicates that searchers find your result relevant and enticing for the query.

Organic Search Traffic

Of course, the ultimate goal of optimizing a site for search engines is to drive more relevant traffic from organic search results. Being one of the leading Hutto Texas SEO company, PXEL7 advises segmenting organic search traffic data by country, state, city, and other location-based dimensions to glean insights for location targeting. Analyzing traffic sources at the page level can reveal top and bottom-performing pages. Comparing traffic trends to ranking and impression trends over time offers important correlations.

Organic traffic goals should be set based on business and conversion objectives. When tracked over time, metrics like sessions, users, pageviews, bounce rate, and average session duration provide a well-rounded view of traffic performance. Attributing traffic changes to specific SEO activities and efforts for reporting and optimizing strategies is also valuable.

Impact: Traffic is the ultimate goal of SEO - more traffic means success.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to the visitor percentage leaving your site from the same page they entered. To improve:

  • Monitor bounce rates for landing and top-trafficked pages
  • Analyze patterns and potential reasons for high bounce rates
  • Test optimizations to reduce unnecessary bounces

Impact: A lower bounce rate can enhance user experience and increase their time spent on your site.

18 Deep KPIs to Measure For Long-Term SEO Success Used By Every Top Hutto Texas SEO Company:

As per our experience of years being a professional Hutto Texas SEO company, we can confidently tell you that you should not rely only on vanity metrics like website traffic or keyword rankings to evaluate SEO performance. There are more insightful indicators known as deep Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that provide a comprehensive view of how search engine-friendly a website has become.

Domain Authority

Domain Authority, as per Moz, refers to how likely a website is to rank in search engines. It is a metric for measuring a domain's trustworthiness and credibility in the eyes of search engines.

It is determined based on numerous factors, such as the number and quality of backlinks pointing to a site. To effectively monitor changes in Domain Authority:

  • Track the DA score over the past 6-12 months to identify trends
  • Analyze external elements affecting the DA, like newly gained backlinks or expired links
  • Use the DA score to assess the impact of link-building efforts undertaken over time
  • A higher DA indicates the website and its content carry more authority for search engines

Impact: Higher DA means your site/content is more authoritative.

Technical Site Health

Critical to SEO is the technical performance of a website. Ensuring optimum page speed, cross-browser compatibility, responsiveness on mobile, and adequate security helps search bots crawl and index pages smoothly. Some things one must do are:

  • Audit the site periodically to check speed, accessibility, presence of errors, and security vulnerabilities
  • Prioritize optimizations that directly enhance the user experience, like faster load times.
  • Re-check metrics after changes to quantify gains from improvements

Impact: A better user experience correlates to higher searchability of website content.

Engagement Rate

Engagement Rate, calculated as average interactions per user session, is a key indicator of how engaging website content is. Some actions to boost engagement include:

  • Track metrics such as time spent, scroll depth, and page views to pinpoint the best and worst-performing pages
  • A/B test content and design tweaks to assess impact on metrics and optimize for higher values
  • Content that holds user attention longer signals higher quality to search engine algorithms

Impact: Higher engagement indicates more valuable content.

Page Speed

Page speed is an important deep KPI to analyze. One should regularly audit mobile and desktop page speed scores using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights

It is important to prioritize improvements to achieve top scores across different page speed factors. Aim to ensure fast speeds across different connection types like 3G, LTE, or broadband. 

Research has shown that faster-track sites boost user experience and tend to perform better in search rankings. One should analyze which pages require the most optimization and prioritize accordingly.

Impact: Faster sites boost user experience and perform better in search rankings.

Engagement Time

Another key metric to track is user engagement time on the site and individual pages. One should monitor the average session duration and page views to understand user behaviors. 

It would be useful to analyze patterns of high-engagement and low-engagement pages to identify opportunities. 

Impact: Longer user engagement times reflect that users find the content valuable and engaging enough to consume for a longer duration. 

Scroll depth

Scroll depth indicates how engaged users are with a website's content. The average scroll depth shows how far down the page users scroll before exiting.

Scroll depth is measured as a percentage - the more a user scrolls down a page, the higher the percentage will be. If users only scroll 10-20% into pages on average, it may suggest the content is not captivating enough. 

However, numbers 75% or higher demonstrate content that keeps people engaged. Table 1 below shows an example of average scroll depth percentages for different pages on a website.

Page Average Scroll Depth (%)
Homepage 65 (needs improvement)
Blog 82 (good)
Product Page 55 (Significant Improvements Needed)

By optimizing elements like headline text, image placement, and call-to-action buttons, businesses can influence readers to scroll further and potentially find more engaging content. Understanding which pages have high versus low average scroll depths also informs effective content optimizations.

Impact: Deeper scrolling shows the content's ability to hold the user's attention.


Crawlability or indexability refers to how well search engine bots can discover all website pages to comprehensively index its content. 

Being a premium Hutto Texas SEO company, PXEL7 regularly audits its clients' websites to ensure a high percentage, ideally 90% or more, of pages are indexed by Google, Bing, and other search engines.

We examines the site map file for errors and check that internal pages are properly linked to other locations.

Any issues with how pages render or are programmatically extracted could impede proper indexing. Redirects, server errors, and blocked pages via robots.txt are also audited. 

Impact: Good indexing covers all site content for searchability.

Indexed pages

As an SEO expert, one must carefully track pages being indexed by search engines weekly and monthly. New pages should be submitted to search engines through XML sitemaps within a week of publishing to ensure timely indexing. 

Premium SEO agencies regularly audit their clients' websites using tools like Screaming Frog to find unindexed pages and work to get them added to search indexes. 

Impact: More indexed pages means more of your site is discoverable to search engines and users

Content Quality

High-quality, readable content helps search engines better comprehend pages and index them appropriately for relevant queries. Here are some best practices for optimizing content quality:

  • Analyze text using tools like the Hemingway App monthly to check readability scores and ensure clear and concise content. 
  • Optimize the top 5 most important pages monthly based on thorough keyword research, ensuring keyword density does not exceed the recommended 3% as per best practices and tools like SEMRush.
  •  Monitor the rankings and search volume for optimized pages and content monthly to gauge performance and identify areas for further improvement. 
  • Higher quality, readable content that incorporates relevant keywords naturally helps search engines understand the topic and context better, resulting in higher rankings.

Impact: Higher quality, readable content helps search engines understand pages better and rank them more highly

Core Web Vitals

Search engines also prioritize sites that provide an excellent user experience. Optimizing for Google's Core Web Vitals is essential:

  • Track user experience metrics like Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) weekly using Google's PageSpeed Insights tool.
  • Prioritize the top 10 landing pages monthly to achieve "Good" or better scores on all Core Web Vitals metrics.
  • Audit code and assets monthly using Lighthouse in Chrome DevTools to identify and tackle any potential issues impacting performance.
Metric Description
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) Measures load time for the largest content element visible in the viewport.
First Input Delay (FID) Measures time from the user's first interaction to when the browser can process the event.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) Measures unexpected layout shifts that can disrupt the user experience.

Impact: Top scores in core web vitals lead to better user experience and search engine treatment


To justify ongoing SEO investments, it's crucial to quantify the return on investment (ROI) from organic search efforts:

  • Track organic search traffic, leads, and conversions monthly using Google Analytics to measure performance over time.
  • Analyze the true cost per lead or conversion from SEO compared to paid channels like Google Ads quarterly.
  • Test new tactics, target keywords, or campaign angles quarterly to continually improve ROI and secure budget.

Impact: Proving a positive ROI demonstrates SEO's business value and helps obtain ongoing executive support.


At the end of the day, SEO's success pivots on its ability to drive conversions that fuel business growth:

  • Set clear, trackable conversion goals like email opt-ins, online purchases, contact form submissions, etc. 
  • Analyze the top 3 highest-converting pages and keywords driving conversions monthly. 
  • Run continual A/B tests on landing pages, offers, and CTAs to optimize conversion rates further.

More conversions from organic search unequivocally demonstrate your SEO efforts are delivering tangible results for the business.

Example Conversion Goals Vital For
Email Opt-Ins Lead Generation, Email Marketing
Online Purchases E-commerce Revenue
Contact Form Submissions Sales Prospecting

Impact: More conversions demonstrate your SEO efforts are delivering business results

Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

Calculating and comparing the average cost per acquisition for SEO and paid marketing channels on a quarterly basis is crucial for one to truly understand how effectively their organic content is driving traffic. 

By launching new types of organic content or social media advertising campaigns every three months and reviewing their ROI after the same time period, one can test which initiatives are truly reducing customer acquisition costs. 

A lower organic CPA demonstrates that their SEO efforts are proficiently economically delivering high-quality visitors.

Quarter SEO CPA
Q1 2020 $15
Q2 2020 $12

As seen in the example table, the business decreased its SEO CPA by $3 from the first to the second quarter by introducing new blog post formats and social media campaigns covering timely topics. This validates that its content strategy effectively drives customers to its site while minimizing expenditure.

Impact: Lower organic CPA means your SEO is efficiently driving high-quality traffic.

Time on Site

Closely tracking metrics like the average session duration and bounce rate on a monthly basis using Google Analytics provides profound insights into how engaging one's website is for visitors. 

By testing design or content changes bi-monthly with the goal of reducing bounces, one can enhance usability and better retain customers on their site. When session times grow over successive periods, it serves as proof that users are highly engaged with the information and experience being provided.

For example, one company found that their average time on site was only 2 minutes previously. They realized users were abandoning the buying process midway after stumbling upon complex menus and descriptions.

After simplifying the navigation and product pages with clear calls to action, they noticed the session duration went up to 5 minutes in the following month. This validated that the adjustments helped maintain user attention on their digital properties.

Impact: Longer session times show strong user engagement with your site 

Pages per Session

The average number of pages explored unveils user interest and content resonance. By monitoring this metric monthly, patterns can surface, enabling strategic optimizations.

Track Average Monthly

Calculate the mean pages viewed per session each month. This quantifies content consumption and highlights potential areas for improvement.

Identify Quarterly Patterns

Quarterly, examine sessions with low (1-2 pages) versus high page counts. Pinpointing these trends illuminates opportunities to enhance user journeys.

Optimize Bi-Monthly

  • Enhance internal linking to guide users seamlessly.
  • Recommend related, valuable content proactively.

Impact: Deeper navigation demonstrates the ability to retain and inform users

New vs. returning visits

Monitoring the balance between new and loyal audiences unveils your content's magnetism and brand affinity.

Monthly Tracking via Google Analytics

Leverage Google Analytics to dissect monthly new versus repeat visit percentages, illuminating user acquisition and retention metrics.

Nurture Campaigns Quarterly

  • Launch email nurturing flows to cultivate relationships.
  • Implement on-site prompts enticing revisits.

Review Impact After 3 Months

Evaluate campaign performance quarterly, continuing initiatives that resonate while refining underperforming efforts.

Impact: Growing repeat visits show your brand and content are winning user loyalty

Device metrics

In today's multi-device world, ensuring a seamless experience for users on both desktop and mobile is paramount. Here are some key steps to take:

  • Track and analyze key metrics like bounce rate, conversion rate, and average session duration separately for desktop and mobile on a quarterly basis.
  • Identify and optimize the five highest-impact pages for mobile annually to enhance user experience and improve engagement.
  • If mobile traffic accounts for over 50% of your total traffic, prioritize mobile optimization efforts to cater to your primary audience.

Impact: Ensuring a great experience on all devices maximizes your reach

Location metrics

Local search is powerful for businesses to connect with customers in their immediate vicinity. Here's how you can leverage it:

  • Analyze city/state-level traffic and goal data on a quarterly basis to identify high-potential local markets.
  • Target your local marketing and keyword campaigns towards the top five locations annually to capture local search traffic.
  • Continuously test localized landing pages, offers, or calls to action to resonate better with your local audience.
Metric Importance
Device-specific metrics Understand user behavior and optimize for all devices
Local search data Capture local opportunities and drive physical store visits

Impact: Rankings that result in local visits can directly translate into real-world store visits and sales, making it a valuable strategy for businesses with a physical presence.

How is SEO Ranking Measured?

Measuring SEO performance is crucial for understanding campaign success. As a premium Hutto Texas SEO company, these are some of the ways we track crucial SEO KPIs.

Google Search Console

GSC is one of the most crucial platforms for SEOs to analyze their organic search performance. It directly provides keywords like clicks, impressions, average position, and URL-level ranking data from Google. This helps marketers track:

  • Long-term trends of top-performing keywords
  • Seasonal fluctuations that may impact search volume
  • Keywords gaining or losing rankings over time

The query reports in the Search Console allow data to be filtered by location, device types, and query parameters. 

This multi-dimensional analysis gives insights into search patterns and audience segments. Combined with Analytics, it paints a holistic picture of organic traffic and user behavior.

Google Analytics

While Search Console covers the search engine results page experience, Google Analytics offers a fuller picture of user journeys from clicks all the way to conversions. It gives insights into:

  • Session and user-level organic traffic sources
  • Bounce rates and time on site from SERPs
  • Goal completion and conversion rates

For instance, setting up destination URL goals allows for improved keyword rankings to correlate to a business objective, such as lead submissions. Funnel or path analysis sheds light on drop-off points during organic visits. 

UTM parameters make it possible to cross-analyze multi-channel efforts. With its powerful segmentation and customization capabilities, Analytics is a must-have for holistic SEO measurement.


To track rankings across search engines and assess link profile health, marketers turn to third-party tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush. They provide a bird's eye view of:

  • Keyword difficulty, search volume, and rankings on Google, Yahoo, and Bing
  • On-page and off-page optimization recommendations
  • Domain, topical, and technical SEO metrics over time
  • Backlink changes are made by anchor text, referring domain, etc.

Comparing a site's current and target keywords helps prioritize content gaps. Link analytics pinpoint over-optimized or risky backlinks, too. Such off-site and technical SEO reporting is critical for measuring organic growth drivers.

Tag Manager/Pixel Tracking

Implementing tag managers and tracking pixels allows you to monitor event goals beyond standard conversions. 

For instance, tracking form submissions provides insights into lead generation success. Additionally, setting up funnel and path analysis unveils customer journeys, pinpointing potential roadblocks.

Heatmaps/Scroll Depth

Overlaying heatmaps on web pages reveals user behavior patterns, spotting underperforming page elements.

Comparing scroll depth across landing pages highlights content engagement levels, guiding optimization efforts.

Heatmap Insights Optimization Opportunities
Click Distribution Refine call-to-action placement
Scroll depth Improve content formatting and flow


Integrating form submissions with a CRM system enables tracking lead quality over time. Analyzing campaign performance by lead stage or opportunity value provides a comprehensive view of ROI. Leveraging this data empowers data-driven decision-making for future campaigns.

Website Analytics

  • Identify top and bottom-performing pages and content types, guiding content strategy.
  • Monitor site search queries to uncover user intent and content gaps.
  • A/B test page elements at scale to continuously optimize user experience.


Accounting for various organic traffic sources, such as direct, non-branded, and branded, offers a holistic view of campaign performance. Split testing multi-channel scenarios help optimize channel mix and budget allocation.


Tracking broken and followed links ensures a seamless user experience and upholds link equity. Monitoring link changes by tier, anchor text, and domain authority helps identify link-building opportunities. 

Additionally, spotting influencer outreach opportunities can amplify content reach and authority.

Seems Like Too Much Work? Let Pxel7 Hutto Texas SEO company Handle Your SEO Success - We’ll Send You Detailed Reporting As Well:

Don't let the complexities of SEO overwhelm you. Pxel7, a premium Hutto Texas SEO company, offers comprehensive solutions tailored to your business needs. Our team of top SEOs will meticulously analyze and optimize your website, ensuring maximum visibility and engagement. 

We'll provide detailed reporting so you can track your progress and make data-driven decisions. Trust Pxel7 to navigate the intricate world of SEO, leaving you to focus on what you do best.

Author - Christine Gray
Digital Services
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