Google Analytics is a great resource for finding ways to improve your SEO. However, whilst every website owner is familiar with the sight of the Google Analytics Home dashboard, many miss the opportunity to use Analytics to its full potential.
Here are 5 top tips for how to use Google Analytics to improve SEO performance.
1. Master the reports settings of Google Analytics
It sounds simple, but the best way to get results out of Google Analytics is to take time learning how to use it properly. Familiarise yourself with individual reports. Reports are made up of dimensions and metrics.
are the rows and show the data segment you wish to view or compare – for example: user type, landing page, region, device type etc.
are the columns and they display the statistics on that dimension. They may show, for example, bounce rate, number of sessions or average session duration, depending on the characteristics you wish to see.
For example, if you wish to compare which landing pages are getting the most hits on your site, you can select Landing Page as your primary dimension, and then study the metrics for number of sessions, session duration, conversion rate and so on, for each of your pages.
area way to further define your search. For example, you could compare which landing pages are most popular on different devices.
Segments and Filters:
Finally, to narrow down your search, you can segment or filter the report to show you only specific results. For example to view only smartphone users and the landing pages they click on most.
Getting to grips with different ways of reporting on your site traffic will give you a far more detailed understanding of your user and where your SEO performance could be improved.
2. Sync Analytics to Google Search Console
Whilst Google Analytics can tell you a lot about your traffic and site performance, it is best used when combined with Google Search Console. GSC is another free resource that lets you monitor your Google Search results and see how your website is viewed by Google.
By combining both Google Analytics and GSC you will have a far broader picture of your site SEO performance. GSC has a range of tools for testing and analysing, so you can try out new improvements and see how they work. You can also identify which keywords people are using to find your content, as well as how your content is ranking on Google.
3. Refresh performance of high-ranking pages
Web pages don’t maintain their high ranking forever. Unless they are kept up-to-date, your page rankings may begin to decline as new content is added to the web from elsewhere. So revamping your former high-performing blog posts is an easy win for boosting SEO.
Here is how you can find the best pages for rebooting:
- Go to Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages.
- Set a time frame, preferably selecting a period of six months or more, to allow you to compare a potential drop in ratings.
- Sort the table by number of clicks, and choose a landing page to review data from. You will then be able to track changes in the ranking of that landing page during the time period you selected.
- Now you need to identify any causes for a drop in ranking:
- Is the topic time sensitive? - So update the content to make it more relevant.
- Does the page perform better on certain device types? – Perhaps there is a device specific issue that needs fixing.
- Has the page lost any key links? – Old links may be broken and need fixing, or perhaps new links could be sought.
- Is there a new competing website that is stealing visitors? –You may need to improve your article to compete better.
- Is your metadata consistent? – It is easy for web-content to be changed and metadata to be forgotten, leaving it at odds with the rest of the page.
4. Improve the SEO on your highest converting pages.
Since the goal of your SEO is ultimately to increase sales, your time will be best spent focussing on pages with high sales conversion rates. Then try reworking the SEO of these pages to drive more traffic to them through organic searches.
To identify these pages:
- Use Google Search Console to search for keywords that your rank highly in.
- Pick a particular goal and sort the table by conversion rate on that goal.
Now that you know which pages have the best conversion rates, you can cross-reference these to see if there are any that are not performing as well in the search engines, making them ripe for improvement.
5. Find answers from your own internal search
Google Analytics also lets you analyse the results of the internal search page on your own website. Your internal search is a great way of discovering exactly what customers are searching for on your webpage. Pick out any popular search terms that do not yet have a landing page, as these could be keywords that are ripe for SEO.
Google Analytics provides a guide to how to set up a Site Search.
After a few months of collecting this data, you can then analyse it via Behaviour > Site Search.
- Filter out potential typos or overly long-tail keywords.
- Then look at the percentage of search exits – this indicates that a user was unable to find what they were searching for on your current site.
These search terms may well also be popular on search engines, so they are important to address and produce optimised content for.
Use Google Analytics to take the guesswork out of SEO
Of course, purely relying on Google Analytics will not be the answer to your SEO strategy. You will need a more comprehensive approach, drawing on many factors including sales figures, content marketing and CRO. Knowing how to use Google Analytics to improve SEO performance will take the guesswork out of your strategy. And expert assistance in the management of your CRO and SEO can greatly increase the potential sales revenue of your site.