9 Technical SEO KPIs You Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2024
January 19, 2024
Summary: This blog post serves as a comprehensive guide, delving into each KPI’s significance, measurement methods, and impact on search engine rankings. It encourages digital marketers and SEO experts to monitor and optimize these metrics to boost their website’s performance and user engagement, ultimately improving their search engine visibility.
Technical SEO Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) serve as important benchmarks in assessing the health and efficiency of a website.
KPIs gauge the effectiveness of technical optimizations and their impact on search engine rankings.
Monitoring these SEO KPIs regularly is instrumental in optimizing website performance. It allows for identifying areas needing improvement, enhancing site usability, and ultimately contributing to better search engine visibility and user experience.
Why Measuring Technical SEO Matters
As we know, Technical SEO is responsible for how search engines crawl, index, and rank a website.
If a website has a well-optimized technical framework, it ensures better visibility in search results. And better visibility on search results leads to increased organic traffic. Moreover, Technical SEO also enhances user experience by enabling faster loading times, mobile-friendliness, and smooth navigation of a site.
But how do we check if these technical SEO activities are performing well?
Measuring specific SEO KPIs provides actionable insights into the effectiveness of technical SEO strategies. Metrics such as site speed, mobile responsiveness, crawlability, and indexability are crucial indicators that directly impact search engine rankings and user satisfaction.
Further, we will discuss 9 technical SEO KPIs that are extremely important to track for a successful website.
9 Essential SEO KPIs for Technical Optimization
1. Page Load Speed
We know what page load speed is. It is the time a web page takes to open its content. It’s a crucial SEO Key Performance Indicator (KPI) because it profoundly impacts user experience and influences a site’s search engine rankings. Users prefer quicker load times contributing to lower bounce rates and increased engagement. Even Google prioritizes faster loading of websites and helps elevate a site’s ranking.
How to measure page load speed?
There are various digital marketing tools available in the market that also calculate page speed loading.
Website owners can try Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, and Pingdom to assess page load speed. These platforms provide detailed insights into load times and offer suggestions for enhancing speed by identifying and resolving specific issues.
Here’s a screenshot of various web core vitals of a website.
Image source: PageSpeed Insights
Measuring page load speed is pivotal for SEO due to its direct impact on user satisfaction and search engine performance. Faster loading pages keep users engaged and improve a website’s chances of ranking higher in search results, making it a critical SEO KPI for successful SEO strategies.
2. Mobile Responsiveness
Responsive designs play a pivotal role in both SEO and user engagement, especially with the implementation of mobile-first indexing. How so? Read out the blog post on best practices of responsive web designs to understand its role in SEO.
When a website is mobile-friendly and has a responsive website layout, it significantly impacts site visibility in search results and enhances user interaction.
There are specific tools available to assess mobile-friendliness. The Google Mobile-Friendly Test and Mobile Usability Report in Google Search Console are valuable resources for evaluating and optimizing a website’s performance on mobile devices. These tools provide insights into areas needing improvement to enhance the user experience on mobile platforms.
3. Crawl Errors
Crawl errors are significant indicators of issues hindering search engines from properly indexing a website. Identifying and rectifying these errors is crucial to ensure that search engine crawlers can access and understand the content on the site accurately. Addressing crawl errors improves the chances of all website pages being properly indexed and included in search engine results.
Various tools aid in identifying crawl errors. Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, and SEMrush Site Audit are among the widely used tools that help webmasters detect and diagnose crawl errors.
In the screenshot added below, you’ll see a detailed insight into specific issues such as broken links, inaccessible pages, server errors, or problems with site structure that might impede search engine crawlers.
Source: SEMrush Audit
Measuring crawl errors as an SEO Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is essential for maintaining a website’s visibility in search engine results. By regularly monitoring and resolving these errors, website owners ensure that search engines can effectively crawl and index their site’s content, ultimately enhancing its discoverability.
Failure to address crawl errors can lead to pages being omitted from search results – a potential reason for SEO rankings drop.
4. Indexation Status
Ensuring that pages are indexed is important as they are included in the search engine’s database, making them eligible to appear in search results when relevant queries are made. This significantly impacts the potential for users to discover and access specific content on a website.
Monitoring indexation status can be done by tools like Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. These platforms offer insights into which pages of a website are indexed by the respective search engines. They help webmasters understand the indexing status, identify any pages not indexed, and address issues hindering indexation.
The measurement of indexation status as an SEO Key Performance Indicator (KPI) holds immense importance. Pages that are not indexed might as well not exist for search engines, which means they won’t appear in search results.
Monitoring this SEO KPI helps ensure that the content created is discoverable by users searching for relevant information, thereby maximizing the website’s visibility and reach. Failing to address issues related to indexation status can significantly limit a website’s ability to attract organic traffic and diminish its online presence. Regularly tracking this KPI aids in maintaining a healthy and visible online presence for the website.
5. Site Security (HTTPS)
Site security, especially the use of HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), is crucial for establishing trust among users and search engines. HTTPS encrypts data transferred between a user’s browser and the website, ensuring confidentiality and integrity. Secure sites are favored by search engines and often receive a ranking boost. They also enhance user confidence by displaying a padlock icon in the browser, signifying a secure connection.
There are tools available to verify and analyze a website’s SSL certificate and security configuration. SSL Checker and Google Chrome Developer Tools are commonly used to assess the implementation and functioning of HTTPS on a website.
Measuring site security, particularly the adoption of HTTPS, as an SEO Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is critical. Search engines prioritize secure websites, favoring them in rankings, which can impact a site’s visibility in search results.
6. Structured Data Markup
Structured Data Markup is a crucial SEO Key Performance Indicator (KPI) because it significantly impacts how search engines interpret and display content on their results pages.
For example, on a recipe page, once the structure data applied will show what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on!
Here’s why it’s important to measure:
- Search engines like Google, Bing, and others use structured data to comprehend the content of a webpage more effectively.
- When you incorporate structured data markup, you’re essentially providing a clear roadmap for search engine crawlers to understand the different elements of your content.
- This clarity improves the chances of your page being correctly indexed and displayed for relevant search queries.
Structured data helps in the generation of rich snippets by offering search engines more context about the content. These rich snippets can include star ratings, pricing information, event dates, recipe details, and more. Rich snippets increase the visibility of your content and can significantly improve click-through rates by making your listing more appealing and informative to users.
When users see rich snippets that offer additional information or visuals, they are more likely to click through to your website, knowing exactly what to expect. This can potentially increase user engagement and reduce bounce rates.
To measure the effectiveness of structured data markup, tools like Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and Schema.org’s Structured Data Markup Helper can be used.
These tools help verify if the structured data is correctly implemented and identify any errors or improvements needed to maximize its impact.
It is a fundamental aspect of SEO that involves defining the preferred version of a webpage when multiple URLs lead to similar or identical content.
But what makes it an important SEO KPI?
When search engines encounter multiple URLs with the same or highly similar content, they may get confused about which version to prioritize. This confusion can lead to a phenomenon called “duplicate content,” where search engines struggle to determine the most relevant page to display in search results.
Canonicalization helps resolve this issue by specifying the canonical URL (the preferred version) that search engines should index and display. By consolidating duplicate or similar content under a single canonical URL, you prevent dilution of ranking signals and avoid potential penalties for having duplicate content across your site.
Two tools are instrumental in identifying canonicalization issues across a website:
–Screaming Frog: This tool can crawl a website to uncover duplicate content issues, including instances where canonical tags might be missing or misconfigured. It helps in identifying pages with potential canonicalization problems, allowing for efficient resolution.
–Moz Pro’s Site Crawl: Moz’s tool provides insights into a website’s structure and identifies canonicalization issues. It helps webmasters understand how search engines might be interpreting different versions of the same content and provides recommendations to address these issues effectively.
8. XML Sitemap Health
An XML sitemap acts as a roadmap for search engine crawlers, providing information about the structure and organization of your website’s content. It lists URLs along with additional metadata like the last update, priority, and frequency of changes.
A healthy XML sitemap ensures that all important pages and content are included, allowing search engines to crawl and index your site more effectively. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of your content appearing in search engine results.
Keeping the XML sitemap updated is vital, especially when adding new pages, updating existing content, or removing outdated information from your website.
Tools like Google Search Console and the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress are instrumental in maintaining and monitoring XML sitemap health:
– Google Search Console: It provides insights into how Googlebot crawls and indexes your site. Within Search Console, you can submit and monitor your XML sitemap, check for errors or issues with URLs included in the sitemap, and see indexing statistics. It helps you identify any problems hindering efficient crawling and indexing of your site.
– Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress: This plugin offers a feature to generate XML sitemaps automatically for WordPress websites. It allows users to customize which content types, taxonomies, or post statuses should be included in the sitemap. The plugin also provides insights into the health of the sitemap and alerts users to potential issues that might affect indexing.
9. Robots.txt Health
A well-optimized Robots.txt file controls which parts of the site search engine bots can access and index, impacting a site’s visibility in search results.
When configured correctly, it ensures that valuable pages are crawled while preventing sensitive or irrelevant content from being indexed.
Image source: Rank Math SEO
For a clear understanding of the robot.txt and how to implement it on your website, watch the video.
This is a technical aspect that impacts a site’s overall search engine rankings and user visibility, as an inaccurately configured Robots.txt file might unintentionally block crucial pages from appearing in search results.
Therefore, monitoring and maintaining the health of Robots.txt as an SEO KPI is crucial to ensure that search engines can effectively crawl and index the intended content, thus maximizing a website’s visibility and accessibility to users.
Track and Analyze These SEO KPIs To Get a Competitive Edge
Understanding and using Technical SEO Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is crucial for making websites work better.
These metrics, like site speed and mobile-friendliness, help websites rank higher on search engines and make them more user-friendly.
Start paying attention to these technical details to make your website faster, more visible, and more appealing to people searching online. It’s not just about meeting rules; it’s about giving users a great experience while catching the eye of search engines.
For more information on SEO KPIs, leave us a comment below or contact us. We’d be happy to assist you.