Improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO) using Analytics – Part 1
SEO is a crucial component of any website’s marketing strategy. SEO makes your website rank higher in natural listings in people’s searches. When browsers click on your website link and come to your site, there is no direct marketing costs, unlike pay-per-click or display ads. More traffic you get this way, the more your bottom line improves! For that reason, constant efforts to improve SEO is crucial. Analytics is a big part of this assessment and improvement. This blog will discuss key areas where analytics can guide SEO improvements.
This metric reflects your site’s rank in google for the most ideal keyword. To track this, decide on the best keyword (or phrase) for which that you want the maximum visibility for your site. Then do a query with this keyword in google and note down where your website ranks. Do this on frequent intervals (weekly or monthly).
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Studies show that most searchers don’t go fast the first page of search, or top 10 listings. Even within the first page, top 5 position is much more preferable, because the clicks decrease exponentially from the first position to the 10th. However, getting to this high level is difficult. Therefore, the goal should be constant improvement in the rank, even if your site is currently in much lower rank for the key word. Goal should be to make it to the first page through SEO improvements.
This metric quantifies the traffic coming from search engines organically, facilitated by SEO. This can be represented in two variations:
- Number of sessions from organic search
- Ratio of organic search sessions to total sessions
Together, these metrics provide more complete picture of organic visits. They can be tracked site-wide and at a page level.
For site-wide metrics, go to Google Analytics (GA) and
Acquisitions > All Traffic > Channels
To find the numbers at a page level, go to GA and
Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
In the page level report, you will get sessions from all channels (direct, organic, and referral). To isolate organic numbers, use “add segment” in the report and select “organic traffic.”
Tracking organic visits will show whether your SEO efforts are paying off.
Number of Backlinks
Number of quality backlinks is an important factor for getting higher rank in SEO. To monitor this number as well as details of individual links, you need to go to Google Search Console (formerly called Google Webmaster tools), and go to:
Search Traffic > Links to Your Site
In addition to specific links to your site, it also lists your most linked content.