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Top Search Engine Optimization Metrics Defined

  • April 17, 2017
  • SEO

While it can be difficult to keep up with every algorithm change Google rolls out, there are still some metrics that you can keep an eye on to monitor the SEO progress of your site. Here are some of the top SEO metrics to help gauge the health of your site’s SEO:


A backlink is an incoming link from other domains or websites that are pointing towards your site. Because backlinks can be considered high or low quality, a greater quantity of backlinks doesn’t necessarily mean better SEO. It’s best to have fewer high-quality backlinks than hundreds of low-quality backlinks. The quality of a backlink will depend on how the referring site ranks for the other SEO metrics and factors.

Bounce Rate

The Bounce Rate is an engagement metric which refers to the percentage of users who visited a page on your site and then left without clicking on any links. For example, these users will often leave your site by using a browser’s ‘back’ button.

Citation Flow

Citation Flow is a metric by Majestic SEO, which helps to measure the strength and “equity” that a website or link carries, using a score of 0-100. Citation Flow works in conjunction with Trust Flow to make up the Flow Metrics algorithm.

Crawl Errors

Crawl Errors refers to the ease of your site being “read” by Google. A site with many broken links and missing pages can result in crawl errors. These errors are easily trackable and Google’s Webmaster Tools will easily show you what needs to fix these.

Direct Traffic

Direct Traffic shows how many people visit your site directly without a backlink or search engine referral. These users will have landed on your site by typing in your site’s URL or using a personal browser bookmark.

Domain Authority (DA)

Domain Authority is a site ranking term coined by Moz, which ranks the “authority” of sites on a scale of 0-100. Domain Authority is essentially the same as Majestic’s “Trust Flow” metric.

Keyword Rankings

Keyword Rankings refer to how well your site is ranking in search engines for the various keywords that your website is targeting. Although, a very small part of a good SEO strategy, monitoring keyword rankings will help determine if a business is choosing the right keywords and if they are growing over time.

Organic Traffic

Organic Traffic is the number of visitors that a site is getting from search results. Organic is in some ways one of the “purest” metrics and is an important way to measure growth and compare a site to competing sites. (See our article on organic traffic vs PPC ads).

Page Speed

Page Speed is the length of time a specific page takes to load. Google has confirmed in the past that page loading speed is an important metric they use to determine how a website should rank in search results.

Pages Per Visit

In contrast to the Bounce Rate, Pages Per Visit refers to the number of pages that a user visits on your website before leaving. This is an important engagement metric, that shows how visitors are responding to the content on your site.

Returning Visitors

The Returning Visitors metric is an important way to determine the “stickiness” of your site and refers to visitors who have come back to your site after a previous visit. Monitoring this will give insight into the engagement and retention qualities of your site.

Trust Flow

Another metric by Majestic, Trust Flow is a ranking of 0-100 which determines the trust and power of a given site. Trust Flow is essentially synonymous with Domain Authority, a similar metric by Moz.

While there are other metrics and words that you will become familiar with as you learn more about SEO, the above terms are some of the most important. Using the above metrics will give you the best chance possible of monitoring your site’s local SEO and doing all in your power to please the search engine’s many standards.


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