Important Google Analytic SEO Metrics You Need To Take Very Seriously
Working with data on how your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is performing can be very helpful for your website performance monitoring and improvement on search engines. This requires studying your performance data from the traffic you receive after implementing your SEO strategy or making some necessary adjustments. SEO today has changed from the keyword driven approach it used to be and Google keeps changing its ranking signals particularly in terms of importance. Working without data from website performance is like walking blindly.
In this article, we will look at the most most important SEO metrics that every webmaster should seriously consider in the assessment and management the SEO performance for any website.
This metric stands out within your search console. The Search Console is the right place to start measuring your performance. You can access this report and it will tell you the number of organic clicks your site has received as well as which search queries generated those clicks. You can compare the number of clicks received from month to month allowing you to determine which search queries are responsible for the most clicks. This report will also allow you to pinpoint which landing pages are attracting the most clicks and what page elements are driving those clicks.
To get to this report, go to “Search Traffic” on the Search Console and click on “Search Analytics.” You can also filter the results by Search Type allowing you to differentiate between image and text searches.
2. Goal Completion
How well your goals are completed will help you in assessing the value of your SEO campaign. You will want to construct a report that allows you to determine your goal values, the goal conversion rates and the number of goal completions. By filtering the results to report solely on organic traffic you have the ability to calculate your return on investment derived from your unpaid SEO efforts.
In Google Analytics, check under the “Conversions” tab for the “Goals” and “Overview” area. If you “Add Segment” and choose “Organic Traffic” from the list, you’ll be able to refine the report to bypass any paid or inorganic searches.
3. Bounce Rate
If someone visits your website then leaves without visiting any other page, Google Analytics would report a 100% bounce rate or one bounce, depending on the type of report you’re viewing. A high bounce rate can be a positive or negative metric. A high bounce rate could indicate that the information on your site isn’t what your users are looking for which causes them to leave. On the other hand, a search query may lead a user directly to a page on your site that immediately answers their needs making the necessity of visiting more pages irrelevant. In the later case, the dwell time will be high compared to when the visitor leaves without visiting another page on your site.
To view your website bounce rate of your main landing pages, go to “Behavior,” “Site Content” and “Landing Pages.” If you want to view organic traffic only, make sure to filter for that.
4. Exit Pages
Understanding from which pages visitors are leaving your website can give you further insight into the information provided by those pages. What is it about the highest ranked exit pages that are causing your visitors to continue on elsewhere? Is that the desired effect or do you need these pages to perform better in keeping the user engaged? By testing various configurations of these pages, you may be able to better achieve your desired results.
For the exit page report, go to “Behavior,” “Site Content” and “Exit Pages.”
5. Keyword Ranking
Contrary to some positions, it is not completely over with keywords. Our experience shows that using the right keywords in the right way can boost your search engine ranking. We note that keyword ranking is no longer the only metric you need to track to understand the viability of your SEO efforts. However, it still plays a very important role in getting traffic to your website. By understanding which keywords are driving the most traffic to the target site, you can increase your chances of reaching the top of the search engine results page (SERP) without having to rely on paid searches or other types of paid marketing.
By using the “Queries” report in the Search Console you’ll be able to see which keywords your site is ranking for, the number of impressions they receive, the click through rate and their Google rankings.
6. Mobile Usability
This has become a major ranking factor in Google which has announced repeatedly that websites that are slow or do not work well for smartphone or tablet users will be ranked lower on the SERPs. The launch of Mobile First simply means that mobile ranking has become really important. Understanding where mobile users are having trouble navigating your site can allow you to reorganize and adjust appropriately.
Access the mobile usability report by going to “Search Traffic,” in the Search Console and selecting “Mobile Usability.”
7. Lifetime Value
Accessing the lifetime value report allows you to assess the value of a unique user compared to your business goals. This is a relatively new report offered by Google Analytics which can predict the potential revenue of a user arriving on your site due to various acquisition efforts on your behalf. The metrics per user you can choose from include Appviews, Goal Completions, Pageviews, Revenue, Session Duration, Sessions, Tenure and Transactions.
To access this data, click “Audience” and Lifetime Value.”
8. Crawl Errors
Your website crawlability by Google is an important metric to watch. If Google isn’t able to successfully crawl your website, your chances of appearing on the SERPs are slim to none. By understanding which pages on your site are preventing the Google bots from crawling your site, you’ll be able to repair them and get them back to proper functioning. By keeping an eye on the crawl error report you’ll be able to correct problems before they seriously affect your page rankings.
Access the Crawl Error report by clicking “Crawl” and “Crawl Error” on the Search Console.
9. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
AMP pages already play a role in your website design to create fast loading web pages for mobile users. Google’s rollout of AMP has made it much easier for website developers to increase the speed and improve the user experience of mobile users by providing an easy-to-use framework for creating mobile pages.
To view the pages of your site that are having AMP issues, click “Search Appearance” and “Accelerated Mobile Pages” in the Search Console.
10. Inbound Link Quality
This metric is important but should be handled with care. Links to your website has always played a large role in SEO, but as time has progressed the quality of those links has become much more important than just the quantity. Judging the quality of your inbound links will allow you to assess your off page SEO efforts and come up with more appropriate link building campaigns to increase your traffic.
To access the inbound link report, click on “Traffic Sources,” “Sources” and “Referral” in Google Analytics.
Generally, all these metrics should help improve your conversion and build your ranking in the search engines. Below we look at some of the Google Analytic reports that can be helpful.
Improving Your Conversions With Google Analytic SEO Reports
We now discuss some of the most important Google Analytics Conversions Reports. The Conversions section shows you the path your customers take on your website, from the entrance to making a purchase or becoming a lead.
Conversions reports are broken into four sections. While some conversion reporting areas look similar to the standard reports you will find elsewhere in Google Analytics, many are customized to the data they represent. Each data set is based on the reporting period you define in the date range drop-down menu.
Let’s get started with some clarifications on the terminologies:.
Goal Completions—The total number of conversions.
Goal Value—Total Goal Value is the total value produced by goal conversions on your site. This value is calculated by multiplying the number of goal conversions by the value that you assigned to each goal.
Goal Conversion Rate—The sum of all individual goal conversion rates.
Total Abandonment Rate—The rate at which goals were abandoned. Defined as Total Abandoned Funnels divided by Total Goal Starts.
Assisted Conversions—The number of conversions for which this channel appeared on the conversion path, but was not the final conversion interaction.
Assisted Conversion Value—The value of the conversions assisted by this channel.
The Goals Overview report gives you a quick summary of the total number of goal completions made on your website.
conversions goal overview report
You can quickly view the pages where goal completions are made or click the Source/Medium link to see where converting traffic originates. To dig deeper, you can click through the following detailed reports.
- Goal URLs
The Goal URLs report shows the URLs on your website where visitors convert. If you use the Destination goal type, this is the URL visitors land upon once a goal has been completed, such as a thank-you or confirmation page.
To find out which pages on your website lead to the most conversions, use the Secondary Dimension drop-down and select Goal Previous Step – 1. The goal URL report will then display the page a visitor was on before landing on the Destination URL.
conversions goal urls report
- Reverse Goal Path
The Reverse Goal Path report displays up to four steps in the goal completion journey. In the example below, you can see that some people started on the home page (represented by the /), submitted a contact form from the freelance-writing and contact-2 pages and landed on the thank-you page to complete the goal.
conversions goal reverse path report
This report shows you two things. First, it shows you the most popular pathways people take to complete a goal on your website. Second, it shows how many steps people take to complete a goal.
- Funnel Visualizations
If you set up your Destination goal to track multiple steps in the conversion process, you will be able to see the steps your visitors take in the Funnel Visualization. If you setup a Destination goal with one URL, your funnel will look like this.
conversions funnel visualization report
Funnel visualization is critical for those sites with multiple steps in the goal completion process. You can find out where in the conversion process people drop out before making a purchase.
If you set up multiple steps, such as those a visitor experiences with a shopping cart, your funnel will look like this.
conversions funnel visualization ecommerce report
- Goal Flow Visualization
The Goal Flow displays the goal completion paths of visitors in a flowchart. You can use the drop-down to show traffic sources and other dimensions that drive visitors who complete a goal.
For businesses that sell products through an ecommerce shopping system, Ecommerce reports will give you insights into your shoppers’ journey from entry to conversion. You must specifically set up ecommerce tracking to use these reports.
- Ecommerce Overview
The Ecommerce Overview report summarizes your ecommerce conversion rate, transactions, revenue, average order value, unique purchases and the quantity of product units sold.
Beneath the main graph, you can see data about your top revenue sources—products, product SKUs, product categories and traffic sources.
- Product Performance—The quantity, unique purchases, product revenue, average price and average quantity sold per transaction for products, product SKUs and product categories.
- Sales Performance—The total revenue, conversion rate and average order value on a daily basis.
- Transactions—The revenue, tax, shipping and quantity of items per transaction.
- Time to Purchase—The amount of time from when visitors arrive on your website to when they make a purchase.
You also have the option to turn on Enhanced Ecommerce through the use of specific ecommerce tracking codes. Enhanced Ecommerce gives you access to 10 ecommerce reports that cover behavior analysis, coupons and affiliate codes. Learn more about Enhanced Ecommerce reporting here.
3: Multi-Channel Funnels
Google Analytics typically attributes conversions to the last referral that brought the visitor to your website to make the conversion. Multi-channel funnels help you understand the full journey of customers who convert on your website.
Ultimately, from the Multi-Channel Funnel reports, you will discover that it’s not just one type of marketing that helps your business, but all types together.
- Multi-Channel Overview
The Multi-Channel Overview report gives you a summary of each marketing channel that works to drive converting visitors to your website.
- Assisted Conversions
Assisted Conversions are the number of conversions for which this channel appeared on the conversion path, but was not the final conversion interaction.
The Assisted Conversions report shows the top channels that contributed to conversions.
To see specific referral sources that act as assisted conversion sources, you can use the Primary Dimension links.
- Top Conversion Paths
The Top Conversion Paths report shows the source paths followed by visitors who convert. For example, the first row shows the most popular conversion path, where visitors discover the website through organic search and then visit the website again directly (not from search or a website link). You can dig deeper into the conversion path by selecting Source/Medium Path as the Primary Dimension.
- Identify top converting paths.
In this view, instead of seeing only that you’re getting traffic from a referral source (another website), you can see the exact website that is part of the conversion path.
- Time Lag
The Time Lag report shows the amount of time in days from when visitors first visit your website until they make a conversion.
conversions time lag
- Path Length
The Path Length report shows the number of interactions a visitor makes on your website before converting.
conversions path length
- 4: Model Attribution
Model Attribution, contains one report that helps you understand the difference in conversions attributed to the last interaction versus other attribution models, such as the first interaction. Google Analytics offers the following example. Someone finds your site by clicking one of your AdWords ads. She returns one week later by clicking over from a social network. That same day, she comes back a third time via one of your email campaigns, and a few hours later, she returns directly and makes a purchase.