Improve your SEO with data analytics

By: Jon Wade

Date: 8 March 2017

Improve your SEO with data analyticsGoogle Analytics gathers vast amounts of data about your website. Armed with the right knowledge, you can significantly enhance your search engine optimisation (SEO).

There is no doubt that Google Analytics is a powerful tool. The only problem is that it gathers more information about your website than you are likely to be able to use. In today's information age, there is so much marketing intelligence information available, that it can be difficult to know where to start.

Every business is different but there are some basic measures that can be extracted from Google Analytics and used within your SEO campaigns across the board.

Quality as well as quantity

When diving into analytics, most people are keen to see how much traffic their website is attracting. That is reasonable enough; surely we all know that the whole point of SEO is to generate web traffic?

Of course, the truth is not quite that simple. If the majority of traffic consists of visitors who immediately retreat via the back button, then something is clearly going wrong. It is therefore important to understand the conversion rate, ie the number of visitors who come to your website and do what you want them to do – whether that is to buy your product or service, click through to another link or perform some other action.

Put another way, this means that the quality of traffic is just as important as the quantity.

For this purpose, the Assisted Conversions report in Analytics is invaluable. You can find this under the Conversions tab. The report can provide a month-by-month analysis of conversions directly by search. It's really useful data that shows you what you are doing right (or wrong).

Different channels

Whenever anything goes wrong with SERP (Search Engine Results Page) results, companies often have a tendency to assume it is down to a decline in organic search. Often, this is not the case. In fact you might find that organic results have improved, but something else has caused the problem.

The Channel Grouping report, located beneath the Acquisition tab is a great place to find basic information like this. Traffic searches will be segmented by organic, paid, referral, email and so on. Clicking on any one of these metrics will then show you how it has performed over the past months, leaving you in no doubt as to which are the star performers and which are the problem children.

Loading times

We can all be impatient and the truth is that with today's faster internet connections, people's tolerance for slow-loading pages is at an all-time low. If your page is not up in a couple of seconds, they will simply go elsewhere.

Having slick pages that load quickly on all platforms is an important aspect of SEO - and once again, Google Analytics has a report to help.

Look in the Behaviour tab, and under Site Speed, you can examine Page Timings. This gives a breakdown of the average page loading times across the site and the exit percentage - how many visitors leave the site.

You will soon see a startling correlation. Perfect inspiration for the developers to do all they can to optimise load times!

Sponsored post. Copyright © 2017 Jon Wade, content manager at Freelance SEO.