Google Analytics provides a wealth of data that can increase the effectiveness of an SEO campaign. Despite the existence of alternative search engines, Google continues to attract the largest share of online searches. So many people depend on Google that the search engine has become almost synonymous with the term “search engine.” SEO success, therefore, largely depends on the visibility of a website to relevant queries executed by Google users.
Google provides free tools such as Google Analytics to site owners to encourage SEO. Data provided by Analytics includes the number of visits to a site and the type of platform used to view it. Analytics also lists referring sites and documents user activity while on a site. Other information includes bounce rates and search queries used to find a website. SEO companies use all the analytics to improve the performance of the sites they manage. Here’s how.
Search engine page rank has much to do with the number and quality of external sites that link to a particular page. Valuable pages have many external links leading to them, causing Google to display them prominently on search engine results pages (SERPs), especially if those backlinks come from authoritative domains. Pages with many low-quality backlinks that come from spam or scam sites, however, appear lower in the SERPs because Google automatically assumes that only low-quality sites link to other low-quality sites.
SEO professionals use Analytics data to manage backlink campaigns and find ways to encourage high-quality sites to link to the pages that they manage. Simultaneously, SEO experts spend time contacting low-quality sites in hopes of getting them to remove links to their content.
Traffic can indicate the popularity of a site. Google Analytics reports the number of visitors and the duration of each visit. SEO companies like to see the number of visitors to a client’s site increase as well as the length of each visit. As traffic increases, so will the number of advertising clicks or completed lead generation forms. SEO success, however, depends on factors beyond traffic. Sites that do not have content that matches user queries will often have high bounce rates, where visitors do not stay long enough to convert into a customer.
Google Analytics provides an acquisition report that shows the sources of your traffic as either paid or organic. Paid traffic comes from PPC advertising campaigns with Adwords, which integrates with Analytics. Using the list of search engine queries search used by site visitors, SEO technicians can discover the effectiveness of the keywords used on a site as well as sources of potentially irrelevant traffic. Content creators use the list of queries to guide their work to increase the relevance of a site to desirable keywords, increasing the site’s value to search engine users.
Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools combine to give SEO professionals a way to guide site modifications via A/B testing. Such tools reveal what changes to a page increase its effectiveness through a methodical process. The method works by showing some users the original page and others a modified page. If the modified page results in more conversions, SEO technicians know they have done well. Developers can use the data from failed page modifications to guide future changes as they continue to optimize client websites.
Google Analytics provides valuable information that SEO professionals use to optimize websites for their clients. The tactics listed above include only some of the ways such companies use Analytics data. Such methods help business create and maintain sites that help their clients achieve their goals.