Boost Your Website SEO with Google Analytics
Google Analytic tool is one of the most useful tools that can provide useful data on the performance of websites. It can be effectively used to boost a website's Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You can use Google Analytics to discover areas that need improvement in your website and for its SEO performance and it is free.
Google Analytics has great features that are easy to use and even if you are new to Search Engine Optimization, you can still effectively use Google Analytics to understand and improve the performance of your website.
Google Analytics and Your Website SEO
You will find the features of Google Analytics very useful and it could become your most favorite tool for analyzing and understanding the performance of your website. Even if you are very new to SEO, Google Analytics properties will be an easy-to-use tool for you.
What is an SEO Audit, and How Can It Help Your Business?
The Benefits of Using Google Analytics
Doing things like SEO without the use of Google Analytics is as good as driving with your eyes closed. You are sure to fall into a ditch as you won't have the proper guide. With Google Analytics, you will enjoy the following benefits:
- You will be able to understand the traffic you receive and whee they are coming from.
- You can understand the pages your visitors visited and how long they spend on each page
- You can understand which page was visited before their exit
- Understand which buttons get more clicks and what they do next
- Learn about which portion of your traffic converts (performs an action that you want them to do)
- Learn about your users and whether they are on mobile, tablets or desktops
- Understand where your users are located (countries) and what software they use to browse your website
Also read: Do Google Ads Affect Search Engine Rankings?
Analytic reports will do a lot more than provide the benefits above. For example, with Google analytics, you can understand your website url errors and take actions to fix them It is also possible to use the"fetch as Google" tool to get am immediate Google crawl and indexing for your website and urls.
Let's at this point understand that this post will not so much dwell on the features of all of the analytic properties. We are here focused on how it can be used to improve your SEO.
Read also: Benchmarking for website performance on search engines
Basic Google Analytics Settings
Now that you have setup analytics on your website and before digging into the reports, you need to make the following changes.
Reporting time, currency and bot filtering
Go to VIEW SETTINGS and check that your time zone is correct. Select the correct currency (this is useful if you have an ecommerce website) and also check the BOT FILTERING box to EXCLUDE ALL HITS FROM KNOWN BOTS AND SPIDERS. This will eliminate data noise from your reports as it will not count any visits from search engines or other crawlers.
Also read: SEO Tips For Optimizing Your Local Google My Business Page
Associate Google Analytics with Google Search Console
Google allows you to associate your Google Analytics account with your Search Console account. This is very useful since you can see analytics data in search console and vice versa.
Login to your Google Search Console account, select your website and click the SETTINGS icon (top right) and select Google Analytics Property. Select which website to associate to the console account and click SAVE.
Also read: SEO Tips For Optimizing Your Local Google My Business Page
Google Analytics Reports to Use and Improve your SEO
Tracking your SEO Traffic (organic)
One of the metrics you need to check regularly is how much traffic you receive from search engines and in particular Google. You can find the answer in the ALL TRAFFIC reports.
As a first step select CHANNELS from ACQUISITION and set the date range from the top right date dropdown.
What this report show is a summary of all the sources that brought traffic to your website.
To visually see the contribution of organic traffic to total traffic, check the box next to organic traffic and click PLOT ROWS.
To drill down further and see from where exactly your traffic is coming from select SOURCE / MEDIUM from the left menu.
Identifying your Most popular and least Popular pages
A useful metric that can help you improve your SEO is knowing which pages on your website get the most visits. You can view this by selecting BEHAVIOUR > SITE > CONTENT > ALL PAGES.
Besides seeing the page views that each page gets, you can also see the time they spend on your website, the bounce rate and the percentage of users that exit your website after viewing the particular page.
Popular pages report
To take it a step further, you can also click LANDING PAGES and see which pages they view the first time they land on your website and compare these with the most popular pages.
This can give you a clue as to which pages users like to visit more.
Another important report is the bounce rate. Bounce rate is a percentage that shows how many people left your website without visiting a second page. The lower the value of the bounce rate, the better.
You need to identify which pages have a high percentage, and take action to reduce the bounce rate and help users visits more pages from your website before they leave.
An equally important report is also the EXIT PAGES report, that shows the last page of the website they visited before they leave. Pages with a high exit percentage can be to make them more interesting.
It is important that before you do any changes to keep track of the values before and after so that you can identify if the changes are improving your website or not.
Mobile traffic has become very important as the mobile users are becoming higher than desktop users.
To get an idea if this trend is also true for your website, you can view the Mobile traffic report which is under AUDIENCE > MOBILE > OVERVIEW.
What you see in this report is your traffic broken down into 3 categories: mobile, desktop and tablet.
You will need to take some steps to optimize the "call to action" for desktop and mobile users as well.
Experts suggest that the best way to handle mobile is to have a responsive website and while this is true, this does not mean that you should rest just because your website is responsive. You have to study the numbers and change your responsive website in such a way so that conversions on mobile are equal (or more) than desktop.
Another report that can help you provide the right content to your visitors is the location report found under AUDIENCE > GEO > LOCATION.
If you get a decent amount of traffic already, you will be surprised from how many countries you get visitors.
How is this related to SEO? You can see from where your visitors are coming and try to provide them with content tailored to them.
Real time Statistics
How many visits are currently on your website and which pages do they visit? The answer can be found in the REAL TIME report (REAL TIME > OVERVIEW).