Every business has goals, whether financial or managerial. And if you are an eCommerce business that relies on online sales, there are several ways to measure the extent of your success and many different factors that indicate how well are you achieving your goals. This is also true in the case of your SEO strategy. An SEO strategy without end goals is of no use – you won’t be able to tell if you are performing well or not. To avoid implementing a strategy that isn’t bringing you results, let’s discuss 10 essential key performance indicators (KPIs) for your eCommerce SEO plan.
Optimizing your website for search engines and users can be a challenging task. It’s a long-term, drawn-out process and requires time and patience.
When you launch an SEO campaign, you naturally have specific goals you want to achieve, whether you run the campaign on your own or opt for the services of a digital marketing agency. Either way, the focus should be on bagging your desired results.
Although SEO is an extensive process and your long-running goals for increasing sales and revenue are vital, it’s also crucial to have interim, incremental goals to improve presence in search results, driving traffic and increasing conversion rate.
Through measuring KPIs, you can have a bird’s-eye view of your performance to help you determine if you are on the right track or not.
Here are the ten most crucial and relevant KPIs to measure the performance of your eCommerce website.
1. Organic Revenue Generation
Perhaps the most obvious and important KPI is revenue. Revenue or organic revenue is the money generated by sales. Revenue is the honest reflection of how your eCommerce website is performing. To measure your success, you can analyze how much revenue is generated through organic traffic.
If you are generating enough revenue to attain your goals from organic traffic, you are on your way to success, as your revenue generation and chances of success are directly proportional. There are numerous ways to track your revenue generation. The one we recommend (and that is most widely used) is Google Analytics. With Google Analytics, you can easily compare your performance to your other marketing strategies. Once you know how much you are generating, you can easily set your targets and improve your strategies accordingly.
2. Rate of Conversion
Naturally, the key objective of any business is to have maximum conversion. A higher conversion rate indicates that whatever steps you are taking are in the right direction. Your conversion rate depends on plenty of factors, and a higher conversion rate reflects an easy checkout process, user-friendly web copy or a superior on-site experience.
The element that affects conversion rate the most is on-site SEO. Your website is the medium you use to interact with your visitors. If your website is optimized, there’s a chance that the potential visitor will convert into a customer. Another way to measure your success is to measure conversion rate through organic traffic only. This way, you can tabulate conversion rates of other marketing campaigns against organic traffic to check if it’s on par, lower or higher.
3. Number and Volume of Non-Branded Keywords
For SEO professionals, keywords are one of the most important aspects of an SEO plan. Tracking keywords for your website is the bread and butter of any SEO strategy. While all SEOs try to find keywords with high volume yet less competition, often in the process of doing so, a small yet valuable factor is neglected: finding the perfect split between branded and non-branded keywords.
For most eCommerce businesses, it is essential to focus on customers of many different demographics. Therefore, you would want to rank higher for keywords that are associated with your products or services. Your goal is to rank on all possible queries related to your product or service, but this can only be achieved once you focus on generic keywords rather than only branded keywords.
4. Fluctuation in Keyword Rankings
For most SEO professionals, ranking on certain keywords is the most pivotal aspect of an SEO campaign. Similarly, for you, it is important to track your keyword rankings on a regular basis. Keyword rankings tell you if the steps you have taken are affecting your website positively or negatively.
If you rank higher io the search engine results pages (SERPs), then the chances of your success are far greater, as you are ahead of the competition. In order to track your performance on the SERPs, take benchmarks into account before you start working on your on-page strategy. This way, you can analyze and compare the results on a periodic basis.
5. Click-through Rate (CTR)
In the world of SEO, one of the most debated topics is click-through rate and its effect on SEO rankings. Whatever your opinion is, one thing is for sure: CTR is a vital KPI when it comes to measuring your performance.
When your CTR increases, it reflects that you are driving more traffic to your website. Increased traffic results in increased chances of sales, which in turn will result in higher revenue and return on investment (ROI).
6. Organic Traffic
New users are always welcomed. They bring a new opportunity to the table and a chance to gain new, loyal customers for your business. So analyzing organic traffic and how many new customers are coming in indicates how fruitful your SEO efforts are. You can use Google Analytics to measure organic traffic and the interaction of new users. If you are gaining organic traffic as a result of your SEO strategy, then you are most probably on the right track.
Another critical task is to examine your organic traffic and how this traffic is coming to your website. What are the factors that propelled these users to visit your website? When you know the answer, you can judge the different SEO strategies you are running and how well are they performing.
7. Traffic Through Assisted Conversion
Conversion, as discussed earlier, is the primary goal of any eCommerce business. It may seem simple, but the process of converting a lead into a sale is a tricky one. When someone visits your website, they don’t just convert into sales right away. An in eCommerce, it may take several visits to acquire a single conversion.
There isn’t truly any attribution system you can use to get a complete report on how many conversions a traffic source has touched. But Google Analytics allows you to analyze assisted conversions, and this will provide you a clear view of all the conversions through assisted organic traffic and the real impact of your SEO efforts.
8. Core Web Vitals
Today, many people consider Core Web Vitals to be one of the most essential KPIs to analyze your performance. In July 2021, Google’s Page Experience update saw the three Core Web Vitals become official Google ranking factors.
Core Web Vitals are a set of factors that are crucial to your website’s overall user experience (UX). Google has explicitly said time and time again that UX is one of the most important ranking factors. User experience is a broad term. In eCommerce, there are numerous aspects that affect UX, from the look of your website to the checkout process. They all contribute to shaping a user’s experience. And for an eCommerce business, even something as small as a slow website can be the deciding factor in whether the user will stay or bounce off – and we both know which one is right for your business.
Core Web Vitals are measured in Google Search Console and consist of the following:
• Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): LCP measures how long it takes a page to load and should occur in less than 2.5 seconds from when the first page starts loading.
• First Input Delay (FID): FID measures the time it takes a user to interact with your page. A score of 100 milliseconds or less is ideal.
• Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): CLS measures visual stability as a page loads. For a better UX, CLS should be 0.1 or less.
All these factors measure or analyze the nature of what your user will experience. Using these metrics, you can easily improve the aspects of your eCommerce website that require an update.
9. Lifetime Value of Organic Users
Driving referral traffic to your website through SEO and other methods is one thing. Driving organic traffic through search optimization is a whole other story and is the real goal. The lifetime value of any customer, whether organic or not, can indicate how good your services or product are. If a customer brings profit to your business in their lifetime, that is an asset for your business. You should work to improve a customer’s lifetime value as much as possible. The longer they stay with you, the more profit you will gain. Google Analytics offers lifetime value tracking in its beta version and it’s worth looking into.
In Google Analytics, lifetime value is broken down against different channels by default, making it easier to examine the value of organic users over time. You can inspect the factors that resulted in the increased lifetime value of the user. You can also compare this data against other channels of traffic to see how they stack up.
10. Return on Investment (ROI)
Yes, the most obvious and the most common KPI is ROI. ROI is simply the ratio of net income to investment. The formula for calculating ROI is simple.
ROI = net return on investment/cost of investment x 100%
Although the formula may be the same, your ROI can differ depending on the type of investment.
One thing to remember is that you are always investing in a strategy, even if it’s not physically paid in dollars. You are investing your time or even in some cases a whole team. Therefore, when calculating ROI, you need to account for this time and its value for each individual working. Moreover, you also need to calculate the investment in goods, any outside help of a professional or any other investment related to your SEO strategy. Once you have calculated your investment, you can calculate ROI. This way you will be aware of whether your SEO strategies are paying off or not.
As SEOs have said, “Track it before you need it.” So now you know what is it that you need to track and how to track them. Without wasting any time, set your benchmark figures and start tracking your performance!
Through close tracking of these KPIs, you can monitor the progress of your SEO strategy and use this data to improve your SEO strategy moving forward.