(The Entrepreneur Ridealong) Building An Audio Production Niche Site from $0 to $40,000: Key KPIs to Track

Umar Faizan January 19, 2024

How to Sell a Tech Company 5 Clear Indicators It's Time to Sell Your Business

Hello everyone, this is Umar back with the 6th installment of the Empire Flippers Entrepreneur Ridealong Series.

Today, I’ll be sharing what KPIs I use for my niche websites and for my link-building clients at Growth Winner. This helps me make data-driven decisions and do the work that actually moves the needle in the business.

I’ll divide it into five main sections: content, backlinks, user behavior, technical SEO, and business in general.
Before we dive in, let’s start with the basics: KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are the metrics that directly impact your business’s success. Do not confuse KPIs with targets and goals. Both are different.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s dive in!


When it comes to CONTENT, here are the key elements I look for:

Firstly, entities. Gone are the days when we would just put “related keywords” in the content and hope to rank for them.

Search is all semantic now and rather than long tail keywords, search engines look for related entities and topics to connect the dots and provide context.

I use Surfer SEO to optimize my content.

The #1 thing to consider with your website’s content is user intent, ie how helpful and satisfying the result is for the users.

For example, you may want to rank for the keyword “Mortgage Calculator” and have beautifully optimized a page like this. It has everything, entities, related keywords, and whatever you can think of being an SEO. But the problem here is, the searcher is actually looking for something like this.

In terms of Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines, the latter page would be rated as “Highly Meets” criteria.

To quote my friend Robert Nichaiel, “In the world of AI and LLMs, there is no room for opinions – go for DATA.”

It’s fairly easy nowadays to pump out generic pieces of content using tools like ChatGPT.

Google has a huge database of facts. Use it to your advantage.

Next, is the structure of your content. Again, keep user intent in mind. Before you even start writing the content, figure out what the structure should be.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • How will you answer the important questions as succinctly as possible?
  • Does the type of content need a one-liner description before you jump in?
  • What should the design of blog posts be?
  • And so on…

You see, all of these points serve to decrease the effort on the user’s end. If finding and reading your article requires a whole lot of effort from the user, they are going to bounce back and read your competitor’s article instead.

So, just make sure the design and structure of the content really serves your audience.

Lastly, word count. As I have heard from Koray Tuğberk, “Write as long as necessary and as short as possible. Do not count words.”

With LLMs and even the upcoming Google SGE, you need to cut to the chase and directly answer the searcher’s query without beating around the bush.


If I am being honest with you, this part of SEO is very flawed. Either the metrics that SEOs use are highly manipulative or they are vanity metrics.

For example, Ahrefs Domain Rating. You can pay any freelancer on Fiverr to boost your DR up to 80 in over a week or so. Most guest post sellers and link vendors do this to fool the person on the other side.

As for setting the goals or KPIs for links is concerned, I keep these things in mind:

1) Quantity

Many SEOs will hate me for this but hear me out. If your competitors are building 2 links per day and you are only aiming for 10 per month. How do you compete against them?

Yes, quality matters, but you need to keep quantity in mind as well to acquire links at a fast pace.

Note, I’m NOT referring to any sitewide links from the footer or sidebar to increase the quantity, clearly, these are editorial or contextual links within the post.

2) Momentum

If you are acquiring 100 links in one month and not doing anything in the second month, you’re preparing your business for a disaster.

This is because the search bots will analyze that your website was cited from really good sources a while ago but there’s been no activity since… Was that something viral?

So, in this case, while I outperform my competitors on their link acquisition speed and quality, I also want to make sure I’m keeping up my momentum.

3) Quality

When I’m looking to acquire a backlink from a website, I first check the keywords it ranks for. Those keywords tell me the relevance the website has with my business. And also, these are the same keywords that drive organic traffic to the concerned website.

I intentionally didn’t say organic traffic as the #1 metric earlier since the numbers are very skewed for all the tools.

I found Similarweb to be near the actual website traffic. But again, it changes a lot. For the keywords, you can find them using Ahrefs or even Semrush.

Also, I check for recent dips or spikes in organic traffic and referring domains. If you see any unusual patterns that indicate an instant drop in referring domains – I would not consider that website.

I always check for the ratio of outbound to referring domains of the website. If outbound domains are way higher than referring domains, that’s clearly a sign of guest post farm. So, the general rule is to consider websites with higher referring domains as compared to their outbound links. Both can be found under Ahrefs’ reports.

Lastly, I often like to give the website a go and check it by opening it in my browser.

  • What do the recent posts look like?
  • Are there any shady anchors linking directly to money pages or even worse… linking to casino-type websites?
  • Are recent posts getting indexed or still looking at Google to consider them?

Then I take a look at website categories – if this website is covering every niche under the sun; I’ll quickly ignore it and move forward.

User Interaction

As I explained earlier in the “content” section, we do all the effort to reduce the work on the user’s side. Whether it be the design or structure of your content. All of this is to improve the user experience.

When working on any website, my #1 goal is to become “the last click”. No matter whether the website is ranking #1 or in 3rd position.

Once someone clicks my website in SERPs, one must find the answer one was looking for! That’s the essence of becoming the last click. This is the strongest ranking factor i.e., where the searcher’s journey ended 👀

One tool that I highly recommend is Hotjar. It can help you visualize the user interaction elements like hover, clicks, scrolling, and especially to see where the visitor dropped or left your website.

I’m sure I don’t have to emphasize that over 63% of traffic comes from mobile. Most businesses and website owners don’t really check their websites on mobile. I’m referring to actually picking up the phone and seeing how your website and blog posts look when you open them on mobile.

Especially when it comes to ecommerce stores or content niche websites, I must check how the user would interact when they open the website on mobile.

See if you’ve developed something that keeps your audience coming back by viewing ‘returning visitors’. However, it depends if your business demands returning visitors or not. For example, if you generate sales only from the new visitor as a signup to the product that you are promoting, then it’s not the ultimate metric for you.

Lastly, with all these Google updates coming out every night, I want to diversify my traffic so the “sources” of traffic is an important metric. As said in my last video, having multiple sources of traffic impacts your overall rankings as it’s the #1 signal to Google that you are a legitimate business that the audience loves.

Technical SEO

In my experience, you don’t have to have a separate department for technical SEO unless you are working on a website with thousands of pages that needs to be maintained.

A simple fix can often improve your website’s traffic significantly.

If I’m working on a website with a couple hundred pages, I generally run it through Screaming Frog and see if there are any potential issues with headings, metas, sitemap, or response codes that can be fixed.

But when it comes to KPIs, here are the 3 things I aim to be good at:

#1) Internal Links

There are a lot of strategies to internally link your pages when it comes to the architecture of your website. But I try to keep as low as 2-3 links per post.

What I like to think about is… will my reader click that link to know more about it or am I just forcefully adding the link since I have to follow quote-unquote “SEO rules”. Hell NO!

Think of Wikipedia, they have no limits when it comes to adding internal links BUT every internal link has its meaning and the reader often wants to read more about that particular topic.

One thing that I don’t want to do on my website is add internal links with a “Read More here” CTA. By avoiding that, almost 80% of links are contextual.

Ok, let’s talk about sidebar links. I have recently experienced that the links in your sidebar or “recent posts” section affect the ranking of the page. So, if you add “related” posts, your audience will want to read those posts, plus, search engines will rate it higher. That means a better ranking of your pages.

Here’s a great example from Abhilash: https://snipboard.io/Jt4r1a.jpg

#2) Schema

Schemas are one of the most underrated things as far as SEO KPIs.

If you have RankMath or Yoast installed, they add a basic schema to your website. Aim for an article or organization schema.

The real game is with custom schemas for your pages. For example, I use sameAs schema and I have a full video on why I use it.

As far as I experienced with schema, it’s an indirect ranking factor. Search engines can understand all types of schemas on your page but it shows rich snippets for a few of them. My priority is to implement those schemas that can help me in getting the rich snippets such as event or review schema depending on the type of website I am working on.

Why did I say it’s an indirect ranking factor? Well, the rich snippet will increase your CTR and if that really touches on user signals, you are gonna rank higher.

I usually ask my team to test the schema using Structure Data Testing tool before putting it on the website.

#3) Page Speed

I have sold website speed optimization services to hundreds of businesses and even now, I work with my developers to get this done for my own niche websites.

In my video on picking the best host for your niche websites, I said it’s not a ranking factor. What I mean is, that it’s not a direct ranking factor, it’s a relative metric.

As there is no specific time duration defined in Google’s Algorithm for the loading time of the website, I aim for my website to load faster than the competitors in top positions in the SERPs.

KPIs for business

Setting KPIs, goals, and targets really depends on what type of business you are in and what you want to achieve from that business.

For example, the KPI for a local business would be the number of calls received per day. For a link-building project, it might be the number of links built per month. For an eCommerce store, it’s the monthly number of sales generated. For a SaaS business, it could be the number of demos booked that converted into clients later and so on…

You see, the common thread here is impact. We’re not just looking at shiny metrics; we’re focusing on what truly drives your business forward.

And in SEO, that’s organic clicks. Impressions might look good on paper, but clicks are what bring in the business.

Now, when it comes to setting goals, one thing I learned from Mads is setting significantly higher goals. I will use the example of links… if your team is building 2 links per day right now, why not set a goal or KPI of 10 links per day?

It’s not always about the budget, you’ve got to develop the mindset of “what it takes” and “how are we going to do it”?

This approach fuels exponential growth and you end up achieving higher and beating the competitors in your industry.

Alright – I hope you enjoyed this explainer. Be sure to check out the video too. And if you want me to create a video on setting KPIs for keyword research beyond search volume or conversion rate optimization, let me know in the comments under the YouTube video.

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