KPIs for Local SEO: measuring SEO success

Written by: Jason Bayless | April 13, 2017

When it comes to local SEO, all search data is not created equally. The ability to accurately track, measure and report the effectiveness of your local SEO efforts is a critical part of your campaign. With a massive amount of search data available, it is important to identify which methods are delivering the results you need.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) serve as a control system for your local SEO efforts. They allow you to quickly identify which methods are successful and which are not. If you have clients or other stakeholders, KPIs provide you with a means to illustrate the effectiveness of your strategy. While there are a variety of tools available to track KPIs such as keyword rankings or similar metrics, the numbers that matter to your customers are those that reflect an increase in leads or sales.

This article will illustrate the most effective ways to use KPIs to measure and improve the success of your local SEO campaigns.

Know Your Objectives

The first step towards gauging the effectiveness of local SEO is to establish clearly defined objectives for your digital marketing campaign. These goals will be unique to your business and the type of product, service or solution it provides. For example, your objective may be to generate more quality leads, increase traffic to your websites or to get more appointments scheduled. One these have been established, you can begin developing KPIs that track how the various facets of your campaign are helping you meet or exceed those objectives.

Establishing SEO KPIs for Your Business

Now that you have established specific objectives, the next step is to select which indicators you will use to track your progress. This may include any combination of the following methods:

– Call tracking

– Website analytics

– Rankings

– Click activities

– Conversions

– Brand consistency in local citations

Get Specific

Once you have identified which KPIs you are going to focus on, you can begin using web analytics to measure activity and traffic volume of your local landing pages. Focus on numbers like click events and conversions to help you identify which parts of your pages are luring traffic. Break this data into categories like local, city, state and national pages. To take this data one step further, identify the source of the data (mobile, search or referrals).

Track and Review Your Findings

Make an effort to track and measure your business’ citations, rankings and reviews across each of the major search engine platforms. Check local results as well as organic third-party results such as FourSquare or Yelp. Analyze any online store referral traffic, coupon redemption (on- and off-line), social media traffic, loyalty program sign-ups and conversions originating from paid search campaigns.

Look at the Numbers

For a more quantitative method of analyzing the results of your local SEO campaign, consider measuring your KPIs by cost, quality, volume and value. This model helps you focus on which methods are presenting a real value to your business. Here is a breakdown of each of these categories:

– Cost: How much is each lead costing you? For example, if you identify a spike in traffic originating from a paid social media campaign, a cost analysis will help you identify the investment per lead.

– Quality: Analyze the activity of incoming traffic. Look at the bounce rate, how much time visitors spend on each page and which pages they are visiting. This can help you create more targeted content.

– Volume: How many unique visitors is your site getting? How many hits per visitor?

– Value: What is the monetary value of each lead, visit or conversion?

This is just one of the many models available to help you dissect your KPI data. Find the method that best suits your reporting requirements.

There is real value to measuring and tracking a set of key performance indicators. Not only does it help you boost your local SEO efforts, but it can also illustrate the value and effectiveness of your digital marketing campaign.