When it comes to SEO and Google, there usually doesn’t seem to be any logic. Take for example Google Analytics. There are a couple of sayings that usually prove to be true: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” and “You get what you pay for”. But every once in a while you come across an exception to the rule, and Google Analytics is one of those exceptions. It is a free tool that Google provides to SEO Webmasters to analyze their sites and see how much and what kind of traffic they are getting. And even though it is a free lunch, it is one heck of a banquet.
Installing Google Analytics on your website is pretty simple, basically just entering some code that GA provides. You can do it manually, some sites make it easy as part of the set-up, or you can use a plug-in. But that is not the thrust of this article. We are going to take a look at how you can increase the traffic to your site and improve your SEO using the free tools at your disposal. We are going to do this by first finding your most visited pages and second, finding out where your traffic is coming from.
SEO your best performing pages
The first thing we want to do after our site has had Google Analytics installed for a period of time is to take a look at our pages and see which ones have been receiving the most traffic. Log into your Google Analytics account, click on “All Web Site Data” for the site that you want to analyze, and then
Click on “Behavior”
Click on “Site Content”
Click on “All Pages”
You should see a table listing urls and their metrics, including the number of Pageviews and Unique Pageviews. This will give you valuable knowledge as to which of your pages are the best performing. Why is that valuable? Well, if you know which pages are the most popular, then it will give you some insight as to what content is the most popular. Let’s say for example, your highest performing pages contain article about Mobile Marketing. This tells you that your traffic (readers) is most interested in that subject. With that valuable knowledge, you can choose from various SEO strategies:
Create more pages with the most popular content. If your readers like articles about Mobile Marketing, give them what they want are write more.
Update or add more content to those pages. Once again, give them more of what they want and update the older articles if there are any new developments or information.
Add an offer to your most popular page. You can create an opt-in on that page to create a sales funnel, or tie in one of your products or services to the article. If you sell Mobile Marketing services, let them know!
Interlink the most popular pages. Interlinking high traffic pages will help increase the rankings of those pages by using keyword targeted anchor texts. It will also increase the traffic to those pages by encouraging visitors to view more relevant content. The key word is relevant, as you do not want to send a visitor that came to your sight to read about Mobile Marketing to a page that is about Affiliate Marketing. Bad SEO!
Where is my SEO Traffic Coming From?
Now that you know how much traffic you are getting, it’s time to find out where it is coming from. Since you are already logged in to Google Analytics, let’s take a look at the same site’s traffic sources:
Click on “Acquisition”
Click on “All Traffic”
Now you can see all of the sources for the traffic to your site. First, let’s take a look at the traffic sources that are tagged as “Organic”, such as Google, Bing, etc. Tracking the volume of visitors to your site from a search engine will give you an indication of how well your SEO efforts are paying off. Obviously, you want to see growth, and increases can tell you if your efforts are producing the desired results. Patterns can also give you an idea of when your traffic is typically at its highest or its lowest, which may help you with the timing of your marketing efforts. And if there is an unnatural drop in traffic, it can be an indication that something has occurred with that search engine’s ranking of your site, and perhaps you need to analyze what may have occurred to cause the decline. Did you buy some links from Fiver right about then? Was there a Panda or Penguin update? Did Google just finally catch up with your Dark Grey SEO? Oops.
We also want to hone in on the sites that are tagged as “Referral”. Referral traffic is traffic that has been referred via links from other websites. Knowing which sites are sending you the most traffic is valuable SEO information. It gives you the opportunity to maximize and increase your referral traffic using one or more of the following strategies:
Increase your presence on the sites generating traffic. For example, if you have been posting on a Forum, become more active. Take a look at your profile and see if you can add more detail. Go out of your way to provide valuable information so that members will be more inclined to go to your site.
Find websites that are similar to the ones generating traffic. Use the same approach that has been successful on the original referring site to broaden your traffic sources on other like sites. You can use a site like similarweb.com to find sites that have the same theme or content as the original site.
Design your content to please the referral traffic. Determine what type of content and the medium of delivery the referral traffic likes. If the website is a Forum for web developers, and the site uses a lot of graphics and videos, then make sure your content is geared towards web developers and uses video and graphics in a similar manner.
So much more SEO with Google Analytics
We have only scratched the surface regarding how much valuable information you can obtain about the SEO of your site using Google Analytics. Knowledge is power, and GA gives you the power to make the right choices regarding your website SEO. And we haven’t even discussed GA’s sister site, Webmaster Tools. But like any tool, how you use it determines its ultimate value. And in the hands of a skilled SEO practitioner, Google Analytics is like an MRI used by a diagnostician. If you would like help diagnosing the SEO health of your website, contact Moore Marketing Systems today.