It’s been pretty commonly agreed for quite a while that PageRank (in the form that’s publically viewable) is a number that just doesn’t match up to the real authority of a particular site. The latest post from the Webmaster Tools blog solidifies that fact that this just isn’t something to base your success metrics on.
The key phrase of the article?
…PageRank comes in a number. Relevance doesn’t.
Anybody with any marked SEM experience would agree that conversions are the ultimate goal. Beyond the obvious (conversion rates, bounce rate, number of conversions), there are a few numerical metrics that I like to keep tabs on.
Domain Authority and Page Authority
Domain Authority is a pretty good indicator of how you’re doing when it comes to building your link profile. Yes, it’s a number, just like PageRank, however, there’s a clear definition of what’s being figured into that number. Inside of Domain Authority, you’ll notice that MozRank, MozTrust, number of linking domains, among others. Page Authority is a similar score, but limited to the single page. The domain’s Domain Authority score is a site-wide average of the Page Authority metrics.
Visit-To-Goal Conversion Rate Trending
You can have all the #1 organic rankings in the world, but if you can’t convert, you may as well just not have a website, right? Far too often, clients are so focused on achieving first place organic rankings that they lose site of why they’re spending money on internet marketing in the first place; to make a sale, a contact, or a lead. Thorough documentation of SEO efforts (dates included) will help you determine with pretty close accuracy as to what is working and what isn’t when it comes to your conversion rate metrics. People tend to overlook high-converting, low competition, long tail keywords because they normally don’t bring an appreciable amount of traffic. However, these quick and easy wins can make the difference between an okay month and a great month of conversions.
Top 100 Keyword Metrics
I like to individually monitor the top 100 keywords that are sending traffic to the site. This could even trickle down to single digit visits, but that’s okay. The goal here is two-fold; we want to make sure that we’re attracting the right traffic by watching the entrance keywords, and then look for areas that we’re not optimizing for that would be yet another easy win. Just so we’re clear, this list is going to naturally morph over time.
Additionally, 100 isn’t a hard limit. Your particular list could be much larger, or even smaller depending on the site. The methods and reasoning is still the same: getting the correct, targeted traffic to the site with the least amount of hassle.
While there are many more metrics that you can and should be monitoring, these three are certainly very (if not the most) important things you should be keeping a close eye on. If you do well in these metrics, you’ll be pleased with your site’s performance (and hopefully, your client will be also).