These seven steps illustrate how best to define your SEO KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and how to choose a suitable strategy. This includes a competitor analysis, detailed keyword research and internal links.
1. Define your SEO goals and SEO KPIs
Every medium-sized or larger company should have a clear SEO goal defined before investing a lot of money in search engine optimization. The SEO goal needs to be measurable in a selected period of time and also presented visually with an SEO dashboard. A clear SEO goal helps to define SEO KPIs, which can be defined as follows:
- Keyword Ranking Position – A ranking position of 1 to 3 for a business-relevant keyword brings a lot of clicks and higher traffic. It is advisable to carry out a “keyword actual analysis” at the beginning of the optimization and to set up a keyword monitoring tool. The keyword ranking positions are analyzed and you can view the ranking positions of important keywords at any time.
- Organic Traffic – This is the most important SEO KPI and says a lot about “organic site visitors”. Here it is recommended not only to look at the numbers in Google Search Console (GSC), but also to consider the organic numbers in Google Analytics 4 (GA 4). The numbers in GA 4 are much more accurate than the organic numbers in GSC.
- Leads and conversions from organic traffic – It is highly recommended to conduct a lead conversion analysis to get a better overview of page performance. It’s also important to do a good business scaling to see how much leads or conversions the organic traffic is generating.
- SEO Visibility – SEO Visibility is a complex metric and shows how a website is visible in the SERPs. This metric will help you compare the competition and provide a lot of other valuable information.
- Organic CTR (Indirect Parameters) – Click Through Rate (CTR) is a number of clicks generated divided by impressions generated. In order to be able to measure the implemented SEO measures well, CTR is not taken as a direct parameter, but it shows, for example, how well the title links and meta descriptions are optimized. A CTR between 6 and 10% is a very good value from an SEO point of view.
The SEO KPIs can vary from company to company, but a clear SEO goal should always be SEO Growth.
2. Thorough keyword research and keyword prioritization
In the last 15 years, SEO has changed enormously due to the major Google updates. The original, qualitative texts, which also offer added value, are now getting their high gloss. The saying “content is king” still applies in today’s SEO world.
That is why it is essential for every medium-sized company to create many business-relevant keyword sets and carry out extensive keyword research. A detailed keyword research is a foundation of a good optimized text. It is also important that the search intention must also be taken into account in the keyword research carried out.
A differentiation and keyword prioritization should be done after keyword research. The content brief should contain a main keyword and many other relevant secondary keywords. The main goal of the text should be to address the target group and increase added value. For this, the topics should be carefully selected and the search intention for corresponding topics should be checked.
The trends show that valuable and informative content can lead to SEO growth. Detailed keyword research can help you to define business-relevant keywords more easily and generate SEO growth more easily.
3. Heavy Hitters Strategy (HHS)
What is a Heavy Hitters strategy? The Heavy Hitters strategy means content optimization of important business-relevant keywords.
The “heavy hitters” are the non-brand keywords that have an average search volume (SV) of over 1000 searches in a month and occupy a Google ranking in the first three positions.
The Heavy Hitters Strategy (HHS) includes a keyword analysis, a competitor analysis, a ranking analysis and finally the creation of business-relevant content. In order to conquer the first three rankings, it is important to ask specific questions and to choose a well-thought-out keyword strategy. Possible questions are: Is a generic business-relevant keyword highly competitive? Will optimizing for Long-Tail Keywords be effective? A competitor analysis and a detailed SEO audit can provide the answers to these questions.
It is recommended to use a keyword monitoring tool (such as AWR) to get a more accurate view of the rankings of important keywords and also to be able to monitor the ranking positions of keywords.
The heavy hitters strategy is not recommended for every website, because the websites that are not yet established will not rank well even with many “heavy hitters”. Sustainable SEO requires a certain amount of time. Nevertheless, with the right SEO growth strategy and an increase in the keyword sets, a “new website” can position itself relatively quickly (three to six months) on Google.
4. Competitor Analysis – Examination of the three competitors at the main keyword level
Every website is unique and has a unique set of keywords. There are many domains that cover identical topics, but their content always seems authentic and unique.
A mistake that is very often made in the SEO world is that when doing a competitor analysis, the keyword set comparison is almost always done from the whole domain. The websites are never identical, or do they have an identical keyword set. Therefore, from an SEO point of view, it is much better and more precise to look at the important competitors at a keyword level. In other words, for each main keyword, the three best-placed competitors in the search results should accordingly be determined.
Here is an example of the topic stomach ache. The first three SERPs results for the keyword “stomach ache” look different than for the keyword “stomach ache bottom left”. This is a generic keyword “stomach ache” and a long-tail keyword “stomach ache bottom left”. The two keywords match the same topic (stomach ache), but they have different search intentions and therefore different SERPs results.
Every medium-sized company should have checked the important and business-relevant keywords of the three top-ranked competitors at keyword level in order to be able to better assess SEO growth.
5. Topic cluster structure
What is a topic cluster? A topic cluster designates the internally linked pages on a specific topic.
It is recommended to group the important topics in order to be able to rank better. The topic should be examined in detail and built on these three principles:
- A page that focuses on one topic
- The subpages can be easily subordinated
- Internal links between all topic pages
A well-constructed topic hierarchy helps in understanding the site architecture. Therefore, it is important to arrange and classify the pages in such a way that they form a clear conceptual page hierarchy.
If you want to build up a comprehensive topic cluster, you cannot avoid proper keyword research. It is important that you choose business-relevant keywords and check the search intention.
A good choice of topic and content can set your website apart from the competition with a suitable SEO growth strategy and bring it to a different SERPs level.
6. Featured Snippets – So-called Position Zero “0”
Position zero is a good SEO strategy for any business. If you want to conquer this position, then you need to set up or use a keyword tracking tool. It is important to determine whether the business-relevant keyword is being shown as featured snippets in SERPs and whether the keyword potential is there.
If you have determined that the keyword is displayed as featured snippets in SERPs, then a competition check and content optimization is carried out.
Position zero polarizes the SEO world and is very controversial. There is mixed data and it is debatable whether featured snippets for a relevant keyword will increase or decrease the CRT. AWR’s study can help you analyze the organic CTR history and contribute to decision making accordingly.
7. Analyze the chosen SEO strategy
An SEO strategy is essential for every medium-sized company if it wants to achieve good SERPs positioning. Each strategy can be checked annually or quarterly in order to be able to better assess or adjust the important SEO growth potential. A monthly SEO analysis and SEO monitoring of important SEO KPIs makes it easier to control SEO measures.
The seven SEO Growth Steps are the most important building blocks of any good SEO strategy. Google Ads (SEA) can also be another component of a good SEO strategy, which requires communication between business partners, SEO and SEA.
The adjustment or analysis of an SEO strategy should help to achieve SEO goals more easily and to meet business figures.
The SEO KPIs are the main components of a good SEO growth strategy. They help with the search engine optimization of your website and with achieving a better ranking position for your business-relevant keywords.
From an SEO point of view, it is recommended that you carry out an “actual analysis” before optimizing and carefully set up your SEO strategy. Please don’t forget to conduct a competitor analysis and choose suitable topics for your clusters.
So you can see that the SEO Growth strategy has enormous potential to take your business to a more successful level!