SEO & Google Analytics
As any new business owner might observe, the latest trend taking place is shopping online for great deals on specific products, services or information before stepping foot in a store. It inevitably drives organizations big and small to set up a website for their business with the hope that right, when they launch they will enjoy a top ranking position on Google and tons of traffic and money, will start pouring in.
(Insert Crickets)…. It almost never happens, and if it does more than likely, it’s for a noncompetitive Keyword or phrase that drives little to no traffic meaning, no money.
If you are interested in getting to the top position on Google, Bing or any other search engine, you need to take a look at a few things:
- The top factors that those search engines use to rank your site
- How to use tools within those search engines so that you know you are focusing your effort on places that show an ROI.
A recent study from Backlinko found that the top factors which correlate your site with first-page search engine include:
- Backlinks remain a critical Google ranking factor. We found the number of domains linking to a page associated with rankings more than any other factor.
- Our data also shows that a site’s overall link authority (as measured by Ahrefs Domain Rating) strongly correlates with higher rankings.
- We discovered that content rated as “topically relevant” (via MarketMuse), significantly outperformed content that didn’t cover a topic in-depth. Therefore, publishing focused content that includes a single topic may help with rankings.
- Based on SERP data from SEMRush, we found that more extended content tends to rank higher in Google’s search results. The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.
- HTTPS had a reasonably strong correlation with first page Google rankings. It wasn’t surprising as Google has confirmed HTTPS as a ranking signal.
- Despite the buzz around Schema, our data shows that use of Schema markup doesn’t correlate with higher rankings.
- Content with at least one image significantly outperformed content without any photos. However, we didn’t find that adding additional images influenced rankings.
- We found a minimal relationship between title tag keyword optimization and ranking. This correlation was significantly smaller than we expected, which may reflect Google’s move to Semantic Search.
- Site speed matters. Based on data from Alexa, pages on fast-loading sites rank significantly higher than pages on slow-loading sites.
- Despite Google’s many Penguin updates, exact match anchor text appears to have a strong influence on rankings.
- Using data from SimilarWeb, we found that low bounce rate is associated with higher Google rankings.
Now that you understand the deciding factors and what Google looks at when a website is ranked in the search results, we can look at how using tools within Google Analytics can help you make better decisions when trying to get your new website ranked.
Search Engine Optimization Reports
These are an important factor as they monitor your website’s performance on the search engine, which determines the amount of traffic directed to your business. Below is the step-by-step process on how to access SEO reports on your Google Analytics account.
- Start by accessing the Google Webmaster Tools through your Google Analytics account
- Click the URL of your website to display the report
- Go to your dashboard and open the navigation option named ‘Acquisition.’ From there, open ‘Search Engine Optimization,’ and ‘Queries’ after that.
- An option will be displayed, named ‘Set up Webmaster Tools data sharing.’ Google will then take you through some easy steps which you will need to follow.
- There will be three reports displayed, after completion of the steps. Follow the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ link back again.
First Report: Queries
This report will show you the keywords that you are ranking for, as well as the number of clicks, impressions, the click-through rate and the average position of ranking. The default sorting for the reports is through impressions. The top of the list features sites with the highest number of qualified impressions. The click-through rate, however, depends upon two variables, namely the ranking position and the text used in the listing. An important thing to note is that if you possess a lower ranking, your click-through rate could fall to 1 percent. In the opposite scenario though, with a higher ranking, your click-through rate could climb as high as 50 percent, on specific keywords. Instead of a large number of impressions monthly, set a target of at least a 20 percent click-through rate on particular keywords. Only pick keywords that are directly relevant to the business. (Keep in mind that Google will not show all Queries due to privacy laws)
Second Report: Landing Pages
This report reveals which pages on your website are well ranked. The most popular pages will always be displayed first. Your focus should be on pages with the lowest click-through rate and greatest number of impressions. Enter the information regarding the landing page, click-through rate, keywords, impressions and ranking onto a spreadsheet.
Third Report: Geographical Summaries
This report reveals which country you receive the majority of your traffic. Target the source of the greatest amount of traffic, whether it is one country or all over the world. In case you wish to target one specific country, open Google Webmaster tools and select your website. Open ‘Site settings’ via the gear icon. By checking the box named ‘Target users in,’ you can choose the target country. In case you wish to broaden targets to the entire world, it is a good idea to translate all the text on your website into several major languages.
Increasing Search Traffic on Your Website
Having covered the reports, let us observe how to increase traffic on your site.
- Open up the Landing Pages spreadsheet and observe the rankings there.
- Use either green or red to highlight click-through rates and rankings.
- Highlight the first four positions in green. The rest are to be highlighted in red.
- Highlight the keywords that rank from the 7th to 10th position with a higher CTR rate than 3 percent, in green. For scores under 3 percent, highlighted in red.
- If the click-through rate is over 20 percent, mark the keywords on the first three spots in green. Highlight the ones that are under 20 percent in the red.
- Follow these on-page optimization techniques to get higher positioning for rankings highlighted with red. Use the text or keyword within the text of the Landing Page, add the phrase or keyword to both the title and Meta tag and add sharing icons to social media.
- Rewrite the keywords highlighted in red as it means that the Meta tag and title aren’t appealing enough. The most popular words are How to, Free, Best, Great, Tips, Why, You, Blog Post, Tricks and numbered lists. (This changes over time, but with a little research you can find terms that are relevant and popular)
Following these instructions will ensure you get a higher ranking on places like Google and Bing, it should also help you generated more relevant traffic to your website, resulting in greater potential for profits.