Your SEO efforts are likely to become useless if you fail to analyze and use your website data to your advantage. It is why – as an affiliate marketer – it is vital to learn how to improve SEO with Google Analytics and to understand its benefits.
If you haven’t dipped your toes into data analytics, there is a high chance that you are missing a lot of helpful ideas that can enhance your marketing efforts.
Your website accumulates information every time you produce content online. The data covers your page’s overall performance, including the total number of your visitors, how much time they spent on your site and their demographics. And if you want to use it to your advantage, Google Analytics will play an important role to leverage it.
If you are a beginner and you are looking to improve your search engine optimization campaigns, don’t fret if you haven’t tried or you are having a tough time understanding using a data tracker tool.
In this article, I will explain how to use Google Analytics for SEO and how you can benefit from using it.
What is Google Analytics?
Perhaps you’re wondering, what is Google Analytics?
Essentially, it is an SEO web application that let’s you track and gather data about your page’s overall performance. It is among the popular web applications today that provide accurate and useful information about a particular site. It is free, easy to use, and can be accessed from any device.
It tracks and records crucial data your web page collects. It is then used to analyze user behavior (your audience) which can significantly help your business. Here are a few things it can do:
- Tracks the number of your site’s visitors
- Records how much time they’ve spent on your page
- Shows the demographics of your audience
- Lets you know where your readers are from
- Gives information about your website’s overall function
Why is it important?
Google Analytics helps to improve your marketing campaigns. Simply put, it is a powerful SEO tool that lets you track and record your web page’s overall performance, which you can use later to enhance your digital marketing efforts.
- You will better understand your audience. You will also have information about how they behave and interact with your site. And in return, it will help you to achieve your conversion goal.
- You can create tailored content for your audience. Mainly, your content marketing efforts will benefit greatly from data tracking. Having accurate data about your market and how they behave allows you to craft content according to their desires and preferences.
- Check and determine under performing pages. You will also be able to fix and optimize your under performing pages. Take the app’s ‘time spent’ category as an example.
According to a study, consumers tend to abandon a page if the loading time goes beyond 3 seconds. And that means losing customers and sales!
To prevent that, Google Analytics will enter and play its role (which I will discuss more later). It will help you determine which pages are responding and behaving poorly.
How does it differ from Google Search Console?
If you have used Google Search Console before, you might be thinking that it is somewhat similar to Google Analytics. Technically, the answer is yes as both applications cater to search engine optimization.
While both SEO tools are handy when it comes to content and website optimization, they also have some differences.
Google Search Console is primarily for tracking and checking your web page’s SEO performance. It also provides insights on your site’s structure if it is mobile-friendly or not. Google Analytics, on the other hand, is primarily for understanding your audience’s behavior and checking if your campaigns are effective or poor.
Having that said, if you are looking to improve your marketing efforts further, it is wise to use both online devices for better results.
How to improve SEO with Google Analytics
Google Analytics can be daunting. If you are a noob when it comes to this type of stuff, do not fret. Let me help you understand how to use Google Analytics.
Setting It Up
Setting up Google Analytics is a straightforward process. You simply have to perform a few steps and voila! You have it installed in your website.
Here are some simple steps:
Step 1: Sign up and get your Google Analytics Tracking ID
You have to sign up and create your own Google Analytics account. If you have a Google Account, you can proceed straight to the sign-up page. If you don’t, it’s best to get a Gmail account first.
Then, fill out all the necessary information. After that, it will automatically direct you to another page where you will find your unique Google Analytics tracking ID. Remember that your tracking code is crucial to your site as it will help to run the device as soon as it is installed into your web page.
Step 2: Install the tracking ID into your site
Now that you have your unique tracking number, you have to place it at the back-end of your website. Just note that how you do it may vary depending on the platform you’re using.
For WordPress, you can integrate Google Analytics in your web page using two methods: through a plugin or directly pasting the Global Site Tag into your WordPress theme. Check out this list if you don’t know which plugin to use.
Otherwise, you will have to go to your settings and look for the option to “add header scripts.” If it has, paste your Global Site Tag into it.
Personally, I use All in One SEO. Under general settings, I place it in the Google Analytics ID. I also update Google Search Console under webmaster verification. Here’s how to find the Google verification code:
- Go to the Alternate methods tab in Google Search Console
- Select the HTML tag option
- You can copy the entire tag
- Click update options
For ecommerce platforms, you will have to go to your site’s settings. After that, look for the option where you can integrate a Google Analytics plugin. But typically, most e commerce sites require a Tracking ID only. Shopify for instance, only asks users to paste their unique tracking number into its settings. Then that’s it. It’s good to go.
Step 3: Check if it works correctly
The final and vital step: test if it is working correctly.
Open the Real-time Overview Report in one tab. Next, try to open several pages of your website on other tabs. Then look at the Real-time Overview Report again. You will know if the tool is correctly working if you see the pages you visited on the Real-time Report. Just take note that it takes 24 hours before Google Analytics can display precise data and reports.
What Can Google Analytics Track?
Using Google Analytics can be mentally taxing since there are so many metrics that you can use to track how your web page is performing. So let’s go ahead and jump to the critical ones.
The acquisition report is a section where you will find data about how your visitors found your website. In other words, the exact traffic sources. It is categorized into five groups:
- Organic Search. This is traffic from direct search results of search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.
- Social Media. Traffic which comes through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
- Direct. Traffic acquired by directly searching the website using its URL. It can also mean an unknown source, especially if Google cannot determine the source of traffic.
- Referral. Traffic which came from another website (a blog post, for example) or YouTube video.
- Email. Traffic acquired from links within an email. For example: newsletters.
The user behavior report is a comprehensive data covering different interactions your visitors made within your site. It is an overview where you can find how your audience behaved within your website.
Here’s a summary of each section:
- Pageviews. The exact number of pages your visitors visited within your website.
- Average time on pages. How much time a visitor spends viewing specific pages in your site.
- Unique page views. It is when a visitor accessed and viewed a particular page in your web page at least once.
- Bounce rate. It is the average amount of traffic where people visited a page and then abandoned it without any interaction.
- Percentage exits. It gives insights on how many times your visitors exit your web page.
In this section, you will find what types of individuals are visiting your website. Are they teenagers, young professionals, or retirees? You will see your readers’ gender as well as their age bracket too.
Such data can help you craft content that will catch their interest and attention. It also allows you to continuously refresh your content and help you reach your target market more accurately.
Putting it all together
Google Analytics is a proven online tool that helps website owners to improve their SEO and online marketing efforts. If you are new to affiliate marketing, it really helps to learn more about Google Analytics and use the data to your benefit.
It can particularly help you in your content marketing campaigns, as well as provide you insights concerning your target market like their age, how they behave, their preferences as well as their interests. In return, you can then craft content that will capture their attention.
If you have any questions or any feedback, please leave them below and I will be more than happy to help. Hope you enjoyed reading this post.