Optimizing your website for search engines is among your plumbing company’s most effective digital marketing strategies. By ranking on the first page of Google, you maximize your website traffic quality and quantity, along with conversion rates and profits.
However, knowing if your SEO strategy is working can be challenging, especially since it can take several months to kick in and boost your search engine rankings. Tracking essential SEO metrics gives you the insights you need to keep your SEO campaign on track and ensure that your website appears at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
This guide takes an in-depth look at the top SEO metrics you need to track to measure your SEO performance and ensure sustainable business growth over the long run. Our SEO experts for garage door companies, HVAC installers, plumbers, and other contractors know what it takes to take SEO strategy to the next level. Keep reading to learn how to track and improve your business’s SEO performance.
Important SEO Metrics to Track
1. Domain Authority
Domain authority is a metric that predicts how likely your domain is to appear in the search engines’ results relative to your competitors’ domains.
Your website’s domain authority is not a ranking factor, which means Google doesn’t take it into account to determine how high your site should rank. However, your domain authority score provides valuable information about your website’s performance, and tracking this metric is critical to gauge and improve your website’s performance.
You can calculate your domain authority using SEO tools, such as Moz and SEMrush. This score ranks your website from 1 to 100 on a logarithmic scale. In other words, increasing your domain authority score from 10 to 20 is easier than increasing it from 60 to 70.
The most significant signals making up your domain authority score include:
- Your website’s general SEO performance.
- The number of inbound links that point to your website.
- The relevance and quality of inbound links.
- Your website domain’s social signals, including mentions on social media platforms.
You can calculate your website’s domain authority by visiting the Moz domain analysis tool, entering your website URL, and clicking “Analyze domain.”
2. Impressions: Google Search Console
A page’s impressions are the number of times it shows up in a Google user’s search results. In other words, the user sees the site but doesn’t necessarily click on it.
An individual page’s SERP appearance counts as an impression, even if the user needs to scroll down to view the page listing. The impressions measurement is among the essential SEO metrics, and it is an early indicator affecting your search visibility.
According to some SEO experts, impressions are among the vanity metrics as they don’t provide information relating to users’ behavior. On its own, the impressions metric is just a meaningless figure.
However, your page impressions on Google Search Console include the top queries that resulted in the views, and you can target them as relevant keywords. Cross-referencing impressions with other SEO metrics, such as clicks, can help you gauge viewer engagement and detect potential issues.
You can view individual pages’ impressions by day under the Performance tab in Google Search Console.
3. Organic Search Traffic: Google Analytics
Organic search traffic represents the site visits your website earns from impressions in the Google search results. Business owners often confuse organic traffic with paid traffic, especially when running Google ad campaigns. Organic traffic refers to free clicks your website gets from the search results below the ad section.
Organic traffic is among the key SEO metrics and shows your site’s search visibility for ranking keywords that are relevant to your plumbing service. The higher the organic traffic metric, the more traffic your SEO strategy generates. The organic traffic metric indicates the effectiveness of all your SEO efforts by showing how many people visit your site directly from the Google search results.
You can view organic traffic to your site using Google Analytics, or you can track organic traffic for individual landing pages. Tracking organic traffic to your landing pages will make it easier to pinpoint issues affecting your conversion rates.
If you offer a service to one or more geographic locations, you can also view your website’s organic traffic by location. To track your pages’ organic traffic in Google Analytics, select Overview under the Audience drop-down menu. Then, select Organic Traffic under the segment drop-down menu and click Apply.
4. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate is one of the most critical engagement metrics and measures website visits as a percentage of SERP appearances. Your click-through rate differs from the organic traffic metric. The CTR is a percentage SEO metric demonstrating your SERP listing’s appeal to users, and the organic search traffic metric is the number of website visitors over a period.
For example, if your impressions metric equals 2,000 views, and your organic search traffic is 100 clicks, you have a click-through rate of 5%.
Under the Performance module in Google Search Console, you can monitor the CTR of individual pages. Tracking organic conversions lets you identify potential problem areas with your on-site content.
Listings with engaging titles, meta descriptions, and URLs have a higher click-through rate. If a page has a low CTR, you can improve its page title, meta description, and URL, making the listing more attractive and relevant to Google users.
5. Backlinks and Referring Domains
Backlinks and referring domains are off-site SEO ranking factors, and you need to track this SEO metric to ensure that a search engine views your website as an authority in your industry. Referring domains are external websites linking to your pages via backlinks.
Generally speaking, one backlink from a new referring domain has more SEO value than multiple backlinks from a website that linked to your pages in the past. If you want to implement an effective link-building strategy, getting one backlink from multiple referring domains is better than getting multiple backlinks from one referring domain.
The backlinks should also be of high quality. The factors determining backlink quality include:
- Linking page content value and relevance.
- Linking URL relevance and quality.
- Anchor text relevance.
- Link location on the linking page.
Ideally, you should have more referring domains than the competitors you are trying to outrank. You can view the top referring domains linking to your site using Google Search Console. Under the Links section, scroll down to Top Linking Sites, and view the list of referring domains.
6. Exit Pages
Using Google Analytics, you can track your website’s exit page KPI, one of the most important SEO metrics to gauge visitor engagement. The exit pages are the last pages your site users visit before clicking away.
These pages usually have issues causing your visitors to become frustrated or lose interest in your service. Tracking this metric allows you to identify your site’s problem areas.
To track your exit pages, visit the Behavior section on Google Analytics, and select All Pages under Site Content. The pages with the highest figures under the Exit column require attention to improve user-friendliness, relevance, or value.
Steps you can take to reduce the click-away rate of your exit pages include:
- Implementing an intuitive page layout.
- Increasing the page speed.
- Creating and adding high-quality content, including engaging visuals.
- Adding internal links and calls to action.
- Ensuring that the page content structure is easy to understand.
These improvements aim to create a next step that your site visitors can take and engage them throughout the buying process to the point of sale.
7. Pages per Session
Pages per session are engagement metrics indicating the number of pages your site users visit before clicking away from your website. You want this metric to be as high as possible. As a rule, visitors clicking on multiple pages are more likely to take actions such as making purchases or contacting you, and they are easier to convert into paying customers.
To track average pages per visit, open Google Analytics and click on the Acquisition drop-down menu. Then, open the All Traffic menu and select Channels. At the bottom of the page, you can view each traffic channel’s pages per session.
Cross-referencing this metric with the exit pages metric will help you determine which SEO efforts are necessary to improve user engagement. Steps to increase the number of pages per visit include:
- Increasing the page speed.
- Improving site navigation.
- Adding valuable and relevant content.
- Adding calls to action.
Creating topic clusters with themes to organically take your visitors from page to page can also improve this metric.
8. Average Page Loading Time
Most people find slow-loading web pages frustrating. A page load time of a few seconds is enough to make visitors click away to competitors’ sites.
Average page load time is among the key metrics for user experience, a critical ranking factor for any search engine. Google is the most prominent search engine because its users trust this platform to provide them with the highest-quality results for their searches. If your website has a fast page speed, Google will prefer sending its users to your site, where they can have a pleasant user experience.
Tracking SEO metrics relating to user experience is critical to ensure that your web pages engage users, incentivize action, and promote high conversion rates. You need to track your average page loading time for desktop and mobile, ensuring that you don’t alienate a segment of your target market.
You can track your page loading times on Google Analytics under the Behavior section. Under Site Speed, you can gauge the average load time for all your pages, or you can check the load times for individual pages.
9. Core Web Vitals
Core web vitals are data points regarding your website’s user experience reflecting its SEO performance and ranking in the search results. A site ranks higher if it is responsive, easy to navigate, and fast-loading. However, many website owners make the mistake of optimizing loading times at the cost of other user experience factors.
In 2020, Google introduced Core Web Vitals, a set of three user-oriented performance metrics you can track to ensure that your pages load fast in a user-friendly manner. The core web vitals include:
- First input delay (FID): A measurement of a page’s responsiveness during a user’s first-time interaction.
- Cumulative layout shift: A metric indicating the stability of a page, quantifying unexpected layout shifts in the visible page content.
- Largest contentful paint: An indicator of the time it takes for all the page’s main content to load.
When all three core vitals are “good,” you can expect your website to provide visitors with an optimal user experience. You can track your site’s core web vitals using Google Search Console under the Enhancements section.
10. Target Keyword Rankings
Increasing your website’s rankings for relevant keywords is one of the primary objectives of search engine optimization. As part of your SEO strategy, you need to learn how to use keywords effectively for SEO and monitor your website’s keyword rankings.
Several methods exist for monitoring your keyword rankings for queries your users enter into Google. The easiest method is doing an online search and then scrolling down to see where your website’s listing appears. You can also use professional SEO tools to determine which keywords your website currently targets.
Using the organic search positions report from SEMrush, you can view all the search queries for which your website ranks, including its position in the search results. This tool also shows the search volume for each keyword.
You can also view your site’s keyword search analytics report with the Google Search Console. This report is under the Performance section below impressions. If the keywords you want to target don’t appear under these results, you need to incorporate them in your site content, for example, blogs, image alt tags, meta descriptions, and page titles.
11. Number of Pages Indexed by Search Engines
Google only displays indexed pages in its search results. During the indexing process, the Google crawler visits the page, analyzes its content, and then stores it in the Google index. If you have unindexed pages, they will not appear in the Google results pages, even if you carried out all on-page SEO efforts.
To track the number of pages that Google indexed on your website, use the Search Console. Select Settings and click on Coverage under the Index drop-down menu. The Excluded box to the far right will show the pages that are not indexed, and you can click on this box to learn more.
Pay attention to the number of indexed pages relative to the number of pages you submitted for indexing. If Google only indexed a small percentage of the pages you submitted, request indexing manually using the Search Console.
As part of these SEO metrics, you should also do a content audit of the pages that Google already indexed. Check for content that is no longer valuable or relevant to your site visitors, and then carry out the following improvements:
- Updating content, such as blog posts, plumbing service pages, or infographics.
- Removing irrelevant content, broken links, or links to outdated content.
- Building out thin content, such as blog posts shorter than 300 words.
12. Crawl Errors
The crawl errors indicator is one of the SEO metrics business owners often neglect, even though it helps prevent avoidable SEO issues. Crawl errors happen when a search engine, such as Google, cannot access a page on your website. A crawl error can be site-wide or specific to one URL.
Common causes of site errors include:
- DNS errors preventing communication between the search engine and server.
- Server errors due to code flaws or request overloading.
- Failure by the Google crawler to reach the robots.txt file.
URL crawl errors are usually due to:
- Separate mobile subdomains or other mobile-specific issues.
- Malicious software that the search engine finds on the URL.
- Google news issues, such as the lack of a title.
Tracking SEO metrics for crawl errors is critical to preventing indexing issues and ensuring that your URLs appear in the search engine results. You can track these SEO metrics using the Google Search Console. If you encounter crawl errors, take immediate steps to resolve them.
13. Organic Conversions
With the impressions and organic traffic SEO metrics, you can ensure that your website appears in the search engine results. You can also track your page visits from the search engine results.
However, you also need SEO metrics to determine if you generate the right organic traffic to your website. Suppose your data points indicate that most of your website visitors don’t take any action on your site. In that case, your SEO strategy might be sending the wrong visitor profile to your website.
This mistake can be easy to make. For example, if you have DIY plumbing blogs on your website, it might attract handymen in your area who prefer fixing their leaks and water heaters themselves.
The organic conversions indicator is one of the engagement SEO metrics and indicates the percentage of visitors who:
- Submit your contact form.
- Sign up for your newsletter.
- Schedule a plumbing service online.
To track your website’s conversion rate, open Google Analytics, select Conversions in the left-hand tab, and click on Overview under the Behavior drop-down menu. If your conversion rates are too low, you can increase them by:
- Adding calls to action to all your content.
- Adding a popup to your website.
- Placing testimonials and reviews on your homepage and service pages.
- Adding content explaining the added value of your plumbing services.
14. Local Visibility
As a business serving a geographic area, you rely heavily on local SEO tactics to ensure a consistent stream of organic traffic to your online service offers. Keeping your finger on the pulse of your local SEO is crucial if you want your business to grow sustainably over the long haul.
The list of local SEO KPIs is quite long, which some business owners might find overwhelming. However, tracking the essential metrics will go a long way to ensure your local visibility.
The Google My Business metrics you need to track include visitor engagement, page views, and customer actions, including phone calls, contact views, and form submissions. You also need to track and manage your online reviews on all platforms, including Google My Business, Bing Local Business, and Yelp.
Track your ranking for local search terms to ensure that you are not losing prospective clients to your competitors. Ideally, you should rank in the top three results or “three-pack” for keywords, such as “plumber near me” or “plumber in [your service area].”
15. Bounce Rate
Your website’s bounce rate is the percentage of site visitors who click away after visiting one page.
Generally speaking, the lower your bounce rate, the better. Ideally, you want all your pages to incentivize your site visitors into taking a specific action.
However, your site’s bounce rate is not as significant as some of the other metrics in this guide. People click on your site for various reasons. For example, suppose 20% of the people who clicked on your website want to look up your phone number to schedule a repair service. In this case, the bounce rate is misleading as the users who closed your homepage are on the verge of becoming paying clients.
The significance of the bounce rate depends on the page in question. If you want your page visitors to enter their email address and sign up for a newsletter, a high bounce rate indicates an issue, such as:
- Unengaging copy.
- No call to action.
- Overwhelming content.
- Too many buttons or links.
- Insufficient value demonstration.
You can find your website’s bounce rate under the Behavior section in Google Analytics.
Achieve SEO Success: Schedule a Website Audit with Relentless Digital
SEO is a crucial digital marketing strategy for all contractors, including plumbing companies.
At Relentless Digital, our contractor clients have a reliable and ongoing stream of clients, thanks to consistent SEO tracking and strategy implementation. Despite spending all of their time serving clients, these businesses thrive, and their marketing operations are cost-effective.
Our SEO experts can help you learn how to use keywords effectively for SEO and monitor your website’s keyword rankings. We will provide you with a complete and personalized SEO solution that fits your needs and budget. Call us today at (262) 393-4241 to schedule an initial consultation and find out how our team can help you boost your business revenues.