This week I have been using Google Analytics to create the reports that SEO Premier send to their clients each month.
I’ve been learning the different ways that we can exploit the data to show the success of the keywords and how the website traffic compares to the previous month. As I wrote last week, the Google Analytics Platform Principles course gives a great introduction to the program and how the data is found, and the Google Analytics YouTube page has lots of other video tutorials on how to use the site to get the desired information.
The first thing that is put in the reports each month is the updated keyword rankings. This is as simple as Googling each individual keyword and seeing where they rank. It gives us a clear indication which keywords are doing well and which ones aren’t. For example, let’s say a particular client has chosen the phrase ‘internship blog’ as a keyword. If it has been moving between positions two and three on the 1st page of the rankings for the past several months but then this month doesn’t show up until the second page, then we need to focus additional efforts to get it back to the top (Note: this rarely happens, usually keywords will only move one or two places, and if there are big moves they tend to be up the ranks).
In this example, we see that of the 246 visitors to the site, 171 have entered through a listing on Google…that’s almost 70%!
The next few pages of the report are ‘Traffic Analysis’ pages. This is where Google Analytics comes into play, and different charts and tables are examined. The table below shows the different ways visitors have found the site, with organic search being the number of people directed to the website via search engines:
Direct: Finding the site directly from the browser (i.e. typing the website into the browser bar).
Referral: Finding the site by using a link on another website.
Social: Finding the site via a link on a social media page.
Google Analytics also allowed us to compare the number of visitors to the site from this month to the previous month, and to determine how many of these visitors were new and how many were returning (see chart below). This particular client’s website views went from 184 in May to 246 in June. A 33% increase in traffic to the site, coupled with the fact that 70% of traffic has come through search engines, proves that the improved keyword rankings are working!
What has been most interesting to myself as someone new to the world of SEO, is how clear it is to see whether the SEO campaign is working, and how accurately we can show clients where the website is succeeding and what areas need improving. Other stats like bounce and exit rates show what pages visitors are leaving the site from, and that tells us that there is something on that page which is causing visitors to leave. We can use this information to find the page, improve it, and see whether the adjustments have worked by running the same analysis in the following period and comparing the two.
There is still a lot to learn, but I am finding that each week, as I become more experienced with Google Analytics and SEO as a whole, I am better fitting into my role as Digital Account Executive.