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April 21, 2020

Top 7 Google Analytics Tips & Metrics to watch for in SEO

google analytics tips

Google Analytics is probably the first tool to get started with in SEO. Whether you are just getting started with website optimization or if you have been doing it for years, it’s likely that Google Analytics is one of your main tools for measuring performance. Here are a few Google Analytics tips to hep you improve performance.

Once you have your Google Analytics all set up, you may be wondering which things that you should be looking out for, and what do they all mean. If that is the case, here are some of the top things to look out for in Google Analytics to improve your SEO.

1. Sessions vs Page views

While both of these are important, it’s also important to know the difference. Sessions is a count of each time your website was accessed. This is not the number of unique users, but rather each time someone visited your website. Page views equates to every individual page on your website that was opened.

sessions vs page views - google analytics tops

For example:
Person A visits your website, then navigates from home page to contact us, then exits. Total = one session, two pages views.

Person B visits your website, navigates to “About us” and then reads your latest blog post. Total = one session, 3 pages views.

Between these two visitors, your total is 2 sessions and 5 pages views.
While page views is a valid metric of traffic, sessions is much more valuable by helping you to analyse user behavior and improve experience.

2. Watch your Channels

traffic channels - ga tips

In your Google Analytics, navigate to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. Alternatively, you can just type in “channels” to your GA search bar. This displays the top channels of where your traffic comes from, such as Organic search, Social media, Direct Traffic, Referrals, and more. Monitoring these numbers helps you know where your traffic is coming from, and which areas can be improved.

3. Set up your Search Console

link search console ga tips

Search console provides in-depth data regarding the actual keywords / keyphrases that people are using to get to your website. This could be in terms of clicks (real visitors to your website) as well as impressions (how many times your website appeared in the search results in relation to a specific keyphrase.) Knowing this gives you better insight into how your customers are searching and helps you optimize your website accordingly.

4. Set Goals

While it can be easy to look at numbers such as traffic, it’s also important to set goals. You can set up a goal to know each time someone has contacted you through your website. Once this is set up, you can also look deeper into the data to see who contacted you (demographics), from which location, and how they got to your website (channels: organic search, social media, etc.) Aside from this, you can also set goals such as time spent on website, pages viewed, and more. This gives you deeper insight into user behavior and gives an indication of what areas of your site should be improved.
Goals can be set via: Admin > Goals.

5. Location Data

location data- google analytics

Location data is very useful for a variety of ways. The first and obvious reason is knowing where most of your traffic is coming from. The next, is ensuring that your traffic is quality traffic. If you note that you are getting a lot of traffic from a location that is not your target market, these visitors would probably spend very little time on your site if it is not relevant to them. This will reduce your average session time as well as increase bounce rate – – all of which has an impact on your SEO.

6. Top Landing Pages

Navigate to Acquisition > Search Console > Landing pages. This shows you the top landing pages people enter your website through via google search. This information helps you see which pages rank the best, as well as which types of pages (is it your blog, your product pages, etc.) Again, this also shows you the top search terms that your customers are using to find you.

Top Exit Pages

Are people exiting after completing the customer journey (such as after the contact us page) or are they exiting mid-way? Do they always exit on a certain page? Finding out which are the top exit pages can show particular pages that are actually losing visitors. Once you know this, you can try to fix the problem pages or optimize your customer journey better.

In summary, here are the 7 tips to improve your Google Analytics usage for SEO:

  1. Number of Sessions
  2. Top Channels Acquisition
  3. Search Console Search Terms
  4. Set Goals
  5. Location Data
  6. Top Landing Pages
  7. Top Exit Pages

Hopefully these Google Analytics tips can help you look out for the right metrics that matter to you.