How to Develop KPIs and Milestone Goals for SERP Rankings


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KPI Key Performance Indicator for Business Concept - Modern graphic interface showing symbols of job target evaluation and analytical numbers for marketing KPI management.

KPI Key Performance Indicator for Business Concept - Modern graphic interface showing symbols of job target evaluation and analytical numbers for marketing KPI management.

You know how important it is that your brand and products appear on the first page of search engine results. You have an SEO strategy and an arsenal of tools to optimize your website, and you already know how to develop KPIs for your efforts. But, whether you are paying a specialist to tweak your website and pages or doing it yourself, how will you know that you are getting meaningful results from your SEO time, effort, and financial investment?

Any expert will tell you that the key to achieving SEO targets, or any other performance target for that matter, is setting benchmarks and crafting a workable action plan that leads to ultimate objectives. SEO gets trickier by the day as every brand works hard to appear on top of the search engine results page for popular keywords. 

However, not all websites will appear on top at all times. If you are looking for ways to set meaningful KPIs and goals that meaningfully target factors that will impact their process, you have come to the right place.

When done right, search engine optimization is a delicate but precise science that should deliver predictable and measurable results. Suppose your business has a solid plan to dominate the search engine results page for a particular keyword. 

In that case, you can learn a lot by talking to the digital marketing experts at, even before you develop a marketing strategy. This guide will help you understand how to improve your SERPs rankings, the SEO methods you can use, and the timelines you can expect results.


What are The Most Important SERP Rankings KPIs?

Search Engine Results Page SERP is shown using the text

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are just that – performance indicators. In search engine results page rankings, KPIs are a way to measure the organic performance of your pages’ SEO. These are quantifiable performance data measured using a range of tools.

It is critical to set and monitor important KPIs to gain valuable insights that show the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. This will, in turn, help you understand what you are doing right and what needs further adjustment to work right.

Here are the ten most important KPIs you can use to measure the effectiveness of your page’s SEO.

1. Ranking Position

The best indicator of the performance of your SEO efforts is how highly your page ranks for your target keywords. A higher ranking in SERP indicates that your SEO strategy is working. While a rise in rankings from page 10 to page 1 is commendable progress, remember that the progress may not translate to higher traffic immediately.

Success in the SERP ranking position may take some time to translate to increased traffic and conversions.

2. Accurate Search Visibility

The accurate search visibility metric shows how often your domain appears in the search results for the keywords you are optimizing for. Typically, you should be able to track your domain’s visibility in SERPs long before your pages receive organic traffic.

This metric should be a key driver for all your website’s SEO activities and efforts.

3. Keyword Ranking

Keywords play a vital role in search engine optimization. Despite this, your target keywords should not be the be-all and end-all. Optimizing the right keywords is critical to targeting the right audience, hence driving traffic of quality leads to your website.

You should monitor keyword ranking performance regularly, preferably daily. A drop in keyword performance for your domain is harder to recover than to optimize it afresh. Also, remember that Google rewards your audience’s successful engagement with your domain.

4. Content Efficiency

Content efficiency refers to how valuable the content on the website for which you optimize a keyword is helpful to the target audience. This is an important metric because it also influences how search engines rate the usefulness or quality of the content on your site.

For the most efficient content, optimize the content on your site for all the stages of the customer’s journey, from discovery to advocacy.

5. Average Engagement Time

Average engagement time is one of the most notable metrics on the Google Analytics page. This indicator tracks a user’s engagement with a website, showing the average duration the user spends on a page.

This metric is invaluable in determining which pages the user spends the most time in, showing which content visitors find most useful. This metric is related to organic sessions and average session duration metrics.

6. New And Returning Users

Many KPIs focus on attracting new users and visitors, but few consider the importance of returning users. Separating new and returning users is critical to helping you develop a solid content strategy targeting the right audience. Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools are very useful for separating new and returning users.

7. Customer Lifetime Value

CLV measures the average earnings that each customer brings. In SEO, CLV can help your business identify which marketing strategies have the most significant financial impact. CLV is an exceptionally essential KPI when your search engine optimization processes are outsourced to a third-party such as a digital marketing agency.

8. Lead Conversion Rate

How to Develop KPIs - Convert Leads, Conversion Rate Optimization

Lead conversion rate is the percentage of organic visitors who purchase or take a specific action on the site. You can calculate the lead conversion rate by dividing the total conversions within a period by the number of organic visitors.

This is a critical KPI to use when analyzing the performance of marketing campaigns and the effectiveness of landing pages.

9. Bounce Rate

Not all visitors who land on your website find what they are looking for. The bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave the site immediately after they land on it. There is no ideal bounce rate, as many factors can make a visitor leave immediately.

However, the bounce rate should be at most 50% of organic traffic. When more than half the number of visitors leave immediately, it may be a sign that you optimize the page for the wrong keyword or that the landing page takes too long to load.

10. Crawl Errors

Search engines use crawler bots that hop from link to link to discover website pages. They also measure and index content on web pages and determine how valuable it is to the search engine and how relevant it is to what the user searches for.

Despite how important they are, crawlers are often taken for granted by amateur marketers. It pays to make it a habit to know what errors crawlers encounter when indexing your website as they impact your domain’s SERP ranking.


How to Develop KPIs Milestone Goals for SERP Rankings

GOALS Text with Target Symbol

Romain Berg has developed and refined a three-step SEO framework that you can use to set milestone goals for your SERP rankings. It covers: 

Step 1: Set The Right KPIs

Set the right KPIs to know where you need to be.

What does success look like to your brand in 3, 6, or 12 months? Once you know how to develop KPIs and milestone goals for your SERP rankings, what should you do next?

As a marketer, you should have a straight answer to these questions. Whether you want revenue growth, increased subscriptions, or customer retention, the answer should be quantifiable but achievable.

Most brands use revenue targets to determine which performance indicators they can use for their ranking assessments. This is a good starting point as they can work backward to determine how many visitors they need to get and what conversion rates to aim at to achieve their target.

With the right CRM and marketing automation platforms, it should not be too difficult to set the right targets and use the right KPIs to monitor progress. Here is a simplified goal-setting worksheet that you can copy and use as a guide to set the right performance targets for your pages and brand.

Step 2: Develop SEO Benchmarks

Develop SEO benchmarks to understand where you are now.

Always aim to rank highly in SERPs. Once you understand that SEO is an ongoing process of maintaining a first-page position on SERPs, it is easier to invest the effort to reach your target number of customers, opportunities, visitors, and leads.

Your marketing effort may have an ultimate sales, subscription, or downloads goal, but it all starts with a first-page ranking. Benchmarks are essentially KPIs that you aim to hit over time. For instance, your ranking position for specific keywords will change over time as competitors optimize their pages for the same keywords.

You will also discover, from your KPI reports, that search terms for the same products evolve over time, and so should your keywords. The key to outdoing the competition is staying on top of old and new trends and continually optimizing your pages for the first page of SERP for various keywords.

Step 3: Actionable SEO Rankings Plan

Work out an action plan covering how and when you will get there.

There are seven incremental elements that you will need to work on to achieve your SEO business objectives:

  1. Increase the volume of traffic to your website
  2. Increase the quality of traffic with time
  3. Increase the lead volume
  4. Increase the quality of leads
  5. Increase conversion rates
  6. Increase the volume of customers
  7. Increase the quality of customers

As simplistic as these process steps seem, every marketer follows them to meet their ultimate strategic goals. The time it takes to complete one step and move on to the next may vary with market forces, industry, and products, but the SEO footprint is standard.

As you aim to establish a formidable online presence, it pays to focus on adding value to the visitor from the start. Invest in quality content and optimize your website for customers at every sales funnel stage. Since not all traffic is the same, your initial SEO focus should be on volume over quality and visitors over customers.


Set SEO Goals To Accomplish

The most significant factors to ranking highly in search engine results pages are the resources you invest in the SEO process, your budget, and your timeline. Once you figure out how to develop KPIs and set the right goals, your domain, and pages will be on track to being discovered by your target audience and more.

While you cannot expect to make significant gains quickly with SEO, your optimization efforts will be gratifying over time. Set the right achievable goals and use proper optimization techniques from the onset, and your KPIs will show the incremental progress you make within a short time.

Would you like to discover more ways professional digital marketers use to rank client websites highly in SERPs? You could use personalized advice on optimizing your website and brand to appear on the first page of SERP. Go to Romain Berg now to talk to the experts.

About the Author

Sam Romain

Sam Romain

Digital marketing expert, data interpreter, and adventurous entrepreneur empowering businesses while fearlessly embracing the wild frontiers of fatherhood and community engagement.

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