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Top 7 SEO Metrics That REALLY Matter: How to Track & Their Importance

What’s the MOST important traffic source for website owners? If you said “SEO,” you’re 100% right.

Doing SEO is one thing and tracking SEO metrics is ANOTHER thing.

No matter how much you invest in search engine optimization, you’ll NEVER improve rankings if you don’t track the key SEO metrics. 

Tracking your website’s search metrics is the most important thing.

In this guide, you’ll discover;

  • Top 7 most important SEO metrics
  • What are they and why are they important
  • How to track those SEO performance metrics, and much more

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

7 Best SEO Metrics to Track as A Website Owner

seo metrics

1. Organic traffic (aka SEO traffic)

Organic traffic refers to all the visitors and clicks that come from unpaid search results. That means organic traffic is FREE traffic that comes from search engines, such as Google or Bing.

Why is it important?

You have a rock-solid SEO strategy if your website generates huge organic traffic. Whether your site is getting a similar amount of monthly organic visits or going upwards, it’s a sign that Google loves your website.

Organic traffic offers so many benefits, including;

  • Free traffic
  • Highly targeted visitors for your target keywords
  • Better conversions and sales
  • Improved organic visibility for your website or brand

How to track it?

The best way to track your website’s organic traffic is to use Google Search Console.

Once you’re on the Google Search Console, open the “Search results” report under the “Performance” section in the menu. 

google search console

Once you click on it, you’ll find four main metrics in the report, which are;

  • Total clicks (which shows how many times a user clicked through to your site)
  • Total impressions (which shows how many times a user saw a link to your site in search results)
  • Average CTR (which shows the percentage of impressions that resulted in a click)
  • Average position (which shows the average position in search results for your site, using the highest position for your website whenever it appears in search engine results)

Here’s what it looks like;


You can filter the data (in the last 3 months, 1 year, etc) to get specific organic traffic data for your website.

You can also view results by queries, pages, search appearance, devices, and countries.

Have a look;

traffic data

All in all, Google Search Console (GSC) reports will give you ALL the information you need about the organic traffic to your website.

Are there any other tools to find the estimated organic traffic of other websites?

You can use free tools like Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT), which helps you easily track your performance in the search results. 

2. Keyword rankings

Keyword rankings refer to your web page’s specific spot for a particular query or keyword phrase in search results.

Why is it important?

Here are some major benefits of tracking your website’s keyword rankings in search results.

  • The main benefit is that it helps you identify what type of keywords work well for your website or business.
  • Increase your website’s organic traffic and conversions
  • Track your website’s SEO progress over time
  • Make better decisions about your SEO strategy so you can invest more in keywords that are driving better results.

How to track it?

There are many tools you can use to track your keyword rankings.

Ahrefs offers a free keyword rank checker tool where you can enter your target keywords along with your website’s URL to check rankings.

Here’s what it looks like;

keyword rankings

As you can see above, you can easily discover various metrics like;

  • Your current keyword rankings on Google
  • Domain Rating (DR)
  • URL Rating (UR)
  • Number of Domains
  • Number of Keywords
  • Backlinks 

If you don’t want to search your rankings manually, we recommend you try out the Semrush position tracking tool.

It will monitor your website’s keyword rankings and show you the differences in keyword rankings and their current positions. 

Have a look;

position tracking

The good thing about using Semrush is that you can monitor the rankings of your website and your competitors on a daily basis. You can also track any location or device type.

If you want more details, check out our in-depth Semrush review. It offers the following three pricing plans.

  1. Pro plan costs $129.95 per month, where you can add up to 5 projects, 500 keywords to track, and 10,000 results per report.
  2. Guru plan costs $249.95 per month, where you can add up to 15 projects, 1500 keywords to track, and 30,000 results per report.
  3. Business plan costs $499.95 per month, where you can add up to 40 projects, 5000 keywords to track, and 50,000 results per report.

Try Semrush for FREE Now!

3. Traffic value

Traffic value refers to estimating how much money you would spend on PPC (paid ads) to rank for those keywords organically. It is calculated by multiplying the monthly organic traffic of each keyword at the respective ranking position by the CPC value. 

Why is it important?

Measuring the traffic value of ALL the keywords you rank in search results has so many benefits, including;

  • It can help you to understand the average ROI of your SEO efforts
  • It can help you to find out the most PROFITABLE  keywords for your website

In a nutshell, traffic value gives you an idea of how much money it would cost you to run PPC ads with the exact keywords. 

How to track it?

One of the best ways of calculating the organic traffic value for your website’s keywords is to use paid tools like Semrush.

To know your website’s traffic value, go to the “Organic Research” tool from Semrush and enter your website’s URL.

It instantly shows the traffic value of your site or domain.

traffic value

As you can see above, you can easily identify the overall traffic cost of your website from Semrush. 

It shows you the estimated average monthly cost to rank for organic keywords in Google Ads. Our blog’s traffic cost is $21,400, which means we would have to pay over $20K per month for Google ads to get the same level of traffic. 

Fortunately, we NEVER spent $20K/mo on our website’s content. So the overall ROI is excellent. This is the PRIMARY reason why most website owners prefer SEO, as it generates better ROI in the long run.

4. Website Health Score

Website health score shows you the SEO score based on the issues and errors of all the crawled pages on your website.

It is usually calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the best possible score for a website. The website’s health score is based on a number of factors, including the following:

  • Broken links
  • HTTPS and crawlability issues
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Content quality and more

Here’s the thing: if your website has a health score of 90 or above, it is considered to be in excellent health.

Why is it important?

So why should you care about your website’s SEO score (or health score)? Here are a few reasons;

  • Although website health score is NOT a ranking factor, it’s an excellent way to find and fix your site issues to improve organic rankings.
  • You can give the best user experience with a better health score
  • You’ll eventually improve your search traffic with fewer SEO issues within your site

How to track it?

Many tools help you quickly discover the health score of your website.

We recommend Semrush, which scans your website for over 140 technical site health and SEO issues.

You simply need to create a project on the Site audit tool from Semrush. Then, it will crawl ALL of your website pages and gives you an in-depth review of its health score.

Here’s what it looks like;

site audit

As you can see, our website’s site health score is 88 out of 100, which is decent. The site audit report from Semrush shows you several important things;

  • Overall site health score
  • Crawl pages with health and broken issues
  • Crawlability
  • HTTPS issues
  • Core web vitals
  • Site performance
  • Internal linking, markup score, and much more

Go try our Semrush site audit once and see your website’s health score. If your website gets a low health score (below 70), it indicates that you need to immediately fix some critical issues within your site to improve its search rankings.

5. Referring domains

Referring domains refer to ALL the domains that link to your website. For example, if your website has a backlink from the Forbes website, then it is considered a referring domain.

Why is it important?

There’s a difference between referring domains and backlinks. A website can have any number of backlinks from the same referring domain, but it only counts as ONE referring domain.

That’s why referring domains are often considered BETTER than backlinks. 

Your website’s authority increases if you get 100 backlinks from 100 different domains rather than getting all those links from a single domain (or website). It’s as simple as that.

How to track it?

There are many tools out there that can help you track referring domains, including Ahrefs, Semush, Moz, and more.

Here’s what it looks like on Semrush;

referring domains

As you can see, Semrush offers a specific tool called “Backlink Analytics”, which helps you easily track your referring domains. It also gives you backlink metrics, such as;

  • Total number of backlinks of a domain
  • Monthly visits
  • Estiamted organic traffic
  • Total outbound domains and more

6. Organic CTR

Organic click-through rate ( CTR), is the percentage of people that click on a search engine result. Although organic CTR is NOT a confirmed ranking factor by Google, but it plays a HUGE role in your website rankings.

Why is it important?

Here are some of the major benefits of improving your website’s organic CTR:

  • The better your organic CTR, the more people are clicking on your website links on Google, which ultimately leads to more traffic
  • Google increases your keyword rankings if your website listing attracts more clicks from searches.
  • It improves your website’s overall search visibility 

Your website’s organic CTR depends on how well you craft your page’s titles and meta descriptions. Because those are things that are displayed in search results for a search query or a keyword.

Semrush study reveals that the #1 position search result gets an average of 27.6% of clicks!

organic ctr

How to track it?

You can analyze the CTR of your own pages and queries in Google Search Console under the performance report.

Here’s what it looks like (from Google Search Console);

performance report

As you can see, our average CTR in search results is 1.3% in the last 28 days. You can also use date filters to see how your site’s average CTR is.

7. Return on Investment (ROI)

Return on investment (ROI) refers to the amount of money you get back from your investment. 

Why is it important?

Most people spend thousands of dollars on SEO but don’t know how to track their performance. That’s why calculating the ROI of SEO is extremely important.

Here are some of the benefits of tracking the ROI of SEO;

  • It will help you determine whether your SEO spending is justified. What’s the point of spending thousands of dollars without knowing the outcome?
  • You can identify which SEO activities are most effective for your business so that you can double your investment in those areas such as content creation, link building, or website design.
  • You’ll know what is working and what is not.
  • Above all, if your website is generating a positive ROI, you can increase your budget for SEO (which ultimately helps you with even more traffic and sales).

How to track it?

Tracking the ROI of your SEO efforts is NOT hard, but it’s also not straightforward.

Why? Because you might be investing money in SEO tools, content creators, or in-house SEO agencies to get results. Sometimes, it takes a few months or years to see desired results from SEO.

So… we want to simplify it by giving you a real-life example.

For example, if you spend $10,000 on SEO over the course of a year.

And.. if you get a 20% increase in organic traffic to your website and an additional $50,000 in sales.

It is calculated using a simple math formula which is;

SEO ROI = (value of organic conversions – the cost of SEO investments)/cost of SEO investments.

Your ROI for SEO is then calculated as follows:

  • ($50,000 – $10,000) / $10,000 = 400% 

This means that for every $1 you spent on SEO, they saw a return of $4. If you’re happy with spending $1 and getting $4 in return, you can increase the budget, stay with the same budget or try other channels, such as paid ads.

This is just an example. The REAL ROI of SEO can vary depending on a number of factors, such as;

  • The niche you’re in
  • The keywords targeted
  • The number of pages to create and manage
  • The quality of the SEO work
  • The number of backlinks needed to rank #1 for related searches and the list goes on


Here are some FAQs on SEO metrics and benchmark SEO.

What are the SEO metrics?

SEO metrics are the data metrics that tell you how well your website is performing in search engines like Google. They can help you track your website’s traffic, keyword rankings, backlinks, and more.

What is a KPI for SEO?

KPI refers to “Key performance indicator”, which is a metric that helps you evaluate the SEO performance of your website.

What are the best tools to track key SEO metrics?

Here are some of the best tools to track SEO metrics of your site.
– Semrush (offers 55 tools)
– Ahrefs (offers a free keyword tracking tool)
– Google Search Console (shows you organic CTR, important search queries, and more)

How do I measure SEO effectiveness?

Regularly track your keyword rankings, as keyword tracking is one of the effective ways to know if your SEO strategy is working or not. You can use tools like Semrush position tracking or Ahrefs to track your rankings.

What is a referring domain?

A referring domain is a website that links to your website. For example, if a website called “” links to your website, then “” is a referring domain to your site.

What is organic CTR in SEO?

Organic CTR (Click-through rate) is the percentage of searches that click your website results from search engines like Google.

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Final thoughts on SEO KPIs and metrics

No matter what SEO metrics you’re tracking, make sure to use a reliable SEO tool. We HIGHLY recommend you Semrush, as it offers over 55 tools under one roof.

Remember, SEO is a long-term process, so tracking your progress over time is important. If you do not see the desired results, change your SEO strategy by DIY SEO or hiring a professional.

So what are your thoughts on the SEO performance metrics shared above? Have any more questions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. 

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