SEO optimization is often at the forefront of a marketer’s mind. That’s why many turn towards Google Analytics to help with their SEO needs. After all, SEO optimization hinges on whether you can measure your progress and how you interpret it.
What is Google Analytics?
How can you reach your target audience? How can you grow that audience? And how has your performance been affected because of your efforts? With Google Analytics, you have access to tools that can help you answer these questions and expose any areas you might be able to improve.
Google Analytics: Track Demographics
Insight into your demographic is vital to the success of your SEO efforts. After all, it would be challenging to reach your demographic without understanding them first! Or, as is sometimes the case, perhaps the demographic you are reaching is not the demographic you wish to target at all. Either way, demographic insights will help you understand who visits and engages with your site the most. To access demographic and interest data on Google Analytics, you will first need to enable the advertising reporting features and demographics and interests reports for the property.
Google Analytics provides information on your audience’s age range and gender. It also reveals affinity categories or lifestyles, such as sports fans, and in-market segments like product-purchase interests. With this information, you can refine your approach and target the most prominent demographic while gaining insight into the efficacy of your current efforts at the same time.
Google Analytics: Organic Traffic
The Search Console provides you with valuable, organic-search traffic data. Console reports include metrics such as impressions and clicks, bounce rate, pages and sessions, ecommerce conversion rates and transactions. It also reveals your SEO ranking by including data on how often your site URL appears in search results.
This information helps your SEO efforts by providing insight into the search queries used to find your page, as well as your page’s relevancy. With the Search Console, optimizing your site to receive high-quality traffic becomes much easier.
In order to collect this data, add your site to the Search Console, then configure SEO reporting in Analytics. Once this has been configured, you can access the data by opening reports in Google Analytics, then select Search Console under Acquisition.
Google Analytics: Track Backlinks
Backlinks make up a significant part of Google’s search engine ranking factors, according to Backlinko, and act as a quality signifier to Google’s algorithm. The more sites that link to a source, the more likely the source is to be ranked higher in SERPs. Known as referrals in Google Analytics, you can track backlinks by looking under the “Referrals” tab in the “Sources” menu. Under the “Referrals” tab, you will see the top domains that brought traffic to your site.
While you can’t do much with the list alone, it does provide insight into how your site and content perform. You may notice you aren’t receiving many backlinks, if any, or the ones you are receiving are not high quality. With this information, you can create an SEO strategy to target receiving more high-quality backlinks, which will serve to ultimately improve your SEO ranking.
Google Analytics: Site Speed
Site speed is important to SEO. According to a Nielsen Norman Group study, it takes only 10 to 20 seconds for a user to click away from a site and even less time if the site fails to load quickly.
In fact, according to a Portent study, conversion rates are highest when a site takes 0 to 4 seconds to load, then drops, on average, 4.42 percent with every additional second. Site speed matters to the Google Algorithm and, ultimately, SEO. You can check page-load time for sample pageviews from multiple perspectives, such as execution speed of, for example, image load-time, button response-time and how quickly the browser makes the page available for user interaction. Slow loading speeds drive users and conversions away. Finding these problem areas will significantly improve your SEO efforts.
Google Analytics: Assisted Conversions
Assisted conversions are the interactions users have with a website before a conversion, excluding the final interaction. Assisted conversions are insightful, especially in ecommerce, because they reveal the path users take before a conversion.
People rarely make a purchase from a brand they don’t know right away. Instead, they take time to get to know what the brand has to offer and comparison shop before they decide. With Assisted Conversions, you can see the bigger picture and better understand how users find your site, allowing you to fine-tune your marketing strategy.
The assisted conversion report on Google Analytics shows you how many conversions were assisted by another channel, such as display and mobile ads and click trackers. It also reports the value of each conversion and the revenue of the sales. The higher the sales and conversion numbers, the more valuable the channel.
Analytics to Help with SEO
Google’s algorithm considers a long list of ranking factors that they continue to modify and grow, which is why your SEO strategy should be fluid, evolving with your content and the algorithm. With Google Analytics, you have access to tools that reveal essential data you otherwise would not be aware of.
Using the tools above and the many other tools available in Google Analytics, you can craft an educated, well-rounded strategy that will improve your SEO rankings and increase conversions.
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