Measure Your SEO Performance with Google Analytics
You may already be using Google Analytics but are you taking full advantage of it?
Or maybe you’ve been wondering how to track your website’s SEO performance using the free tool. Either way, this primer on the subject will give you useful ideas you can implement quickly to get the best out of Google Analytics.
Traffic is a great indication of your SEO performance. Navigate to the Audience section of Google Analytics to view your traffic data. This gives you information about how many sessions were there on your site during a time period.
But you’re not yet deep enough into the data that you know which part of this traffic is the result of your SEO efforts. For this information, follow the path Acquisition > All Traffic. It will take you to a list view of all the sources of your website’s traffic.
You may, alternatively, want to focus on the SEO of a specific page or post rather than on the overall SEO of your website.
Here’s how you can do this.
Follow the path Behavior > Site Content > All Pages to view your analytics at the page level. Here, you’ll find the top 10 pages of your website, ranked by the number of page views. If you want to view this data for a specific page, key in the relevant URL without the domain name.
Now to view traffic to each page from search engines, there are two ways:
- You can filter the data in the table. For a more specific view, use the pie-chart icon.
- Or, create a segment that includes only organic traffic.
Follow Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages to find a list of pages through which users enter your site. A key metric here is the Bounce Rate. This measures the percentage of users that navigated away from a landing page without performing any action on it.
Now, while Google does not take the bounce rate itself as a ranking factor, it does indirectly affect ranking as the search engine takes into account the length of time spent on your pages. Ideally, you want users to spend time on your pages and engage with them through actions.
The bounce rate is essentially an indicator of the quality of your traffic and website. A high bounce rate tells Google that your page isn’t relevant enough for the search terms the user keyed in. A rule of thumb is that any bounce rate over 70% is a red flag and anything between 26 to 40% is excellent.
Internal Site Search
Compare your website users’ site search terms to the keywords you’re using to see if they match. The terms being searched for here also gives you an idea about audience expectations, to which you can then tailor your efforts. Another way to use these search terms is by creating a dedicated page for search terms that form the bulk of the total search terms.
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, chances are it won’t rank on mobile search results. So if a key portion of your audience is accessing your website from mobile, having a responsive website and optimizing for mobile is essential.
Follow the path Audience > Mobile > Overview and you’ll see data that tells you the number of users entering your website through a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. Now, if clicking on the pie chart you see on the page shows you that over 10% of your traffic is coming through mobile, it’s a good indicator that it’s time to go responsive with and optimize your website for mobile. Another indicator that your site isn’t mobile-friendly is a high bounce rate on mobile.
Last but not least, site speed is an aspect of your website that features right after responsiveness for the ranking, usability and conversion your website achieves.
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