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How to Track and Measure the Success of Your SEO Campaigns

Having a solid SEO strategy is critical for driving traffic, leads, and revenue for your business. But how do you know if all your efforts are actually working?

Tracking SEO performance is crucial for understanding what tactics deliver results so you can double down on what’s working. Without monitoring and measuring key metrics over time, you could be wasting a lot of time and money on ineffective efforts.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover all the essential methods for tracking your SEO success including:

  • Monitoring your keyword rankings
  • Analyzing website traffic and engagement
  • Setting up conversions tracking
  • Assessing link building opportunities
  • And much more

But first, let’s look at…

Why Tracking SEO Performance Matters

Taking the time to properly monitor and report on your SEO progress gives you clear visibility into a number of important questions:

  • Are my target keywords climbing the rankings? Tracking keyword movement shows if your optimization efforts are having an impact or if you need to adjust your link building and on-page tactics.
  • Is website traffic from organic search increasing? Higher organic traffic is typically the leading indicator of an effective SEO campaign. More traffic means more site visitors to potentially convert.
  • Are website visitors engaging with my content? Beyond more traffic, you need visitors to actually stay on your site and consume content, not just bounce away.
  • Are my rankings translating into conversions? At the end of the day, SEO needs to drive business results. Monitoring online conversions tells you if your tactics are working.

Properly tracking SEO KPIs helps you directly attribute changes you make on your site and campaigns to actual business outcomes. You can clearly see the revenue impact of your efforts.

Without taking the time to dig into analytics, you could end up wasting months on ineffective tactics instead of doubling down on what actually works to capture more organic traffic.

So in short, monitoring SEO gives you the insights, visibility, and confidence that your efforts are delivering results.

Monitor Your Keyword Rankings

One of the most fundamental aspects of tracking SEO success is keeping an eye on your keyword rankings. After all, the core goal of most SEO campaigns is to reach the first page of Google (rank 1-10) for important target keywords.

But manually checking rankings in Google for all your keywords would be extremely tedious. That’s why using ranking tracking software is so invaluable.

Here are some of the best SEO tools for tracking keyword ranks:

  • Ahrefs – Robust keyword tracking with rank change alerts and tracking for up to 10,000 keywords.
  • SEMRush – Track keyword history and competitors’ rankings side-by-side.
  • Moz – See keyword rankings alongside other critical metrics like links and domains.
  • Serpstat – Affordable rank tracking with useful rank lost alerts.

When analyzing your keyword rankings over time, look for these key things:

  • Overall ranking trends – Are more of your keywords moving up the first page over time? Or sliding back down?
  • Landing page alignment – Are your ranked pages the most relevant, high-quality pages? Align targeting.
  • Rank distribution – Where do most of your keywords place? Too many page 2-3 ranks indicate issues.
  • Rank volatility – Do rankings shift dramatically month-to-month? This makes it hard to evaluate efforts.
  • Mobile vs. desktop – Is there a discrepancy? Optimize for mobile rankings.

Here are some examples of charts you can create to visualize keyword ranking performance:

visualize keyword ranking performance

A chart showing 62% of keywords ranking 11-20 indicates optimization opportunities.

You can also track your site’s rankings relative to top competitors to measure how you stack up in the market.

Consistently monitoring keyword ranks both before and during campaigns shows you exactly how your efforts are translating into higher organic visibility. This intelligence helps you shape current and future optimization strategies.

Analyze Your Organic Traffic in Google Analytics

As discussed earlier, one of the main goals of moving keyword rankings is to capture more organic search traffic. More traffic = more visitors to convert into customers.

Google Analytics gives you in-depth visibility into your overall organic traffic and performance.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to viewing organic search data:

  1. Log into your Google Analytics account
  2. Navigate to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels in the left sidebar
  3. Under the Organic Search channel, view metrics like:
    • Sessions
    • Bounce rate
    • Pages per session
    • Average session duration
  4. Compare week-over-week and month-over-month trends in the charts
  5. Filter by landing page, geographic source, etc. using “Secondary Dimension”

Google Analytics organic traffic view

Google Analytics organic traffic view showing 1.7 million  sessions for 12 months 

Analyzing this data can reveal insights like:

  • Overall search traffic growth trends
  • Which landing pages receive the most traffic
  • High traffic landing pages with high bounce rates
  • Which keywords drive the most traffic
  • Traffic changes tied to algorithm updates

Segmenting organic traffic to analyze performance by:

  • Device type – Is mobile optimization working?
  • Location – What regions show the most interest?
  • Landing pages – Which pages attract visitors and which don’t?

Monitoring organic search alongside other channels like PPC allows you to evaluate which delivers the best returns.

The key with traffic analytics is consistently checking in month-to-month and segmenting data to uncover actionable insights.

Measure On-Site Engagement and Behavior

Driving more organic traffic to your site is a good first step. But getting visitors to actually engage with your content and convert is the bigger challenge.

That’s why tracking key on-site engagement metrics is critical for connecting your SEO efforts to business outcomes.

Here are some of the most important engagement metrics to monitor:

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate shows you the percentage of visitors that enter your site and “bounce” away after viewing only one page.

Goal: Lower bounce rates

Analysis: Review landing pages with high bounce rates and optimize content/design to encourage visitors to click deeper into your site.

Pages Per Session

Measures the average number of pageviews per session on your site.

Goal: Increase pages per session

Analysis: Identifies opportunities to add more engaging content and internal links to keep visitors clicking through your pages.

Average Session Duration

Calculates the average time visitors spend actively viewing your pages per session.

Goal: Longer session durations

Analysis: Use along with bounce rate to evaluate whether visitors consuming more content is aligned to your goals.

Here’s an example engagement metrics report you can build in Google Analytics:

Sample engagement metrics for an e-commerce website

You can also view engagement metrics for individual pages and see how they compare to site-wide averages. This allows you to quickly identify low-performing pages for improvement.

Set Up Conversion Tracking

The true indicator of SEO success is your ability to drive key conversions that grow revenue. This moves beyond just driving more traffic to getting site visitors to take your desired actions.

Typical website conversions include:

  • eCommerce purchases
  • Software demos
  • Contact form submissions
  • Free trial signups
  • Newsletter subscriptions

In Google Analytics, you need to set up conversion tracking to monitor the performance of these important events.

Here are the key steps:

  1. Navigate to Admin section
  2. Under the Property column, select Goals
  3. Click +NEW GOAL to create a new conversion goal
  4. Fill in details:
    • Name – e.g. “Contact Form Submissions”
    • Type – Choose ‘Destination’
    • Final Destination – The conversion page URL
    • Value – Assign a value like $50 per lead
  5. Save the new goal

Once created, conversions will be tracked within reports automatically moving forward.

With goals configured, you gain visibility into:

  • Conversion rate (%) by source/medium
  • Top landing pages driving conversions
  • Conversion performance over time
  • Conversions by device, geography etc.

Segmenting to organic search uncovers insights like your SEO’s conversion impact and ROI.

conversion performance by source to evaluate SEO ROI

View conversion performance by source to evaluate SEO ROI

Ultimately, tying your SEO efforts back to the revenue outcomes provides real accountability and visibility into what’s working.

Evaluate Backlink Growth and Domain Authority

Most seasoned SEOs know that higher-quality backlinks remain one of the most important Google ranking factors. More links = higher authority = better rankings.

That’s why tracking your overall backlink profile growth is key for monitoring SEO progress.

Here are the core metrics to analyze regularly:

Total Backlinks

The total number of sites linking back to your root domain.

Goal: Steady growth over time

Referring Domains

The number of unique domains sending backlinks. Counts influence more than total links.

Goal: Rising total monthly

Domain Rating/Authority

The relative “link authority” passed to your site through links. Higher = more influence.

Goal: Increase steadily overtime

There are a number of great SEO tools that provide this backlink data:

backlink tracking showing steady growth

Sample backlink tracking showing steady growth

Analyzing this data reveals insights into the success of your link building and outreach efforts.

If your domain authority is rising over time, that means you’re likely capturing more authoritative backlinks from reputable websites. This feeds directly into better keyword rankings.

You can also dig deeper into your new linking domains and identify opportunities to continue optimizing your backlink profile. Getting more links from highly relevant sites related to your niche helps SEO performance even more.

Create an Ongoing SEO Tracking Plan

With a solid understanding of all the key performance indicators covered in this guide, you now have a framework for monitoring your organic search efforts.

The final step is putting this into practice by creating your own SEO tracking plan and processes.

Here are some best practices to build a streamlined tracking plan that continuously fuels search optimization:

1. Set Up Dashboards in Your Analytics Platforms

To simplify regularly analyzing data, create customized dashboards in Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and other platforms to monitor your SEO KPIs. Tailor widget dashboards to your goals.

2. Build SEO Reports

Leverage built-in reporting functionality to automate delivering insights. For example, set up an SEO report in Google Data Studio to distribute to stakeholders each month.

3. Analyze SEO Data Weekly

Don’t just look at analytics once a quarter. Set time at least once a week to check in on the latest keyword, traffic and rankings data. Identify optimization opportunities.

4. Create Tracking Shortcuts

Bookmark useful reports, set up rank tracking alerts, save filtered analytic segments to simplify getting right to the critical performance data you need.

5. Set SEO Performance Goals

Determine specific metrics targets that align to broader business goals. For example, target 10% increase in organic traffic quarter-over-quarter. Review what’s moving the needle.

6. Connect Data to Business Outcomes

Regularly evaluate how your SEO efforts tie back to lead generation, sales increases and ROI. Report on revenue influenced by organic.

In short – streamlining your analytics processes, establishing goals, and continually optimizing efforts based on data insights are key to unlocking the full value of your SEO tracking.


Understanding how to track and measure the success of your SEO campaigns is crucial in the dynamic landscape of digital marketing. By leveraging the strategies and tools discussed in this guide, you can gain invaluable insights into your SEO performance.

Remember, the key to successful SEO tracking lies in setting clear goals, choosing the right tools, and continuously adapting your strategies based on data-driven insights. 

Whether you’re assessing keyword rankings, analyzing organic traffic, or monitoring backlink profiles, each metric offers a piece of the puzzle in understanding your SEO success. Embrace these techniques, and you’ll be well-equipped to refine your SEO campaigns, ensuring they deliver the desired results. Keep learning, keep optimizing, and watch your SEO efforts flourish.

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