Google analytics provides a wealth of valuable SEO data. But are you using it to its full potential to help create better content, drive more traffic and convert it more effectively?
It often helps to mine Google analytics data for SEO intelligence with a specific business objective in mind. The analytics and SEO tips covered in this articles are all techniques I use to help me decide what new content to create, and whether or not my content is making an impact.
Remember that any SEO insight you derive from analytical data needs to be moderated by your social marketing and business requirements. Just because Google rates you very highly for one keyword doesn't mean you should focus your entire SEO content strategy on that topic - you might alienate loyal readers who enjoy your coverage on a wide range of topics.
By default, Google analytics displays about a month's worth of data. This is great for a brief overview of how your site is performing, but you can derive deeper SEO insights by splitting the data into segments - day, week, month, year, historical.
I always take a look at my current day's analytics information. It's useful to:
Every now and then a social media site, or news site, will send a thousand visits in a couple of hours and then go silent again for months, years or forever. These traffic spikes, if they're large enough, can warp your data and skew your SEO strategy as a result.
To remove referral traffic from a specific source in Google analytics:
Remember that you can add as many advanced rules to your data as possible. This helps to focus on specific aspects of your site's SEO and analytical data.
It can be difficult to "guide" visitors to a conversion. It helps to understand exactly how people are navigating your site in order to make intelligent decisions about how to improve the conversion rate.
The content navigation summary can shed light on what people are looking for when they browse a certain page. Often the results can be surprising and lead you to a new understanding of what visitors want.
To use the content summary:
The navigation summary is particularly useful for gaining insight into what people are looking for. Do they go to your services? Do they read your blog? Do they bounce?
By default, Google analytics displays the primary data dimension only. However, the secondary dimension can help provide drill-down information about the primary dimension's data.
For example, looking at the "Audience >> Location" data map for traffic from the U.S on my site, it's possible to see where my visitors come from.
This is interesting and all, but I also want to know how they arrived at my site. This can tell me if a localized surge in traffic occurred because of a specific event, marketing campaign, etc.
To display a secondary dimension in your data, use the "Secondary dimension" drop down and choose the pertinent option.
Looking at lists of statistical SEO data is one thing, but being able to actually visualize the flow of traffic into and around your website is a very powerful feature of Google analytics.
Google analytics makes it easy to visualize this flow for different segments of your market - great for precision SEO intelligence gathering. It's hugely valuable, for example, if you want to understand what new visitors are doing, as opposed to regular visitors who might already understand what you do and what you offer.
To access the visitor flow visualization, select "Audience >> Visitor Flow" from the left sidebar. You can then segment the data according to visitor type - new, returning, paid, non-paid, etc.
In addition, it is also possible to filter the results by one of the default dimensions, so you can limit the traffic you are looking at by location, source, content and system.