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Ten Essential Google Analytics Metrics For SEO Lead Gen Success

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First things first, you'll want to set up your dashboard in Google Analytics before you get started with the 10 SEO tips below. Simply put, a dashboard is a collection of widgets that pull data from related reports. This is easy to set up, saving time when reporting and measuring the success of your SEO content strategy.

To save you even more time, you can click on the link below and set up your SEO dashboard for free. You can thank me later.

(If you're struggling to set it up, try opening it in an incognito browser.) 

#1 - Organic Traffic

 Obvious, right? The first widget gives you the amount of organic traffic for the period that you stipulate.

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This is essential for seeing the number of users arriving at your site naturally through search engine results pages (SERPs). If you're doing any sort of SEO, this is the metric that you'll be obsessing over.

You'll notice that we've also included a charted version of this data, for a clearer picture of traffic fluctuations.

#2 - Organic Goal Completions

I can't stress this enough, you have to set up goals on your website if you want measure your successes. 

 

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For example; if you have a form on your website, you can set it up so that if as user submits the form, it will trigger an event.

 

#3 - Search Engines

This is a breakdown of search engines, which you may think is a bit of a strange thing to be bothered with. Everyone uses Google, right? Though Google dominates in the Western hemisphere, that's not true for all countries.

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Plus, even if you're only getting a fraction of you traffic through from other search engines, that's traffic that deserves attention as you may be missing out on some real opportunities for SEO (particularly as ranking on Google is so competitive!).

 

#4 - Organic Engagement

 

Google is looking at much more than technical factors. It's also looking at engagement factors. From Google's point of view, if a users spends a short time on the page before returning to SERPs, it didn't match the search intent.

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When that happens, Google's algorithm learns that the site and query don't match. The site is then pushed further down the rankings in SERPs.

 

Google's recent E-A-T update (expertise, authority, trust) means that the emphasis on high quality, user-focused content has never been higher.

 

If you find users spending less time on you pages, re-evaluate your content and look to improve it's relevancy to your target keywords.

 

#5 - Organic Traffic by City

Are you an SEO agency with local clients or a local business? Then this report is for you as it pulls through the location of the organic traffic.

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For example; if you're a Miami-based boat shop and most your traffic is coming from London, you've got a problem!

 

#6 - Organic Entrances by Keyword

 

This widget isn't a complete solution to finding the keywords that users have searched for to find your site - Google hides 80% due to privacy concerns - but it can give you a rough idea.

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I argue that what matters is what happens when users are on your website, not how they find it. User experience (UX) is key. Yet, this data, along with Google Search Console's Search Analytics report, can reveal hidden opportunities you may have overlooked.

 

#7 - Internal Search Data

 

This report also requires you to set up internal search queries.

If you don't have a search function on your site, then you can skip this section. Swap the widget out for something else, for example; top performing organic pages.

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This report is excellent for spotting any UX issues. Perhaps, users are having trouble finding certain pieces of content.

If users are searching for keywords that are not on your site, you'll have a list of potential opportunities for building out your SEO content strategy.

 

# 8 - Mobile vs. Desktop Search Traffic

If you've been keeping up with Google's updates over the past six months you'll know that they have now rolled out mobile-first indexing to the first wave of websites. In a nutshell, this means that a site's performance on mobile devices is now what Google uses to rank the site in SERPs.

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Due to this, it's important to keep an eye on where your users coming from - mobile or desktop. This gives an idea of your sites performance in mobile SERPs and whether the mobile site is fit for purpose. In 2019, if your site isn't mobile-friendly, you've got a real issue. 

#9 - Referral Traffic Analysis

This is a referral and link analysis report, which pulls through top referrals for the selected period, as well as goal completions.

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Google is cracking down on unnatural link building strategies. It's better to look at sites that are driving not only the most traffic, but the highest quality traffic - i.e. those with high goal conversions. 

#10 - Page Speed Report

A fast site is a successful site. This widget looks at the average speed of pages on your site, highlighting any that are underperforming.

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When you find slow pages, you can gather further data through the site speed suggestions within Google Analytics. If your whole site is suffering, run your site through Google's PageSpeed Insights tool.

This is extremely useful for spotting issues and planning future technical workflow, ensuring your site is in top shape.

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Vera Fischer

By Vera Fischer

The visionary of 97 Degrees West for more than thirteen years, Vera has served as the CEO and President since 2004. During Vera’s tenure, the agency has achieved steady growth while surviving both economic recessions in Austin, Texas. Vera began her advertising career at GSD&M where she worked on accounts: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Houston Rockets, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Pearl Vision, SeaWorld and DoubleTree Hotels. Her next stop was the nationally recognized T3 known as “The Think Tank.” While at T3, Vera spearheaded the Dell Computers launch of the Preferred Accounts Division and lead national projects for the ESL and Enterprise Divisions. Other notable accounts included Quintiles Oncology, Austin Lyric Opera and St. David’s Hospital. In 2001, Vera left the agency world to embark on the client side as Director of Marketing for Forgent Networks, the software spin-off of VTEL video conferencing. Vera managed an annual multi-million dollar marketing budget, developed online lead generation programs, managed the inside sales team and consistently delivered high-quality MQLs to the sales team. In 2004, after a company wide re-org, Vera was laid off while on maternity leave. Within the day, she founded her agency, 97 Degrees West. Vera’s weekly podcast entitled, “System Execution”, launched in mid-2016 with notable guests like Ari Weinzweig, Jeff Smith, Gary Bizzo, Dr. Alan Pitt, and other business and thought leaders. Vera is the first woman to host a podcast devoted to systems and processes of successful companies. She is quickly becoming one of the country’s leading authorities on the topic of execution Vera is a member of the Austin University Area Rotary Club, an advisory board member for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Texas State University and a Mentor at Capital Factory in Austin, Texas. Vera is completing her Master’s in Strategic Communications at Texas State University in May 2018.