How We Measure SEO Campaigns

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) performance is all about how well a website does in search engine results, looking at things like where a site ranks in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), how much organic search traffic a website gets, and the conversion rate of that traffic. 

Knowing how well our SEO efforts are working helps us determine what works and what needs tweaking, allowing us to deliver the best possible results. Regularly tracking SEO performance lets us make informed decisions based on real data, ensuring that our clients maximise their return on investment. Let’s unpack how we measure SEO performance and why regular, comprehensive SEO audits are important.

Why Measuring SEO Performance Is Important

Measuring SEO performance is important for a few reasons. Firstly, it lets us see if our SEO strategies are working as they should. By keeping an eye on how a website ranks and the amount of organic traffic it pulls in, we can quickly spot what’s doing well and what’s not. This insight is valuable because it means we can tweak our SEO strategy on the fly, ensuring our clients’ websites stay ahead of the competition.

Tracking SEO performance often is also important because a website’s ranking can change from one day to the next, and what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. Regularly checking our SEO performance helps us stay agile. We can adapt to algorithm changes, new trends, and shifts in what the target audience is looking for as soon as possible. This way, we can keep delivering the best results possible, keeping our clients’ websites visible and relevant.

Important SEO Metrics To Measure

There are a few key metrics we always keep our eyes on to gauge how well our strategies are performing. These metrics give us a clear picture of where our efforts are effective and where there’s room for improvement. These are the primary metrics we use to measure SEO:

  • Keyword ranking
  • Organic traffic
  • Click-through-rate
  • Backlinks
  • Bounce rate

Let’s go through what these metrics mean and the value they provide.

Keyword Ranking

Keyword ranking refers to a website’s position in search results – commonly referred to as SERP – when someone searches for a specific keyword or phrase. It’s probably the most important metric to improve to increase site traffic. How often do you find yourself on the second page of search engine results or even scrolling halfway down the first page? Appearing higher in search engine results, ideally in the top 10 for the most relevant keyword, will result in much more organic traffic. Increasing keyword ranking and search visibility overall should be the primary goal when kicking off an SEO marketing strategy.

By monitoring how well our clients’ sites rank for specific keywords, we can also see how they stack up against competitors. This insight helps us make strategic decisions, like targeting less competitive keywords with a lower search volume where we can more easily secure a top spot or doubling down on efforts to outperform competitors in the most important areas.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic refers to visitors who land on a website as a result of unpaid search results. Unlike paid traffic, which comes from ads, organic traffic is generated through search engines like Google when people search for keywords or phrases related to the content, products, or services a website displays. This type of traffic is considered highly valuable because it’s made up of individuals actively seeking what the website offers, making them more likely to engage.

Measuring organic traffic is essential for several reasons – Firstly, it provides a clear indicator of a website’s overall health and the effectiveness of an SEO strategy. An increase in organic traffic indicates that a site is becoming more visible and attractive to its target audience. Organic traffic can also offer hugely valuable insights into user behaviour and preferences, helping us further refine our SEO strategies. By understanding which keywords and topics drive the most traffic, we can tailor our efforts to capitalise on these areas and attract even more visitors.

Why Organic Traffic Is So Valuable

Of all these metrics mentioned, organic traffic is the biggest driver of business growth. Visitors who find a website through organic search are often further along in the buying process, having actively searched for relevant information or solutions. This means they’re more likely to convert into leads or customers than any other form of website traffic. 

Maintaining a strong flow of organic traffic can also reduce our reliance on paid search advertising, offering a cost-effective way to attract users over time. While paid search ad campaigns can boost visibility quickly, organic traffic builds a foundation of credibility and trust with users. You can read our guide to organic traffic and how to increase it if you want to learn more.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-Through Rate (CTR) measures the percentage of users who click on a website’s link after seeing it in search engine results. CTR is crucial because it tells us how relevant and appealing a website is to potential visitors as it appears in SERPs. If a CTR is high, it means it’s resonating with the target audience, suggesting that what we present in search results closely matches what users are searching for. It’s calculated by dividing the total number of clicks by the total number of impressions (how many times a website link is seen), then multiplying by 100 to get a percentage. Don’t worry if maths isn’t your strong point – there are many SEO tools that will measure CTR automatically. 

Monitoring CTR can help identify areas for improvement in our SEO strategy. For instance, if a website is ranking well but the CTR is low, the meta descriptions and page titles might need to be more compelling. On the other hand, a high CTR with lower rankings suggests the content resonates with users when they see it, indicating that we need to focus on other SEO aspects to increase visibility.


Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are links from one website to a page on another website. Backlinks are one of the most powerful SEO ranking factors – search engines like Google and Bing use them to gauge the authority and credibility of a website. The more backlinks a site has from other reputable websites, the more trustworthy search engines will deem it and the higher it will rank on SERPs. The process of gaining backlinks for the sake of SEO through content marketing or other means is known as link building.

Analysing the backlink profile can provide insights into a website’s performance and reputation. By examining the number and quality of backlinks, we can identify which aspects of the content or site are most valuable and attractive to other site owners. This information guides our content strategy and SEO strategy.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a metric that measures how many people navigate away from a site after only viewing one page. The lower the bounce rate is, the better a website is at engaging and retaining visitors. While a bounce rate of about 40% is to be expected, anything higher indicates the website is failing to engage users or is taking so long to load that users lose patience and click away.

While bounce rate isn’t a recognised SEO ranking factor, and it’s hotly debated whether it directly impacts search engine rankings, it can still provide insight into SEO performance. A high bounce rate can say a lot about a site’s overall performance and its ability to engage users. The content might not be sufficiently engaging or clear enough to encourage users to stay on the site. Slow loading times, poor website design, confusing navigation, or a lack of mobile responsiveness might also be driving users away.

While Google might not directly take into account bounce rate when ranking websites, it certainly does factor in the quality of a site’s content and the user experience it provides. Fixing these issues will reduce the bounce rate and, in turn, improve SEO as well. 

External SEO Metrics

External metrics from third-party SEO tools like Moz and Ahrefs give us insight into how well a website is positioned in the broader digital ecosystem and the strength of its backlink profile. Here are four more ways to measure SEO results and gain a deeper understanding of how a website is positioned online:

Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a score developed by the SEO software Moz to predict how likely a website is to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s based on a scale from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating a greater ability to rank. The authority score takes into account the quality and quantity of backlinks, the age and history of the website’s domain name, and the quality of the content.

DA isn’t a Google ranking factor and has no effect on the SERPs, but it does help us understand the overall strength of a website compared to others. It also gives us a firm idea of a website’s starting point – the lower a site’s DA, the longer its SEO will take to provide results. Consequently, we can adjust our expectations and timeline accordingly.

Domain Rank

Domain Rank (DR), developed by Ahrefs, measures the importance of a website by taking into account the quality and quantity of links pointing to it. A higher domain rank can indicate a website is seen as more authoritative and influential. Like DA, DR has no effect on SEO, but it still has its place. We use DR to measure link-building value on other websites. Having a backlink from a website with a high DR will benefit a site’s SEO. 

Page Authority 

Page Authority (PA) is similar to Domain Authority but focuses on the predictive ranking strength of a single page rather than the entire domain. Each page on a website can have its own PA score, influencing how well that specific page is likely to rank on SERPs. We use PA to pinpoint which pages on our clients’ websites have the most potential to draw in traffic and then optimise those pages to maximise their impact.

Page Rank

Page Rank, originally developed by Google, measures the importance of webpage links. While Google no longer publicly shares Page Rank scores, the concept remains a fundamental part of how search engines evaluate links. A page with a high number of quality backlinks is considered more important and is more likely to rank well in search results. Understanding this helps us focus on acquiring high-quality links to improve the relevance and authority of our clients’ pages.

Tools We Use To Measure SEO Performance

We rely on a suite of powerful tools to measure and enhance the performance of our campaigns. These tools give us the insights we need to fine-tune our strategies, ensuring our clients’ websites rank higher and attract more organic traffic. Here are the key tools we use and how they help us achieve SEO success.

Fortunately, not all of them come at a cost – there are plenty of free tools like Google Search Console that make it easy to measure and improve SEO performance. Aside from providing insights into performance after SEO campaigns, these tools can help provide actionable insights over time to get better organic results and improve our SEO approach to keep in line with changes.

Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 is one of our primary SEO measurement tools. It’s the latest version of Google’s analytics platform, and it provides comprehensive insight into user behaviour. We use GA4 to track user interactions, website performance, and conversion rates. GA4 helps us understand a website’s users, recognise patterns, and optimise our clients’ websites for better engagement. It allows us to see which keywords and topics resonate with our audience, assess the quality of traffic, and how to optimise web pages to improve user experience for better on-page and technical SEO. 

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is another invaluable tool in our arsenal. Using Google Search Console provides insights into how the search giant ranks our clients’ websites, showing us the frequency of page appearances in search results, click-through rates, and average position for specific queries. This data helps us understand which keywords and queries draw traffic, allowing us to assess the impact of our keyword targeting and content strategies effectively.

Additionally, it offers performance data across different devices and countries, enabling us to tailor our SEO tactics to target audiences more accurately. By analysing this feedback from Google, we can refine our approaches to enhance site visibility and user engagement. Essentially, Google Search Console lets us measure our SEO success directly, allowing us to refine our strategies as we go.

If you want to cover your bases across multiple search engines, Bing Webmaster Tools has very similar functionality to Google Search Console to help measure SEO performance.

Pagespeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights is an essential tool for us, especially when evaluating the performance of SEO campaigns over time. It gives us a clear picture of how website speed and user experience metrics evolve following our optimisations. By regularly checking PageSpeed scores, we identify areas where a site’s performance might be lagging, directly impacting its SEO rankings.

This tool’s insights into loading times, interactivity, and visual stability metrics are invaluable for maintaining optimal website performance. High scores correlate with better user experiences, a key factor in Google’s ranking algorithms. Monitoring these metrics lets us ensure that our clients’ websites remain fast and responsive – which is vital for retaining high search engine rankings and improving overall SEO performance.


Nozzle plays a pivotal role in our strategy for tracking SEO performance when it comes to specific keywords. It allows us to track a website’s rankings across the board, providing a detailed view of how our clients’ positions in search results change over time. This tool’s depth, tracking not just the primary keywords but also long-tail phrases and variations, gives us a comprehensive understanding of search visibility.

By leveraging Nozzle, we’re better equipped to make data-driven decisions and tailor our ongoing SEO strategies to capitalise on emerging opportunities or to address any slips in rankings. Its detailed reporting helps us to pinpoint precisely where and how we can refine our efforts to ensure sustained improvement in SEO performance, keeping our clients’ websites competitive.

SE Ranking

SERanking offers a versatile set of valuable SEO tools that we use for keyword research, competitor analysis, and SEO auditing. Its comprehensive platform enables us to keep a pulse on our clients’ SEO performance and benchmark it against their competitors. The insights gained from SERanking help us craft strategies that push our clients ahead in the SERPs, focusing on the areas with the highest return on investment.

Website Auditor

For technical SEO issues, Website Auditor is our go-to tool. It does site audits to uncover issues that could be hindering our clients’ SEO performance, such as broken links, duplicate content, and on-page optimisation opportunities. It’s always important to ensure the technical foundation of our clients’ sites is solid before moving on to on-page SEO and content optimisation. TReducing any technical SEO errors, like broken links or slow loading times, paves the way for higher rankings and improved user experience from the get-go.


Ahrefs is essential for our link-building efforts and content marketing strategies. Its extensive backlink database and content analysis tools allow us to uncover link-building opportunities and track our clients’ backlink profiles – essential for increasing their DA and overall SERP rankings. Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer helps us find high-potential keywords to target with our content. 

How Long Does It Take To Achieve SEO Success? 

When we talk about achieving SEO success, it’s important to remember that it’s not an overnight process. We often get asked, “How long does SEO strategy take to show results like more traffic?” Our answer is that it varies, but generally, you can expect to start seeing improvements in 6 to 12 months. We always approach SEO as a marathon, not a sprint. It requires a multifaceted approach with varying individual timelines, including keyword research, on-page optimisation, content creation, and link building. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of what we do and how it impacts the timeline:

  1. Initial Analysis and Strategy Planning: We start by understanding our client’s business, their target audience, and their competition. This phase helps us to craft a tailored SEO strategy. While this stage doesn’t produce immediate ranking improvements, it’s a necessary starting point for long-term success.
  2. On-Page Optimisation: Next, we focus on optimising the website’s content and structure. This includes making sure the site is mobile-friendly, loads quickly, and contains the right keywords. Improvements can start to show within a few months, but the full impact is often seen around the six-month mark.
  3. Content Creation: We work on creating valuable, relevant content that resonates with the target audience. This helps improve rankings and establish the site as an authority. Depending on the competition, it might take a few months to a year to see significant movement in rankings from content creation alone.
  4. Link Building: Establishing high-quality backlinks to the website from reputable sources is another critical component. This process can take time as we focus on building relationships and creating content worth linking to. The results from effective link-building generally become evident after several months.

We always make sure our clients understand that SEO is an investment in their future visibility and success online rather than a quick fix. While they might start noticing some positive changes in traffic and rankings in the short term, the most substantial and lasting results often become apparent after the first year.

  • Juliette Owen-Jones
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