It’s no secret that Google Analytics can be overwhelming. Aside from all of the different data and reports available at the outset, Analytics offers tons of Add-Ons and different features that you can include to get more advanced with your metrics. There seems to be nothing you can’t uncover with Analytics. So which SEO metrics should you be keeping an eye on in 2015? Are the basic SEO reports enough, or are there different metrics and dashboards that you should create that will help bring your SEO to the next level?
5 SEO Metrics to Focus Your Strategy On in 2015
While it’s true that what data you monitor and analyze will depend on your specific company and your goals, the vast majority of small businesses will want to follow many of the same metrics when it comes to SEO. Below are the reports and data that you should not miss.
Your Three Basic SEO Reports
When you visit Analytics, you’ll see a category that says SEO Reports on the left hand side. This category includes three reports that are specifically designed to help you understand your SEO. For many businesses, the extent of their analytics for SEO stops here. While this isn’t quite as complete as a small business should get, these three reports do matter and they are important; however two are the most major:
- The SEO Queries Report. This will tell you the search queries that brought the most impressions for each of your URLs as well as your CTR and the average ranking position of all of the keywords where you rank. It’s a general report that gives you an overview of your SEO, but it can be used wisely. Look for the pages where you’re getting a lot of visibility or where your CTR may be low so you can see start to see trends and then analyze what needs to be changed on certain pages.
- The SEO Landing Pages Report. This report shows you which landing pages are getting the most clicks as well as the average position of the pages. If they have a high number of clicks but also a high average position (low is better), then that tells you that you need to optimize that landing page. You want a high number of impressions and a low CTR.
The third report is the SEO Geographical Summary Report. This gives you a general view of impressions, clicks, and CTR based on country. This is definitely something you can look at for SEO purposes to see if you see a trend, but for many companies who work locally this doesn’t cut it for a “must have” report.
This report will tell you who is visiting your website and how they found it in the first place. It allows you to take a quick look at your traffic to see which marketing efforts are driving the most traffic—which keywords people are using through search, which links you’ve built that people are clicking, which social platform is leading to the most clicks, etc. This will help you understand where you should be spending your time and resources when it comes to SEO.
Note: Keep in mind that traffic is different than conversions. While this report will help you see what avenues are leading people to land on your webpages (which should then help you improve your SEO), you should continue to look further and see whether or not people are converting and where. Of course this goes beyond SEO efforts, so visit here to learn more.
This is a very basic report, but I consider it a must-have because it’s something you can look at every day and really track to see if your visitor numbers ever take a big drop. It may not seem like much that can really help you with SEO specifically, but in reality it’s a great way for you to create hypothesis and set goals. Based on the way the Visitor Growth chart is moving you can anticipate what is to come. If you don’t meet your goals, you can turn to the other reports mentioned in this list to find out why.
Keep in mind that you can choose to see the chart as just new visitors or new and repeat visitors. A Search Engine Watch article said it best when they explained, “Pulling in repeat visitors is a good sign that your content is compelling. If the ratio is skewed to new visitors, however, you might be delivering good headlines, but not substantial content.”
Blog Post Views
This may not be the first metric you’d think of when thinking about a “must-have,” but I anticipate that blogs will soon become the most crucial aspect of a website (if it’s not already). Content is how Google crawls your website, indexes your pages, and ultimately gets your website found through organic search, so paying attention to blog views matters. Following this report at least once per week can help you uncover trends in your content to see how you can improve engagement as well as which pages you should be building links to and sharing on social.
Of course as discussed in the introduction, there are many, many more metrics you may want to follow. For example, if you’re interested in finding keywords to target for your campaign (which will ultimately affect your SEO), there is an entirely new set of reports that may be important to you, such as Long Tail Keywords and Conversions data. If you’re looking to get more advanced, consider using an Analytics Add-On—funnel visualization, content experiments, remarketing and smart lists, etc. It takes a long time to create a solid and advanced SEO strategy, so having a solid foundation is crucial.
The moral of the story: The metrics listed above are the “must-haves” for any business looking to improve their SEO. It’s only after you’ve mastered this data that you should move on to something fancier and more advanced. For more advice on SEO metrics and reports, visit article from Digital Current.
What metrics do you think are absolutes when it comes to SEO? Let us know your experiences and your thoughts in the comment section below.
His main focus is helping both local and nationwide businesses get more customers from the internet. He enjoys reading countless articles and sharing his knowledge by writing for industry websites