SEO is the process of increasing your site’s visibility in search results, without using expensive paid ads. It means that you are more likely to attract potential and existing customers because they will be able to find you on Google or Bing when searching for products or services related to yours, without having to pay Google or Bing for every click that you get to your website.
SEO can help improve these metrics:
- Product Visibility
- Brick and Mortar Traffic
- Leads/Conversions/Online Sales
All of these metrics hinge upon increased exposure through optimizing web pages with keywords relevant searches by users using popular search engines like Google or Bing.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a web analytics platform offered by Google that allows businesses to track and report website traffic. This tool has many uses for most companies
- it can determine the number of people who visit their site
- identify where these visitors are from
- monitor how they get converted into leads or customers
If Google Analytics is used properly with your SEO strategy, then you can turn those page views into quality conversions like email sign ups, form submissions & even sales, all which ultimately lead up to increased ROI over time.
Why is Google Analytics Helpful In SEO?
Once you’ve followed the basics of SEO, search engines will start to slowly flow traffic to your site to see how users engage with the pages they rank.When search engines like Google send traffic to a site, and the users visiting that site have low engagement with it (i.e., they don’t stay long or return), this can actually hurt the website’s overall ranking rather than help it because of what is called “low-quality score.”
Unfortunately, search engines make these decreases in your SEO ranking without giving you much notification or direction on what could be causing the issue. This is where tools like Google Analytics become priceless.
Google Analytics helps you understand what page information your users find helpful and unhelpful, so that you can improve their experience on your website.
There are countless things to look at when understanding page engagement, but the list below outlines the first couple spots you should look at first on Google Analytics:
- Reports/Behavior/Behavior Flow
- Reports/Behavior/Site Content
Google Analytics SEO: Behavior Flow Report
The Behavior Flow report in Google Analytics is a great way to visualize how users travel through your website, based on the link and navigation choices you give them.
What to look for:
- Where does the majority of your traffic end their time on your website?
- How deep does a user have to go into your site before they are able to take your desired action?
Let’s break down the first question, “drop-offs”in the Behavior flow report indicates that a user made it to this page, but exited your site after going here. Drop-offs can be a great thing especially when we see the vast majority of your traffic dropping off on “Thank you for ordering” confirmation pages or “Thank you for contacting us” pages. If this is what you are seeing in your Behavior Flow report, then great work, you can move to the next section.
If you are seeing the majority of your traffic dropping off before they have taken a desired website action, then it is time to dig into this report.
First, identify what pages have the most drop off on your website. Once you have pinpointed your highest negative page drop offs urls, then in your internet browser navigate to these pages on your site. Check the following:
- Do all of your site links on this page work?
- Does this page load slowly?
- Are next step buttons or page call-to-actions difficult to visually find?
- Does the page design have broken elements, or lack of professional design?
If everything checks out above, then navigate over the site content section in Google Analytics located under Reports > Behavior > Site content.
Google Analytics SEO: Site Content Report
This report focuses around several important SEO factors on your site, all of your pages can benefit from doing a deep dive into the numbers, but generally it is best practice to isolate your higher traffic pages that have:
- Avg Page time Less than 62 secs
- Avg Page Bounce rate above 60%
- Exit% greater than 20% on non-confirmation pages
The metrics above are for all sites across the internet, and your industry specific metrics may differ from the averages; however, if you see your highest trafficked pages well beyond the averages above it is time to spend some effort digging into these areas and exploring these issues or reaching out to a digital marketing agency that specialize in SEO and user page engagement.