When implementing an SEO strategy for a staffing firm, your goal is typically to attract more inbound leads and garner more applications for your jobs.
Though SEO is a great way to attract people who are actively searching, it will naturally take a lot of time before you start seeing the fruits of your labor. You likely won’t see an immediate increase in applications and job orders right when you start incorporating SEO into your marketing strategy. As a result, it can be difficult to measure if your SEO is even working.
With that being said, there are still some key metrics that you can analyze to determine if you’re on the right track. Understanding these metrics will allow you to see if your SEO strategy is implemented properly, and also identify any key areas that need to be improved.
Here are some of the key metrics that you should be looking at to measure your SEO performance.
1. Organic Traffic
Organic traffic is traffic that comes directly from search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This is the most important metric that determines if your SEO is performing well. At the root of SEO, your goal is to drive more targeted traffic from search engines over time, ultimately resulting in more applications and job orders.
The best way to measure your organic traffic is by using Google Analytics. Here are some specific metrics in Google analytics that will help you determine if your organic traffic is growing.
Something to keep in mind is that we want to make sure we’re looking at data over a long period of time so you can analyze the trend. In the screenshot below, you’ll notice that I’m looking at data for a whole year’s worth of time and comparing it to the same time frame in the previous year. This is will allow us to track the overall progress of our SEO strategy.
In Google Analytics, you can filter your traffic by source. We want to key in on organic traffic specifically and look at the users that are coming to the site and what search engine they’re coming from. You want to make sure that your site is seeing an increase in total users over time, and more importantly, new users. If we see that the site is getting more traffic from new users that have never been on the site in the past, it’s a strong growth indicator.
This metric looks at the total views on the individual pages and content of your site. Over time, you should see this number grow. It’s important to look at page views because it allows us to see which specific pages are performing well and which pages are underperforming. From there, you’ll be able to re-optimize the pages that aren’t getting traffic and double down on the content topics that already resonate well with your audience.
Another thing you should pay attention to is if a single page on your site is receiving the majority of your site’s total organic traffic. Although it is great exposure, it could potentially be risky. For example, if that one page ends up getting outranked by a competitor, your whole site would suffer a dramatic hit in organic traffic.
Views on Conversion Pages
On your website, there are certain pages that will indicate if your SEO strategy is contributing to your goal of more applications and job orders. On your staffing website, these pages will typically be your job board page and contact page.
In Google Analytics, you can see all of the traffic coming to each of these specific pages. Over time, you’d like to see visits to these pages increase, which would indicate that your users are seeing your jobs, or contacting your firm directly. If you’re not seeing an increase in traffic to these pages, it could indicate that your site is not funneling users to a page where they can convert.
2. Organic Keyword Rankings
Organic Keyword Rankings are the specific keywords and search queries that your site shows up for when a user performs a search in a search engine.
Though keyword rankings aren’t everything, they allow us to identify trends to determine whether the site is growing, or declining. In theory, as you start to rank better for keywords, your site will see an increase in organic traffic.
One thing to keep in mind is that you should not focus exclusively on ranking for a single term. This is a common misconception that many people have about SEO. Instead, your focus should be on ranking for hundreds, or even thousands, of different relevant keywords that users are typing into the search engines when they’re looking for your services. This will ultimately drive more traffic to your site.
For example, instead of exclusively focusing on the exact term “Staffing Agencies in Dallas,” you should focus on creating content that focuses on relevant variations of this term that users are likely to type in. Some examples would be “employment agencies, temp agencies, job placement agencies, and recruitment agencies in Dallas. If you tunnel vision on one specific keyword, you’ll be missing out on the opportunity to get traffic from the hundreds of other keywords that users are typing.
3. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of users who leave your site after visiting only one page. This essentially means that your users are landing on a page of your site and immediately leaving.
Bounce rate is a huge SEO ranking factor because a high bounce rate is an indicator to Google that your content is not satisfying the user’s search.
Over time a high bounce rate will eventually result in Google dropping you from the rankings. More importantly, if users are bouncing from your site, it means they aren’t converting.
In Google Analytics, we can look at the bounce rate for each individual page of your site. We can see exactly which pages have a high bounce rate and re-optimize the content to better serve the user and keep them on the site.
If you’re seeing high bounce rate on the pages of your site, there are a couple of simple optimizations you can perform that can significantly improve this.
First, you could add more internal links to your content. Find several posts on your site that are related to each other and use internal hyperlinks with anchor text to send users from one page to another. By directing users to other relevant posts, you’re keeping them on your site.
Another way to decrease the bounce rate is to include strong calls to action that clearly define the next step that you want your users to take. You can do this by adding banners and buttons throughout your content that direct your users to pages such as your job board or contact page. It’s a great way to grab your users’ attention and allow them to easily search for available opportunities on your site.
4. Dwell Time
Dwell time is the amount of time a user spends on your site and overall engagement. Ideally, you want your users to stay on your site for as long as possible. This is a huge SEO ranking factor.
If your site has a long dwell time, it’s a strong indicator to Google that users are consuming all of your content and that it’s satisfying their search query.
On the other hand, if Google see’s that users are landing on your page and leaving after a couple of seconds, and going to another website, it’s a sign that your content wasn’t what the user was looking for. As a result, they’ll boot your content from the rankings.
In Google Analytics you can measure the dwell time by looking at the “average time on page” for all of the pages of your site. If the pages of your site are averaging less than one minute, then you should definitely consider re-optimizing your content.
An effective strategy to improve the dwell time of your content is to incorporate more rich media, including videos, infographics, slideshows, and aesthetically pleasing images. If someone lands on a blog post and watches an embedded video, it will increase the time they’ve spent on your page.
5. Organic Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
Organic clickthrough rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who click on your page in the search engines results page versus the number of impressions it receives. CTR is one the most important ways to determine if your SEO is performing well because it directly affects your organic traffic and your keyword rankings.
Think about it. Even if your site ranks number one for a keyword, it won’t matter if no one clicks on your result. Google also pays a lot of attention to the clickthrough when it determines where sites should rank. For example, if your site is ranking number one for a search term, but users click on the result in the second position instead, Google might decide to bump you from the top spot.
The best way to measure the organic clickthrough rate of your site is to use Google Search Console. With this tool, you’ll be able to see all of the queries that your site is showing up for. You’ll also be able to see total clicks, impressions, and CTR.
An effective strategy for optimizing your site for clickthrough rate is to identify queries that are receiving high impressions, but low clickthrough rate and re-optimizing the corresponding page that the query is associated with.
To optimize those pages, you can take those keywords and mix them throughout your Meta page titles and descriptions. These will influence the headlines that a user sees when your result shows up on in the search results. If your headline includes the keyword that the user is searching for, there’s a higher chance that the user will click.
Need Help With SEO?
At this point, you’ve probably realized that there’s a lot that goes into SEO. If you don’t have experience, it can be extremely overwhelming to measure if your SEO is even working. Fortunately, the SEO professionals at Haley Marketing Group are here to help. If you need assistance with measuring your site’s SEO performance, contact our team. Our SEO services range from full site audits all the way to ongoing site optimization.