Even new bloggers and bloggers who are just writing as a hobby, are getting all interesting in search engine optimisation. Not just because they want to turn their blogs into a money making machine, but because they want to grow their community, or just simply because it’s fun and interesting to see this data.
Being a massive geek, I’m obsessed with data and stats. But the first time I opened my Google Analytics dashboard I was a little overwhelmed with all the reports, buttons, options, segments and drop down menus.
This is why I’ve started to break it down in a series about Google Analytics.
An accidental series.
I only meant to write one post, after a reader asked me how I pulled together my data for my monthly stat reports. But since that went well, I’ve continued writing posts about Google Analytics with the goal of making it dead easy for the average blogger to understand.
So if you’ve not read the previous posts, you might want to get caught up:
So let’s jump into todays post.
Today we’re going to talk about how to track how well you are doing with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
If you are unfamiliar with SEO, or not sure how to use it with your blog, then see the following posts:
When you check your Google Analytics to check how well you are doing on search and want to see what search terms are working for you, you’ll probably be hit with this:
This is because back in 2011, Google announced some changes – that when a user makes a search on a secure Google webpage, you won’t be able to see the keywords, for privacy reasons. So this can make it difficult to see what keywords are working for you. On the surface.
Though this doesn’t mean you’re unable to track your SEO progress. There are still a few reports you can use to let you see what’s working for you. Here are some of them:
Track Organic Search Progress.
Log into your Google Analytics and go to the following report:
Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Sources/Medium -> Google/Organic
This will let you see how many organic searches you are getting. You can compare it with a different period, I have mine set for January 2016 – April 27th 2016 and it’s comparing it to the previous period which is 5th September 2015 – 31st December 2015.
You can see that I have increase my organic search by 72.58% in that time!
This report is useful if you have just started changing the way you use SEO to see if it’s working for you.
It’s also good if you work in SEO/digital marketing to see how you have improved your clients page or site.
What pages are doing best in search?
So even though you can’t see what keywords are working for you, you can see what pages are getting the most traffic for search. This will give you an idea of what is working for you or not. It’s also a good page to look at if you’re trying to boost SEO on a particular article or page, you can see if it’s getting the results you want.
Use the following report:
Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Sources/Medium -> Google/Organic -> Select Other -> Acquisition -> Landing Page
By checking the landing pages box under other, you can see which pages are getting most hits from search.
Useful if you want a certain page to do well, or it also might be worth going back to the pages that are doing best in search to see if you can optimise them further to rank even higher.
Is search hitting the right people?
Say you’re writing an article aimed at older women getting into fitness. Or your blog is for advice or young Mums in the UK – it would be nice to know if you’re hitting the right audience, right?
While you can’t see exactly who is reading your site, you can delve down into the age, location, gender, language and more. This lets you see if you are getting through to your target audience.
Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels -> Organic Search -> Click into not provided -> Add Secondary Dimension
Here, I’ve delved into the age and location of those coming to my site from search.
So, there is a way you can view search terms. That is by using Webmaster Tools.
I’ve already written a whole post on Webmaster Tools here. So go over and have a look!
Hope you find this helpful! Any questions are welcomed. As well as feedback – do you use any different reports to track your SEO?