Before you invest a dime in getting your painting business to the top of the search engines, it’s essential that you know what metrics to track. After all, if you’re not tracking the right things, how do you know if you’re successful?
If you’ve already started your SEO efforts, and you’re not dominating the first page of Google for your desired keywords, doing a deep dive into your metrics can deliver insights that will help your future SEO campaign perform better.
In this article, we’ll share 7 SEO metrics to track in your painting business, along with helpful tips to improve them. We’ll also reveal 3 metrics that you shouldn’t bother with.
7 SEO Metrics Painting Contractors Should Track
One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is that almost everything can be tracked and measured. Unlike a traditional offline campaign like a television or radio commercial, your online efforts can be tracked with web analytics, unique URLs, forms, call tracking, and more.
SEO for painting contractors is no exception. If you want to know what content or keywords are moving the needle for your painting business, you can find out with the click of a few buttons.
So, which metrics should you be tracking? Start with these 7.
1. Organic Traffic
If you open Google Analytics or you have native tracking capabilities included with your website platform, you’ll see a category of traffic called “organic traffic.” This traffic source refers to traffic from the search engines from unpaid sources, like advertising.
A boost in organic traffic tends to mean your SEO efforts are paying off, but organic traffic is just one piece of the puzzle. To turn organic traffic into leads and customers, you need to be able to convert those visitors by having clear value propositions and calls to action.
2. Organic Click-Through Rate
Organic click-through rate (CTR) is a measurement of the percentage of people who clicked on your website from the search engine results page. For example, if 100 people saw your website listing and 20 people clicked, your CTR would be 20%.
Click-through rate is important because it is an indicator of how well a searcher believes your website matches with their search intent. There are several factors that can influence this metric, including your page title and meta description.
You can track organic CTR in your Google search console. You can also filter the results by device, which can be helpful if your meta description is too long and truncated on a mobile device.
3. Keyword Rankings
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned the importance of showing up on Google for your desired keywords. As a painting business, you want visitors to find you when searching for things like “painting companies near me” or “best painting contractors in [city].” By contrast, you don’t care, nor do you want, traffic for search queries like “painting canvas artists” or “painting supplies.”
The goal is to rank as highly as possible on the search engines for the keywords that are most relevant to your business. Premium software tools like ahrefs and free tools like Ubersuggest can help you identify not only your rankings, but also your competitors’ rankings and new keywords that you might want to consider targeting.
4. Traffic Value
Whenever you’re spending time or money on something, you want to know what your ROI (return on investment) is. The traffic value metric tells you how much your organic traffic would be worth if it had come from paid ads instead of free sources.
This metric is important because it allows you to see how revenue potential and link that potential to specific keywords. You can also look at the total traffic value number to show improvements in your SEO efforts.
5. Organic Traffic Conversions
Getting a lot of clicks to your painting website is great, but what’s even more important is conversions.
A conversion might be a form submission, a phone call, a request for a quote, or something else. You can define various conversions and begin tracking them. From there, you can even drill down and find out which of your keywords is leading to the most conversions!
Being able to tie your efforts to results empowers you to double down on the strategies that are working and shift away from the things that aren’t.
6. Referring Domains
One of the most important ranking factors from Google’s perspective is how many other websites are linking back to your website. The technical term for this, as you might have guessed, is backlinks.
You can find out which companies are linking back to your website by tracking referring domains. We recommend tracking both individual referring domains and the total number of clicks in aggregate. As the volume of traffic from referring domains increases, you’ll have a good indication of the success of your SEO efforts.
Earning backlinks takes effort, but you can begin the process by publishing press releases, creating assets like infographics and reports that other websites find valuable, getting listed in relevant directories, and joining business associations.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are all kinds of creative ways to get hundreds, if not thousands, of backlinks to your site!
7. Load Time
Google is known to reward sites that load quickly and penalize sites that are sluggish. The reason is that load speed is a direct reflection on the user experience, and Google wants its users to be happy.
We recommend tracking site speed in Google Analytics by selecting Behavior (on the left navigation menu) and then clicking site speed. You can view trends over time or get an instant snapshot of how your site performed on a single day.
3 SEO Metrics That Aren’t Worth the Effort
Just because you can track almost everything doesn’t mean you should. Pulling data from various systems, creating reports, and optimizing strategies is time-consuming, and you want to make decisions based on data that’s actually meaningful.
Too often, we see painting companies get distracted by vanity metrics that aren’t relevant to your success.
So, we’ll save you some time and let you know you don’t need to bother with these 3 SEO metrics.
1. Bounce Rate
For some reason, everyone is obsessed with bounce rates, which is the percentage of people who visit your site without taking an action (like clicking to another page or performing some other action).
While it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your bounce rate, it’s not something you should worry about tracking obsessively. There are all kinds of variables that can mess with the accuracy of your bounce rate. Further, unlike other metrics, there’s no “ideal” or “healthy” bounce rate percentage you should aim for. That makes it difficult to set up an ideal target, and it’s not worth tracking, in our opinion.
2. Pages Per Session
This metric tracks how many pages someone visited when they landed on your painting website. The theory is the more pages, the better. But honestly, that’s not actually true.
For example, if someone lands on your home page and clicks the phone number to call your business, it will show as only one page for that session. However, this person that called you might have booked you for a massive, multi-property painting contract. According to your “page per session” metric, however, that visit was a failure.
Instead of trying to get people to visit more pages on your website, focus on making each page on your site the best that it can possibly be.
3. Time on Page
Like the example above, this metric doesn’t necessarily indicate that someone is buying from you or not buying from you. Marketers and business owners alike fall into the trap of thinking that if someone spends 10 minutes or more on your site, they must be very interested in what you’re offering.
This perspective is extremely flawed for two reasons:
- If you have a well-designed website that highlights your talent and has clear calls to action, someone can make a decision to fill out a form within 30 seconds and be on to the next step in your sales funnel. They don’t need to be on your page for half an hour to know you’re the best.
- Someone can walk away from their computer or phone while your page is on their screen, and the session clock keeps ticking. If you fall for the time on page metric, you will come to the incorrect conclusion that this person stayed on your page due to interest instead of merely getting distracted by life.
The Bottom Line
Your painting company’s website is a 24/7 salesperson that never needs a coffee break. To ensure that your site is getting enough eyeballs, you need to be tracking your SEO efforts. This will help you identify areas of high performance and opportunities to improve.
Painter Marketing Pros is happy to help you gather these metrics and take them to the next level. We welcome you to reach out to us or schedule a free strategy call.