In order to effectively track the progress of your SEO campaign, it's important to look at the right metrics. For this post, I'm only going to cover the metrics pertaining to SEO and only the most important ones. Keep in mind that there are many different types of data you can track for different strategies, specific elements, analytics, and ongoing SEO fine tuning. For now, let's look at the main metrics for measuring your SEO effectiveness.
Ranking - Obviously, this is the best place to start. Monitoring your rankings will give you a high level indicator if your strategies are working.
Conversions from organic traffic - This will let you know if the traffic you are receiving from higher rankings, is turning into actions. If you are not seeing more conversions with the additional traffic, it could be an indicator that either you are not ranking for relevant keywords or there are conversion problem areas on your site. Do you have goals set up in Google Analytics?
Conversion rate from organic traffic - This is good as it gives you a simple metric that can be used in comparison to any other online marketing efforts you may be running. To see this data in Google Analytics click "Traffic Sources > Search Engines > Click Non-Paid > Click the Ecommerce Tab"
Organic traffic from search engines - By tracking the traffic volume on a keyword level, you will see which keywords are your strongest traffic sources. Once identified, you can more appropriately see what keywords need more or less work. It's important to exclude branded traffic from your keywords during this analysis. People searching for your brand name (or domain name) might have heard of your site elsewhere and searched for you on Google which shouldn't be included in your organic traffic keyword mix for measuring SEO effectiveness. To see this report in Google Analytics click Traffic Sources > Keywords and make sure to click on the "non-paid" link to see only organic traffic.
Revenue from organic Search - For most people, this is the most important metric to measure. This will show you what keywords are providing you the most revenue and help you calculate your ROI. It will also help you identify where you should be focusing your efforts in order to increase revenue. You will need to have proper conversion goal values setup and/or e-commerce tracking setup in analytics to track revenue. To see this data in Google Analytics click "Traffic Sources > Search Engines > Click Non-Paid > Click the Ecommerce Tab"
Using these indicators to measure your SEO effectiveness will greatly help your overall success. By tracking these measurements and other relevant metrics in your site's analytics, you will have a much easier time understanding what areas need more attention.