SEO is a big and confusing process. If you’re trying to get more traffic, leads, and sales from your website, it’s tempting to just throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. But as we all know from our favorite TV shows about cooking or interior design, that doesn’t work! You need to make sure that each piece of content has a specific goal in mind before you publish it. That way, you can track how well each post does at achieving those goals. In this post—written by me and some other smart people—we’ll explain how to set up Google Analytics so you can track the success of your SEO efforts on an individual post-by-post basis using “goals.”
What are you trying to track?
When you’re choosing the right metrics to track, it’s important to ask yourself what you’re trying to track. What is the goal of your website? What do you want to measure?
For example, if a company has been running an AdWords campaign and they have a goal of driving traffic to their website (the reason why they are advertising), then they may want to track visitors from Google searches who arrive at their site via paid search ads and compare it against organic search traffic.
The metrics and numbers that matter vary depending on what kind of business or organization you are tracking; however, there are some common ones across different industries:
Create a new view.
- A view is simply a way of organizing your data. This can be helpful if you want to track multiple websites or pages, or if you want to compare one set of data against another. To create a new view:
- Click on “Views” in the left-hand menu and then click on ‘Create View’.
- Give your new view a name that will help identify what it contains (e.g., “SEO Tracker”).
- Select whether or not the pageview should be included in Google Analytics by checking off either “Include” or “Exclude”. You may wish to exclude certain pages from being tracked so as not to skew results with irrelevant information from other parts of your website that aren’t related directly with SEO but still need maintenance (like contact forms).
Create a goal for your site.
In Google Analytics, you can create goals for your website. Goals are destinations for your website visitors and they can be a page on your site, an event like signing up for an email newsletter or buying something from an e-commerce store. You can also set up multiple goals for a single page; this allows you to track how many people reach different sections of the same page.
If someone visits one section of your site but doesn’t complete any action there (i.e., they don’t sign up), then that visit won’t count towards anything else in Google Analytics unless it’s been assigned as part of an activity goal (for example: “signup”).
Set up your goals in Google Analytics.
If you are using Google Analytics to track your site, then this is the next step.
If you haven’t set up goals in Google Analytics yet, then please do so now:
- Go to the Admin tab and click “Goals.”
- Click the plus sign (+) in the left-hand navigation bar to create a new goal.
- Give your goal a name (for example “SEO Visits”) and choose whether it’s an “Attribution” or “Conversion” type of goal (we recommend choosing Conversion). Then select what type of conversion event should trigger this goal–for example if someone clicks through from an SEO article on your site or visits within 30 days after clicking on an SEO article link from another website. You can also choose whether these conversions happen automatically with every visit or require some kind of action by users before they count toward their total conversions; we recommend setting up automatic actions so that Google Analytics will track them for us automatically!
- You’ll need a new view so that you can see the data for the goals you’ve set up.
- Set up your goals in Google Analytics. This is where you’ll track conversions and revenue from users who arrive at your site through organic searches or PPC campaigns, and it’s also where you can measure engagement with content on your website (such as time spent reading an article).
Google Analytics is one of the best tools for measuring SEO success. It can help you answer questions like “Are people finding my site?”, “How long do visitors stay on my site?” and “What keywords are driving traffic to my site?”. Contact us today if you need some assistance with your Google analytics and reporting.