We all know how impactful SEO can be in the SaaS industry.
You gain visibility, build credibility, and attract high-quality leads.
And once you understand how to choose the right metrics, you’re on your way to mastering the SaaS SEO game.
Let’s dig in!
This Article Contains
- What Are SaaS SEO Metrics & KPIs?
- Essential SaaS SEO KPIs and Metrics: A Focus on 4 Key Aspects
- How to Choose the Right SaaS Metrics in 6 Simple Steps
What Are SaaS SEO Metrics & KPIs?
SaaS marketing metrics like organic traffic, keyword rankings, and engagement rates reveal the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and the overall health of your SaaS website.
SaaS SEO KPIs work similarly but with a crucial distinction: they’re tied to specific business goals.
For instance, your SaaS conversion rate is a metric.
Setting a goal, like increasing blog CTA conversion rates by 20% in the upcoming quarter, turns it into a key performance indicator.
Essentially, all KPIs are metrics, but the reverse isn’t always true.
So, which SaaS SEO KPIs and metrics take the spotlight for SEO success?
Essential SaaS SEO KPIs and Metrics: A Focus on 3 Key Aspects
You might already be familiar with some metrics — click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, customer acquisition cost (CAC), etc.
But where does each one fit in?
Time to shed some light on that — let’s explore their relevance and relationship to four key areas of SEO.
1. Traffic and Engagement
Traffic refers to the number of visitors you’re attracting to your SaaS website — but it’s not just about attracting folks to your digital doorstep. It’s about keeping them interested.
The quality of user engagement can make or break SEO success.
A. Organic Traffic
Organic traffic is unpaid traffic from visitors finding your site naturally on search engine results pages (SERPs). Web traffic can come from various sources (direct, referral, email, etc.), but organic traffic is typically the biggest one.
Why is organic traffic important?
Per Ahrefs, a staggering 90.63% of pages across the internet get zero traffic. Yep, that’s a lot of cyberspace collecting virtual dust! On the flip side, BrightEdge tells us that organic traffic amounts to 53% of search engine traffic.
That may sound like a traffic goldmine, but you don’t have to be an SEO expert to know it’s easier said than done. That’s why many folks turn to Google Ads and paid traffic for quick wins.
But here’s the kicker:
Relying solely on paid search isn’t sustainable as a long-term SaaS SEO strategy.
As long as you pay for each click, you’ll bleed money while trying to make some.
Attracting leads without paying for their interest is crucial for long-term success.
Also, consider where your traffic comes from.
Are you getting visitors from the right places?
For a US-based SaaS business, visitors from Germany won’t help. Irrelevant traffic can lead to localization and legal headaches, especially if your services are region-specific, like in California, where data regulations (e.g., CCPA) differ from Virginia (e.g., VCDPA).
And don’t forget to watch the devices your traffic comes from!
Mobile rules the roost, generating an average of 58.37% of global website traffic in 2022 (Statista).
For comprehensive reports about SEO performance, user engagement, and conversions, use Google Analytics 4 (GA4) — the leading content marketing and SEO tool for tracking SEO KPIs like website traffic.
To compare organic search with other channels, navigate to Acquisition > Traffic Acquisition and scroll down.
Now, let’s briefly explain these metrics (we’ll cover average engagement time later):
- Users: Counts unique site visitors, providing insights into individual engagement.
- Sessions: Indicates user interactions over multiple visits, offering a bird’s-eye view of overall traffic flow.
- Engaged Sessions: Gives insights into overall user interaction. Any sessions that generate at least two pageviews, a conversion event, or last longer than 10 seconds count as engaged sessions.
- Engaged Sessions Per User: Provides a more granular view of website engagement per user.
These metrics enable diverse insights into organic search performance. For instance, focus on Sessions for an overall performance snapshot or Engaged Sessions Per User to optimize specific areas like user experience, content engagement, and conversion rates.
How often should you track organic traffic?
Google’s algorithm changes and shifts in user behavior can significantly impact organic traffic. To stay on top of it, regularly monitor organic traffic volume — at least weekly — to better identify any trends or unexpected fluctuations.
It’s also worth creating annual reports to compare year-over-year organic traffic growth via different metrics.
No matter which you choose (e.g., clicks, CTR, engaged sessions, etc.), compare this data against other channels, not just organic search performance. Then, you can tie your progress to a solid SEO KPI.
For instance, if other channels show higher engaged session growth than organic, you must improve your content or consider prioritizing those other channels for better outreach.
Per First Page Sage, SaaS companies should aim for a 41% growth in organic search traffic year-over-year.
B. Traffic Value
Traffic value refers to the estimated worth of the traffic your website generates. In simple terms, it tells you how much you’d have to shell out on ads to match the traffic you’re getting from particular keywords if your site didn’t pop up as an organic search result.
Why is traffic value important?
Traffic value is crucial for analyzing SEO ROI because it quantifies the financial value of organic search traffic. It gives you an idea of how much money you’re saving through successful organic SEO efforts compared to what you might have spent on paid advertising to achieve the same level of traffic.
However, before waving around this metric as definitive proof of your incredible SEO performance, remember it’s only an estimate.
How to track traffic value
Keyword research tools like Ahrefs estimate traffic value.
You can find it in your Site Overview:
How often should you track traffic value?
Once a month should be enough for most SaaS companies.
There aren’t universally accepted standard ranges for traffic value, as it can vary greatly depending on your industry, competition, and business goals.
It’s important to focus on how this SEO metric changes for your own website and content over time. You can compare traffic value for different keywords or pages to understand which areas of your SaaS SEO strategy are more effective at generating valuable traffic.
C. Bounce Rate
This SEO metric reflects the percentage of visitors who leave your website, or ‘bounce,’ after viewing only one page. It indicates that there are issues preventing them from taking any further actions, such as:
- Slow site speed
- Confusing navigation
- Spammy internal links
- Poorly written SEO content
Why is bounce rate important?
Your homepage is like the gateway to the rest of your site — product features, contact us, pricing pages, and so on.
If users only stop by your homepage before leaving, that’s a red flag. 🚩
They’re not taking in all of what you have to offer!
However, a high bounce rate isn’t always an accurate indicator of disinterest.
Websites and apps are getting increasingly complex, allowing users to complete more tasks on one page. So, in this case, what gets flagged as ‘bouncing’ may be inaccurate as it doesn’t account for single-page engagement.
For example, Zendesk’s homepage lets you start a free trial immediately.
For this reason, GA4 has shifted away from bounce rate to metrics like engagement rate, average engagement time, and screen views per session. Still, it’s worth tracking SEO KPIs like this, especially once you have additional context from GA4’s user-oriented metrics.
How to track bounce rate
You can track bounce rates in Google Analytics 4, provided you’re willing to do some customizing.
But if you’d prefer to calculate it manually, the formula is:
Bounce rate = Total no. of single–page visits / Total no. of visits * 100
Let’s say the total number of single-page visits to your website’s homepage is 2,000 within a month. If 400 visitors leave without moving to another page or taking any further action, your bounce rate will be:
Bounce rate = 400 / 2,000 * 100 = 20%
How often should you track bounce rate?
Track bounce rates regularly — weekly or monthly — especially if your SaaS website experiences high traffic and frequent SEO content updates. Regular monitoring helps you spot trends and issues early.
D. Pages Per Visit (PPV)
Pages per visit (AKA pages per session) measures the average number of pages users interact with.
Why is pages per visit important?
PPV shows whether users explore many different pages in a session and your audience’s interest in your content. However, like bounce rate, PPV lacks some crucial context, like what pages they’re visiting or for how long.
To get a complete picture of user engagement, you’ll need to complement PPV with other SaaS metrics and qualitative data, such as average engagement time, click-through rates, heatmaps, and click tracking, to understand the depth of user engagement.
How to track pages per visit
Again, you’ll have to set up custom dimensions to track pages per visit in Google Analytics 4.
To calculate it manually, the formula is:
PPV = Total no. of pageviews / Total no. of visits
Let’s say your website gets 600 visits in a month, and the total number of page views is 1,200. Then, your PPV would be:
PPV = 1,200 / 600=2
How often should you track pages per visit?
For websites with low or moderate traffic, track PPV at least weekly. If you’re getting a lot of traffic, running new ad campaigns, or launching new features, it’s a good idea to monitor PPV daily.
Per Little Data, the average PPV was 2.6 in 2022.
A PPV higher than 4.0 is typically a sign of SEO success.
Keep in mind that the smaller your site is, the lower this figure will be, so it’s not always an accurate measure of performance. Like bounce rate, users may not navigate multiple pages if they find everything they need on one page.
E. Average Engagement Time
This metric is the average time users spend interacting with your site or app.
Why is average engagement time important?
While longer sessions are nearly always a good sign, average engagement time goes a step beyond mere time-tracking.
It encompasses both active engagement, where users watch videos, read a blog post, or simply browse, and passive engagement, like when users have your website open in a background tab.
Such comprehensive data helps you prioritize the most promising opportunities for sign-ups and conversions.
How to track average engagement time
In Google Analytics 4, navigate to Engagement > Pages and screens and scroll down to find the average engagement times for different web pages.
Note: You can look at GA4’s Traffic Acquisition report for the average engagement time per session.
How often should you track average engagement time?
Tracking SEO KPIs like average engagement time weekly or monthly is usually sufficient unless you’re running a real-time engagement-dependent service where daily tracking may be necessary.
There isn’t much available data on a good benchmark for this metric. However, Noble Intent Studio found an average of 48 seconds for websites from their clients.
F. Share of Voice (SoV)
Share of voice relates to website traffic and how much of it your site captures compared to competitors.
Why is share of voice important?
Share of voice is a truly timeless metric, predating SaaS or SEO. In the pre-digital era, share of voice was a traditional advertising (e.g., television, print, and radio) measure of a brand or company’s reach and presence.
It has since evolved to include digital channels like the internet and social media, making it a relevant metric in today’s SEO and SaaS marketing landscape.
By tracking SOV for PPC, social media, every blog post, and media coverage, you can analyze your SaaS business from multiple angles and better understand your overall market presence.
How to track share of voice
As you can measure SoV for different areas, various methods and tools exist to calculate it. You could use an SEO tool like Ahrefs to measure SoV for organic search, although we recommend using Accuranker.
To assess the performance of important keywords, a rank-tracking tool like Accuranker can help.
On Accuranker’s overview page, you’ll see ‘Share of Voice’ at the top.
Underneath, you’ll see a graph that displays historical SoV data. Simply adjust the sliders beneath the graph to examine a particular time period and see if any keywords are gaining or losing reach.
How often should you track share of voice?
Monthly or quarterly reviews are usually sufficient.
SoV ranges are not standardized and depend on factors like industry, competition, and campaign goals. Conduct keyword research, consider industry benchmarks, and align SoV goals with your specific market presence and budget to determine acceptable ranges.
2. Visibility and Rankings
Your SaaS product shouldn’t just exist — it has to stand out online.
By using link building, on-page, off-page, and technical SEO tactics, you signal to Google what your SaaS website is about and why it deserves a high rank. Driving organic traffic and user trust is crucial for sustained SaaS growth and SEO success.
A. Keyword Rankings
This SEO metric refers to the positions of content pieces in the SERPs for a related search query or target keywords.
While average position, which we cover below, provides a more general overview of SEO performance, keyword rank provides more granular insight into the positions of individual keywords and SEO content pieces.
For example, here are the top 3 ranking pages for the keyword “project management.”
Why are keyword rankings important?
Keyword rankings are a vital metric in SEO because they offer a direct insight into your website’s visibility and performance in search engines.
SEO success encompasses various factors, like maintaining consistent, high-quality organic traffic. But snagging the #1 SERP spot is undeniably important — especially in the fiercely competitive online SaaS landscape.
It highlights that you’re offering valuable content that aligns with user search intent, increasing your authority and reach.
Consider these key ranking statistics from a 2022 study by Backlinko:
- Top-ranking results get 27.6% of all clicks
- Top three results get 54.4% of all clicks
- Second-page results only get 0.63% of all clicks
Landing a spot in the top three is extremely beneficial.
And the competition’s only heating up.
Well, Google’s rolling out the red carpet for AI-powered answers, set to take the stage above regular search results.
This squeeze on first-page real estate means one thing:
Ranking below #5? Not gonna cut it anymore.
How to track keyword rankings
You can use Accuranker, Ahrefs, or Google Analytics if you connect it to Google Search Console.
In Accuranker, navigate to Domains > Keywords. Under the ‘Rank’ column, you’ll see all your ranking keywords, which you can filter by date or gains/declines.
Pay attention to the green upward arrows — they indicate how much a rank has increased in a given time period. In contrast, red arrows reveal declines.
But what’s the orange newspaper about?
This icon is next to any pages that are ‘above the fold’ — more on that later.
How often should you track keyword rankings?
Rankings can fluctuate frequently due to various factors, so tracking keywords weekly or bi-weekly is good practice to identify trends and opportunities for optimization.
While there’s no set standard for how many top-ranking results you should have, it’s a good idea to set goals for individual keywords. For example, if you’re ranking at #8 for “best CRM software,” you can use that as a benchmark for improvement.
B. Average Rank
This metric shows the average position of your website’s pages for specific keywords. For example, if your average rank is 3.5, it means that, on average, your pages typically appear somewhere between the third or fourth search position for that keyword.
Why is average rank important?
Average position in search engine results is a critical metric for SEO efforts. It provides a snapshot of where your website’s pages typically rank in search engine results for specific keywords.
You can gauge your visibility, click-through rates, and overall SEO performance, guiding efforts to improve rankings and drive more organic traffic.
How to track average rank
You can track the average position of web pages in Google Search Console or Accuranker. For now, let’s focus on Accuranker.
Like ‘Share of Voice’ and ‘Traffic Value’, you’ll find ‘Average Rank’ at the top of Accuranker’s overview page.
Below, you’ll see a graph that displays historical ranking data. Adjust the sliders underneath to examine a particular period and see if any keywords are gaining or losing ranks.
How often should you track average rank?
For most websites, it’s good practice to monitor this metric regularly, ideally daily or weekly, to assess the impact of your overall SEO strategy and make necessary adjustments.
It should go without saying, but it’s vital to rank in the top three positions for your target keywords, as these spots tend to receive the highest click-through rates and traffic.
C. Clicks and Impressions
Impressions reflect how often your website appears for specific queries on a search result page.
Clicks measure the instances when users actually click your website’s link after seeing it.
Why are clicks and impressions important?
The benefits of clicks are twofold.
Pages with higher clicks present opportunities to capitalize on and replicate this success. Your worst-performing pages, on the other hand, help you spot areas for improvement.
So what about impressions? Are they just a vanity metric?
Well, high clicks are certainly more valuable than high impressions.
After all, it’s a more direct reflection of user engagement and who might be a potential customer.
That said, it’s important not to overlook impressions!
For example, tracking SEO KPIs like impressions is important for newer sites as it’s usually a precursor to clicks. If your impressions steadily increase, the clicks should be on the way soon!
Additionally, if a blog post garners tons of impressions but fewer clicks, that’s still noteworthy. It indicates the page or keyword’s potential to gain more visibility. Try tweaking the headline or meta description to bring about more clicks.
How to track clicks and impressions
You can track clicks and impressions in Google Search Console.
How often should you track clicks and impressions?
Ideally, you should check in on these marketing metrics daily, but you’ll only need to flag any sudden or alarming dips.
Otherwise, create reports on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to monitor your data over time, compare it to your past performance, and identify growth or decline.
There’s no universal standard for clicks and impressions. Focusing on the trends and patterns specific to your own SaaS website is more important. Additionally, pay attention to competitors in your field to benchmark your performance against theirs.
D. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
CTR reflects the percentage of users who click on links to your website out of the total number of impressions. In other words, you’re observing how many users saw your website in search results, emails, or another source and decided to visit it.
Why is click-through rate important?
CTR shows quantitative proof of how well your SEO content tactics entice users to take action and click through to your website.
It’s an important content marketing metric you can apply to multiple website traffic sources, such as:
- PPC ads
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Organic search
Once you have enough data, you can assess how convincing your copy is, whether it needs improving, or whether you need to reconsider who you’re targeting.
How to track click-through rate
There are tools to help you track CTR from specific channels. For example, you can use tools like HubSpot or Mailchimp for email content marketing. For paid search, Google Ads is your best bet.
But to assess the CTR from Search Console data, you’ll want to use this formula:
CTR = Clicks / Impressions * 100
For example, if an article gets 50 clicks and 200 impressions, the CTR would be:
CTR = 6 clicks / 200 impressions * 100 = 3%
How often should you track click-through rate?
It’s a good idea to track CTR regularly, such as weekly or monthly, to gauge the success of your content marketing efforts.
A good CTR is relative to what channels you’re concentrating on.
For now, let’s look at PPC and organic search:
- Per Wordstream’s 2022 report, the average CTR is 6-7% for paid search.
- Per Databox, the average CTR across all industries is 1.99% for organic search.
E. Above the Fold
If your website appears on SERPs without scrolling, it’s ‘above the fold’.
This metric reflects your site’s search result visibility.
This concept differs from its web design counterpart, where the aim is to place key content at the top for immediate user visibility. In the context of SERPs, it serves as a measure of your SEO efforts.
Why is above the fold important?
It provides a quick and visual way to gauge the visibility of your web pages in top positions on search engines.
When your content is displayed prominently without the need for scrolling, it indicates that your web page is likely ranking well for specific keywords or search queries.
This visibility can be crucial for capturing user attention and driving traffic to your site, as users often focus on the web results they see immediately.
Therefore, achieving ‘above the fold’ positions, especially for high-value keywords, can significantly impact your website’s click-through rates and overall visibility.
How to track above the fold
Besides the orange newspaper icons we mentioned earlier, you can see how many keywords are ‘Above the Fold’ at the top of Accuranker’s overview page.
How often should you track above the fold?
There are no benchmarks for what number of articles should be ‘above the fold’. What matters most is how many articles rank in the top three positions, as higher-ranking results are more likely to appear above the fold and receive more clicks from users.
Backlinks are links from one website or page to another. You can monitor the number and quality of external websites pointing to your SaaS website.
Why are backlinks important?
Backlinks are great for link building as they can significantly boost your website’s visibility and garner traffic.
Now, you might be thinking: “The more backlinks, the better, right?”
Here’s the deal:
Successful link building hinges on securing links from authoritative domains. Think of sites widely recognized for their credibility and trustworthiness, like the New York Times, the BBC, and Harvard University.
Just one high-quality backlink outweighs hundreds from lower-quality sites.
Not every backlink needs to come from a giant in the SaaS industry to bring you decent traffic. However, it’s essential to avoid generating backlinks from irrelevant or spammy websites, as they can potentially harm your rankings.
How to track backlinks
You can use Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Google Search Console to keep tabs on your backlink count.
When evaluating backlink quality, rely on your common sense.
Consider the site’s track record, reputation, and relevance to your industry.
If you stumble upon a backlink from an unfamiliar domain, make like Sherlock and do a little investigating. 🕵️
Are they low-quality or up-and-coming in your industry?
If you’re uncertain, Ahrefs offers a handy Domain Rating feature to evaluate the worthiness of linking domains. It’s best to remove any backlinks from non-reputable sites.
For example, here are some of Zapier’s backlinks:
How often should you track backlinks?
Monitor your backlinks monthly or quarterly. You can do so weekly to assess the impact of any recent link building efforts or unexpected traffic growth.
Regarding backlink quantity, per First Page Sage, a B2B SaaS website needs 309 backlinks to rank on page 1. To rank in the top 3, you’ll need 824 backlinks.
If that seems daunting, don’t worry.
Contrary to conventional SEO wisdom, achieving a high ranking doesn’t always demand a mountain of backlinks. We’ve accomplished it numerous times — the key is good keyword research and delivering quality content that aligns with search intent.
3. Conversions and Lead Generation
Lead generation and conversions are the dynamic duo for transforming a visitor into a customer.
Lead generation is the strategic process of capturing and nurturing prospects. Conversions are desirable actions that demonstrate user interest and can even drive direct revenue, fueling software adoption and SaaS growth.
A. Conversion Rate
Your conversion rate isn’t just a financial metric. It represents the percentage of users who complete desired actions, which can be any of the following:
- Form submissions
- Clicks on specific elements
- And more
Why is conversion rate important?
The conversion rate gives you insight into how many users are completing actions that drive your business, helping you gauge your site or app’s successes (or failures).
Even actions that don’t directly contribute to revenue, like submitting a contact form, are still vital. Getting users to willingly provide information such as contact details, preferences, or feedback indicates user interest in your SaaS product or services.
You can leverage this user data for conversion rate optimization (CRO). In a nutshell, CRO is a strategic process of analyzing user behavior, running tests, and making data-driven improvements to increase the chances of conversions.
How to track conversion rate
You can track actions you consider valuable by setting up custom events and marking them as conversions in GA4. Some of the kinds of events you can set up are for users submitting contact information or making a purchase:
You can also add the conversions metric to your user traffic reports in GA4 if you’d like.
If you want to follow the manual approach, the formula is:
Conversion rate = Number of conversions / Total no. of users * 100
For instance, if your SaaS website generates 40 free trial sign-ups and 2,000 visitors within a month, your conversion rate would be:
Conversion rate = 40 / 2,000 * 100 = 2%
How often should you track conversion rate?
The frequency at which you measure conversion rates ranges from daily, weekly, or monthly. It depends entirely on the length of your sales cycle and the volume of conversions.
SaaS conversion rates vary across industries, traffic sources, and business models.
For simplicity, let’s look at average organic conversion rates for different SaaS business models:
- Visitor to free trial: 8.5%
- Free trial to paid: 18.2%
- Visitor to freemium: 13.3%
- Freemium to paid: 2.6%
Note: These averages may not reflect your unique circumstances. It’s best to calculate and compare your own conversion rates over time for a more accurate assessment.
B. Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)
ARPU tells you how much moolah each customer brings in on average, guiding decisions on customer acquisition and retention strategies.
Why is ARPU important?
ARPU is a big deal for SaaS companies because it helps with pricing, growth, and spotting customer troubles early on.
Investors also love it, as it’s a yardstick for how a SaaS company stacks up against the competition. In short, ARPU keeps your SaaS business healthy and investors happy. 💰
It’s a valuable tool for determining if your SEO efforts attract the right leads and generate a good SEO ROI. For instance, if you observe a notable increase in ARPU after an SEO campaign, it’s a clear sign that you’re effectively targeting the desired demographic.
How to track ARPU
The formula is:
ARPU = Total revenue in a month / Total subscribers in a month
Let’s say your total revenue is $40,000 in a month. If you have a total of 200 subscribers within that time frame, your ARPU would be:
ARPU = $40,000 / 200 = $200
How often should you track ARPU?
You can calculate it per month or year, depending on whether you offer monthly or annual contracts.
Because ARPU is a specific, fixed amount of revenue per user, you can’t measure it as a percentage or rate. Therefore, there’s no universal ARPU benchmark. Figures vary drastically depending on the pricing model and sector of each SaaS company.
C. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
CAC reveals the marketing and sales costs of gaining a new customer.
Why is CAC important?
CAC is useful for SaaS marketing efforts as you can determine the most cost-effective customer acquisition channels and allocate resources accordingly.
This SaaS metric is better suited to SaaS companies with a solid product and an idea of their ideal customers. While customer acquisition cost isn’t directly related to SEO, the efficiency of your SaaS marketing efforts in acquiring users can indirectly impact your SEO ROI.
How to track CAC
The formula is:
CAC = Sales and marketing costs / New customers
Using the example above, let’s say you have 200 customers in a month. If you spend $10,000 in marketing and sales within that time frame, your CAC calculation is:
CAC = $10,000 / 200 = $50 per customer
How often should you track CAC?
Typically, companies track CAC monthly or quarterly to assess customer acquisition efficiency.
The average CAC for SaaS sectors varies across industries, for example:
- Cybersecurity: $174
- Fintech: $202
- Education: $264
- Medtech: $320
- Cleantech: $674
4. Technical SEO
Think of technical SEO as the backstage crew that makes your SaaS show run smoothly. It’s all about optimizing your website’s inner workings for speedy loading, error-free operation, and reducing your crawl budget. This process is known as an SEO audit.
Crawl budget (the number of pages Googlebot crawls within a given time frame) is an essential aspect of technical SEO as it determines how efficiently search engines index your site’s content.
Given Google’s extensive crawling and indexing workload, a little behind-the-scenes wizardry is necessary to ensure Google smoothly crawls your site.
A. Page Speed
Page speed measures how quickly one of your web pages loads and displays its content to users.
Why is page speed important?
With page speed, every second counts.
Nowadays, users want to absorb information at a glance — hence features like Google’s featured snippets. As such, they expect websites to load swiftly. Slow-loading pages can lead to frustration, increased bounce rates, and decreased user engagement.
Additionally, in an era where mobile browsing is prevalent, faster page speeds are essential for catering to mobile users with limited bandwidth or less powerful devices.
Per Portent, a page that takes 1 second to load has a conversion rate three times higher than a site that takes 5 seconds to load. And if a page takes that long to load, bounce rates tend to increase by 90%, according to ThinkWithGoogle.
For these reasons, faster-loading pages rank higher, leading to increased organic traffic and better overall website performance.
How to track page speed
On Google PageSpeed Insights, simply enter the URL of the page you want to assess, click Analyze, and select either mobile or desktop devices. Scroll down and wait for the SEO tool to analyze your page.
You’ll receive an overall estimate of the page’s speed, ranging from a score of 0 to 100, and optimization suggestions.
How often should you track page speed?
Regularly, at least monthly, to ensure consistent performance. It’s a good idea to compare page speed with marketing metrics like bounce rate, average engagement time, and conversion rate to assess the impact of page speed on user engagement and site performance.
A page should load in 2-3 seconds or less.
For your Page Insights score, aim for 100 or at least 90. Scores below 90 indicate the need for improvement.
B. Core Web Vitals
While page speed is a broader metric that measures how fast a web page loads, Core Web Vitals are a set of specific factors Google uses to measure loading performance, user experience, interactivity, and visual stability of a web page. They include:
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability by quantifying unexpected layout shifts during page loading.
- First Input Delay (FID): Evaluates the responsiveness of a web page by measuring the time it takes for a user’s first interaction (like clicking a button) to process.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Assesses perceived loading speed by measuring how quickly the largest content element on a page becomes visible.
Note: Starting March 2024, Google will use Interaction to Next Paint (INP) instead of FID.
Why are Core Web Vitals important?
Core Web Vitals gauge real user experience in loading, interactivity, and visual stability — and as a confirmed ranking factor, it’s clearly important to get them right.
However, they don’t supersede search intent, links, or content.
Google stresses that it’s paramount to deliver excellence across the board, so prioritize strong Core Web Vitals during your SEO audit alongside other page experience elements.
How to track Core Web Vitals
Like page speed, you can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to track this:
How often should you track Core Web Vitals?
Regularly, at least once a month, as they can change over time.
Google provides specific thresholds for Core Web Vitals, such as:
- CLS: Less than 0.1.
- FID: Less than 100 milliseconds.
- LCP: Less than 2.5 seconds.
As a rule of thumb, the lower their scores, the better.
C. Site Errors
Site errors refer to issues or problems, like an inaccessible (403) or non-existent (404) URL, that affect the functionality, accessibility, or security of a website.
Why are site errors important?
Site errors can harm user experience, SEO rankings, and site security. While some errors are intentional, like removing a page from search results with a 404 error, having too many 4xx errors can waste Google’s crawling resources.
Imagine the crawling process like Googlebots navigating a maze — 4xx errors represent dead ends, and having a lot of them wastes Google’s time and eats up your crawl budget.
It’s essential to investigate and address these errors promptly. Redirect sparingly, as it also consumes crawl budget.
How to track site errors
Google Search Console’s Coverage report provides a comprehensive overview of site errors. Search Console can help you understand a broad range of errors that can occur and how to address them.
How often should you track site errors?
Larger sites are likelier to have broken links, meaning a weekly assessment may be necessary. For smaller sites, check at least monthly.
What are acceptable ranges?
Ideally, there should be zero critical site errors. Promptly address non-critical errors.
Now, you can monitor many more SaaS marketing metrics — customer lifetime value, churn rate, customer churn, monthly recurring revenue, etc. However, tracking too many can get confusing and complicated, so we handpicked the ones most relevant to an SEO audit or report.
So, how do you decide which ones are right for your SaaS company?
How to Choose the Right SaaS Metrics in 6 Simple Steps
To further refine your SEO strategy, follow these steps:
1. Establish Your Business Goals & Growth Stage
To decide which metrics to track, start by aligning them with your business goals.
Are you aiming to boost revenue, enhance user engagement, or acquire more customers?
While it’s possible to focus on multiple objectives, having a central, unifying goal can provide a clear direction.
Consider your company’s growth stage as well.
Newer businesses often prioritize customer acquisition, while more established ones may shift their focus to customer retention and customer churn.
Tailoring your metrics to your specific goals and SaaS growth stage is key to an effective SEO strategy.
2. Track Metrics in the Right Order
When it comes to tracking SEO KPIs and metrics, timing is key.
Achieving a page 1 search result for target keywords won’t happen immediately, so you shouldn’t start focusing on ranking or traffic metrics from the jump.
Instead, align your SEO efforts with your SaaS growth stage and follow a progressive approach. For example:
- In the initial weeks, especially after publishing your first articles or pages, concentrate on gaining impressions rather than clicks. This early stage is all about building visibility.
- After 30-45 days, you’ll notice the fruits of your SEO effort in the form of increased clicks and organic traffic, indicating your content is resonating with your target audience.
- Around the 90-day mark, you should observe your pages climbing the ranks and securing positions on the coveted first page of search results for target keywords. This milestone signifies that your SEO strategies are taking hold.
- As you approach the 4-6 month mark, the emphasis should shift to conversions. At this stage, your SEO effort should be driving meaningful actions from your visitors, whether it’s signing up for a trial, downloading a resource, or making a purchase.
By aligning each SEO metric with your SaaS growth timeline, you can systematically measure progress, adjust your approach, and ensure that each SaaS KPI serves a purpose in your SEO strategy.
3. Identify Your KPIs
Choose any SEO KPI that aligns with your SEO strategy, business goals, and a SMART goal-setting framework: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
For example, what NOT to do would be:
Conversion rate KPI: boost conversion rate
Organic traffic KPI: Hit 1000 visitors
Keyword ranking KPI: Get to position 3
What you should do is:
- Conversion rate KPI: Increase the overall conversion rate by 15% over the next quarter.
- Organic traffic KPI: Achieve a month-over-month organic traffic growth rate of 20% for the current fiscal year.
- Keyword rankings KPI: Ensure that at least 50% of the target keywords rank within the top 10 search results by the end of the next SEO optimization cycle.
4. Set Benchmarks for Your SaaS Metrics
Establishing reasonable benchmarks from the get-go can be difficult, especially if you’re new to SaaS without a backlog of data to rely on.
But there’s no point in selecting arbitrary numbers.
If you’re stuck, search for industry benchmarks in your area to get an idea.
5. Use the Right Tools
Let’s look at what each major SEO tool is best suited for:
- Accuranker: Ideal for tracking page and keyword rankings.
- Google Analytics: Great for understanding website traffic patterns and user behavior.
- Google Search Console: Provides insights into clicks and indexing.
- Ahrefs: Known for comprehensive traffic and SEO analysis, including backlinks and competitor research.
- Segment: A versatile tool for data collection, analysis, and audience segmentation.
- Semrush: Excellent for in-depth keyword research and competitive analysis in the SEO space.
6. Use SaaS SEO Data to Guide Your Decision-Making Process
Once you collect a nice amount of data, you can leverage it to improve visibility, reach, and engagement for your SaaS product.
This process won’t happen overnight — persistence is key.
Continually monitor metrics over time. Eventually, you’ll have enough historical data to analyze trends, make data-driven decisions, and optimize your SEO strategy.
Unlock Key Insights With Vital Metrics for SaaS SEO Success
SaaS SEO KPIs and metrics are critical data points for assessing the impact of your SEO effort on online visibility, user engagement, and conversion potential.
They provide valuable insights into how Google and users alike perceive your website, steering your SaaS SEO strategy toward a more data-driven course! 🚀
But navigating the SEO world alone can be challenging.
That’s where we come in.
If you need a hand turbocharging your content marketing, traffic, and conversions, Startup Voyager is an SEO agency that has your back!