I’ve been running a lot of SEO and Google Analytics reports lately, both for myself and for my clients.
At the end of 2017, I ran a promotion for my current clients to do an SEO review of their site, and I was surprised by how many of them hadn’t given SEO a thought since their website launched.
In order to start on the right foot in 2018, most of them took me up on this promotion, so we ran through their technical search engine optimization and made sure their sites were all compliant with the latest algorithm change.
Only minor changes had to be made, and most of them were good changes. But it got me thinking about how to communicate the importance of Google Analytics reports and its role in SEO for creative entrepreneurs. That’s why this week’s post is the most common reports I run in Google Analytics and how they apply to online entrepreneurs, such as yourself.
Where are my website visitors coming from?
One of my favorite reports to run is the Visitor Acquisition report in Google Analytics.
Go to the Acquisition tab > Channels
You’ll be able to tell how many visitors are coming from social networks, referrals, organic searches, or by going to your URL directly.
When it comes to SEO, it’s the organic search that we’re worried about. If you start to see a decline in this, it could mean adjustments need to be made to your site. This isn’t always the case, but I like to keep an eye on these stats to tell whether or not the adjustments I made are working well or if more work needs to be done.
What are my visitors searching when they find me?
If you’ve connected your Google Analytics and site to Google Search Console (which you should) you’ll be able to see the various terms that people are searching when they find your site.
Go to Acquisition tab > Search Console > Queries
This tab is probably the most helpful because you’ll see what you’re starting to be known for. However, there is one downside – most searches are private, which is where you’ll see the term “other” coming in.
Either way, you can start to use this report to guide future content and headlines.
What pages are attracting the most search traffic?
Sticking within the Acquisition and Search Console categories, I like to take a look at my top landing pages in Search Console next.
This report gives you an idea of what pages or blog posts people are actually clicking on and entering your site through. You’ll also be able to analyze how long they spent on your site, if they dove deeper or immediately left your site (bounce rate).
You can use this report to guide your content creation, by finding the patterns within your most successful pages.
So how do I make this information work for me?
While Google Analytics is a trove of helpful data, you’ll notice that most of the reports I run are content based. This is because as an online entrepreneur, your biggest asset is the valuable content you produce for your visitors. The more helpful, optimized content you create, the better your site will appear in search engines.
These reports can help guide the technical best practices for search engine optimization – page titles (headlines), descriptions, keywords, etc. But where’s it’s truly beneficial is when it comes to content strategy.
Learn what your visitors like and write more of that. Learn what they’re searching for and tap into those keywords in your blog posts and offerings.
I’m not a content expert nor a Google Analytics expert by any means, but there is a lot to be said for exploring the GA dashboard and knowing your numbers.
If you are looking for more help diving into this information and setting up a better content strategy, I highly recommend my girl Claire Paniccia, where she helps people conquer their content strategy.
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