Is Keyword Ranking the Best Metric To Report?

SEO experts have long measured keyword ranking in order to report back to customers on their websites’ progress. However, a recent report from SEO Moz gives 10 alternative metrics that may give a more accurate picture of how a website is fairing.

  1. Rank indexes. When it comes to keywords, tracking an index may be simpler and ultimately more illuminating that tracking individual keywords. For example, if you are tracking the keywords Boise lawyer, Boise attorney and Boise law firm, you can create a “Boise keywords” group and track the entire group for what is happening with Boise. This gives you the bigger picture of how all of your long-tail keywords are moving up and down.
  2. Organic traffic. How many people are reaching a website through organic search results? This has traditionally been SEO’s area of expertise and is still a great metric to measure. However, organic traffic should be looked at as part of a larger “traffic report” that includes other metrics as well.
  3. Referral traffic. Referrals are a great way to get traffic to your site from friendly spots like blogs, but how do you know how well your referrals are working if you do not measure for this? Clients can understand how effective certain campaigns are, for example, if they can see the referral traffic numbers.
  4. Social traffic. Does your client use social media? If so, you should be measuring and tracking that traffic as well. Social media can have a huge impact on brand loyalty and image, so be sure to note this in your monthly reporting.
  5. Total traffic. Once you have all of your traffic figures, merge them for one powerful reporting metric. It helps to see how everything works together to give the client results.
  6. Classic links. The changes brought about by Penguin and other Google algorithms means that SEO is no longer about the number of links but the endorsement of those links. Therefore, you should report on your classic linking strategy as well as other endorsements.
  7. Mentions. When a client’s website is mentioned by other sites, it is one of the most basic forms of endorsement. Be sure to note this to the client.
  8. Press. Reaching out through press releases is a good way to draw attention to “news” for your client, but you should also be reporting the effects of your press strategies to get full credit for this work.
  9. Social endorsements. If you are endorsed through social media, be sure to measure this. It helps clients understand how important social platforms are.
  10. Business objectives. Ultimately, it all boils down to how well you meet business goals and objectives, so be sure to finish your report with a real-time picture of how you are reaching those goals.