A Guide to Using Google Analytics for SEO Insights

Google Analytics is a great tool for SEO, but staying on top of dozens of metrics can be daunting. That’s where custom dashboards come in handy.

These can help you find pages that could benefit from a re-write or other update. You can also look for unexpected drops or spikes in traffic that need investigating.

1. Traffic Sources

The first step to upping your SEO game with Google Analytics is setting up a free account and adding the tracking code to your website. This can be done using Google’s easy-to-follow instructions. If you want to take things a step further, connect your GA account with Google Search Console for SEO Insights, which will give you more data specifically about how users are finding your site in the SERPs.

Seeing traffic source information is the key to understanding which keywords are performing well on your website. This can help you decide what types of content you should create or update, and where to place your ads to target the best audience.

One of the best ways to view this information is through the Traffic Sources report in the Acquisition section of Universal Analytics. This will show you a list of the sources (where new users found your site) and the number of sessions each source generated for your website. It will also break down the sources by default channel grouping, which is useful if you’re trying to compare traffic from different channels.

Google also automatically tracks social media referrals, which can be seen in the Social section of the Traffic Sources report. It does this by matching the source of a visit to the social platform used to find your website (for example, Twitter or Facebook). This can be helpful for tracking the success of an organic social campaign.

To get more granular traffic data, you can also use user-level scope custom dimensions to see detailed information about your visitors. This can be especially helpful if you’re using ecommerce on your website, as it will show you the specific pages where a visitor signed up for an email list.

2. Conversions

The traffic you drive to your website may be great, but if it doesn’t bring in real-life customers, that’s no good. With the right SEO tools and a solid plan, you can turn your visitors into customers and get a return on your investment. Google Analytics provides a wealth of data that will help you connect SEO and sales.

The first step is to make sure you’re tracking conversions on your site. This can be done by setting up goals in Universal Analytics. This can be as simple as adding a “view item” goal to an ecommerce site, or a goal that track’s people who have completed the most important task on your site (for example, filling out a form, making a purchase).

After you’ve set up your goals, you can see how well each page is converting in the Pages and Screens report under Engagement in GA4. You can also create comparison reports for different pages and screens within the same time frame by using the Compare to option.

By comparing the number of people who view each page and those who convert, you can spot pages that need improvement. For example, if you have a page that ranks well but doesn’t get many clicks, it might need a refresh with a more compelling title or description. You can also look at pages that are getting a lot of organic search traffic but no conversions to identify potential problems with the content, design, or load speed. Taking these insights into account will allow you to prioritize SEO efforts and improve the performance of your entire website.

3. Behavior

Using Google Analytics for SEO is one of the most essential tools in any business’s toolkit. The program’s many metrics and core analytics tools can help businesses gain valuable insights into their website and make data-backed decisions about what to improve next. However, we acknowledge that there might be a steep learning curve which is why we highly suggest to seek assistance from an SEO agency in Sydney.

For example, if a visitor clicks on an ad and enters the site’s home page, but they then immediately opt out of visiting any other pages, this could be a signal that the company’s product pages are lacking quality content and need to be updated. Or, if an individual page’s traffic drops significantly over time, it might be a sign that the content needs to be refreshed or that the underlying design and coding isn’t working as intended.

Aside from examining the data, users can also use Google Analytics to create goals that will help them achieve their marketing goals. Goals can be created in the “Conversions” section of the Google Analytics interface and are a great way to track the success of specific parts of your site, such as a call-to-action or a conversion like an email signup or sale. By setting up and tracking these types of goals, you’ll be able to see the real-time results of your SEO efforts.

Another great tool for improving SEO is the Behavior Flow report, which gives you a visual representation of the path that visitors take through your site. This is especially important for identifying weak areas in your site’s structure or content that may need to be tweaked. For example, if a page receives high amounts of traffic but has a low number of conversions, it might be worth creating an internal link to guide the user to more relevant pages.

4. Referrals

A great way to evaluate your SEO efforts is to look at the traffic that your website receives from other websites. This is known as referral traffic. When someone clicks a link on another website that takes them to your site, GA counts it as a referral visit. This type of traffic is very valuable, as it signals to Google that your content has credibility, similar to how a recommendation from a friend can make you feel more confident about trying out a new restaurant.

Referral traffic can also tell you how effective your outreach strategies are. If you have a large percentage of your referral traffic coming from one source, you may want to invest more resources in that channel to grow its effectiveness. On the other hand, if you have a small amount of traffic from a particular channel, it may indicate that your content isn’t engaging enough to earn links.

If you want to see how your referring traffic is performing, you can use the “Referrals” report within Universal Analytics (UA). This report will show you the top sources of your referral traffic in a table. To get more granular details, you can filter this report by selecting the All Traffic drop-down menu under Acquisition and choosing the Medium dimension.

Google Analytics is a tool in every SEO’s toolkit, and these proven analytics hacks will help you get more value out of it. If you’re looking for more in-depth SEO reporting, it might be worth paying for the premium version of GA called Analytics 360. This will allow you to connect your website to Search Console and unlock a range of advanced reports.

5. Social Media

If you’re using social media to market your business, it’s important to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Google Analytics makes it easy to track social media traffic and understand how your content is performing.

The Social section within Acquisition allows you to analyze traffic from various social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram. This report also allows you to see the number of visitors from each social network that have reached specific goals on your website.

To view the social media traffic report, you must have Goals set up in your GA account. Once you have your goals in place, navigate to the Social section of Acquisition and you’ll find all eight standard social media reports. Each of these reports can be filtered by the specific social channel you are tracking.

You can also use advanced filters to evaluate the performance of your social media campaign. For example, you can build a filter that excludes visits from mobile devices and only includes visitors who clicked on a link in a specific post. This can help you gauge the success of your social campaign or determine if your email newsletters are getting enough click-through.

While there are many metrics to monitor on social media, it’s important to understand how each relates to the performance of your website. While likes, shares, and followers are useful, it’s more beneficial to know if your content is actually driving people to your site and converting them into customers. In addition, you can use the search terms report (under Behaviour > Site Search) to see which keywords users are searching for on your website. This can help you create new content that better aligns with their search intent.

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