how to track SEO progress

How to Track SEO Progress & Turn It Into SERP Gains

You just launched your first SEO campaign.

Congratulations!

Did it work?

For many people and businesses, the answer to the question is “I’m not sure.”

If you want to succeed on the SERP, you MUST know the answer to this crucial question!

And the only way you can know whether your SEO campaign worked is if you TRACK your SEO progress.

But how do you do that?

This article will show you EXACTLY how to track your SEO progress and use the knowledge you gain to improve your SEO strategy.

Let’s go!

6+ SEO KPIs You Should Be Measuring

Every online business owner knows how crucial SEO is, but not everyone knows how to keep track of their SEO performance.

This is where key performance indicators (KPIs) come in.

KPIs are any trackable metric that tells you how your website performs online. Tracking and understanding the right KPIs is critical to improving your strategy.

Let’s explore the essential SEO KPIs you should track to gauge your success.

Keyword Rankings

The first thing your potential customers will see (or won’t see) of your business is your website as a result on the SERPs.

Additionally, the likelihood that they’ll click on your website is directly tied to your SERP ranking. Almost 40% of the people who make a keyword search will click on the very first result, and less than 2% will click on the 10th result!

SEO progress

In other words, your rank for specific keywords on the SERP ultimately determines your discoverability online.

That’s why the first and most important KPI to track is your keyword rankings!

Keywords are the foundation upon which your SEO strategy is built. Tracking keyword rankings allows you to assess how well your website is performing and how likely customers are to discover your business organically.

Impressions

Your keyword ranking measures how high your result appears on the SERP, but that doesn’t mean anyone will see your URL.

For example, you could rank #1 for a keyword that only gets 5 monthly searches. It won’t do you that much good.

This is where impressions come in handy. Impressions measure the number of times your URL appears on someone’s screen after they make a relevant keyword search.

When you achieve a high keyword ranking for a keyword with decent traffic, your URL will receive more impressions.

Monitoring impressions tells you how often your site appears to users searching for relevant terms. Increasing impressions indicate that your content is becoming more visible, potentially driving more traffic to your website.

Traffic

Of course, the goal isn’t to get as many people as possible to SEE your website on Google.

You want them to click!

Clicks turn impressions into website traffic, which is why traffic is the next primary KPI every business needs to track.

Monitoring traffic also gives you essential details about the source of the traffic, whether it was:

  • Organic traffic from Google
  • Referrals from social media
  • Paid ad traffic
  • Backlinks

Monitoring search engine traffic provides a clear picture of the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and where you can improve your strategy (which we’ll talk more about in a moment).

Conversions

Ultimately, the goal of SEO is to drive conversions. After all, you didn’t put all that effort into your website just for it to look pretty! You want to make some money!

That’s why tracking conversions is critical to understanding your SEO and website’s effectiveness. 

A conversion occurs when someone visits your website and takes the desired next step. It could be:

  • Filling out a form
  • Signing up for a free benefit
  • Making a purchase
  • Joining a mailing list

Whatever your desired action, tracking conversion metrics helps you understand how effectively your website turns visitors into customers or leads.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to how many people click away from your site without clicking on a second page.

In other words, it measures the amount of people who clicked on your website and quickly decided that it wasn’t what they were looking for.

A high bounce rate can indicate several things:

  • Visitors aren’t finding what they’re looking
  • Your site’s user experience needs improvement
  • You aren’t incentivizing clicking on other pages

By analyzing bounce rates, you can pinpoint areas of your site that may deter visitors and take steps to enhance engagement.

Time on page

Once visitors arrive at your site, the time they spend there is a valuable indicator of how closely your site matches their search intent.

Tracking time on page also helps you understand WHICH pages resonate with your audience (and which may need some extra optimization).

Fortunately, many different tools help you keep track of this critical metric, even allowing you to track a customer’s journey through your site along with the time spent on each page.

Any KPIs Pertinent to Your Goals

In addition to these fundamental metrics, tracking any KPIs directly relevant to your specific goals and objectives is essential.

For example, your goal might be to increase email sign-ups, improve brand awareness, or boost sales. You should track any additional KPIs that help you determine how well you’re meeting these goals. You might choose to track:

  • Sales
  • New email subscribers
  • Mentions on social media

Identifying and monitoring key metrics aligned with your goals ensures that your SEO efforts drive meaningful business outcomes.

How to Measure SEO Progress

It’s crucial to measure your KPIs

But how do you do it?

Learning to track your KPIs is one of the most essential parts of improving your SEO performance online.

Tracking KPIs in the most efficient way possible can:

  • Save you time
  • Keep you informed
  • Allow you to impress your clients if you’re an agency
  • Help you make strategic adjustments (which we’ll talk about later)

Let’s discuss how to efficiently measure SEO progress in 4 easy steps.

Use SEO Tools to Track Your KPIs

The foundation of any SEO strategy is the set of tools you use to keep track of everything.

Trying to do SEO without a good set of tools is like trying to fly a plane with no instruments – it’s just not going to work out very well.

There are 3 tools everyone needs in their SEO toolbox:

First, everyone needs a rank tracker.

A reliable rank tracker monitors the position of your website’s pages in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords. It’ll tell you exactly how you’re performing for the keywords you’ve decided are most valuable.

We’ll talk later about how to use ProRankTracker to track critical parts of your SEO progress.

Second, you need to use Google Search Console.

Google Search Console offers invaluable data directly from Google, including information on

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Click-through rates (CTRs)

Google Search Console

Finally, make sure you use Google Analytics.

Google Analytics allows you to generate reports that help you understand user engagement data like:

  • Bounce rate
  • Time on page
  • Traffic
  • User demographics
  • Conversions

GA$

These 3 tools are essential, so ensure that you spend time learning how to use each of them effectively.

Compare Your Current SEO KPIs to a Previous Period

One thing about KPIs is that they don’t mean much if you have nothing to compare them to.

For example, you might check your traffic KPI and notice that you had 100 website visitors today. You might get excited, thinking your traffic is doing great.

However, tracking over time would mean that you would have PREVIOUS traffic data to compare it to, and you might find out that your traffic was 500 at the same time last month.

In other words, assessing the trajectory of your KPIs over time is a fundamental aspect of measuring (and understanding) SEO progress.

By comparing current performance metrics to those from a previous period, businesses can discern patterns, identify trends, and make changes as necessary.

Compare Your Progress to Your Competitors

Similar to comparing your current SEO KPIs to previous data from your own company, you should also compare your data to your competitors’ data.

For example, let’s say you constantly track your KPIs and raise your rank from 10 to 5. However, you realize your competitor is ranked #1 for the SAME keyword.

That indicates that your competitor will get most of the traffic you’ve been working hard to earn.

Competitor analysis unveils opportunities and threats in the SEO landscape, allowing businesses to adjust their strategies accordingly.

You can gain a competitive edge by evaluating competitors’ keyword rankings and other SEO KPIs.

Schedule Reports and Notifications

Consistency is vital in the realm of SEO measurement. In a world where things can change fast, staying up-to-date is critical to improving SEO.

Establishing a routine for generating reports and receiving notifications ensures businesses stay informed about their SEO progress in real-time.

This becomes even more important for SEO agencies that provide SEO services to clients. Scheduling reports can keep clients happy and increase income.

Every business has unique reporting needs, but we highly recommend establishing at least weekly automated reports to ensure you’re getting updated frequently. We’ll talk more about developing an effective reporting strategy below.

How to Turn Your SEO Tracking Efforts Into SERP Gains

Implementing SEO strategies and tracking your progress is just the beginning when it comes to dominating the SERPs.

It’s also crucial to effectively leverage your SEO KPI tracking data to refine and enhance your approach over time.

In other words, tracking your data doesn’t do you any good if you don’t do anything with it.

Let’s explore how businesses can utilize SEO tracking data to propel their strategies toward success and ultimately achieve gains on the SERPs.

Constantly Develop Your Strategy

Leveraging SEO tracking data allows businesses to gain insights into the effectiveness of their current strategies and identify areas for improvement. You should constantly be using your data to update key areas of your strategy.

For example, let’s say you find out that your keyword ranking for some of your most valuable keywords dropped, causing a traffic drop.

That’s good information to know, but it doesn’t help you if you don’t do something about it!

Take that information and go through your content and web pages with a fine-tooth comb to find areas where you can increase your competitiveness on those keywords.

If you see that your competitors are starting to target new keywords (and it’s earning them traffic), it’s probably time to start developing your keyword strategy!

No matter what KPI you’re tracking, you should constantly ask yourself how to use your data to improve your strategy.

Fix Problems as They Arise

In SEO, problems can arise unexpectedly. Often, these problems affect your website’s rankings and visibility.

Utilizing SEO tracking data allows businesses to detect and address issues promptly, minimizing their impact on SERP performance.

For example, tracking your website’s traffic can help you see if any of your pages are quickly losing traffic, potentially pointing to a technical problem or a Google penalty

Small problems often don’t present long-term issues for websites when dealt with quickly, but ignoring them can make the difference between SERP success and failure!

One of the best ways to stay up-to-date on any issues is with reports and notifications, as discussed above. Make sure you read on for some key tips on how to use reports in your strategy!

Keep your content up-to-date

Quality content serves as the foundation of a successful SEO strategy. It (hopefully) drives organic traffic and engages your target audience. 

The main difficulty in developing a good content strategy is creating content that will resonate with your audience season after season.

That’s where a good SEO tracking strategy comes into play.

You can use your SEO tracking data to identify gaps and areas where you can boost your old content. Monitoring the keywords that are trending in your niche at any given moment can also help you determine what content you need to write or refresh.

By leveraging SEO tracking data, businesses can ensure their content remains relevant, valuable, and optimized for search engines.

Stay One Step Ahead of Your Competitors

If you want to succeed on the SERP and get a lot of traffic, you just need to be better than your competitors. 

But how can you make sure you’re beating them?

By leveraging your SEO tracking data!

Your KPI data will show you exactly where your strategy needs to improve and where your strong points are. It’ll also help you identify weak points in your competitors’ strategies that can help you stay ahead of them.

For example, let’s say your tracking shows that one of your opponent’s key pages dropped several ranks (signaling that it isn’t closely matching search intent). You can take this opportunity to create stronger content and steal their place at the top of the SERP!

How to Use ProRankTracker to Track Your SEO Progress

We’ve gone over the basics of what KPIs you should be tracking to measure your SEO progress.

We’ve covered how to turn your tracking data into measurable gains on the SERP.

Now, let’s talk about HOW to track your ranks with a specialized tool.

Tracking ranks is one of the cornerstones of understanding your SEO progress because ranks are the foundation of organic traffic.

Using ProRankTracker will allow you to track your ranks, understand your KPIs, generate reports, and develop your strategy simultaneously.

Before we dive into this final section, I highly recommend you sign up for a ProRankTracker free trial to follow along and see how much this tool can help you.

Let’s go!

Track Your Ranks

Before tracking data, you must input the keywords and URLs you want to monitor (including your competitors!).

Use the Add Wizard for quick additions or the Advanced Add tool for more control. 

Track your ranks

Now that you’ve added the keywords you want to track, you can use the Rankings Views to track your data.

ProRankTracker offers 5 Rankings Views that allow you to see your ranking data from different angles.

  • The Dashboard gives you a brief overview of your current ranks and how they’ve changed recently.

ProRankTracker dashboard

  • The URL and Term Views allow you to see all your ranks organized by the URL or Term they’re tracking. This is great for comparing your ranks to your competitors’ ranks.

URL and term view

  • The Daily View allows you to look at a day-by-day graph of how your ranks have changed over a selected period.

daily view of ProRankTracker

  • The Full SERPs View lets you view an interactive SERP for your chosen keyword. We’ll discuss this further in the next section.

Make sure you use a mixture of all the Ranking Views to get the best view of your ranks compared to your competitors!

Keep an Eye on the SERPs

ProRankTracker’s Full SERPs tool lets you gain deeper insights into SERP dynamics by allowing you to track specific URL journeys through the SERP over time.

For example, you can quickly see how your competitor’s rank for a given keyword has changed compared to your own over the last month.

Full SERP view of ProRankTracker

You’ll be better positioned to make strategic changes after observing historical changes and competitor movements over time.

Watching Full SERPs gives you a more holistic view of the changing landscape for a given keyword, making it easier to understand changes in your KPIs and helping you strategize better.

Develop Your Keyword Strategy

Tracking your ranks is useless if you don’t act on the information you gather.

That’s where ProRankTracker’s Rankings Discovery and Keyword Suggestions tools come into play.

These 2 tools help you identify gaps in your keyword strategy and fill them with new, high-quality keywords.

The Rankings Discovery tool helps you see where the URLs you’re tracking rank for keywords you aren’t tracking. Using this tool, you can instantly reveal the keywords you and your competitors already rank for and detailed information such as location, device type, search engine, and search volume.

Rankings Discovery tool

The Keyword Suggestions tool suggests new keywords based on your current strategy. 

Keyword Suggestions tool

Using these 2 tools can help you quickly improve your keyword strategy!

Generate Reports

We discussed above how important it is to stay up-to-date on your SEO progress using reports and notifications. Fortunately, ProRankTracker makes it incredibly easy to do just that.

ProRankTracker offers over 20 types of reports and notifications that you can generate to monitor your progress, evaluate strategic opportunities, and monitor your competitors.

20+ rank tracking reports from ProRankTracker

Including a variety of reports in your strategy can help you understand changes and make quick adjustments:

  1. Overview reports, like the Groups or Tags Summary reports, give you a high-level view of everything you track. These are critical for understanding progress and helping you see how you compare to your competitors.
  2. Historical Progress reports help you see your performance over time. For example, a Weekly Breakdown report shows you how your ranks changed from week to week over a given period.
  3. Ranking Comparison reports are extremely valuable for comparing specific parts of your strategy to your competitors. For example, a Different URLs report can show you how you and your competitors stack up for a specific set of URLs.

These are just a few types of reports offered by ProRankTracker. Ensure you add variety to your reporting schedule to give you a complete view of your SEO progress!

Perform Strategic Research with Insta-Check

Sometimes, you just need quick SERP insights without adding terms to your tracking list.

For example:

  • You might research new keywords to see how they perform in your niche.
  • You may want to see your competitors’ strategic changes to assess whether you need to mount a counter-attack.
  • Maybe you’ve reached your keyword limit and need a few more checks, but you aren’t ready to upgrade your plan yet.

In any of these cases (and any other time you might need to do some quick rank checking!), utilize ProRankTracker’s Insta-Check tool.

Insta-Check does precisely what it sounds like–it checks a specific set of keywords for you instantly without requiring you to add them to your long-term tracking list.

Insta-Check tool

All you have to do is purchase credits. Then, just use what you need right now and save the remaining credits until you need them.

This strategy is ideal for keyword scouting, competitor analysis, or any other situation that requires a quick SERP check.

FAQ

How do I check my SEO progress?

The best way to check your SEO progress is with a combination of tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and ProRankTracker. Using multiple tools gives you a more complete view of your SEO progress.

How fast can you see SEO results?

If you’re competing for a highly competitive keyword, seeing SEO results might take a while. If you find a high-value long-tail keyword with lower volume, you should be able to see results within a few days.

What is the meaning of SEO?

SEO means search engine optimization, and it involves implementing strategies to help get your pages to the top of the Google search engine results page (SERP) so you can get more traffic.

Ready to Start Tracking Your SEO Progress?

By following the tips outlined above, you should be able to start confidently tracking your SEO progress with some of the industry’s most advanced tools.

You should also be ready to turn those insights into key strategic developments that will help you crush your competitors on the SERPs.

Make sure you sign up for a free trial from ProRankTracker to get the most out of your SEO tracking efforts, sign up for a free trial from ProRankTracker!

Happy tracking!