8 Ways to Measure SEO Results

Measuring your SEO results is key if you want to understand what’s working and what’s not. And if you want to maximize your resources.

Below, we’ll cover the most important metrics for measuring the results of your SEO efforts. And walk you through the steps to track each one.

8 Ways to Measure SEO Results:

1. Organic Traffic

Organic traffic measures the number of people who visit your website from unpaid search results. It’s one of the most common metrics used to measure SEO efforts. 

Because it gives you an idea of how well you’re ranking for target keywords. And how well you’re convincing searches to click through to your content.

And for many businesses, traffic from organic search is an important source of sales. And so driving more organic traffic can lead to more revenue.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a popular tool for measuring organic traffic. Here’s how to use it to measure yours:

In your GA4 dashboard, click Reports > Acquisition > Traffic acquisition.”

reports snapshot

You’ll see the total number of users within a given time period. Along with engagement metrics like average engagement time per session and engagement rate.

You’ll see these metrics for other traffic sources too. Like direct and referral.

traffic sources

Understanding how much organic traffic your website gets is clearly important. But coupling this with an understanding of your competitors’ organic traffic lets you know how you’re performing in your industry at large.

Do this using Semrush’s Traffic Analytics tool. Just enter up to 5 competitor domains and clickAnalyze.

Traffic Analytics tool

Then click the Traffic Journey tab to see how much organic traffic each competitor received last month. 

“Traffic Journey” tab

Comparing your organic traffic to that of your competitors can help you understand your position within your industry. And see the potential traffic you could receive with further optimization. 

2. Keyword Rankings

How high you rank in search results for your target keywords can directly impact how much organic traffic your website receives. Which can also affect other important metrics, like conversions (which we’ll discuss later).

But your rankings can fluctuate.

Keep track of any big drops so you can adapt or optimize your content. And keeping an eye out for major gains can help you capitalize on new ranking opportunities.

How can you monitor your keyword rankings?

By using Semrush’s Position Tracking tool. Just enter your domain and click Set up tracking to get started.

Position Tracking tool

Configure your settings for things like search engine, device type, and language. Then click Continue To Keywords.

Continue To Keywords

Then, enter the keywords you want to track into the text box and click Add keywords to campaign.

Add keywords to campaign

You’ll see your keywords appear in a list below. You’ll also have the option to turn on weekly email updates to help you stay on top of lost and gained rankings. Click Start Tracking when you’re ready.

Start Tracking

You’ll then see a high-level overview of how you’re ranking for the keywords you’ve chosen. Including an overall visibility score, estimated traffic, and average search position across all tracked keywords.

tracked keywords

You can also see how many keywords you’ve won or lost over time. Which is useful for understanding if you’re getting the SEO results you want (i.e., gaining rankings over time). Or if you need to adjust your campaigns.

keywords you’ve won or lost over time

Click the Overview tab to see a chart of your visibility over time. This is a quick way to understand if your rankings are increasing or decreasing for your tracked keywords.

“Overview” tab

Scroll down to the “Rankings Overview” widget to see your list of tracked keywords with various metrics. Like keyword difficulty and where you rank for each one. And the URL that ranks for each keyword.

You’ll see each keyword sorted by position. But clicking the Diff column next to the “Pos.” dates will sort the list by the biggest ranking gains. Clicking it twice will sort it by the biggest ranking drops.

“Diff” column

This is a useful way to find keywords for which you’ve seen the biggest ranking drops. And therefore which keywords you may want to better optimize your content for.

3. Impressions

Impressions measure the number of times your site appears on the search engine results page (SERP) a user is on. They’re important to track because they directly impact organic traffic. If users don’t see your site on the SERP, they won’t click through to it. 

The higher you rank for your target keywords, the more impressions you’re likely to receive. 

Google Search Console (GSC) is a useful tool for tracking your site’s impressions.

To see yours, go to the Search results report under the “Performance” tab (you may only have the option to click “Performance” if there is no “Discover” tab).

“Search results” report

Scroll down the page to see all the queries your site ranks for. Click the Pages tab in the top menu to see a full list of your website’s pages and the number of impressions they each receive.

You can sort by number of impressions by clicking theImpressions column header. This will sort your table by the pages that collect the most impressions first. Click it again to sort by the least impressions.

“Impressions” column

This can help you quickly see pages with low visibility in search results. These are pages you may want to start optimizing first.

But note that more impressions doesn’t always mean more traffic or better SEO results. To see the relationship between these metrics, we need to look at your click-through rate.

4. Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of impressions that resulted in a click to your website from the search results. It’s a good indication of how well your page title and meta description encourage people to visit your website. Key aspects of your on-page SEO efforts.

But it’s also worth noting that higher keyword rankings also generally lead to higher CTRs. And how well people know and trust a brand can also influence how likely they are to click a given search result. Regardless, you generally want a high CTR. 

You can calculate your CTR by dividing the number of clicks your page/site got by the number of impressions you received. Then, multiply that number by 100.


You can also see your sitewide and page-level CTRs in Google Search Console. Click on Search results under “Performance” in the left-hand menu (again, you may only be able to click “Performance”). You’ll see “Average CTR” at the top of the screen.

Search results

Click the Average CTR box to add it to the chart below. Click the Total clicks and Total impressions boxes to only show CTR over time.

Average CTR

To identify pages with low CTRs, scroll down to the list of queries your site ranks for. Click Pages in the menu at the top of the table to see the CTR for individual pages. 

Click the CTR column header to sort your list by pages with the highest CTR. Click it again to view the pages with the lowest CTR to identify optimization opportunities.

“CTR” column

Work through all your pages with CTRs that are lower than your site’s average. Considering how you can better optimize your title tags and meta descriptions to make users more likely to click through to your site.

5. Website Authority

Website authority is a concept that describes how well positioned your website is for ranking against other sites in your industry. More authoritative sites tend to rank higher for relevant target keywords.

You can measure your site’s authority with Semrush’s proprietary metric, Authority Score. It’s calculated based on your site’s traffic, the number of backlinks you have and the quality of those links (see the next section for more), along with spam factors. 

Your Authority Score is measured on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the more authoritative your domain is. You can track your Authority Score using Semrush’s Backlink Analytics tool. 

Just type your domain into the search bar and click Analyze.” 

Backlink Analytics tool

Near the top of the next page, you’ll see your website’s Authority Score. Click + Add up to 3 competitors and enter your rivals’ domains to compare your authority to theirs. Then click Compare.


Comparing your authority score to your rivals can help you understand your website’s position within your industry. If your authority score is lower than your competitors’ scores, you may need to consider building more high-quality backlinks. 

6. Backlinks

Backlinks are links that point to your site from other websites. They’re a confirmed Google ranking factor, and are often thought of as votes of confidence from one site to another. 

Generally, the more high-quality backlinks your site receives, the more authoritative it may be perceived to be (and the higher your Authority Score). And the higher your chances may be of ranking well for relevant target keywords, and ultimately driving more traffic to your website.

High-quality backlinks:

  • Are naturally placed within relevant content
  • Have the potential to drive traffic to your site
  • Are from authoritative websites
  • Are not tagged with nofollow, sponsored, or ugc attributes
  • Use relevant and natural anchor text 

You can track and monitor your site’s backlinks with Semrush’s Backlink Analytics tool. 

Just type your domain into the search bar and click Analyze. 

Backlink Analytics tool

You’ll then see high-level performance metrics, including the number of referring domains (unique sites that link to you), backlinks, traffic, and more.

high-level performance metrics

Scroll down to view a graph of your referring domains and backlinks over time.

referring domains and backlinks

These graphs can give you insights into the performance of your backlinking strategies. If there is an upward trend, it could mean your outreach efforts are paying off. Or that your content is naturally picking up more links.

Scroll down further to see graphs of new and lost referring domains and backlinks. Ultimately, you want to be gaining more referring domains and backlinks than you are losing.

referring domains and backlinks

To gauge the quality of your backlinks, go to the Backlinks tab of the report. You’ll see the overall number of backlinks to your site, the number of domains they come from, and the number of IP addresses that point to your site.

You’ll also see the types of backlinks and their link attributes. Remember, you ideally want “follow” links. These are links that can pass authority to your pages.

types of backlinks

Scroll down the page to see a full list of your backlinks sorted by Authority Score.

You can also filter your backlinks by Active and Follow to only show live links to your site that can pass authority. 

“Active” and “Follow”

As with any measure of SEO results, you need to monitor your backlinks and referring domains over time. To understand whether your outreach efforts and other link building campaigns are working.

7. Conversions

Conversions are the interactions with your website that you determine are most important for your business. They're typically the actions that can have the biggest impact on your business’s bottom line. Some popular choices for measuring conversions include purchases, email sign-ups, or downloads.

How you measure conversions depends on the conversions you choose to track. But one method is using Google Analytics 4’s “key events.” These are what Google calls conversions in GA4.

Here’s how:

Access your chosen GA4 property and click theAdmin button at the bottom left. Then, under “Data display,” click Events.


Next, click Create event.

Create event

Then click Create.


Enter a name for your key event. For this example, we’ll choose “download_confirmation.” 

You also need to choose conditions for the key event. We’re going to use “page_view” in our example. (We’ll add the specific page in the next step.) Leave the parameter and operator boxes as they are.

Then click Add condition.

Add condition

In the next parameter box, select page_location. Select contains (ignore case) in the operator box. Then add the URL of the page users will land on when they complete the conversion. In our case, it’ll be a download confirmation page. But it could be a thank-you page, for example.

Then click Create.


Go back to the “Admin” page and click Key events under “Data display.”

Key events

On the next page, click New key event.”

New key event

Enter the name of the event you created (in this example, it was “download_confirmation”). Then click Save.


You can then track your key events (i.e., conversions) by page. To do so, click Reports > Engagement > Pages and screens.

Then click the drop-down in the “Key events” column of the table.

Key events” column

Select your key event from the pop-up.

Select your key event

You’ll then see the number of conversions for each page. You can click the arrow next to the column header to sort by lowest or highest conversions. 

number of conversions

8. Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate is simply the percentage of people that visit your website or a specific page that complete a conversion (see above).

This might be the percentage of people that make a purchase, for example. You can calculate your conversion rate with a simple formula:

Conversion Rate

But you can also see your conversion rate within Google Analytics if you have set up key events (see the previous step if you haven’t done that yet). Here, your conversion rate is called your “key event rate.”

Google has two different metrics to describe your key event rate: session key event rate and your user key event rate. You can view each of these metrics by building a GA4 conversion report. 

Here’s how:

Click Reports > Acquisition > Traffic Acquisition in the left-hand menu. Then click the pencil icon in the top-right corner of the screen.

Traffic Acquisition

Then, select Metrics on the right side of the screen. 


Click Add Metric,” and select Session key event rate. ClickApply.

Session key event rate

Lastly, click Save > Save changes to current report >Save.

Save changes to current report

You’ll see your conversion rate in your traffic acquisition reports for each traffic channel.

conversion rate in your traffic

This can help you understand which traffic channels yield the greatest return on investment. For SEO results specifically, you’ll of course want to pay attention to the “Organic Search” row.

GA4 calculates your conversion rate automatically using all your key events. Click the downward pointing arrow icon under “Session event rate” to select just one event. 

Session event rate

You can see similar data for specific pages by following the same process outlined above but on the “Pages and screens” report. Find this by clickingReports > Engagement > Pages and screens. Then follow the steps above to add the event rate metric to your report.

Pages and screens

Stay on Top of Your SEO Results

Measuring your SEO results is a continuous process. One that is much easier when you know what metrics to track and how to track them.

But you can’t learn how to measure SEO results with Google’s free tools alone. 

Semrush bridges the gap in your analytics with tools like:

Sign up for a free Semrush trial today to start measuring your SEO efforts.

About the Author
Nadica Naceva, Head of Content at Influencer Marketing Hub, is a seasoned writer and reviewer with in-depth expertise in digital and content marketing. Leveraging her extensive experience in guiding content creation and strategic direction, Nadica brings a critical eye and analytical approach to reviewing articles and educational pieces. Her commitment to accuracy, integrity, and innovation with each review helps IMH grow as a leading source in influencer marketing. Her insights are backed by first-party data, ensuring content meets the highest standards of relevance.