What is SEO Benchmarking?

Written by: 
Molly Niemczyk

Any good marketing professional will tell you that SEO is important. But if you want to ensure that your SEO strategy is effective, you need to set goals that you can strive towards, and benchmarks by which you can measure your success. SEO benchmarking is just that: the measuring of your SEO performance by various reference points known as benchmarks.


What are SEO Benchmarks?

You might’ve heard of Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, which allow you to measure performance. SEO benchmarks look at KPIs that are specific to your SEO strategy over time. These benchmarks essentially set a standard against which websites can measure their SEO progress.


What are Some Examples of SEO Benchmarks?

Here are a few benchmark categories, as well as individual benchmarks, that website owners can use to measure their SEO progress.



  • Organic Search Traffic: How many users have visited your website? This can be tracked by Google Search Console and/or Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
  • Engaged Sessions: How many sessions last longer than ten seconds, have a conversion event, or include at least two page/screen views? You can track this with GA4.
  • Average Engagement Time: The average amount of time that your site had engagement, or in Google’s words, “the average time that your website was in focus in a user's browser or a mobile app was in the foreground on a user's device.” This can also be tracked with GA4.



  • Backlinks: How many links from another website lead to your own? You can track that with Ahrefs to get an idea of how authoritative Google perceives your website to be.
  • Referring Domains: How many domains are linking to your website? Ahrefs tracks this, too.
  • Domain Rating (DR): How strong is your backlink profile? Ahrefs will provide a rating from 1 to 100.



  • Keyword Position Tracking: Where do you rank in the search results for certain keywords? SEMRush can track your website’s rise and fall in position for certain queries.
  • Keyword Difficulty (KD): How difficult is it for your website to rank in the top 10 for a certain keyword? Ahrefs’ ranking system helps to answer that question.


Why are SEO Benchmarks Important?

Benchmarking helps website owners to better understand their progress as it relates to SEO. It helps owners more accurately attribute success to SEO efforts, and to adjust strategies when needed. Benchmarking can also remind us of the value of SEO, a vital component of a well-rounded digital strategy that is too often overlooked as superfluous.


Interested in working with Relevance Advisors? Learn more about our SEO services and contact us today! You can also check out our other blogs on SEO Forecasting, Site Health, and Website Architecture for more information on SEO best practices.


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