Getting Started with Google Analytics for SEO
July 21 2015
At TopSpot Internet Marketing, one of our core values is to “Make Data Driven Decisions.” One of the tools we use on a daily basis to make those decisions is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a web analytics solution from Google that reports traffic and other metrics about your website’s performance. It offers tons of great data to make decisions for your website, but knowing where to begin with all the information can be tough. Here are a few ways to look at organic data specifically to make decisions:
Landing Page Data
(Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages)
This data will show you where visitors are entering your website and how specific pages on your site are performing. To look specifically at organic landing pages, make sure you remove the All Sessions segment and apply the Organic Traffic segment.
Compare Landing Pages over Time
Select a date range to compare your landing page traffic. Maybe you want to compare year over year performance, quarter performance or even month to month. When you compare landing pages over time, you’ll understand which pages performed better or worse and can find opportunity areas for specific pages. Why did certain pages perform better or worse during that time? If they performed worse:
- Did your page fall in positioning?
- Did new competitors pop up?
- Does your content need to be refreshed?
Analyze Traffic & Conversion Rate (Or Revenue)
If you have Goals set up on your site to track completed activities like form submissions, you can use this data as another component to understand how your landing pages are performing.
- Do you have pages with low to medium traffic with a strong conversion rate? How can you improve traffic and keep the page converting so well?
- Do you have pages with high traffic but low conversion rates? Identify what you want your users to do on these pages and think about how you can improve based on that.
Run an e-commerce site? If you have e-commerce tracking set up properly in Google Analytics, you can use the same questions above to analyze your landing page’s revenue.
Take your organic traffic advanced segment off for the next suggestions.
(Acquisition > AdWords > Search Queries)
Use paid search data to view keyword variations that are performing in your AdWords campaigns. These phrases can uncover opportunity areas in your organic efforts:
- Are there key phrases that are performing well (high clicks) that you aren’t considering on the organic side?
- Similar to how you can view conversion rate for landing pages, you can see that same data for specific key phrases. Are you incorporating those key phrases into your content to benefit SEO as well?
- Are there variations that you may need to build content around on the site to help both PPC and SEO efforts?
Site Search Data
(Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms)
(Related Post: How to Use Your Internal Site Search Data)
President, Dave Underwood from TopSpot describes it best, “Internal Site Search is your business focus group. They come to your site and tell you exactly why they are there.”
It’s best to look at this data over a longer period of time so that you have plenty of data to work with.
- Are your users looking for things that are not on your site? If you offer them, this data could lead to expanding on your content — adding to existing content or adding new pages.
- Are you receiving a lot of searches for products or services that you have very often? Try to put yourself in the user’s shoes — is that content easy and intuitive to find from your home page?
Take your site search data to another level by adding a Secondary Dimension for the Previous Page Path. This will help you understand what page a user was on your site before they performed a site search.
- How can you improve common pages where users are searching from based on what they are searching?
These are only just the surface for ways to look at and analyze data in Google Analytics. There are so many features of Google Analytics and other types of reports you can create and review to make decisions for your website. Google Analytics data also pairs nicely with some of our other tracking solutions we offer. But these simple tips should at least get you started. What are some of your favorite ways to look at data in Google Analytics? Share in the comments.