Depending on if you’ve just launched your company’s first website or if you’re rebuilding it for the tenth time, chances are you have some idea of how you want it designed for the user’s experience. Ensuring navigation and incorporating language that best describes your pages are all easy enough to understand parts of search engine optimization (SEO) when designing and building your website. But now that your site is live and you can find your website in search results, you’re probably not thinking about ongoing SEO and looking at what data is working or not working. After all, your website is ranking, right?
Why it’s essential to use analytics
To keep ranking or climbing in rankings, updating your website’s SEO is essential. You’ll need to frequently look for opportunities to keep your website relevant in results, and one of the best tools to find out what needs updating is your analytics. SEO isn’t a matter of just adding new keywords or content, but it’s being able to analyze your site’s data to be more successful.
At Evolve Systems, we recommend using Google Analytics. We apply it to all our client’s websites, but any form of analytics can be your roadmap for improving your website. Google is the largest and most used search engine in the world. On top of that, they’re updating their algorithm weekly or monthly to give users the best search results. Some of the data they use to improve their algorithm and ranking factors lies in analytics.
To explain why it’s essential to continue using and reviewing your website’s analytics, we’re going to list out a few areas where analytics can help improve how to keep your site relevant in search.
Using Google Analytics because it an automatic collection of data
One of the reasons we recommend Google Analytics is because GA can reduce the work required to put analytics data into documents or spreadsheets in order to report and analyze the data. If you’re wanting to set up a Google Analytics account and add it to your website, it’s as simple as adding a single piece of code to your website. Once you do this, there are no extra steps to receive and review the data, there is no need for additional documents or spreadsheets. Google Analytics does all the work for you. Whether you would like to create a report in analytics or a custom report in Google Data Studio, Google Analytics makes it easy to add data points. Saving you and your team time and energy so you can quickly pivot into implementing strategies on your client’s websites.
Want to build your reports? Here are some helpful links to Google’s site on the step by step process of report building and Google’s Data Studio Platform.
Analytics gives you the ability to measure internal site search
Another reason why reviewing your Google Analytics is useful is building out new pages or updating your current pages using the internal site search tool. The internal site search reveals what potential visitors are looking for when coming to your website. It also shows growth opportunities that may be unclear or lacking on your site for customers and clients.
Below is a screenshot in Google Analytics where you can track the internal site searches. By digging into your internal site searches, you’ll have better insights into what people are searching for on your website. You can make the necessary changes or additions accordingly to improve your website’s performance.
Understand why visitors are bouncing off your website
Using your analytics to view bounce rate data is another crucial metric when looking to optimize your website. Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors leaving your website after visiting only one page. This metric is a search engine ranking factor and is very important to keep as low as possible. A reasonable bounce rate is in the 40%-60% range, this is the industry standard. Any higher than this and Google’s algorithm can start to drop your site in rankings. Checking your bounce rate and making sure it stays in this range should be a priority.
At the same time, overemphasizing and over-optimizing for the bounce rate could decrease your website’s usability. Simplifying your website to be five pages and linking all five pages together would force the bounce rate to drop. Initially, this sounds great from a KPI’s standpoint, but from the user experience, it could leave visitors feeling as if the site is simple and could affect your user funnel. You or your client’s websites might experience vast amounts of traffic but might not have sufficient conversions.
A low conversion rate means visitors coming to your website might not be finding what they are looking for and could be leading to a high bounce rate. If your site is above the industry standard of 60%, you have a high bounce rate and it calls for action. Internal link building or better on-page content might be a quick, helpful solution. Yet the reason for a high bounce rate could be that your website is not optimized correctly, or maybe your landing page is not attractive enough. Therefore, viewing the bounce rate in analytics is an essential way of helping to reduce the bounce rate of your site.
Demographics, get to know the age, gender, interest, device, and location of your audiences
Many analytics programs allow for exact user data. With Google Analytics, you can uncover valuable data about your user audiences and demographic data to figure out what channels drive the most amount of traffic to your website. In the Audience area in GA, there is a lot of information about the people who visit your website, including their age, gender, interests, devices, and location. It also gives you data on how the visitors landed on your website.
Adding Analytics to your website can be helpful at examining age demographics. The age and gender information being taken in from Google is only a sample size and isn’t 100% reflective of the data as a whole, it is still valuable information for getting to know your audience and where they spend time on your site. Knowing the average age of your website audience can help you to optimize your website accordingly.
The gender variable helps you to describe your audience. Your audience’s gender plays an essential role in how you should communicate and engage online.
Another great addition to Google Analytics is that you can understand your audience’s interests and optimize your website by following their interests
Google Analytics also gives you views of what kind of device they are using when finding your website. Using the device information section, you can break down what devices you want to target more. Furthermore, Google Analytics allows you to view which kind of smartphone or tablet your audience uses.
The geolocation feature of Google Analytics not only lets you know the country or state where your visitors are coming from but the city from where they are, and even the language they use. Furthermore, unlike the age and gender information provided by Google, the geolocation is more comprehensive and can help you understand where your customers are coming from and formulate marketing strategies according to your potential customers and physical locations.
To understand what kind of content you should write
Content is the king and can help you gain more traffic and potential visitors if created correctly. Good content is one of the best ways to reach out to your customers. This is why so many businesses create blogs, infographics, and pages that can add value to your customers. Google Analytics helps you to keep track of all the content that receives views and shares. With this data, you can enhance the top viewed blogs to increase appeal for customers. Google Analytics generates a breakdown of the page views each of your blog posts receive. You can rework the top-performed blogs to generate more traffic.
The key takeaway from reviewing your Google Analytics should be GA can do wonders for your business; it can provide valuable insights that can be used to improve the performance of your website and increase conversions. Despite the fact that there are so many other analytics management platforms, Google Analytics remains a free and highly relevant solution for managing the analytics of your website.