5 ways to use Google Analytics and make your SEO life easier

5 ways to use Google Analytics and make your SEO life easier

3rd September 2012

Google Analytics is one of the most valuable sources of information we can have to easily identify SEO opportunities, make decisions and optimize the sites we work for.

Nonetheless, with so many functionalities if we don’t use its customization features, the work of analyzing relevant data can be sometimes time consuming.

This is why I would like to share 5 different segments, visualizations, reports and alerts that help me to analyze organic traffic more easily and faster:

1. Mobile Organic Search Traffic Segment

Create an advanced segment for your Mobile Organic traffic like this:

Mobile Organic Traffic

With this segment you will be able to identify the landing pages and keywords that bring you organic mobile search traffic and verify if these are the same than the ones from organic desktop traffic (you can also create an advanced segment for it, excluding mobile traffic and compare):

Organic Mobile Landing Pages and Visits

You can also use it to easily visualize and compare your organic mobile traffic trend with the general organic traffic of the site and identify if there are opportunities focusing more on mobile users:

Mobile Organic vs. Organic Search Trend

2. Branded & Non-Branded Organic Traffic Segments

Create a Branded and a Non-Branded Organic traffic segment, eliminating and only including brand terms from the keywords  correspondingly. For example, here we have a segment for organic traffic excluding brand related keywords:

Organic Search Traffic Excluding Brand Terms

If you have too many brand keywords you can also use regular expressions to filter them. The purpose of these segments will be to identify the impact of the brand over organic traffic and how it relates to the traffic that is brought by the terms you are working with in your SEO process.

Branded vs. Non-Branded Organic Traffic

We can also create additional segments for the most important keywords or top keywords we’re working for and another for the rest of the keywords (and the long-tail) to also compare the trend and behavior of users that use them to reach the site, identify which convert better, the seasonality, the pages visited, etc.

3. Not Provided Organic Traffic Segment

 Another useful advanced segment to create is the one for the “Not Provided” organic traffic:

Not Provided Traffic

If we cannot obtain the keyword information for these visits we can verify which are the pages that are attracting them and compare their related metrics with the rest of the organic traffic. Like this we can better understand what was the intention of “not provided users” when visiting these pages and possible opportunities to expand or reorganize our content offering, for example.

Not Provided Traffic Landing Pages

We can also create another segment to exclude “not provided” traffic:

Organic Traffic Excluding Not Provided

By using this segment we can visualize more easily, for example with the “term cloud” option, which are the most important keywords bringing organic traffic for the whole site, a section, category or set of landing pages:

Keyword Cloud Visualization

Or by going to the “Goal Flow” report, to identify which are the top keywords and how they impact the site’s goals achievement:

Goal Flow Visualization

4. SEO Custom Reports

By configuring a custom report that includes only organic traffic with the KPIs we really need to track the SEO process (like visits, bounce-rate, pages per visit, number of conversions and conversion rates for landing pages and keywords) we can save a high amount of time, since we can access it directly or share it:

SEO Dashboard

We can also configure the report to be sent by email as often as we wish and avoid entering to Google Analytics to follow-up:

SEO email report

5. Organic Traffic Decrease Alerts

Finally, a functionality that can really save us a lot of time and maintain us updated about the organic traffic activities of our sites is the Google Analytics Alerts, that we can set by going to the desired profile configuration.

We can define the criteria we want to use to trigger the alerts, that can be a decrease or increase of a metric number or percentage from the previous day, same day the previous week or year and apply them to a specific advanced segment that we have created (for example, a decrease or increase of a specific percentage of visits or conversions just for organic traffic, organic mobile, organic non-branded, top landing pages, top categories, top keywords, etc.):

Organic Traffic Decrease Alert

Thanks to these different Google Analytics functionalities I can develop an SEO traffic analysis and follow-up much more faster. Which are yours?


Written By
Experienced International SEO Consultant -service that she provides through her company Orainti. She’s a frequent SEO speaker at international conferences & blogger.
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