6 SEO KPIs Every Search Marketer Should Know

Since I was first introduced to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I’ve had to use it in every role from editorial writing jobs to marketing blogs.

While SEO was never my only focus, I had to learn how to measure the success of my efforts.

As a marketer, it’s important to look at Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to show how you are doing.

Let’s take a look at the SEO KPIs that you should measure to track success below.


  1. Organic traffic.
  2. MRR-based metric.
  3. Cost per click (CPC).
  4. Click Rate (CTR).
  5. Cost per Acquisition (CPA).
  6. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Organic Search KPIs

1. Organic traffic.

Organic traffic is one of the most important metrics for SEO. Note, however, that this shouldn’t be the only metric you’re tracking. You track this in combination with other KPIs.

Aja Frost, the director of SEO content at HubSpot, says, “Any metric – on its own – can be misleading. For example, the HubSpot SEO team was obsessed with organic traffic. And it seemed like our focus was paying off : Monthly organic sessions skyrocketed. However, we had lost sight of the quality of these users … and leads and signups weren’t following the sessions. “

While you want to know what your organic traffic is doing and how it’s doing, it’s important to additionally use the other SEO KPIs on this list.

2. MRR-based metric.

In conjunction with your organic traffic, you should measure a metric based on monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

What does that mean?

According to Frost, “I recommend that SEO teams combine organic traffic with one or two MRR-based metrics (if possible). You can find out which MRR-based metrics are right by checking with the leadership and / or the other teams speak) You support. Which numbers are you interested in? How does organic traffic flow into these numbers? “

Some examples are:

  1. Organic search
  2. Demo requests


  1. Organic search
  2. purchases


  1. Organic search
  2. Percentage of chats that are converted into customers

For HubSpot, in addition to organic traffic, we also track content leads and user registrations.

Frost says, “If all three metrics are trending in the right direction, we know we’re generating the right kind of traffic.”

Paid search KPIs

3. Cost-per-click (CPC).

Cost-per-click (CPC) is the amount you pay for each click on your ad. You set your CPC at the maximum price you’re willing to pay per click of your ad. What you actually pay is determined by the following formula: (Competitor’s Ad Rank / Your Quality Score) + 0.01 = Actual CPC.

Victor Pan, Chief Marketer and Technical SEO at HubSpot, says, “When you’re just starting out with growing organic traffic and you don’t have the full picture of ROI, Average Cost-Per-Click is a great KPI to use as a temporary replacement For example, if there are an average of 2,400 searches on X / year and the average CPC is $ 20, then you can predict the advertising value that will be achieved by collecting 5% 10% or 20 % of that traffic in a year is $ 120, $ 240, or $ 480 per year. “

He adds, “Average CPC is a KPI that can also be used to capture gaps in content strategy. There are many high-intent keywords that will result in ROAS (return on ad spend) in pay-per-use. Click ads are golden opportunities to consider longer term organic search tactics as part of your overall content marketing strategy and become a trusted authority on a particular topic. “

Laura Mittelmann, Marketing Manager on the Paid Acquisition team at HubSpot, says, “CPC tells me how much, on average, I pay for a click. This is important if you are bidding and working within a set budget and can and can help me too.” in deciding which keywords and match types to bid on. “

4. Click Rate (CTR).

CTR is how often people who see your ad actually click on it.

Mittelmann says, “There are many helpful Paid Search KPIs out there that depend on the goal of the campaign. The click-through rate helps me understand how effective and relevant my ad copy is and whether it matches the user’s intent to search for my keywords.”

5. Cost per Acquisition (CPA).

The cost per acquisition is a great metric that you can use to track how much you are spending on each acquisition.

Mittelmann notes: “CPA is usually the KPI I use to optimize the most every day. CPA takes into account other metrics and ultimately tells me how much I paid for a conversion.”

6. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Return on ad spend is a metric that measures the revenue generated relative to every dollar spent on an ad campaign. Let’s say you made $ 10 for every $ 1 you spent on an advertising campaign. That means your ROAS for this campaign is 10: 1.

Mittelmann says, “While there are many KPIs that can be tracked and used for paid search optimization, I measure the end-of-value campaign success by the return on ad spend. For me, it’s important to know that the value of the The conversions generated by the campaign outweigh the costs of the campaign. “

It is important to note that any individual metric can be misleading. It’s important to keep track of multiple SEO KPIs to really measure success. And if you need help, you can use HubSpot’s SEO tool.

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