If you’re a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialist, your primary objective is to ensure that the website(s) you manage performs well in Google’s search results. Yes, the other search engines matter, but let’s face it—with 1.2 trillion searches worldwide every year—Google is the top priority for every SEO specialist. According to Marketing Land, an estimate suggests that anywhere from 30 to 50 million webmasters are taking advantage of the helpful tools and features offered through Google Analytics. Undoubtedly, many of the users using Google Analytics are those specifically working in the SEO industry. In fact, BuiltWith reported that 66.2 percent of the 10,000 most popular websites used Google Analytics. With SEO and website popularity going hand-in-hand, it’s no surprise that so many SEO specialists use and rely on Google Analytics to track their progress.
If you haven’t quite mastered Google Analytics as an SEO specialist, there are many advantages, some more obvious than others. Here are five reasons it’s in your (and your business’s) best interest to do so:
1. Monitor Web Traffic
As an SEO specialist, you want to see an improvement in organic search traffic due to your optimization efforts. With Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see just how many visitors your website has been getting. You can select a specified time window (even as little as just one day), or you can view traffic over a long period of time, such as several months to years. You can also sort these visitors from repeat visitors to new visitors (so that your own visits aren’t counting), and narrow down other demographics, such as location, to gain a better understanding of where and when your growth is happening.
This will allow you to monitor things like seasonal habits of your audience—such as an uptick in organic search around the holiday season or conversely, a lull in the summer months. It’s the SEO specialist’s job to foresee some of these trends and compensate for them ahead of time, with campaigns aimed at capitalizing on such habits.
2. Understand Your Traffic Sources
Seeing just how many visits your website has been getting is tremendously helpful as an SEO specialist, but when you’re looking at the general report, you’re looking at the big picture. This could mean, for example, seeing visits that resulted directly from social media efforts only, and not from SEO. If you’re looking to see how your optimization efforts have improved organic search, you’ll want to know just how many visit came from search engines, which is another feature that Google Analytics provides.
3. Track Progress by Comparing Campaigns
Because Google Analytics allows you to view data from any time period, it’s a great tool for comparing efforts from different SEO campaigns to see what worked best, what didn’t work so well, and to monitor growth.
4. Create Custom Alerts
As a busy SEO specialist, constantly checking your Google Analytics may not be practical, but it’s important to stay on top of any sudden declines in traffic and other issues. Even if you manually log in often to pull reports, it may not be frequent enough to catch something that needs immediate attention. With Google Analytics, you can set up custom alerts for things that you want to be aware of—for example, if traffic goes down by a certain percentage in any given time period. You can set this up by clicking on the “Customization” link on the left hand menu of your Google Analytics dashboard, followed by “Custom Alerts.” From there, click on “Manage Alerts” and then “New Alert.” Choose your alert conditions, such as the type of traffic you want to be alerted about, the specific percentage of traffic increasing or decreasing, and so on. Click “Save Alert” when you’re finished.
5. Set Challenging-yet-Achievable Goals
When you’re armed with the data that Google Analytics provides, you can set goals to continue to beat those numbers. As an SEO specialist, you should always strive to improve your organic search numbers (or at least keep them up if you’re satisfied with your traffic.) Google Analytics gives you key performance indicators (KPIs) that you should aim to maintain or surpass. That could include page views, unique views, time on the page, low bounce rates, exits—your goals are unique to your business and product.
Perhaps you’re just starting out as an SEO specialist and you’re new to Google Analytics, and you’re ready to learn about this essential tool to help monitor your progress. Maybe you’ve been working as an SEO specialist for some time now, and although you already know and use Google Analytics, you’d really like to explore all of the features that are available to you. With Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Specialist Course, you’ll learn all the essentials of the digital marketing world, including an in-depth look at Google Analytics.