Throughout the history of SEO, keyword rankings have been the primary SEO KPI for many businesses. However, Google has modified the way it serves information in search engine results pages (SERPs), and marketing metrics must adapt. While keywords remain vital, SEO KPIs in 2022 must account for today’s increasingly complex SEO scenario.

SERP elements like featured snippets, reviews, site links, top articles, “people also ask” inquiries, knowledge panels, and more are now competing with SEO efforts. Fewer individuals are clicking through organic listings as more answers are presented immediately in the search results. Keyword rankings simply do not give the information required to accurately assess the performance of your SEO strategy.

Technology, on the other hand, can now assist us in measuring everything. However, when we consider all of the data we have at our disposal, other issues emerge. Increasing the number of KPIs from one to a dozen is unrealistic for tracking progress.

seo kpis

Many marketers have continued to use keyword rankings as their SEO key performance indicator in order to prevent data overload.

While it makes sense to reduce the number of SEO metrics you check on a monthly basis to a manageable quantity, we’ll explain why you should abandon keyword rankings as a KPI and instead focus on other measures.

What Is a Key Performance Indicator SEO KPI?

KPI is an abbreviation for key performance indicators. In SEO, a key performance indicator (KPI) is a marketing metric used to track the progress of your search engine optimization activities. Understanding performance allows you to take action to correct course when your effort is not having the desired effects, or to repeat success when it is.

There are numerous popular SEO KPIs to monitor:

  • Rankings for keywords
  • Rates of organic click-through
  • Pages per session of organic traffic
  • Duration of the session
  • Rate of recurrence
  • SERP characteristics
  • Backlinks
  • Impressions of domain authority
  • Rates of conversion
  • Leads
  • Your website’s sales revenue

Each of these measures contributes to the puzzle, but none of them provide a complete picture of how your SEO is functioning.

Why are keyword rankings ineffective as an SEO KPI?

There are three major drawbacks to adopting keyword rankings as your primary KPI for search engine optimization.

1. Keyword rankings do not take keyword value into account.

Keyword rankings only reveal where you stand in the SERPs for a given keyword at a given time. A number one position for a low-volume keyword will not result in the same amount of traffic as one for a high-volume keyword. As a result, rankings alone cannot assist you in prioritizing your efforts.

2. Keyword rankings no longer show you how you compare to your competition.

The top spot on page one, which was formerly the ultimate goal, has become less valuable as Google directs users’ attention to SERP features such as featured snippets, information cards, and so on. Position one no longer assures you’ll outperform competitors in terms of traffic, thus rankings alone don’t reflect how you compare to competitors.

3. Rankings do not provide useful information.

For a variety of reasons, keyword rankings can change. Decisions should not be based solely on these variations because the reasons for the fluctuations are not always evident. Before taking action, you should conduct an additional study and observe for an extended period of time.

What should you track if keyword rankings are no longer useful as an SEO KPI?

How Do You Determine SEO Success? (SEO KPI)

Today’s search engine performance metrics must take into account more than just keyword position. To understand how your content is performing, you must examine a number of metrics and how they affect and interact with one another. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) should include traffic, engagement, and conversions.

Metrics for keywords/traffic

Because keywords continue to play a significant part in SEO strategy, results must still be measured in relation to keywords. However, for the keyword metrics to be meaningful, they must be presented in terms of another dimension: traffic. Alexa offers two useful SEO KPIs for tracking this: Share of Voice and Keyword Traffic Score

The score for Keyword Traffic

Traffic Score measures keyword performance by taking into consideration the keyword’s traffic value. The score is a figure between 1 and 100 that is determined by a site’s rank in search engine results as well as the number of individuals that search for the phrase. The Visitors Score for keywords delivering traffic to a website that offers transcribing services is shown in the example below using our Site Keywords tool.


The tool displays the outcomes of both organic and paid search activities.

The more valuable the term and the better your performance, the higher the Traffic Score. This is very useful in competitive analysis when analyzing how you compare to competitors for a high-value keyword.

Share of Voice Keyword

The percentage of searches for a keyword that leads to your website is measured by Keyword Share of Voice. This is the percentage that you “own.” The Share of Voice for several of the keywords driving traffic to the example site can be seen in the example above.

Total organic search traffic

It’s also a good idea to check the total quantity of traffic your content receives from organic search to get a sense of your overall rate of advancement. If your blog is growing, you may notice similar jumps in traffic to Enjuris. You should expect your blog’s growth to halt once it reaches a more established number of traffic.

Metrics of engagement

Engagement metrics reveal how well your material is received by your audience. You can look at the following KPIs to get a sense of engagement from an SEO standpoint.

Bounce of rate

The percentage of website visitors that leave after reading only one page is known as the bounce rate. When they leave soon, it can indicate a mismatch between what people expect from the website’s SERP listing and what they find when they arrive on your page. Bounces can also be caused by a poor user experience, such as a slow-loading page.

When marketing agency Brafton examined 181 websites for a benchmark report, it discovered an average bounce rate of 58.18 percent. The percentage for B2B websites was higher: 61.04 percent versus 54.24 percent for B2C sites. Blogs had greater bounce rates, with respondents reporting an average of 76 percent.

By entering comparable sites into our Site Summary tool, you can get a high-level overview of your bounce rate and other interaction data in comparison to your competitors.

site metrics

Time spent on page

If you see that users are spending more or less time on a page than you believe they should, this could be an indication that something is wrong. The trick is to understand your content and how much time someone should spend on a page.

Page count per session

Pages per session inform you how many pages a user visits after clicking through from the search results. A greater number may indicate that the user finds your site valuable, but it may also indicate that the user is having difficulty locating what they are looking for.

In 2019, Littledata discovered that the average number of pages per session was 3.0 across a sample of 3,623 websites.

Metrics for conversion

When someone visits your website and takes the action you want them to take, this is referred to as a conversion. This can range from entering their email address to receive a 15% discount to signing up for a free trial of a service or making a purchase.

Organic traffic conversion rate

Because users who come to your site from various sources may convert differently, you should track conversion by acquisition channel. Seeing how effectively your organic traffic converts offers you an idea of the quality of traffic your SEO efforts are bringing in. If you’re getting a lot of organic traffic but your conversions aren’t as high as they could be, you should reconsider your keyword strategy. Check out our study on average conversion rates by industry.

Compare your SEO KPI to Your Competitors

Measuring progress over time is done by tracking metrics. Metrics tracking against competitors put your progress into context. Many of the SEO KPIs mentioned above are available through our solutions for your site and industry. You can also look at metrics for specific competitors.


Can a Single SEO KPI Replace Keyword Rankings?

SEO’s job is to drive traffic to your site based on the keywords you target. However, total traffic stats do not provide enough insight to determine where you are succeeding and where you are failing with your keyword approach. Then you’ll need SEO KPIs that integrate a traffic metric with keywords.

We propose Traffic Score if you’ve been utilizing keyword rankings as your major measure of progress and want to replace them with one straightforward number. You may see each keyword’s Traffic Score to determine the worth of the traffic those keywords are providing to your site. It displays the relative relevance of the keyword because it considers the number of individuals that search for the term. It also provides the amount of detail required for keyword-by-keyword evaluation.

Know more about : Page Title SEO, Keyword Density, Technical SEO, Google Penalties