Success metrics, or the benchmarks by which we gauge performance, are critical components in day-to-day business efforts. SEO is no exception. Search engine optimization is, after all, the measurement of how well a website is found online.
Fortunately, Google, the lead ofonline visibility, offers Google Analytics. Google Analytics is free and is an invaluable resource and tool for reporting and gauging the visibility and performance of websites and individual web pages.
But, like any detailed business activity or information, it’s what you do with all that data that will help you improve your business and meet your specific SEO goals. The first step is to identify data metrics and what to look for where. The second step is to know what to do with that information.
In this article, we’ll help you navigate Google Analytics to locate the most useful and important reports for your website’s activity. We’ll also offer tips on what to do with that information once you’ve uncovered it.
Setting Up Google Analytics to Track Your SEO Performance
First things first:
Adjust Analytics Settings
It is important to adjust settings in Google Analytics to “exclude all hits from known bots and spiders” in order to exclude web crawler traffic. Doing so will ensure extraneous and unimportant information, sometimes referred to as “data noise,” is excluded. Other useful settings, which may be self-explanatory, but are worth noting, include personalizing your time zone and adjusting your currency settings.
Now we can have a look around.
SEO traffic is unpaid traffic. As such, SEO often is also referred to as organic traffic. It’s helpful to know the volume of traffic from Google and other search engines to determine what is and isn’t working. To do so, go to “user acquisition,” found under “acquisition” within google analytics. This area will provide detailed summaries of your website’s unpaid or organic traffic.
You can also check the “source/ medium” for even more details. We recommend a regular audit of traffic and tracking of sources as doing so will help improve SEO.
It is also important to identify “behaviors,” which refers to the pages and screens being visited most frequently on your website. What’s popular with your visitors? Which pages aren’t getting any play at all?
By navigating through “engagement > pages and screens,” you’ll find a report of views that pages are getting by count. You’ll also be able to see the average engagement time for these pages as well as how much time site visitors spend on your website in general.
From here, you may also want to navigate to “landing pages.” This section provides a summary of which specific URLs and landing pages users visit first.
Oyova Hot Tip
The pages your site visitors visit most frequently might also deserve more attention on your homepage. Consider adding attractive buttons or links to your website’s homepage thatentice visitors to stick around for a while.
Conversion tracking is a crucial component of Google Analytics as it provides insights into your website’s effectiveness in achieving its goals. A conversion occurs when a visitor completes a desired action on your website, such as purchasing or filling out a contact form. By setting up conversion tracking, you can measure and analyze these actions and understand how well your website is performing to meet your business objectives.
Conversion tracking allows you to see which pages or campaigns drive the most conversions, which traffic sources are most valuable, and which keywords or ads are generating the most revenue. This information is invaluable as it helps you optimize your website and marketing efforts for better results.
Without conversion tracking, you may be making decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate data, which can lead to wasted time and resources. By using Google Analytics to track conversions, you can make data-driven decisions and improve your website’s performance to better meet your business goals.
To view conversions, go to “Engagement” > “Conversions”.
Under ‘bounce rate’ you’ll find a percentage of visitors that someone visited a single page and either stayed less than 10 seconds or did not convert. This group left or failed to convert altogether, and it would help you greatly to find out why.
Navigate to ‘Engagement” > “Pages and screens.” In this section, you will find a summary of the last visited pages before site visitors exited altogether. You’ll need to consider why if you see a page or two with high bounce rates. Is it the content on those pages? How does the layout differ from your more popular pages?
Oyova Hot Tip
Do whatever you can to keep your bounce rate low by featuring links to additional pages with even more valuable information within them.
Location. Location. Location.
The internet is boundless in its ability to reach users across the globe. It is important to monitor where your website visitors are located so you can adjust content to best appeal to them. To do so, go to “Demographics” > “Overview”
Oyova Hot Tip
If you find your site is getting play overseas, consider adding international settings that allow users to adjust their settings. For example, if you’ve got aconsiderable amount of traffic and sell online, you may want to let visitors change your website’s currency to match their home country.
Smartphone and Mobile Users
It’s unusual today to find a site that’s not mobile-responsive. It would be safe to assume that, in order to perform well, your website ought to accommodate mobile users. But to verify if these overwhelming statistics can be said for your audience, go to “Tech” > “Overview”
Oyova Hot Tip
Let’s safely assume that many or most of your website visitors come from mobile devices and smartphones. Please take some time to navigate your website from your own mobile device. Are all of your links, buttons, and calls to action that is designed to keep your site sticky just as user-friendly from a smartphone or mobile device? If not, what a shame! Be sure to adjust accordingly.
You may also click the “view device category” report to monitor which mobile devices are being used to navigate your site. Doing so will help you in designing a mobile experience that features your calls to action.
“Conversion Paths,” which may be found under “Advertising” > “Attribution” > “Conversion Paths”, will allow you to generate comparisons of traffic sources. For example, do conversions come from early, mid, or late touchpoints?
Time to Strategize
So you’ve got a wealth of information about your website now. What are you going to do with it? You must know the purpose of your site and have identified some goals. Sales of a particular product or sign-ups on a specific email list are both excellent examples of goals. Google Analytics does offer the functionality of goals, but you’ll first need a digital marketing strategy that gets you from page visits and clicks to the finish line of product sales or email newsletter sign-ups. Let us help you with that!
Oyova is here to help you define a digital marketing strategy that will help you identify and reach your specific goals. Contact us to get started today!