3 Ways Google Analytics Can Help Improve Your SEO
Google Analytics is an incredibly useful platform for any organisation which relies heavily on its online presence for generating business. Being able to understand and interpret the data collected by Google Analytics is crucial if you want to improve the online visibility of your site and gain more users and, ultimately, more conversions. The date collected is vast and can be quite complex, and if you’re not familiar with the platform, it can seem quite overwhelming. We’re going to start with the basics, and give you our top 3 tips for improving your SEO based on your findings in Google Analytics.
The acquisitions report essentially tells you how your users are getting to your website. The four categories you want to be paying attention to here are organic search, paid search, direct traffic and referral traffic. Organic search means that a user has found your site using a search engine, such as Google or Bing. Whatever term the user has searched for, your site has appeared in the search results, and they have clicked the link and landed on your webpage. Paid search is a similar process, only your organisation has paid to appear at the top of the search results for a particular search term, through a scheme such as Google Adwords. Direct traffic usually comes from users familiar with your brand, who have typed the URL of your website directly into their browser and landed straight on your page. When someone comes across a link to your site whilst on another website, and follows the link, Google calls this referral traffic. Knowing where your traffic is coming from is the first step in generating new business; direct traffic is fantastic, but is not bringing exposure to the market not yet familiar with your brand; ranking for certain terms through paid search can gain you many new clients, but ranking for those same terms organically could save a remarkable chunk of your marketing budget.
Google knows everything, including exactly what users are doing on your website, and it uses this data to determine how relevant it is to users. As such, it will rank your site higher or lower in search results, based on previous user behaviour. These measurements include:
- Bounce Rate (the number of times user leaves your site having visited only the page they landed on)
- Pages per Session (the number of pages a user visits in a single session)
- Session Duration (the length of time a user spends on your site in one sitting)
- Time on Page (the length of time a user spends on a single page of your site)
Whilst these metrics shouldn’t be considered too legalistically (for example, if a user finds all the information they require on the page they land on, it is quite natural that the bounce rate will be fairly high), they can indicate areas where your site may need to offer more engaging content, and having strong scores across these metrics should see your site ranking higher for your favoured search terms.
The Demographics section of Google Analytics allows you to see where your traffic is coming from, and could help you to identify potential new markets. For example, if you can see that you are getting a decent amount of traffic from Canada, but as of yet have done very little to target this market, then acquiring backlinks from Canadian sites and aiming to rank in google.ca could find you acquiring customers that you weren’t previously aware would be interested in your product or service. Another key feature of the demographics tool is that it can tell you what language your users’ browsers are set to. As such, if you recognise that a lot of your users are Italian speaking, having your website translated into Italian and making efforts to rank in google.it could well be a worthwhile investment.
Google Analytics is complex and often mind boggling, we hope these few tips will help you get started in recognising the strengths and weaknesses of your website. Needless to say, this barely skims the surface of all Google Analytics has to offer, not to mention other software and the core principles behind SEO. Working in collaboration with an SEO agency is the best way to optimise your website for the purposes of search engine rankings as well as to offer the best possible user experience.
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