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Google Analytics Strategies to Measure SEO Success

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

You know what they say, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”In Search Engine Optimizationmeasurement is critical to success.Sure, keyword rankings are a great measure of SEO.

Going beyond keyword rankings allows marketing teams to showcase what really matters:how organic search brings revenue and profit to the business.Thankfully, one of the best tools for measuring SEO is freely available,and probably already installed on your website – Google Analytics!

1.View Only Organic Search Traffic
This one might seem obvious.I’m always surprised at how many companies see a decline in overall website traffic and immediately jump to the conclusion that the traffic loss is due to a decline in organic search traffic.Many times digging a little deeper can actually reveal that organic traffic is up while other traffic sources are down which is resulting in the overall traffic decline.Clicking on the“Organic Search” channel will give you a more detailed report which includes only organic search traffic metrics.

2.How to Measure The Quality of SEO Traffic
A lot of times I hear that “quality” is subjective, so you can’t really measure it.I don’t believe this to be true and in fact, I’d say there are a lot of ways to measure the quality of any traffic source, not just search.Use this report to look for a decline or improvement in conversions from search traffic.If businesses notice a decline in conversions from search, yet overall search traffic is steady, it’s easy to determine that the traffic coming from search is not qualified or of a very high quality.

3.Assigning Dollar Values to Organic Traffic
This is a strategy I use for businesses who are looking for a more traditional way to understand the value SEO is bringing to their business beyond improvements in traffic, visibility and conversions by assigning a dollar value to their organic traffic results.To assign a total dollar value to a sites organic traffic, I compare how much thekeywords would cost if purchased in a Google AdWords campaign.The final column in the spreadsheet is the sum of the estimated cost per click multiplied by the amount of clicks, resulting in the total organic traffic value per keyword.This is a great strategy to visualize what kind of dollars and cents a businesses SEO strategy is saving them on traffic they would otherwise have to pay for.

4.Identifying Slow Loading Page Times
The need to optimize page load times is one item that is majorly overlooked by many SEO’s.That’s why I always suggest that if a business is investing time and money in SEO and keyword rankings, don’t blow it by overlooking a slow loading website.As an SEO, what I will do is bring this reportto the site developers and ask them to do everything they can to optimize page load times.Once page load times have been improved, I will run this same report and compare it to the old data to show how much additional search traffic we’ve retained, and most likely converted due to the improvement in page load times.

5.Create Your Own SEO Dashboard
The best way I’ve found to present Google Analytics and SEO data is through the built in Dashboard interface.A Dashboard is essentially a series of Widgets which pull all of the individual reports into a single view which is easy to access, share, and print.The bonus to having an easily presentable PDF of SEO metrics is the fact that having this dashboard will also cut down on your time spent reviewing Analytics letting you focus on actually doing the SEO work.

I like tailor these reports to the specific client, but other widgets I usually create include:

*All Organic Visits Over Time (Timeline)
*Top SEO Landing Pages
*Top Organic Keywords & % of New Visits
*Pages per Visit by Organic Keyword
*Most Successful Keywords by Goal Completions

Turning a Challenge Into a Strength
By far, the single most challenging aspect of being an SEO is being able to effectively articulate the value you are bringing to a business.It’s easy for an SEO to show another SEO how his or her numbers are improving, but being able to quantify your work from a traffic and revenue stand point to a client or your boss is essential to earning and retaining business.If a client doesn’t understand what that check they’re writing is doing for their business, it won’t be long before they stop writing that check.Being able to educate your client on your process helps them appreciate the value you’re bringing to their business and view you as an asset to their future traffic goals.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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