Does this sound familiar?
You spent a lot of time improving your website UI and targeting some keywords. You wrote some awesome blog posts that you felt were slam dunks.
You finally make everything go live, and…
Nobody shows up to your website.
What went wrong?
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell unless you’re tracking your SEO performance.
Tracking SEO is what allows you to turn your SEO successes and failures into strategic improvements. However, many people ignore tracking and focus purely on other aspects of SEO.
In this article, we’ll show you why tracking is important, how to do it well, and how to turn your tracking data into real gains on the SERP.
- Why Tracking SEO Is Important
- What KPIs Should You Track for SEO?
- How to Measure Your SEO Performance with ProRankTracker
- How to Create Awesome Holistic SEO Reports
- Frequently Asked Questions About Tracking SEO
Why Tracking SEO Is Important
In today’s digital era, SEO is critical for online businesses to gain visibility and attract potential customers.
However, implementing SEO strategies is just the first step.
After that, you have to keep track of which strategies are working (and, maybe more importantly, which ones aren’t working). Over 93% of online experiences start with a search engine, making it more critical to track SEO performance than ever before.
Before discussing HOW to measure your SEO performance, let’s explore WHY tracking SEO is essential and how it can help you improve your SEO in the long term.
Refine Your Strategy
Tracking SEO allows you to see which tactics are working and which aren’t. If you’re spending a lot of effort on a keyword strategy, you want to know whether that effort is wasted!
For instance, your SEO strategy is working if your website’s ranking consistently increases for specific keywords.
By adequately tracking SEO, you can also identify traffic sources to your site and understand how visitors interact with your web pages.
This information can help you refine your strategy by helping you figure out which types of keywords and content convert the best. Then, you can double down on those winning strategies.
Understand Your Competitors
One of the most significant benefits of SEO tracking is that it allows you to monitor your competitors. You can see their:
- Long-term strategies
- Strategic weak points
Knowing this information about your competitors can provide insights on how to outrank them.
For example, analyzing their tactics and tools can help you make better-informed decisions and implement a more effective SEO strategy.
Additionally, knowing their weak points gives you the perfect opportunity to capitalize on and outrank them quickly.
Tracking your SEO efforts can help you avoid disasters such as:
- Search engine penalties
- Quickly dropping ranks
- Losing traffic due to being surpassed by a competitor on the SERP
Tracking the right metrics allows you to identify potential risks and fix them before being penalized by search engines or passed by the competition.
For instance, Google’s algorithm updates can negatively affect your SEO rankings if you’re not monitoring the changes and making necessary adjustments.
If you want to determine whether your investments are paying off, you need to track your return on investment (ROI).
After all, who wants to spend time and money on SEO only to find out months later that it was all a waste?
By monitoring specific SEO metrics, you can see which strategies are generating revenue and which aren’t. You can also identify where most of your valuable traffic is coming from (which search engine, location, maps, ads, etc.).
This data can help you optimize your SEO strategy and invest more efficiently in channels that generate more traffic and revenue.
What KPIs Should You Track for SEO?
It’s crucial to keep track of your SEO performance, but what EXACTLY should you be tracking?
In other words, which key performance indicators (KPIs) are the most important for understanding your SEO and how you should proceed strategically?
In this section, we’ll look at 4 of the major KPIs that you should track for your SEO:
- Keyword rankings
These aren’t the only KPIs, but they are the ones you NEED to track because they tell you the most critical information about your strategy.
Before making a sale, you need to make an impression.
“What’s an impression?” you ask.
Impressions refer to the number of times your website appears on the search engine results page (SERP). It shows how many people saw your website, even if they didn’t click on it.
Tracking impressions is crucial because it gives you an idea of how your website is performing from a visibility perspective.
You can track your impressions using Google Search Console, which gives you a large graph showing both clicks and impressions on the main page.
Tracking impressions over time allows you to identify trends and see how your SEO efforts impact the visibility of your page on the SERPs.
You may need an impression to make a sale, but you need to RANK before you can make an impression. After all, nobody can see your page if you’re on page 10 on Google.
Keyword rankings are perhaps the most important KPI for SEO. They tell you which keywords your website ranks for and in what position.
By tracking your keyword rankings, you’ll see if your keywords are impacting your visibility and driving traffic to your site. If your ranks drop, you know you need to improve your content’s user experience or change your focus entirely.
The best way to track your keyword rankings is with a specialized rank tracking tool like ProRankTracker (which we’ll discuss in a moment).
You can track your website’s traffic using Google Search Console (GSC) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
Traffic deals with the number of people who visit your website. It shows how well your content is performing and how effectively you’re driving visitors to your site.
In other words, website traffic tells you if you’re effectively moving people from the SERP (search engine result page) to your landing pages, articles, and other vital pages on your site.
Tracking traffic KPIs gives you a good idea of user behavior and helps you identify what content or pages drive the most traffic. If you watch your traffic closely, you can use traffic data to determine whether to optimize your title, descriptions, and content.
For example, if your traffic increases, you know your content is resonating well with searchers.
You can track conversions in GA4.
You aren’t targeting keywords and going through all the trouble of getting people to your website so that they can have a look around. You want them to take some action!
That’s why one of the most important KPIs for any business is conversions. Conversions show how many people are taking the desired action on your website.
As a side note, the desired action isn’t always a purchase. It could also be filling out a contact form, signing up to receive a free benefit, or subscribing to your newsletter.
By tracking your conversions, you’ll be able to understand how your site converts visitors into customers.
How to Measure Your SEO Performance With ProRankTracker
Every SEO knows how to look into Google Search Console and Google Analytics to check their progress.
However, most overlook rank tracking because it requires a high-quality 3rd-party tool (which can often get expensive).
That being said, tracking ranks is one of the most critical parts of measuring your SEO performance. Remember: First comes rankings, then comes impressions, then comes traffic, then comes conversions — in that order! So, you need to rank to improve any of those metrics.
The best way to track your ranks is with dedicated rank tracking software.
In this section, we’ll show you how to use ProRankTracker to measure your SEO performance, track your ranks, and improve your ranks on the SERPs.
If you aren’t already a ProRankTracker user, I highly recommend signing up for a 30-day free trial so you can follow along and see how it can help you improve your SEO reporting.
Input Your URL/Keyword Combos
To start tracking data with ProRankTracker, input the keywords and URLs you want to follow in the Add Wizard or Advanced Add tool.
During this step, you should also add your competitors’ URLs and keywords that you want to measure. This will allow you to compare their performance with your own in the next step.
As you add these URL/keyword combos, group and tag them so you can quickly sort through your ranks later. You should also include location data for all your combos since Google changes the SERP depending on the searcher’s location.
Use Rankings Views
Now that you’ve added all your most important keywords and URLs (and your competitors’), it’s time to start tracking your ranks!
ProRankTracker offers 5 different Rankings Views that will help you get an ultra-clear picture of your performance on the SERP. Each view provides a slightly different angle on your current SEO performance.
Using all 5 views in conjunction with one another is the best way to ensure that you’re always in the know about what’s going on with your ranks.
For example, you can use the Term View to see how your ranks stack up to your competitors’ for a given keyword, then you can head over to the Full SERPs view to see how the SERP for the same keyword is changing day by day.
ProRankTracker offers highly accurate rank tracking, and every plan gets daily updates, so you can rest assured that you’re always getting the freshest data.
Setup Reports and Notifications
Rankings Views are incredible, but the real magic happens when you start to look at using reports and notifications. ProRankTracker offers 20+ white-label reports and notifications.
Whatever you need, there’s a report or notification that has you covered:
- A daily, weekly, or monthly summary
- A graph of daily rank changes
- A comparison between ranks on 2 different dates
- A comparison between how your ranks perform on 2 search engines
- Notifications that alert you when your ranks start to drop
- Many other reports and notifications
ProRankTracker’s reports are fully automatable, meaning you can set up a report schedule and then forget about it entirely. You’ll receive the schedule reports in your inbox at the appropriate times. Or you can create a shareable link to view the report at any time!
But ProRankTracker’s white-label reports aren’t the only way to use your data to create fantastic reports. You can also export your ProRankTracker data to other tools like Google Looker Studio using the API access included with agency-level plans. We’ll talk more about this in the next section.
If you want to keep track of your SEO like the pros, reports are how you accomplish it. Not only do they speed the process up, but they can help you see your data from dozens of different angles, ensuring that you understand every nook and cranny of your SEO performance and your competitors’ performance.
If you’ve been tracking SEO for a while, you know how it feels to need to do some quick research without adding new terms to your long-term tracking list.
In those cases (and many others), you need a quick way to check the SERP without needing to increase your term limit on your plan OR needing to add the terms you’re researching to your long-term tracking list.
That’s where Insta-Check comes in.
Insta-Check allows you to purchase credits to do quick SERP checks for any keywords. That means you can just pay for what you need without increasing your plan. Whatever credits you don’t use, you can simply save for later.
This is an EXTREMELY valuable way of tracking SEO. It helps you keep an eye on more keywords, which means you’ll have a better understanding of your competitors and how they’re driving traffic to their sites.
How to Create Awesome Holistic SEO Reports
In the last section, we discussed how valuable reports are for SEO tracking. They keep you up to date, and they help you understand every detail of your SEO performance.
But how do you create a fantastic holistic SEO report that helps you improve your SEO?
The first option is to use the 20+ white-label reports offered by ProRankTracker, as we talked about in the last section.
However, you can supercharge your ProRankTracker data by exporting it into even more robust reporting tools.
In this section, we’ll show you how to take your reports to the next level.
Use Looker Studio
Probably the best reporting software currently available is Google Looker Studio. This is for multiple reasons:
- Its free plan is excellent, and many people can get by without upgrading beyond this plan.
- It’s easy to use and plays nice with external data sources (which is what we’ll talk about next).
- You can create your own report templates or purchase pre-made templates from 3rd party sellers.
- It helps you visualize your data with custom graphs, tables, charts, and other visual forms of data presentation.
Creating visual reports like these means you can completely customize what data you include and HOW that data is presented. You can see your SEO tracking data EXACTLY how you want to, giving you complete control over how you measure your KPIs and what you do with the information you discover.
Connect it to your key data sources
By itself, Google Looker Studio is worthless to most SEOs. It doesn’t have its own data!
That’s where connections come in.
You can connect your key data sources to Looker Studio, which allows it to pull data from those sources automatically and turn it into reports without any further intervention on your part!
So, what sources should you connect to your Looker Studio reports?
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- ProRankTracker’s API
With these 3 data sources, you’ll have a holistic view of your SEO performance (rankings, impressions, traffic, and conversions)!
The key here is to connect ALL your primary data sources. If you leave some out, these reports may only show you a fraction of your ranking data instead of giving you a holistic picture.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tracking SEO
What is the way to track SEO results?
The best way to track your SEO results is to use a combination of multiple data sources. For example, combining Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and ProRankTracker with the powerful reports of Google Looker Studio is the best way to get an accurate picture of your SEO performance.
How do I track SEO on Google?
For tracking your KPIs like traffic, conversions, and impressions, use a combination of Google Search Console and Google Analytics. For tracking your ranks on the SERP, I recommend using a dedicated rank tracker like ProRankTracker.
Ready to Start Tracking Your SEO with Ease?
Tracking your SEO performance can seem less important than finding new keywords, writing articles to target those keywords, and performing on-site SEO. However, tracking SEO is an equally important step.
Without tracking your SEO performance, you’ll be in the dark as to how your efforts are actually paying off (if at all).
Follow the strategies in this article to measure SEO performance, stay up to date with powerful and holistic reports, and improve your ranks quickly.