Benchmarking your site’s current performance allows you to track and compare improvements over time. It is fundamental to a successful SEO campaign. This is why SEO experts worth their salt will always benchmark your current performance before they even begin to plan your SEO strategy. Benchmarking allows them to see exactly where your site currently stands and track performance enhancements month-to-month.
When it is done right, benchmarking can provide crucial information about which campaigns and strategies are working and which ones are ineffective. For example, it might show you that only 10% of your pages generate the majority of incoming traffic. You can then focus on the SEO elements that make that 10% successful while adjusting or even removing pages that are inefficient or counterproductive.
Top Key Performance Indicators to Benchmark Before Starting an SEO Campaign
Successfully benchmarking your SEO information starts with knowing which elements and metrics to track. We have listed below some of the most important elements:
- Number of Pages Indexed by Google
This is one of the most vital and easiest metrics to benchmark. Simply go to Google Search and enter “site:yourwebsitename.com” into the search bar. The results will show you all the indexed pages on your domain name.
You might be wondering: Why it is important to benchmark the number of indexed pages? Because this information is a fantastic way to see, overall, how your website looks on Google. It may help you identify any coding errors, duplicate pages, and poorly written content that haven’t been indexed. It also sets the stage so that your future SEO efforts can ensure proper indexing.
- Organic and Referral Visits
Using Google Analytics, you need to have a record of how many visitors you are currently getting and from what sources. This will allow you to assess if your future SEO campaign is bringing in more organic traffic over time, and if your future strategies can increase the number of referrals.
- Social Media Stats
Do you have social media accounts like a Facebook page? Then it’s wise to measure your current social media presence—such as the number of followers or fans you currently have, number of shares and likes, and other such figures. Tools like BrightEdge can help you determine the share rate of your content across Twitter and Facebook. As you roll out your SEO and social media strategies later, you should notice improved numbers.
- Number of Keywords
You can use SEMRush.com to determine approximately how many keywords you are currently ranking in the top 10 for, as well as find out how the non-branded branded vs. mix looks. Hopefully. Your SEO campaign will increase this number over time. If this number remains flat—or worse, declines—then you’ll know that your SEO strategy is not working and needs revamping ASAP.
Understanding what keywords perform best also gives you a clearer picture of what information your target visitors are looking for. This ultimately helps steer your future content strategy to the right direction.
- Backlinks Profile
Link authority remains an important benchmark for SEO. Google has penalized websites with low quality links, but it continues to reward those that attract relevant links from reputable websites. Your backlink profile is still a powerful indicator of SEO success. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to generate a list of all websites that link to yours because of tools like Majestic. By benchmarking your links, you can also audit link quality and disavow spammy links that can hurt your search rankings. You can then plan your SEO strategy around building legitimate links going forward. Some experts also recommend that you benchmark your competitor’s backlinks. Do they have a better link profile than you? Figure out why—and then do something to outperform them.
Benchmarking these key metrics is absolutely vital for tracking SEO performance down the road. Need help? Let our experts at SEOValley™ do all the work so you can focus on other important aspects of your business. We have more than a decade of experience and expertise in SEO, so you can trust our website benchmarking, auditing, and evaluation skills. Call us today.