Baking a cake without measuring the ingredients is hard. Not impossible, but it’s never going to be perfect. And the same is true when it comes to your SEO strategies. Enter Google Analytics!
If you don’t have measurable data, it’s almost impossible to see what impact your SEO strategy is having. The easiest way to track progress and performance of your SEO and digital marketing strategies.
The best part is that the Google analytics platform is completely free. We are not expecting you to be a wizard at it. After all, you’re looking for a little bit of help to use it.
Well, that’s exactly what we are going to do. Before jumping into the step-by-step guide, let’s first take a look at how Google analytics can help with SEO.
Google Analytics and SEO
Understanding how users find your site and interact with it is vital to perfecting and streamlining your SEO strategies. With Google Analytics, you have access to this all important data.
To give you a better idea. Google Analytics shows you where your users are located, how long they stayed on a certain page, how many people visited certain pages, how specific keywords perform… you get the idea.
All of this data helps you determine how well your SEO strategies are working, along with working out which areas you can improve on.
Setting Up Google Analytics 2019 Video Guide
If you have not yet set up Google Analytics, our quick and easy setup video will walk you through the five simple steps. This Google Analytics guide for beginners runs through the processes in less than 3 minutes in simple and easy to understand terms.
The Main Features of Google Analytics
In this section we are going to take a look at the five main reports features that Google Analytics offers you. Why? Because when you know what each report has to offer you can choose the best one for your SEO needs.
The reports include:
- Real time
Once we have run through all of these, we will show you how to get your Google Analytics dashboard set up and performing your first Google Analytics basic audit.
Google Analytics Acquisition Report
If you want to know how your users find your website and learn more about what they do when on your website, the Google Analytics acquisition report is the one you want.
The acquisition report covers:
- All traffic
- Google ads
- Search console
The All traffic report will show you which websites give you the most traffic. Information including bounce rate, go completions, pages per visit etc can be viewed.
Then you can further break this down into source/medium and channels. All of this data helps you give your organic traffic a dollar value by showing you how much your organic keywords rank for if they were a paid keyword as part of a Google Ads campaign.
In the campaigns report, you can find out how well your paid campaigns are performing. The information shown to you can be sorted by all campaigns, cost analysis, organic keywords and paid keywords. By uploading cost date are from non-google campaigns, you can make comparisons from the campaign report.
Google Ads Report
Anyone who runs a Google ad campaign will find the Google ads report invaluable. How so? Well, it shows you vital data about your campaigns, final URLs, keywords, search queries etc. to use the Google ads report feature, you first need to connect your Google analytics account with your Google ads account.
Search Console Report
If you are more interested in the organic search performance of your website, search console report offers up a bounty of useful data and information.
This information includes countries, devices, landing pages, queries, etc. as with the Google apps report, before you can access the search console report you will first need to connect Google analytics and Google search.
Social media plays a huge part in delivering traffic to websites. The social report will give you a better idea of how people interact with your social media content.
You can find information including conversions, landing pages, network referrals, plugins and users flow. This all helps you better understand how and where your audience interacts with your content. Ultimately, it helps you work out the best way to use social media for maximum impact.
Google Analytics Audience Reports
Google analytics audience reports use set parameters to group users together in one convenience place. It helps you understand how many site visitors made a purchase over the last six months but not in the last two.
You can also find useful info such as how many of your website visitors searched your site? The audience reports include the following:
- Active users. Helps you measure audience interest by tracking site visitors over the 1 – 30 days.
- Audiences. Lets you create more refined audiences to be applied on other parts of your Google Analytics report.
- Behaviours. Lets you see if new visitors return to engage with your website content. Compares new and returning visitors. How often and when they visit and how they engage with your website content.
- Benchmarking. Lets you make comparisons between your sight and other sites in the same industry. Data includes channels, devices and locations.
- Cohort analysis. Groups together users who share certain characteristics. Provides data including their location, the device used, purchases, etc.
- Custom. Gives you the ability to compare and define. Want to know the bounce rate of desktop users or see where returning visitors are located? This is where to do it.
- Demographics. Provides the gender and age of your site visitors for better ad and content targeting.
- Geo. Serves up a wealth of data covering the language and location of your site visitors.
- Interests. Helps you understand the best way to target specific categories of user. This includes specific categories, product related Pinterest categories and lifestyle related categories.
- Lifetime value. Calculate the value of users gained via direct search, social media, organic search and referrals.
- Mobile. Shows the type of device site visitors use when visiting your site. Device information includes mobile, desktop, tablet and device specific information such as brand and model.
- Technology. Learn more about the operating systems and browsers that visitors use when viewing your site.
- User explorer. Provides data on specific user behaviour and analyses their on site actions such as cart abandonment, purchases etc.
- User flow. Provides data on what site visitors do when arriving at your website. Shows how they interact with your site. User type sorting gives more specific data.
While this may appear to be a lot of information to absorb at once. Understanding what each sub-report has to offer can help you discover new opportunities for reaching a larger target audience.
Google Analytics Behaviour Report
The Google analytics behaviour reports is where you can find more information about user actions when visiting your site. Data including page load speed, viewed content, site searches etc can be seen.
This highlights where you should focus your efforts and what areas need a little improvement. The behaviour report includes:
- Behaviour flow. Discover how users behave on your site. As an example, did users who viewed your latest blog post leave your site or make a purchase?
- Events. Provides insights on screen load and web page independent actions, such as viewing videos and downloading PDF files etc.
- Google optimise. Lets you experiment by testing out new components on your site, plus a whole lot more.
- Publisher. Provides data on monetization of your site, such as the number of clicks and impressions on ads, etc.
- Site content. Helps you discover whether content is working well. Data includes device type, organic vs paid traffic, purchase behaviour, etc.
- Site search. Provides data on searches made on your site and helps you understand what they are looking for.
- Site speed. Shows the page load speed for your users by device.
Google Analytics Conversions Report
Google Analytics conversions report shows you more about actions that have been completed on your website. Think of it as a summary of actions site users have taken such as making a purchase or signing up for emails.
This information gives you more insight about how successful your SEO strategies are and how well your business is performing. The conversions report covers:
- Multi-channel funnels
Attribution uncovers the conversion path and pertains to the rules used for assigning credits to points. As an example, did the site visitor read your newsletter before making a purchase? Depending on the attribution model that you use, conversion credits will be split between each action.
E-commerce reports provide an overview of various actions and data covering your products. Sort your report by product, sales, time to purchase and transaction.
The goals report provides more detailed information on your created goals. You are able to create both macro and micro goals. These will help you understand what actions contribute to bigger actions. Data available covers goal flow, gold URL, funnel visualisation and reverse goal path.
Multi-channel funnels provide reports on the different communication platforms that you use. This helps you workout which channels and platforms work best. with this feature at you can track assisted conversions, path length and top conversion path and is beneficial for social media tracking.
Google Analytics Real Time Reports
Google Analytics real-time reports offer up a wealth of information about who is on your website and what actions they are performing. Interested in seeing how many people are checking out your latest blog post? You can see it in real time here.
It gives you an accurate and up-to-date view of how your side visitors are interacting with your website. The information that Google Analytics real-time reports provide includes:
- Content. Learn more about where site visitors land on at your website and how long they stay for.
- Conversions. Discover how many conversions you have made with your goals and view how many completions have been made in the past 30 minutes.
- Events. Lets you track your customisable interactions that site visitors have on your website. This can be useful for seeing specific activities for event categories in the past 30 minutes.
- Locations. Shows you where your website visitors are located, what the time zone is and the language used.
- Traffic sources. Provides insights on where your site visitors have come from. This is extremely useful if you are monitoring traffic from external sources, such as on social media.
Now you know what each element of Google Analytics offers, you will be able to use it for maximum effect with your SEO strategies.
Combine Google Analytics with Google Keyword Planner for twice the benefits.