All the SEO efforts in the world will do you no good if you fail to evaluate your results. Much like anything you strive for, losing weight, gaining muscle, learning a new skill, etc., you won’t really know if you are improving if you don’t measure it somehow. I’m not going to get into S.M.A.R.T. goals today, but if you haven’t heard of that, take minute to look it up.
We have talked a ton about SEO strategies and I’m going to assume that you have taken at least one of our suggestions to task in order to improve your ranking in the major search engines. But how can you know?
The first thing I encourage you to review is under “Behavior – Site Content – All Pages”. This is a great place to review to see where people are actually “going” on your site. While you may think that everyone loves your page about “x”, the reality might surprise you. A real estate company was very surprised to learn that their most visited page was the web-cam, not the actual listings for sale! While it was still driving loads of traffic to the site, it was not achieving the intended objective for the site.
Looking under “Acquisition – Keywords – Organic” is my second most important location to review. This tells you what phrases your visitors are typing into the search engines before they arrive on your site. While the folks at Google are increasingly hiding this data (more on that next time), you can still get a relatively good idea about how you are being found. This is incredibly valuable in determining which phrases to target. This helps you avoid the guesswork of how you “think” people are finding your site.
My last, but most fun, part of Analytics is under “Audience – Visitors Flow”. This is the place where you can “track” your website visitors as they work their way through your site. They land on page “a”, then X% of them moves on to page “b”, and so on… It is a great place to see where folks are leaving the site or if they are doing “or not doing” an action (button click, etc.) that you had intended. Spend some time digging around in there and you’ll learn a lot about your visitors and how best to keep them there and keep them coming back.