Category: Uncategorized

How Do 301 Redirects Work And When To Do Them

When changing webpage URLs, or eliminating pages from your website, it’s important to set up redirects so that your site doesn’t become a dead end for both search engine bots and users.

Some common types of redirects include:

  • 301, “Moved Permanently”—an SEO-recommended redirect
  • 302, “Moved Temporarily”
  • Meta Refresh —while it isn’t a recommended SEO technique, this type of page-level redirect is mostly associated with text stating, “If you are not redirected in five seconds, click here.”

What Is A 301 Redirect?

The 301 redirect indicates that a web page has been permanently moved to a new location. So when a user attempts to visit the old URL, the server sends back the 301 “permanently moved” status code, and redirects the user to the new URL.

301 is the HTTP status code of the redirected page.

When Do You Need 301 Redirects?

301 redirects should be used when a web page is no longer useful, relevant, or has been deleted.

Here are some other instances where 301 redirects are particularly useful:

Merging Sites

If you’ve merged two sites, make sure the outdated URLs are re-routed to the current and correct pages with 301 redirects.

Migrating To a New Domain

301 redirects should be used if you’ve moved your website to a new domain and want to ensure the transition is seamless for the users.

Migrating From HTTP to HTTPS

Google has openly admitted that it favors HTTPS over HTTP in search engine rankings. It slaps a security warning labeled “Not Secure” on sites that haven’t switched to HTTPS.

When migrating your site from HTTP to HTTPS, use 301 redirects to re-route the traffic to the secure version of your site. Check out this FAQ Google’s John Mueller posted in 2016 about migrating your site to HTTPS. Mueller also confirmed that 301 redirects no longer cause sites to lose PageRank when they migrate to HTTPS—which is a clear win-win!

Broken Pages

Broken pages and links return a 404 HTTP error code. Most users who encounter a 404 page get frustrated and hit the back button, which increases the site’s bounce-back rate and hurts its SEO ranking.

In some cases, 404 pages result from the user typing in a misspelled URL, which should be handled with a customized 404 page.

In other cases, URLs that come from other websites that point to your site, but return a 404, can hurt your organic traffic.

In both cases, you can set up 301 redirects to ensure the users are redirected to the correct resource.

However, detecting 404 pages is not always easy, so we recommend using website SEO audit tools like RankGenie. This SEO checker tool crawls your site’s on-page elements and helps you detect 404 error pages, zombie pages, unoptimized images, page load speed issues and much more.

Rebranding Sites

Rebranding a site often ends up in moved, deleted, or re-written content. For website owners that have spent years building backlinks and PageRank, 301 redirect is a great solution.

Implementing redirects enables you to keep your SEO and traffic intact while your URL reflects a new brand name. However, remember that any big changes on your website can have negative SEO effects, so you must take all the aspects of site migration into account.

Canonicalize Multiple URLs

Use 301 redirects if your site can be accessed via different URLs. For instance, if your home page can be accessed via the following three URLs:

  • https://www.example.com 
  • http://example.com/home
  • http://home.example.com

Pick one of the URLs, use it as the canonical (preferred) version, and implement 301 redirects to send the traffic from other URLs to the preferred one. This way, you can have multiple versions of the same site without harming your search engine ranking.

Check out our detailed blog on how URLs can impact SEO.

Cleaning Up Old URLs

Implementing redirects is a useful SEO practice during site rebuilds where you wish to change dynamic URLs into shorter, search-engine friendly versions.

Why Are 301 Redirects Important For SEO

Maintaining a Good User Experience

Since Google aims to provide the best site experience to its users, a missing resource on your website can translate into bad user experience and can potentially move you down the ranks in search results.

Removing Old URLs from the Search Engine’s Index

When search engine bots encounter 301 redirects during a website crawl, they remove the old URL from their index and replace it with the new one.

Implementing redirects allows search engines like Google to find the correct resource and keep their index up-to-date.

However, in the absence of a 301 redirect after a page is moved from a site, the bots are served a 404 “Not Found” error code. This can result in the web page being dropped from the index completely.

Maintain Link Equity

301 redirects ensure that any sites linking to the old page now pass the link value to the new URL. This way, even after redirecting a page, you’ll be able to keep most of your site’s link equity intact, and you won’t lose the reputation you built for your brand through content creation and link building.

Maintain Domain Authority

Associating all your pages to the same URL pattern (using 301 redirects) makes it easy for users to remember it, and builds your site’s authority in the process.

Plus, URL consistency plays a role in maintaining domain authority.

Problems with 301 Redirects

While 301 redirects are very useful, they can also be very risky, especially if you implement them incorrectly.

The most common mistake that webmasters make is redirecting all the old site pages to the new homepage’s URL (perhaps because it’s quicker).

Even if your goal is to rebuild the website and clean up old pages, make sure you spend time to ensure each old page is redirected to the existing, most relevant page.

Think about how badly it would affect user experience if you wanted to look up that blog everyone’s talking about, only to find it redirected to the site’s homepage!

Moreover, webmasters often end up creating redirect loops that affect indexability.

How to Implement 301 Redirects

The actual process of setting up 301 redirects varies depending on the platform and CMS. In this blog post, we’ll briefly go over common ways of implementing 301 redirects for your web pages.

Your site’s .htaccess file

For websites hosted on servers running Apache, your web developer will need to access the .htaccess file. This is your web server’s configuration file, which contains instructions on how the server responds to various requests.

So, for example, if the old page’s URL is:

https://www.examplehost.com/old.html

And the new URL you wish to redirect it to is:

https://www.examplehost.com/new

You will need to add the following code to the .htaccess file:

redirect 301 /old.html https://www.examplehost.com/new You can consult the Apache .htaccess Tutorial for more information.

WordPress plugin

WordPress comes with useful plug-ins, like Redirection, that eliminate the coding element in the redirect implementation and allow you to simply input the old and new URLs into two fields. This makes the whole process quicker and simpler and cuts the need for involving a web developer.

Fix Your Redirects With An Advanced Website Audit Tool Today!

RankGenie’s technical site audit tool picks out broken links and 404 imports with the click of a button. It presents them in a consolidated SEO analysis report along with areas that need improvement. This allows you to take action right away and harness the power of redirects to make your site more search-engine friendly.

With Rank Genie, you get an all-encompassing SEO tool that features a keyword rank tracker, backlink analyzer, and free SEO audit all in one! Start a 30 day free trial of Rank Genie today.

What Is Keyword Cannibalization In SEO

Do several pages/posts on your website unintentionally target the same keyword or topic? This may be doing more harm than good to your SEO.

What Is Keyword Cannibalization?

When multiple pages on your website rank for the same keyword/search query in Google, they eat away at each other’s chances to rank.

As a result, when your site gains traction in SERPs, your content ends up competing with itself for the same topic/keyword. This is called keyword cannibalization.

How Does Keyword Cannibalization Happen?

  • Your website’s entire information architecture relies on a particular topic or keyword
  • You use keyword stuffing strategies for a specific term across multiple pages

Why Is Keyword Cannibalism Bad For SEO?

There’s a common misconception that the more posts you have targeting a particular key phrase, the better your chances to rank for that keyword. After all, you’ll be improving the odds of Google picking up on your keywords and elevating your rank in SERPs, right?

Actually, that isn’t true.

In fact, targeting the same keyword has the exact opposite effect. Here’s why:

You Damage The Authority Of Your Pages

Let’s say you have two posts that target the keyword “baseball caps.” In this case, if both your pages rank in nearby searches, such as rank #7 and rank #8, the click-through rate (CTR), backlinks, and conversions are split between two pages.

As a result, both pages lose authority, in addition to lower conversion rates and low CTR compared to what you would achieve from targeting one consolidated page.

Google May End Up Devaluing The More Relevant Page

When you’ve got several pages targeting the same terms, Google may rank the less relevant page on top while devaluing other up-to-date pages that offer better advice.

In other words, your pages compete with each other, fighting for page views. Instead of ranking one highly-relevant page, you have two (or more) moderately relevant pages.

So, in effect, you’re “cannibalizing” your own search traffic. What’s more, keyword cannibalization signals Google that your content may be stretched thin and may actually not be relevant to the target key phrase at all.

How To Recognize Keyword Cannibalization Issues

You can check whether your website suffers from keyword cannibalization by conducting a simple search for the keyword that you suspect has multiple results.

Google site:domain.com “keyword” to check your findings. You can also type the same keyword in a local search result checker or private browser to see the ranking for your articles. If you see them in nearby positions in SERPs, it’s time to sort things out!

Furthermore, you can make a spreadsheet of your most important URLs and associated keywords to ensure there aren’t any duplicate entries.

SEO rank tracking tool like Rank Genie makes this whole process a breeze as it allows you to track keywords across different devices and regions, get search volume data and cost per click (CPC) for each keyword, and lets you download ranking data in spreadsheets.

A keyword tracker can help you create a baseline for your keyword ranks and actively monitor the changes.

How To Solve Content Cannibalization

It’s important to mention here that there isn’t always a need to “fix” keyword cannibalization; depending on the root of the problem, you need to look at it on a case by case basis.

  1. Audit your website content
  2. Analyze content performance
  3. Decide which ones to merge, redirect, delete

Create New Landing Pages

If you don’t want to delete a page because it’s still valuable and brings a lot of organic traffic, you should turn your most authoritative page into a landing page that consolidates and links to the unique variations of your targeted keywords.

Merge The Content

If you have two very similar pages that attract the same audience and already rank for the same keyword, the best option is to merge the two resources into a “master” resource. After all, Google loves well-written, lengthy content.

Moreover, taking two underperforming pages and turning them into an authoritative source also helps solve thin content issues.

Make sure you redirect the article you plan to delete to the URL of the new consolidated article. Using 302 redirects preserves “link juice” and ensures there are no broken links leading to bad user experience.

Improve Internal Linking

A decent and well-thought-out internal linking structure signals to Google which page/post is most important and relevant. Use keyword-rich anchors to link from less relevant posts to most relevant and updated posts to help Google figure which one you wish to prioritize in search results.

Learn more about linking to your ‘cornerstone’ article in our ultimate guide on how to create content for your website.

Noindex pages

The noindex meta tag works best for pages that are useful to your visitors, but you want to prevent them from appearing in Google search results. For instance, most website owners add noindex to blog category pages.

Implementing noindex offers the following benefits:

  • Avoid cannibalization issues
  • Avoid visitors from landing on a particular page. If someone searches for the term ‘link building’ and the SERP result is of a blog category page, your visitors would hit the back button immediately and never come back.

Canonicalize

If there are two similar content versions that you need to keep but you want the search engines to rank one version over the other, utilize the canonical tag (rel=“canonical”) to tell Google which is your preferred version. By using canonical URLs, you can have different versions of the same content on your website, without harming your rankings.

Final Thoughts

Keyword cannibalization is more prevalent today.

While some SEO experts keep a close eye on keyword cannibalization issues, others don’t consider it an issue at all, arguing that Google already does a good job of understanding searcher intent.

Fortunately, even if your site is cannibalizing its own keywords, the solutions are easy, and the SEO damage isn’t permanent.

As your website grows over time, your chances of keyword cannibalism increase if you unintentionally write about the same subjects and focus on the same keywords. Therefore, SEO experts recommend tracking keyword ranks to ensure you’re on the right track.

Rank Genie’s rank tracker tool not only helps you effectively optimize your content, but it also allows you to turn rank tracking into actionable insights for a well-rounded SEO strategy. Check out our blog on how a keyword rank tracker can help improve your rankings.

Rank Genie also offers backlink tracking and website SEO audit features that give your SEO a well-deserved boost! Start your 7-day free trial today!

How to Use Google Search Console for SEO

At the forefront of a strategic SEO roadmap lies an advanced all-encompassing tool that helps webmasters boost search visibility and SERP ranking — Google Search Console.

Formerly known as “Google Webmaster Tools,” Google Search Console (GSC) offers business owners and webmasters a direct insight into how Google sees your website. GSC gives you a thorough analysis of how people interact with your site, the amount of traffic you’re getting, the devices your visitors use to find your site, and above all, what makes your site perform well (or poorly).

SEO professionals can use this mighty tool at their disposal to check for broken pages, site indexing issues, domain errors, etc. GSC, when combined with a keyword rank tracker tool like Rank Genie, allows webmasters to track key site performance metrics and create a direct line of communication with Google.

What’s more, Google Search Console is where website owners receive direct messages from Google regarding any issues or actions taken against their website, such as technical notices or manual penalties for bad linking practices.

App developers use Google Search Console to connect apps with websites and handle crawl errors more proactively. They use it to discover problematic areas in websites that might be hurting search result rankings and user experience. Needless to say, there’s a lot that you can do with GSC, which often gets overwhelming for beginners. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of practical features that you can explore to monitor your SEO progress expertly.

How to Use Google Search Console to Improve Website’s Organic Visibility

Before we discuss how you can get the most out of Google Search Console, make sure you have it added to your website. Keep in mind that Google will only grant you access to the data if you have verified the ownership of the domain. Check out our recent blog on how to set up Google Search Console to get everything up and running.

Keyword Performance Analysis

Unless you have complete insights into keyword traffic data, you won’t be able to view the complete impact of your SEO efforts. This is where Google Search Console comes in!

In addition to displaying the common list of keywords that drive traffic to your website, Google Search Console displays the number of clicks each keyword earns and the total number of times your website showed up in search results for a particular keyword. This information allows you to determine if you’re targeting the right keywords in your content and SEO strategy. It may also reveal hidden keywords that bring traffic, which you weren’t targeting in the first place.

Looking at impressions and clicks of target keywords is a good indicator of the success of a particular device, landing page, or location.

What’s more, in Google Search Console’s “Performance” section, you can incorporate filters, change search types, and adjust timelines to further dig into the data. You can also use it to:

  • Identify high-performing pages
  • Identify web pages with low CTR
  • Evaluate hreflang tags with GSC’s International Targeting feature

Combine Google Search Console with Rank Genie for Competitive Research

You can use Rank Genie’s free keyword rank tracker tool to get a daily update of how your SEO efforts impact keyword ranking progress over time. By analyzing keywords across multiple devices and locations using Rank Genie, you can find out which device works best for your site and spot keyword opportunities in less-targeted geographical locations.

Google Search Console and Rank Genie’s SEO rank tracking tool work together effortlessly to stay on top of local competitors! Moreover, you can utilize keyword analysis to improve rankings for under-performing keywords and optimize pages with low CTR and high keyword ranking.

Identify Indexation and Crawl Errors

The Google Index segment of Google Search Console provides extensive information about how Google indexes your website and tells you more about your content’s performance in SERPs.

Here’s how the Index Coverage report can help you:

Index Status

This tells you if your site suffered from index bloat—an instance where Google indexes an excess of low-quality pages on your website instead of the important ones.

By looking at your Index Status, and comparing it with data from Google Analytics, you can determine if your website is correctly indexed.

Blocked Resources

This provides you with an overview of the items that are blocked by your site’s robots.txt file.

Crawl stats report

The Crawl segment of GSC shows you how often Google bots crawl your website. The report is divided into the following sections:

  • Kilobytes downloaded per day
  • Pages crawled per day
  • The time it took to download a page

Look at the graph to see which direction your crawl rate is headed toward. Sites that are quicker to crawl are better for indexing, and realize a rise in rankings as a result. On the contrary, a drop in the graph indicates that there are some problematic areas in your site that may be contributing to lower rankings.

Fix sitemap issues

Sitemaps are an essential part of any SEO strategy; they serve as roadmaps of how content is organized within your web pages and include information about images, metadata, videos, and how frequently pages are updated.

Not only does the Google Search Console allow you to submit a sitemap, but it also gives you an overview of issues in the submitted sitemap that may be causing problems and confusing the crawlers. You can check all sitemap-related issues in the “Sitemaps report” under “Index Coverage.” You should also be able to see errors, warnings, excluded URLs, and 404 Not Found pages.

Mobile Analysis

We already know that Google has shifted to mobile-first indexing, giving ranking boosts and preferences to mobile-friendly sites. In addition, Google has recommended the use of Accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) to provide lightning-fast load times and optimal user experience.

Fortunately, GSC is the perfect tool to diagnose your website’s mobile optimization issues. Here’s how it can help:

Mobile Usability

The Mobile Usability Report displays errors and issues your visitors may be facing when accessing your site via mobile devices. These errors can be text too small to read, content wider than screen failure, clickable elements appearing too close together, or viewport not set to “device-width, which means that the content isn’t adjusting to the device’s width and scale.

Accelerated Mobile Pages

If you’re currently leveraging AMP, the APM status report provides additional information about the warnings and potential errors of any AMP pages. Upon clicking a specific issue, you can find a sample list of pages that are affected by the issue, details on how to fix it, and the process of notifying Google about your fixes.

Final Thoughts

Google Search Console is a powerful tool that allows you to recognize problems, fix them, and discover new opportunities for conversion rate and SEO growth.

However, keep in mind that SEO isn’t a single-player game; to understand the competitive landscape and compete with websites for top spots in search results, you’ll need a multi-faceted strategy—and that’s where SEO rank tracking tools like Rank Genie can help.

By combining insights from Google Search Console with those from Rank Genie, you can further improve your content, track backlinks, and discover link building opportunities. Get in touch with us at (888) 838-2691 to find out how you can use these insights to your advantage. Start your 30-day free trial for Rank Genie today!

How to Add Google Search Console to Your Website

Once you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into setting up a website, the next step is to optimize it for leads and conversions. This is where Google Search Console comes in!

What Is Google Search Console And Why Do You Need It?

Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console is a free tool that helps webmasters, website owners and SEO professionals monitor their website performance in Google Search.

Google Search Console ensures that Google has access to your content, helping you monitor spam issues, keep your site clean, remove old content, and submit new content to crawl.

Additionally, it allows you to:

  • Understand how searchers view your site in search results
  • Find out how your site is performing Google SERPs by analyzing clicks, impressions, and keyword data
  • Assess your site’s health by keeping track of referring  domains, errors, security issues, indexing issues, and other technical data
  • Gain insight into queries and keywords that bring traffic, and discover highest-traffic pages and queries
  • View your mobile site performance and rich search results

We recommend combining this information with Rank Genie’s keyword rank tracker and website SEO audit tool to further optimize your site’s organic presence.

If you’re serious about growing your site, then you need to utilize Google Search Console from day one. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can add Search Console to your website to target prospects accurately.

The Step-By-Step Process of Setting Up Google Search Console

By connecting your website to Search Console, you can fully benefit from all the insights it has to offer and address what your site is lacking. Simply put, it helps you diagnose—and fix—your site’s problems from Google’s point of view.

Google Search Console (GSC) came out with a new version in January 2019. Amidst the fears of Google’s algorithm updates and excess AMP errors, Search Console can be an excellent tool that helps webmasters stay on top of site performance.

Step 1: Add a Property on Google Search Console

Go to Google Search Console and sign in with your Google Account.

On the welcome page, you’ll see the option of adding two types of website properties.

Domain Property

If you enter a domain property URL, you’ll be able to view all the data that Google Search Console has to offer under the domain name that you have entered. This includes data for all the subdomains, protocols (e.g. ftp, http, https), and paths.

Here are the valid domain properties that you can enter:

  • example.com
  • m.example.com
  • support.example.org

Note that www is ignored when you enter the property name.

URL-Prefix Property

Domain property is perfect if you want a complete view of your site’s performance in Search Console. However, if you want to restrict the insights to a specific URL path, opt for the URL-prefix property.

For example, if you want to analyze the data for just your blog page, you can enter a URL-specific property: example.com/blog

  • Be sure to specify the URL exactly as it appears in the address bar, including the final ‘/’ marks.
  • In case your site supports multiple subdomains (like example.com, m.example.com) and/or multiple protocols, add them as separate properties.
  • Make sure to inform Google about canonical URLs.
  • Create separate properties if you want to track data against specific locations.

Step 2: Verify Ownership of Your Property

Since GSC is used to access confidential information about your property—including how Google crawls your site—it only makes sense that you’re required to verify you own the property in the first place.

Verifying your property in GSC means to verify that you’re either the owner, or the professional that the owner hired, who is approved and qualified to view the data Search Console provides.

Verification gives the user control over the specified property, and for every GSC property, there must be at least one verified owner.

Google starts tracking your site’s data as soon as you add it to GSC—even you’re not verified as the site’s owner yet.

There are a few common misconceptions we should clear here:

  • Your website will show up in SERPs regardless of whether or not it’s verified
  • Verifying your site doesn’t affect its performance and PageRank in Google Search; it just gives you the information on how to optimize your site. Therefore, simply adding GSC to your website won’t boost your rankings.

The verification process differs according to the type of property added.

For A Domain Property

You’ll notice the following dialogue box once you start the verification process for your domain property. Click on the drop down arrow to check if your domain is registered any of the providers listed.

Upon selecting a provider, click on ‘Start Verification.’

You’ll then be redirected to the selected provider’s domain, where you will sign in to your registrar account.

For A URL Prefix Property

Google offers different ways to verify your URL prefix property; however, Google’s recommended method is to upload an HTML file to your site.

HTML file upload

Verify ownership by uploading an HTML file to your site that’s tied to a specific user. Follow the instructions on the verification details page.

HTML tag

This includes adding a <meta> tag to the <head> section of the specific page’s HTML code.

Google Analytics

This can only work if you already have Google Analytics set up. In this case, you need to copy the Google Analytics tracking code for your site.

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to add tracking and analytics tags for sites that use multiple analytics from different campaigns.
If you use Google Tag Manager (GTM) in Google Analytics, copy the GTM snipped code associated with your site.

Domain name provider

To verify your site directly from Google Search Console, sign in to your domain registrar and add the DNS TEXT record.

Google-hosted sites may be verified automatically.

Add a Sitemap Using Google Search Console

A sitemap is a file that provides information about your website to search engines like Google. It acts as a roadmap, leading Google to all your important pages, informing how a page is updated or when it was last updated, and also the alternate language versions of a particular web page.

Sitemaps allow Google to crawl your site more intelligently and find your essential web pages quicker—even if your internal linking isn’t great.

Here are some situations where a site map can improve crawlability:

  • If your site is really extensive. The more web pages, the greater the chances for bots to miss updates or additions.
  • If you have a lot of ‘isolated’ pages that only have a few internal links
  • If your site is relatively new, it may not have as many backlinks, making it less discoverable
  • If your site uses rich media content or if it shows up in Google News.

Once you’ve built your sitemap, submit it to Google via the Search Console. After Google processes and indexes your sitemap, you’ll be able to view the Site maps report, which shows you the number of URLs indexed.

Drive Conversions In Organic Results With Google Search Console And Rank Genie

Google Search Console offers actionable ways to improve SEO, including improving rankings, optimizing low-traffic pages, and seeing how visitors interact with your content.

You can use GSC in combination with Rank Genie to turn rank tracking into valuable insights. For instance, you can:

  • Use Rank Genie’s keyword rank tracker tool to analyze keyword performance across different devices and get personalized results against geographical locations.
  • Use Rank Genie’s backlink tracker to monitor your backlink profile with an in-depth backlink analysis and identify link building opportunities.
  • Use Rank Genie’s website SEO audit tool to identify areas that need improvement, and take immediate action.

Get in touch with us at (888) 838-2691 to find out more about how Rank Genie can help you monitor SEO progress and improve your bottom line. Start your 7-day free trial for Rank Genie today!

How To Use Google Analytics For SEO

How do you know if the money and time spent on SEO are worth the investment?

How do you figure out if your SEO efforts are adding real value and profit to your business?

The answer: Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a free digital analytics tool that provides you with valuable data about your website. From conversion metrics to engagement metric insights, there is no shortage of knowledge that can be gained from Google Analytics.

Once you have a better understanding of how visitors interact with your site, you’ll be better able to make necessary modifications and improve your ranking in search results. After all, measurement is critical in search optimization; you know what they say, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

If you’ve already set up Google Analytics, then this blog is for you. If you haven’t, check out our recent blog post on installing Google Analytics on your website, where we walk you through the process of setting up Google Analytics and getting everything up and running.

Let’s further discuss how you can monitor SEO performance and discover quick wins for your campaign by using Google Analytics:

How To Maximize Your SEO Efforts With Google Analytics

Sync To Your Google Search Console Account

It’s always a good idea to integrate Search Console to your Analytics property. By linking the two, you can identify improvement opportunities for the pages you want to rank for.

Search Console gives you a complete picture of how your target audience sees a Google search result before clicking on to a site. With this information, you can concentrate and prioritize your SEO efforts to drive more traffic.

For instance, you can use the two in combination to identify landing pages with good CTR but poor ranking positions in search results and work on optimizing them (we’ll discuss this further). To use Search Console within Analytics, go to Acquisition > Search Console and then click on any of the tabs to open the following window and set up Search Console.

Look For Low-Hanging Opportunities To Increase Traffic

Once you’ve set up Search Console with Analytics, you can use it to find out which landing pages are causing a drop in organic traffic and improve their SEO to give them a boost.

Go to Acquisition > Search Console and then Landing Pages

Choose a particular time frame to observe fluctuations in organic traffic. It’s worth comparing the data over the past six months.

Select the landing page you wish to investigate and then look for patterns or potential causes of the traffic drop.

Here are some possibilities:

  • See if the topic discussed on the page is outdated. People don’t want to read content that isn’t current or relevant.
  • There may have been a fluctuation in the search volume of navigational queries, which led to a drop in homepage traffic.

There are some other secondary dimensions that can help you dig deeper.

For instance, you can analyze what ‘Devices’ your target audience mostly uses when accessing your site, or the ‘Countries’ where your traffic is coming from.

  • Country: If you notice traffic drops from certain countries, there may be an underlying indexation or localization issue. If you have published content in more than one language, auditing your hreflang tags can give you a better idea of the culprit.

  • Device Category: In case traffic fluctuation is largely attributed to a particular device category, start analyzing device-specific user experience issues.

Keep in mind that Google prioritizes mobile versions of websites. So, if the data shows more desktop users than mobile users, it may be pointing towards issues in mobile responsiveness.

You can also use Rank Genie’s website SEO audit tool to identify all the problems with your on-page SEO elements. Rank Genie bots crawl your website, evaluate your internal and external links, sitemap, domain elements, page speed, image optimization, and so on, and present a consolidated result score.

Improve Pages That Contribute To Conversions

An important metric that is often overlooked in Google Analytics is Assisted Conversions. This metric helps you determine which aspects of your site impact the buyer’s decision-making phase and help them convert.

Here’s a real-world example of assisted conversions:

A customer searches for “iPhone 11” on a search engine, clicks on the top PPC ad result, but ends up not purchasing (converting). The customer later sees a social post from the same company and purchases the product after clicking on the link in the social post. The PPC ad would be considered as the first step in the customer’s buying journey.

So, in this case, Google Analytics will record the paid search as the assisted conversion and the organic social media as last click conversion.

Therefore, if we improve SEO for pages that have helped assist conversions, we can increase overall lead generation, conversions, and revenue.

Here’s how you can find assisted conversions:

Go to Conversions on your Analytics dashboard > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions.

By setting a month-to-month comparison, you’ll be able to view:

  • Conversions directly from the search results
  • Conversions where the visitor found your business through search, and then later returned directly to your site and converted.

You can use the multi-channel funnel report to look for improvements and declines in conversions from search traffic. If your overall search traffic is steady, but you notice a low conversion rate, you can deduce that the visitors weren’t at the bottom of the sales funnel.

With this information at hand, you can further refine your set of keywords to drive targeted and high-quality traffic. Therefore, the multi-channel funnel report allows you to measure the quality of SEO traffic by measuring the conversions linked to organic searches. The aim is to make conversions as frequent and quick as possible on pages that receive the most traffic.

Create Custom Segments To Learn More About User Engagement

Custom segments is a key feature of Google Analytics that allows you to view traffic by channels, demographic data, visitors who completed set goals, and much more.

Google Analytics gives you the ability to create custom segments from any facet of user data to learn more about how users engage on your site. So, based on your business goals, you can set segments for visits to certain landing pages, visitors from a specific location, and more.

Navigating to Audience > Interests > Overview will display a top-level overview of in-market segments, affinity categories, and other categories.

Creating new segments allows you to drill-down on your data to further narrow down an audience. For example, you can specify “Women aged 25-34 in New York” to explore what your target audience is specifically looking for.

Monitor Mobile Traffic

With Google focusing on mobile-first indexing, mobile traffic is growing more and more in importance and has become an essential part of SEO.

Instead of merely monitoring mobile traffic on your site, you can utilize Google Analytics to find out how your mobile visitors are engaging with your site.

Here are some ways to assess this:

  • Analyze Mobile Bounce Rate—By zeroing in on pages with high mobile bounce rates, you can better identify potential issues that may be causing a drop in traffic.
  • Monitor Number Of Mobile Conversions At Page Level—You can add a custom mobile segment for this purpose.
  • Compare Desktop Vs. Mobile Bounce Rate Metrics—This Will Give You Further Insight Into the difference in user experiences and give you a better idea of what to fix to improve SEO.

Use Rank Genie’s Keyword Tracker Tool To Find Keyword Opportunities

In addition to utilizing Google Analytics to better monitor your website traffic, we recommend combining it with an all-encompassing SEO tool, Rank Genie, to improve your rankings.

Rank Genie’s SEO rank tracker helps you keep track of all the keywords you’re targeting across specific regions and devices so that you can make data-driven decisions to improve your ranking. Check out our blog to learn more about how you can turn rank tracking into actionable insights.

What’s more, Rank Genie also has a backlink analyzer that keeps track of your backlinks and helps you avoid getting penalized. Start your 30-day free trial for Rank Genie today!

How To Install Google Analytics On Your Website

From building engagement to driving conversions, organic search is still one of the most powerful ways to drive traffic to your website! By understanding how visitors interact with your site, you’ll be better able to make smart data-based decisions and tailor your website experience to meet your visitors’ expectations. This is where Google Analytics comes in!

Google Analytics is a free must-have tool that helps you gain insights into how users engage with your content. Not only do tech giants like WordPress, Reddit, Pinterest, and YouTube use Google Analytics for their traffic analysis, but 56% of all websites use it to access a wealth of information about their website and visitors.

Why You Need Google Analytics

Let’s discuss some ways in which Google Analytics helps you determine if your efforts are translating into actual results. It tells you:

  • Amount of traffic your website gets
  • Who your site visitors are and where they came from
  • Visitor’s demographic information
  • Desktop vs. mobile traffic
  • Individual page traffic
  • Which pages on your site perform the best
  • Which marketing channels drive the most traffic
  • How many visitors are converted into leads
  • Customer (buying) behavior when they browse your site
  • What kind of content is most viewed/popular

Needless to say, Google Analytics is an indispensable tool that helps you keep track of your marketing campaign and measure your business’s traffic goals.

How To Install Google Analytics

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up Google Analytics.

Step 1: Set Up Google Analytics With Your Google Account

To install Google Analytics on your site, you first need a Google Account. If you already have one, all you need to do is go to https://google.com/analytics and sign-in with your existing account.

Do one of the following:

  • Click on “Start for free” to create an account
  • Click on “Sign in to Analytics” if you have a pre-existing account

Account And Property Set Up

After you sign-in, you need to set up an account where you’ll enter the Account Name in the Account Setup section.

Then, choose the platform for which you want to track insights.

For the purpose of this guide, we’re going to set up Google Analytics for a website. You then need to submit your property details—a property refers to your app or website. Submit the required information, and after accepting the Terms and Conditions, click on Create.

Once you’re finished, you’ll be presented with a tracking code that needs to be added to every page of your website.

Step 2: Install Tracking Code

For Google Analytics to report back to you on your website metrics, you’ll have to install the unique tracking code on every page of your site.

Now, there are two ways in which you can add the Google Analytics code.

  1. Global Site Tag (gtag.js)
  2. Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a free tool that helps you add analytics and tracking tags. Google recommends using this tool for websites that use multiple analytics from multiple campaigns.

While both methods are recommended by Google, in this guide, since we’re tracking metrics for a single website, we’ll discuss how you can add tracking code using the Global Site Tag.

The installation of a tracking code depends on the type of website you own. Here are some examples:

For A WordPress Site

You can use any plug-ins like Yoast or MonsterInsights for WordPress to copy and paste the tracking code to the header and footer scripts of your website.

For A Website With HTML Files

You can use any text editor program like Sublime Text or TextEdit for Mac to paste the tracking code before the closing </head> tag on each web page.

Don’t forget to upload the edited file to your web host once you’re done.

Shopify e-Commerce Store

If you have an e-commerce store, you can simply add the tracking code in the Online Store settings.

Step 3:  Set Up Google Analytics Goals

Keep in mind that once you’ve installed the tracking code, it’ll take Google 24 hours, so start collecting valuable data metrics form your site.

While you know the key performance indicators you wish to track for your website, Google Analytics doesn’t.

Here’s how you tell Google which important metrics you need to track: Click on the Admin link on the bottom left corner of your panel. Then find the Goals button under the website View column.

You’ll then be able to create a New Goal on the Goals dashboard.

From here, you can go through different goal templates to select one that matches your intended goal.

Types of goals include:

  • Destination: This helps you find out how many users end up on a specific web page. So, for instance, if your site generates leads using a contact form, the destination goal can be set up against a thank you page that is presented once the user submits their contact information.
  • Duration: You can set this to find the number of time visitors spend on your site.
  • Pages/Screens per session: Set this goal if you want users to visit certain pages.
  • Event: Google Analytics will alert you when users perform an action like click on a link or play a video.

Then, in the Goal Details section, you can get specific with your goals by assigning durations or monetary value.

Remember: It’s easy for beginners to get lost when setting up Google Analytics metrics, which is why we recommend starting small with goals that matter the most for your business.

Step 4: Set Up Site Search

Setting up the Site Search metric can be useful for websites that have a search box for enhanced user experience. Go to the Admin button again and click on the View Settings option in the View column.

Toggle the Site Settings button and enter query parameters (typically q or s) by looking at the URL of the results from your search box, and click on Save.

This way, you can use Google Analysis to find out what your visitors are exclusively looking for on your site.

Step 5: Set Up Views/Reporting

Create filtered reports of the metrics that you want to see through the Views setting.

For instance, if you want to track social media traffic on your site, you can set up a View dedicated for this purpose. Similarly, you can set up a report to only see organic search traffic, or perhaps conversions on your site.

Here’s how you can go about it: Click on Admin button, and click on Create new view

When setting up a View, you need to:

  • Select the type of property you’re reporting for
  • Submit a name that clearly describes what the View will demonstrate
  • Choose “Reporting Time Zone”
  • Click on Create View

Conclusion

Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool, but one that you need to get the hang of. Once your Google Analytics data starts showing up, you learn more about your website traffic from the Audience Overview report. You can further choose to work with standard reports or customize them to analyze focused details.

Combine Google Analytics with Rank Genie to get actionable data!

Rank Genie is an all-encompassing SEO rank tracker tool that addresses all your tracking needs in one platform with exclusive rights and timely alerts.

Rank Genie has:

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us at (888) 838-2691 to find out how Rank Genie can help you gain invaluable search metrics. Start your 30-day free trial for Rank Genie today!