4 Advanced SEO Reporting Metrics That Matter

Soft Success MetricsThere are many ways to quantify success. As SEOs, it’s our responsibility to report on metrics that matter to our clients. Rather than formulating reports based on the same old soft metrics like search traffic and keyword rankings, it pays to think outside of the box. By introducing advanced SEO metrics into your SEO reports, you can differentiate yourself from other SEO service providers.

Here are four advanced SEO reporting metrics that you should consider including in your reports:


I can’t overstate the importance of revenue-based SEO. So many SEOs get bogged down by soft metrics that they lose sight of what matters to executives: ROI. Search rankings can be good for the ego, but in reality your clients aren’t as likely to be impressed with search volume as they are with revenue accrual. After all, what use is being ranked number one for keywords that don’t convert? If you can draw a clear line between your SEO efforts and ROI, you can prove your value and increase client retention.

Solutions like Google Analytics can easily track keywords to online conversions, but tracking the revenue generated by each keyword is more complicated. The most effective way to link keywords to revenue is to integrate organic search data into a customer relationship management tool (CRM). CRMs like Salesforce.com and Oracle already house business’ sales data. In order to draw a clear line between conversion data and sales data you will need to either develop a custom IT project or use an SEO app built especially for the CRM like SEO for Salesforce or Spectate All-in-one Marketing Suite.

Leads, Opportunities and Closes-per-keyword

Tracking revenue-per-keyword is, of course, the Holy Grail of SEO metrics. However, we’ve found that some companies use CRMs to track leads, opportunities and closes (Saleforce speak for “sales”), but not revenue. While we never see these scenarios as ideal, we understand that certain executives want to keep revenue data confidential rather than shared with the sales team.

In scenarios like this, metrics like lead, opportunity and close-per-keyword become important to measuring success as they can still predict increases in ROI.

Number of Nonbranded Keyword Search Terms

One of the primary reasons that brands hire SEO firms is to rank for their branded terms. This can often be a tall order for brands like Parse.ly—as they have to compete with nearly every cooking site. This is largely the reason that so many Silicon Valley startups use fabricated brand names like Twilio or Appirio.

On a more advanced level, however, brands will hire SEO firms to help them rank for nonbranded terms. Ranking for nonbranded terms is often even more important than ranking for branded terms, because it’s evidence that search marketing is actually providing real brand awareness.

There is no standard ratio between branded and non-branded terms to use as a guide for success. For example, a news report on one of your products can create innumerable search traffic for branded keywords, throwing your ratio out of whack. It’s far better to measure growth in non-branded terms over time. In very competitive industries, strive for at least 10% growth year-over-year. In less competitive or niche markets, aim higher.

 Page Yield

The number of individual pages that yield search traffic each month can be a powerful indicator of your long-tail dynamics and can be a general barometer of your content efforts. Page Yield is therefore an excellent metric for assessing a domain’s overall SEO performance.

If you have a large percentage of pages that aren’t driving traffic, then it’s time to audit each individual page that is underperforming. There are many reasons why a page might not be yielding search traffic. Perhaps the problem is as simple as a lack of keyword density, or maybe the page has been optimized for the wrong keyphrases. It’s also possible that the page hasn’t even been properly indexed.

SEO automation tools can be a cost-effective and efficient way to audit underperforming pages. By optimizing at a page level, you can help increase the number of pages yielding traffic. Such efforts will accrue more search traffic and create new opportunities to drive revenue over time.


About Jesse Davis

Jesse Davis is a content marketing copywriter at DemandResults. He graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in history. In his free time, he blogs, writes fiction, plays guitar and spends far too much time on social media sites.

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