What Metrics You Can Track for SEO & PPC Campaigns

Daniel Bianchini // Co-founder

When looking at SEO and PPC campaigns, each part of the user journey needs to be tracked separately. Different metrics will provide invaluable information on what’s succeeding and failing in the campaign.

But that’s only half the battle. Once the trackable elements have been divided into funnel stages, the next step is determining which metrics align best with the overall business goals.

The importance of defining metrics based on campaign goals

Depending on business goals, different factors will impact which metrics are chosen. Consider the business type, stage in the customer journey, and the strategy taken when analysing data.

Of course, there are hundreds of metrics to choose from and it’s easy to get lost in the weeds. But analysing everything isn’t as beneficial as choosing a set of specific metrics that inform a specific goal. Narrowing down which marketing metrics to track pinpoints the key information that will be most beneficial to the business and provides insights for optimisation.

In this article, we’ve broken down the 5 typical funnel stages of a PPC or SEO campaign, and which metrics should be tracked for each part.

The Reach Stage

The reach stage is about generating brand awareness and visibility. At this point in the business lifecycle, the intention is to cast a wide net and attract as many interested parties as possible for potential future conversion.

In the case of SEO strategies and PPC advertising on Google ads, or social platforms, tracking at this stage can be broken down into organic and paid traffic. However, although the net is widely cast, optimisations to lower CPC (cost-per-click) can still take place based on the data provided. By updating copy and adding responsive ads, the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies increased its ROAS to 709%.


Using tools like SEMrush, Google Search Console and Agency Analytics a marketer can analyse whether there’s an overall upward trend in visibility. At this stage, it would be looking at the overall increases in reach and keywords, rather than at achieving specific ranking goals.

However, this is where segmenting out 10-15 of the most important keywords for the business can be useful. That way, tracking can be both based on overall visibility and actual position-based progress of the most important keywords.


Both visibility and impressions in the reach stage can be broken down into two segments: brand and non-branded.

Brand impressions are all about developing brand awareness with company-specific posts, information, and targeting.

Non-branded impressions focus on driving visibility through building industry authority. This is usually done with strategies like content marketing based on relevant industry keyword topics.

When looking specifically at Ads data at this juncture, however, remember to split reach and impressions. Reach is how many people saw the post or page, but each one could have multiple impressions. By looking at both, it’s easier to see what ads or SEO are driving greater visibility and growth.

Demand Stage

At the demand stage of the funnel, customers are starting to consider whether the product or service answers their needs. So, companies also need to consider this when deciding which metrics are important.

Usually, this is when businesses start to consider more detailed data like click-through rates, traffic, and link clicks, especially in the case of PPC campaigns. This provides insight into whether the reach stage is effective at not only driving visibility but also encouraging further interaction with the brand.

Analysing these can help evaluate the overall efficacy of hooks in content, CTAs, and whether the right people are being reached. Using platforms like Cookiebot or Google Analytics can provide information on these specific metrics, helping to inform this early stage of the customer journey.

Engagement Stage

During the engagement stage, the metrics tracked should deal with direct interaction between the customer and the business. This can be anything from subscribing to emails to actively engaging with the brand on social media. With PPC and SEO marketing, however, it usually refers to natural next steps like signing up for a webinar, or downloading a case study or ebook, for example.

At this stage, there are plenty of metrics to choose from, but we recommend only picking a few that are most appropriate to the business’s goals.

Before we get into the most commonly tracked metrics, let’s look a little into one of the most important: MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads).

Marketing Qualified Leads and Conversions

We’ve talked before about the difference between measuring macro and micro conversions. At the engagement stage of the funnel, MQLs who complete micro conversions provide important information that informs the rest of the user journey. If customers are also asked to pay a small fee for access to the content, event revenue can also be included as part of the tracking to assess the conversions’ worth.

This, of course, only works if there are specific events like an opportunity to sign up for something, or to download an ebook/white paper, etc. But if it can be measured, this is one of the most effective and informative metrics to track.

Looking at the conversion rates at this point in the journey can help identify successes and failures in the marketing funnel and optimisations that can be made to improve conversions and sales.

Other Common Metrics Tracked During the Engagement Stage:

  • Pages or sessions
  • Average engagement time
  • Sessions or users
  • New users
  • Add to cart
  • Comparisons
  • Scroll depth (we recommend HotJar)
  • Video engagements
  • Comparison table usage
  • Chat table usage

These metrics are all fairly self-explanatory, with easily definable segments to follow. But at this stage, we recommend predominantly using the micro conversion data from MQLs to inform campaign effectiveness and future strategies. Assigning these a quality value can also be helpful in determining the “worth” of the conversion.

Micro conversions are a set definable metric, with a clear reason for the action occurring. This is unlike pages per session, bounce rates and time spent on a page which are all much harder to quantify.

A Word on Bounce Rates

A somewhat controversial metric, bounce rate is another hard to quantify metric, and not necessarily always advisable to track. That’s because there are so many external factors that can lead to a customer bouncing that alone, it’s a metric that doesn’t provide much value. However, it’s still a metric that’s commonly used by many companies in determining success and can be valuable for PPC campaigns.

If the bounce rate is a particularly important metric to stakeholders, it should be combined with analysis of other pieces of data, such as scroll depth, general UI/UX design, and qualitative data, like the page’s purpose.

Conversion Stage

The conversion stage turns these potential customers into buyers. By now, the lead should be entered into a CRM like Hubspot for easier tracking.

They’re well into the buying cycle at this point and the focus is on nurturing the lead to make that final sale. In industries such as SaaS and B2B, this usually involves direct conversations with a representative who will offer a demo, and spend time going over the key benefits of the product.

Often, this portion of the journey takes place over the phone, and is where a lot of companies make a big analytics mistake: they don’t, or can’t, track the calls. In not doing so, they’re missing a fundamental part of the journey and vital information for optimising campaigns. We use Infinity Tracking as a centralised dashboard that can include phone calls as part of the overall sequence and analytics.

The most commonly tracked metrics during this stage are the conversion rates of SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads):

  • Calls
  • Emails
  • Demos booked
  • Meetings booked
  • Checkouts
  • Signups
  • Chat usage

Final stage: Sale

This is, again, fairly self-explanatory. The lead has made its way through the funnel and is now ready to purchase the product or services. At this point, their data should be trackable throughout platforms like Hubspot and Google Analytics, making the analytics chosen simple:

  • Revenue
  • AOVs (average order value)
  • Lead times
  • Conversion rates through the funnel

In the case of paid advertising, only three of these metrics matter: cost-per-click, conversion rate, and average order value. Optimising these will drive success far more effectively than getting into the nitty-gritty of the other analytics around them. By looking in more depth at the CPC of an Adwords campaign, goals, and optimisations can be adjusted to massively drop CPC while improving clickthrough rates to the tune of 162% or higher.

Extra metrics

If this wasn’t enough, there are plenty of other metrics out there that it can be beneficial to track. This can include:

  • Link volumes in campaigns vs competition
  • Indexation
  • Quality scores
  • Impressions shares
  • Additional CPC (cost-per-click)

When tracking any metrics, a centralised dashboard that pulls data from different sources is highly valuable. We recommend Agency Analytics and Supermetrics as easy-to-use, comprehensive analytics dashboards.

To sum up, by choosing a set of specific metrics depending on where the customer is in the funnel, B2B companies can better leverage the success rates of their SEO and PPC campaigns.

If you want more information on the best ways to track, don’t miss out on our full webinar that goes into more detail on generating campaign success.

Daniel Bianchini // Co-founder

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