Now that you’ve completed your on-page SEO work, how do you know if it’s working? Now is when analytics monitoring comes into play. Measuring and analyzing the data available regarding your website helps to maximize the effectiveness of not only your SEO work but also your overall marketing efforts.
Although there are many different analytics tools available, Google Analytics is a free tool and offers a wealth of information. It’s fairly easy to set up for your website. Use this article to guide you.
In doing Google Analytics monitoring for our clients, we look at a wide variety of KPIs for user acquisition, behavior, site performance, and content. But if you are going it on your own, here are the top Google Analytics metrics that you should be tracking for your business:
- Total users – How many total users have been to your site in the selected date range?
- New vs. Repeat users – Repeat users are the fans and loyal followers of your company. The percentage of new users shows the reach of your marketing efforts to new audiences.
- Bounce rate – This is the percentage of people who immediately visit your site and click away without interacting with your site (usually spending less than 30 seconds on the page). Why are users clicking away? Maybe because they only needed information such as your phone number or address and found it immediately. Bounce rates can also reflect issues with your website’s design and content or the need to update your meta descriptions so the text on the search results pages more clearly reflects the content users will find on the page.
- Traffic sources – Use this metric to discover how users are finding you: via organic search, referral sites, direct entry of your URL, or through social media channels.
- Referral sources – What sites are sending their users to your site?
- Most/least popular pages and average visit time – What content do users find most/least interesting, and how long are they spending on it?
- Exit pages – When users visit multiple pages and then leave, what pages are they leaving? If those pages are form submission thank-you pages or contact pages, that’s good news. Other exit pages could indicate a problem—for example, leaving the page in the middle of a shopping cart checkout.
- Landing page conversion – This is the number of people completing your call to action (CTA), whether it’s downloading a white paper, signing up for a newsletter, or completing a contact form. The best way to track your landing page conversion is to set up Google Analytics goals.
- Top Search Engine Queries – Find out which keywords are leading users to your site.
- Organic traffic sources – How many people are finding you from search, and through which search engines?
- Session location – See where your users are coming from geographically. If you are a local business and are receiving hits from all over the country, you may need to alter your keywords by adding geomodifiers or content to strengthen your local targeting.
Google Analytics can be a very powerful (yet sometimes complicated) tool. Advanced usage allows you to integrate with other marketing channels such as Adwords, YouTube, mobile apps, social media channels, email campaigns, and more. But using Google Analytics’ built-in reports and dashboards makes it easy to monitor your top metrics yourself.
If you’d like help with measuring your website and marketing analytics, call us at 410-312-0081 or fill out our contact form.
– Terri Hesse, Digital Marketing Manager