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.