The three most important metrics to gauging the success of search engine optimization are click through rate, the number of your pages that receive search engine traffic, and the conversion rate.
Look at me
It’s great to use commonly used keywords on your website so that your content has a better chance of ranking near the top of a an Internet search. However, if people are not actually clicking on your content, that ranking is meaningless.
“By monitoring the search queries page, you can work on improving your click through rate so that people are more likely to click on your listing when they search,” according to the Beginner’s Guide to Google Webmaster Tools. “Typically you can do this by making your title tag and meta description more attractive as that is what people read before clicking through to your site.”
Where am I?
Monitoring the number of your website’s pages that receive search engine traffic tells you whether or not you’re even in the game. The Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO explains, “From this number, we can get a glimpse into indexation—the number of pages from our site the engines are keeping in their indexes.” Unless you are in the search engine indexes, your website will never come up in a search.
Why am I here?
Everything you do to drive traffic to your website is meant to convert visitors into customers – regardless of whether you’re selling your name (think Oprah!), product or service. Search engine optimization is meaningless without quality content and valuable wares that meet your visitors’ needs. But the opposite is also true. You can make the best widgets in town, but if people can’t find you, they will rust on the shelf.
“The real value from this simplistic tracking comes from the low-hanging fruit: finding keywords that continually send visitors who convert to paying customers, and increasing focus on rankings and on improving the landing pages that visitors reach,” Moz reminds us. “While conversion rate tracking from keyword phrase referrals is certainly important, it's never the whole story.”