How to measure SEO success in Google Analytics

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Measuring your success in every effort you have spent to optimize your website and promote it your industry is crucial. You need to know whether your efforts in every strategies you implemented in your marketing approach is giving you good return in terms of traffic, conversions, engagement and more in the long run. Aside from that, you need to know which of your strategies are not performing well that you should improve or take out from your strategy to promote your website.

But how do you find these data? How can you ensure that you are looking at the right and not false data and most importantly, how can you use these data for your own benefits? Fortunately, there is a way on how you can see these information you need to measure your SEO success. Google Analytics is the perfect tool to track down the data you need to measure your SEO success but what particular data you need to see in your Analytics?

Below are some important data you need to look at when measuring your SEO success in Google Analytics.

Audience - Geo Location

Identifying where your traffic are coming from based on their geographic location is an important KPI to measure your SEO success. You need to know if you are driving the right audience from the right location to your website or you are driving the wrong audience. Geo-location perfectly helps you understand the traffic you are driving to your website, just by looking at the location source of your audience, you can easily identify if your visitors are valid or not.

So imagine if you are handling SEO for a real estate magazine in Australia and the traffic you ar receiving is from outside Australia and non-English country, would you count these visits as valid and consider a success? Definitely not. Since you are mainly targeting traffic within Australia, seeing outside Australian visits can be considered as invalid.

How to see Geo-location traffic in Google Anaytics?
  • Go to your Analytics Reporting section
  • Go to Analytics audience report
  • Go to Geo location report under audience section and select your target language or location.

Audience - Behavior

Another important KPI to measure your SEO success is to understand how your audience are behaving within your website. This information is really crucial to figure out if your visitors are satisfied, contented and happy with the information they see on your website. By interpreting the behavior of your audience within your website, you can figure out whether your SEO campaign is driving new visitors, returning visitors, engagement and frequency. 

New and Returning - Acquiring and retaining visitors to your website is one important thing to consider as metrics as well when evaluating your SEO success, since part of your goal as an SEO is to acquire new visits and at the same time, drive visitors back to your website, keeping them s

Frequency - Frequent visitation of your target audience to your website is a huge SEO success, this just means that you’re giving the information that your audience are expecting to see on your website. This helps you understand how long it takes for them to revisit your website such as: daily, weekly, twice a week or monthly.

Engagement - This one is important in measuring the success of your SEO campaign. You need to know whether the traffic you’re driving to your website are meeting their expectations. Engagement section helps you understand how long a visitor stay on your website ranging from 0-10 secs, 11-30 secs, 31-60 secs and more.

When measuring your success in behavior section, you may use the following KPIs as baseline:
  • Consistent increase of new and returning visitors
  • Longer engagement of visitors on your website
  • Time elapse before visitors revisit your

Acquisition - Organic traffic

In Google Analytics, the organic traffic section is the free traffic data coming from search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, which means this section will let you have an idea of what key phrases your target audience are using to find your website. This is also a way to figure out whether you are ranking for several key phrases that you are not yet targeting at the moment. More importantly, organic traffic section will give you a set of data how many organic traffic you are getting from search engines in a specific period of time, daily, weekly and even monthly.

When measuring your SEO success in organic traffic, there should be a set of KPIs in place such as:
  • Amount of organic traffic you are getting from search engines
  • Which location you your organic traffic are coming from?
  • What set of keyword phrases you want your visitors to find you?
  • What pages of your website have attracted visitors to your website?

Once you have those benchmark in place, you can measure your organic to see if your website is meeting your expectations and is performing well in organic search through your target keywords.

Acquisition - All referrals

One of the goals of an SEO is to increase the referral traffic to a website and not only search traffic. Referrals traffic section in Google Analytics is the best tool to help you measure your SEO success, you need to know whether the websites you used to share your links in forum, comments, guest post etc are driving traffic to your website. By having this information ready for you to explore, you can figure out whether you get traffic benefits from the websites you linked your website to.

However, having to increase your referral traffic isn’t enough to call a success. In Google Analytics, there are other metrics you need to look at before you consider your referral traffic is a success through the following metrics:

Bounce Rate - Bounce rate is a good measurement whether your content is giving the information that your audience are looking for in terms of quality, freshness, uniqueness and more. The higher bounce rate a page of your website gets, the more unhappy visitors left your website without viewing other pages. Knowing this information is definitely important for SEOs to see which pages are in need of improvement. On the other hand, if you tend your visitors to visit only one particular page on your website, you can ignore the bounce rate issue.

Sessions - Apart from looking at bounce rate section, you also need to know whether your visitors are visiting other pages within your website. This gives you an idea of what information your audience are looking for before they convert. 

Average Duration - Average session duration gives you an insightful information on how long your visitors stay on a page before they go to another pages of your website. Google Analytics provide you an insightful average of user behavior on your website which you can analyse and use for your own benefits.

Conversions - Goals

Now that you’ve checked your traffic and your visitors engagement, now its the time to have a look at your conversion reporting section to see whether your website is converting your audience into paying customers. In measuring SEO success, increasing your traffic and rankings don’t just end there. You also need to know if the traffic you are driving to your website are doing what you want them to do like newsletter sign ups, purchases, PDF downloads etc.

Google Analytics give you an insight in your website performance measurement. As an SEO, you need to make sure that the visitors you bring to your website don’t just come and go, you need them to make action that you can benefit from.

When measuring SEO success in terms of goal conversion, you might use these methods below:
  • Percentage of converted visitors versus total driven visitors in a specific time frame.
  • Amount of purchased products from your website versus the amount you spent on marketing approach in a specific time frame.

Note: Before you are able to track down goal conversion in your Google Analytics reporting section, you must have at least one goal setup to track. Otherwise, you won’t have any data to review.


In SEO or in any digital marketing approach you have done, implementing and planning to incorporate in your strategy, you need to have a set of goals and KPIs to help you measure your data correctly based on your metrics. You need know whether your approach is performing well or you need to spend more time and effort to promote your website and drive traffic.

If you don’t have any objectives why you’re driving traffic to your website, you can’t always measure your success in SEO. For some, ranking at the top of search results for their target keywords is already a success, but what happens after that? You need to know if your visitors are converting as for most business owners, what’s important for them is the conversion and not just rankings.