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Review of Google Analytics – The factors to check for better SEO

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

“Why SEO” – this is a very basic question that gets asked very often.

The answer is simple: We do search engine optimization to get more unpaid search traffic from various search engines like Google (also known as organic traffic).

In short, better SEO = More traffic from search engines.

 

Measuring what we want to improve

Since we set out to improve visitor traffic by doing SEO, the first thing that we need to do is to measure the traffic to your blog.

Unless you can measure the traffic, how can you know how effective is your SEO effort?

So, the very first step for you is to find a good traffic analysis tool if you don’t already have one. That way, you would know any change in traffic that happens due to your SEO.

You would also be able to analyze the changes in traffic patterns, and would be able to pinpoint what SEO steps are more effective for your blog or website.

 

Google Analytics – The best

Google Analytics - The Most Comprehensive Blog Traffic Analysis Tool

Google Analytics - The Most Comprehensive Blog Traffic Analysis Tool

If you haven’t chosen a traffic analysis / visitor statistic analysis tool, here is what I always recommend: Google Analytics. In fact, you can opt for it even if you are already using some other website traffic analysis tool.

It is a great, absolutely free tool from the Google stable. Anyone, from any country, can register for Google Analytics.

If you have an existing Google account, you can easily register using that as well.

 

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a JavaScript based traffic analysis tool.

When you register your blog or website for Google Analytics, you are given a small JavaScript code snippet that you need to put on all the web pages of your blog or website.

The ideal way to do this is to include the code in the template of the website, so that it automatically gets inserted into all the web pages!

 

What can be measured?

Google Analytics is a tool that would never stop to amaze you – it is capable of measuring LOTS of things about site traffic.

Here are just a few important matrices that Google Analytics would provide:

  • Number of page views
  • Number of visits
  • Number of unique visitors
  • Number of pages per visit
  • Average time on site
  • Percentage of new visits
  • Referring sites
  • Analysis of sources of traffic to your site
  • Top landing pages
  • Top content of your blog or website
  • Keywords used by people to find your site on search engines

(Don’t worry if you don’t understand some of the terms – we would be discussing them here in the coming weeks)

You can view most of this data for any period you choose – from just one day to a few years! And you can specify exact date ranges for which you want to check the data.

Remember – this is just a fraction of the features available from Google Analytics. You have to try it to get the feel of the power of this tool!

 

How does Google Analytics look?

Here’s a screenshot of Google Analytics:

Google Analytics - Blog Traffic Analysis

Google Analytics - Blog Traffic Analysis

 

 

Sign up for Google Analytics now!

Signing up for Google Analytics is easy (and free) – don’t delay it!

Here’s the link: http://www.google.com/analytics/

 

Too many factors – Prioritize

A site traffic analysis package like Google Analytics provides lots of matrices to you. If you check each of them daily, you would not be able to do anything else!

The way out is to prioritize and look at the most important factors every day. The others can be observed once a week or once in two weeks.

So, what are the factors that you should be monitoring daily to check your SEO effectiveness? Here we go.

 

Keywords used by people to find your site on search engines

Keywords Used by People to Come to Your Blog

Keywords Used by People to Come to Your Blog

This is the most important factor, and I am sure this is something that most of you would be already monitoring!

This list shows you which terms people are using in search engines to find your blog or website.

Here is what you can do through this list:

  • Once you know what terms are popularly being used to arrive at your blog, you can fine-tune your posts or pages for them for a further increase in traffic
  • When you see a high bounce rate for some terms and phrases, you can check your posts and rewrite them such that they cater better to topics related to those terms
  • You get ideas for writing new posts from the search phrases people use – what can be better than writing a post that answers a reader’s direct query?

(Image source)

 

Top landing pages

This is a list of pages that people have used to enter your blog or website. That is, this is a list of pages that people first arrived at on your blog. It can be through a search engine result page (SERP), or through a link from some other blog or website.

Why is this list important?

 

Referring sites

Apart from the traffic from search engines, people would also be coming to your blog through external links. This is a list of such blogs and websites that have been referring people to your blog.

This list will show you the effectiveness of your link building efforts.

If you have been commenting on other blogs and website for getting traffic and backlinks, you can also judge how effective it has been.

 

Sources of traffic to your site – breakup

This is a breakup of your traffic as per the source – it generally divides you traffic as:

  • Referred by search engines
  • Referred by other blogs and websites
  • Direct traffic (people who typed in your blog URL in the browser address bar)

This shows you mow much traffic you are getting from different sources.

If search engine traffic shows an increase over a few days and weeks, it means that your SEO efforts have been effective.

If referral traffic (visitors referred to you blog by other blogs and websites) shows an increase over a few days and weeks, it means that your efforts for getting backlinks have been successful.

 

Average time on site

This factor indicates the average time spent by a visitor on your blog or website per visit. The higher this number, the more interesting (or sticky) is your blog for readers.

When people spend more time on your site, it implies that they are getting a good experience on your site – both in terms of content and usability.

Both these are extremely important in the eyes of search engines like Google. We have discussed this earlier – please check out:

 

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