Watch my presentation on How to Spot Opportunities Using Analytics above.
Your Google Analytics is a treasure trove of opportunities. It's where I go every time I am looking to increase traffic. Below are some metrics that I look at to spot SEO opportunities.
1. Keywords ranked on pages 2 & 3
This is by far my favorite report. You probably already have a list of keywords that you are tracking for SEO purposes and that you know are almost on page 1. That's great, but what about all the keywords that you don't even know about? There are keywords that are ranking on pages 2, 3, 4, and 5 that are not sending you any traffic... yet.
To get this report, go to the "Search Engine Optimization" tab. If you've hooked up your Google Webmaster Tools with your Google Analytics, then you should be able to see a list of keywords that you get impressions for on Google. Alternatively, you can log in to GWT to see the list.
Filter this list by specifying a minimum number of impressions (to get rid of random personalized search impressions) and average page rankings of greater than 10 and less than 41.
From this list you will surely find keywords that are worth ranking for. Add them to your on-going target list of keywords for SEO and see what kind of changes you need to make to get your pages ranking. Sometimes, all it takes is adding a couple of words here and there to get on to page 1. Sometimes there's a lot more work involved. But at least now you know about the keywords and can keep them on your radar while you go forth with your content creation plan. Keep in mind that these keywords will not show up in your keyword traffic reports due to their lack of traffic.
2. SERP CTR (search engine results page click-through rate)
Say you've got a bunch of keywords on page 1 of Google. Great! The question is how do you milk those rankings for all they're worth? By increasing your click-through rate from search engine results pages! Every paid search marketer spends hundreds of hours looking at CTR and figuring out how to improve it. Why shouldn't SEOs do the same? Too many times, SEOs focus on position as the only way to increase traffic.
Considering the direction Google is going with Panda, CTR on SERPs is even more important. It's not only about getting more traffic, you rely on your CTR to simply stay on page 1! If your competitors start paying attention, you're likely to be left behind.
To track and start improving your SERP CTR, visit the Search Engine Optimization report and look at high impression, low-click-through rate keywords.
Identify keywords that have abnormally low CTRs... in our case it looks like the keyword "website design" has a really low CTR. With 40,000 impressions and only 900 clicks, that's an area of opportunity!
Then take a look at those SERPs, in person. That means looking at your SERPs the way that your visitors see them. In our case, I found that Blue Fountain Media was ranking #1 at the moment for "website design". You'd think that with a ranking like that, our CTR would be far higher (at least 10-15%).
Don't jump to conclusions too fast. Look at precisely the SERPs that your potential customers are looking at. In the above example, we are ranking #1 in New York. If you search for the same keywords in another region, our ranking is different.
Our ranking in Miami, Florida:
Our ranking in Los Angeles, California:
The issue here appears to be that a) we don't rank as well in other regions and b) our title tag is focused on New York. The lower ranking inevitably causes a lower CTR, but perhaps I could work on our title tag to make it less New York-centric. It comes down to a cost-benefit analysis. Will we lose clicks or conversions due to a less geo-specific title tag? Will we lose rankings for New York-related keywords, which tend to be our highest converting keywords? I'll find out soon enough!
If you liked this post, check out recent posts about my work on the Blue Fountain Media website:
- How an Owl Increased Our Retargeting CTRs by 430%
- Web Form A/B Testing: How I Increased Form Fills by 37%.
Please provide any feedback below in the comments section!