There are many things that affect how your website will rank in the search engines but in order to analyse them and come up with a plan of action, you need some way or measuring these factors. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how you can use Google Analytics to help to improve the performance of your website and give your rankings a boost.
Landing page analysis
There are hundreds of metrics available in Google Analytics and it can be quite easy to get bogged down looking at each one and forget the reason why you were there in the first place. So the first step is to focus on the information that matters in order to begin your landing page analysis. At this initial stage, we are going to be looking at organic keyword searches to see how these match up with your website’s landing pages.
Landing pages are a great place to start to evaluate SEO performance as they are normally focused on a keyword, product or them. Google has a free custom report that you can download to easily view this data and this will show a range of information including landing pages, Sessions, Bounce Rate, Average Time on Page, Average Session Duration, % New Sessions, Goal Conversion Rate, Revenue, and Per Session Value.
This information will help you see how effective your landing pages are and give you an idea of how much organic traffic they are delivering to your website.
If you have hooked up Google Search Console with your Google Analytics account you’ll be able to see search query data for keywords and search terms that have driven traffic to your website. To view the search query report in Analytics go to Acquisition > Search Console > Queries. If you have not linked your Search Console and Analytics account you will see instructions on how to do this.
This can be a useful way of seeing what people are using to find your website and highlight patterns of terms being used. If the keywords you expect to see don’t appear in this report then this may show that you need to introduce more relevant content based on those keywords.
Slow loading pages
If your website pages are slow to load then this could not only be affecting the user experience on your website but it could mean your website isn’t ranking as well as it could. If you’re investing money in SEO or paid advertising then you need to make sure that your website pages load as fast as possible, this is even more important for mobile visitors who may have a slower connection speed.
The simplest way to identify slow loading pages on your website is to navigate to Behaviour > Site Speed > Page Timings. In order to help identify pages that may have issues, it is worth changing the middle column to “Avg. Page Load Time” and the right-hand column to “% Exit” which will help you see whether there is a correlation between longer load times and higher exit rates as shown in the example below.
Once you have analysed your website you can start making informed decisions to help improve the performance of your SEO based on actual data. This helps to take out some of the guesswork of SEO and can lead to some significant improvements in the performance of your website.
We’d love to hear your top tips on how you measure SEO performance using Google Analytics so, please feel free to share these with us in the comments section below.