“Search Engine Optimization.” The reason you may not have viewed it, is because you need to “enable Webmaster tools” to gain access to it.
Want to know why the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) reports will become your new BFF? Ever wonder the exact terms people search for when they discover your site? Wishing more people would click over from search engines?
1.FIRST THINGS FIRST, YOU’LL NEED TO ENABLE THE FUNCTION
Once you login to your Google Analytics account, navigate yourself to Acquisition>>Search Engine Optimization>>Queries.
Click “Set up Webmaster Tools date sharing” and follow the steps to complete the set up. The steps are simple and should only take a couple minutes. Once you’re finished, you should now gain access to the “Search Engine Optimization” pages.
2.DISSECTING THE QUERIES PAGE
On the left, your Google Analytics Queries page will list your top keywords in order of impressions. They are the exact terms that people are using to find particular posts on your site. They can be ordered by the following variables:
Impressions: Impressions are the number of views your post received on a search engine results page. For example, if someone Googled “Entrepreneur Books” and you have a popular post called, “My Favourite Books for Entrepreneurs,” then your post may show up on the search engine page for that term. Therefore, the number of “impressions” isn’t the number of people who clicked over to read your post. It’s just the number of times your blog’s post appeared in the list of other posts on a search engine result page.
Clicks: This refers to the number of times someone actually clicked your post (from the search engine result page) in order to read it.
Average Position: This is a fun one. It refers to the exact ranking that your post has on Google when someone searches for a particular keyword. Ideally, you want this number to be as close to “1” as possible, especially for keywords that are particularly important to your blog or business. “1” means that your post is the very first result.
Don’t worry if your numbers are looking a bit higher (or even a lot higher) than the mystical “1”. Firstly, search engine optimization (SEO) takes time to organically build up. If you just published a post that you think has great potential, you will still likely need several months before it gets strong notice from search engines. Secondly, in this post I’m going to share ways to increase this search engine ranking.
CTR: Lastly, CTR stands for Click Through Rate, or the rate in which users click over to read your post from search engines results. The exact formula Google shares is “Clicks/Impressions x 100 = CTR.” A fantastic CTR is in the ball-park of 50%. However, that can be difficult to achieve, especially with popular keywords. Instead, you’ll ideally want a CTR of 15-20% for your most popular keywords, especially if they directly relate to your website (even that is ambitious!).
3.USING THE “QUERIES” PAGE TO FIND YOUR MOST POPULAR + RELEVANT KEYWORDS
Now that we’ve defined all of the data and terms, it’s time to actually put it to use in a way that will help you grow your website’s traffic. Essentially, we’re going to uncover the following things:
- How to rank even higher for keywords that are relevant to your brand.
- Which posts are showing up the most in search engine results.
- How to improve your CTR so that once you do rank more highly in search engines, people actually feel inclined to click over and read your post.
First of all, you might see that your top keywords are ones that aren’t very relevant to your site’s main focus. As an example, some of my top keywords are posts about “halloween lights”. Those are old posts that I wrote when I first started this blog, but which are no longer relevant to my audience.
Instead, go through the list of “queries” to find ones that are relevant to your blog or business. (Note: you can view more queries by clicking the “show rows” button at the bottom of the page). Some of them might surprise you and many of them will likely belong to posts you wrote months or years ago, like I mentioned, SEO takes time, so older posts tend to rank higher than brand new ones. Record any queries with a CTR of less than 10% on a piece of paper.
Next, record the other information for these keywords, impressions, clicks, average position, and CTR. This will help you to see which keywords are hustlin’ and which ones are falling flat.
4.ADDING THE “LANDING PAGES” DATA
Finally, if you click Acquisition>>Search Engine Optimization>>Landing Pages, then you’ll see a page very similar to your queries page. The only difference is that instead of showing a list of your most popular keywords, it will show a list of the most popular posts and pages on your website. Likely, your most popular posts will directly relate to your most popular keywords. For example, if one of your popular keywords is “Vanilla Cake,” then it’s probable that your “Best Vanilla Cake” post will be one of your most popular posts within your “Landing Pages” data.
Using a piece of paper, record the popular posts next to their related keyword. You can do this for as many posts and keywords as you’d like, but I’d work on the most popular and relevant ones first.
5.PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER TO GROW YOUR BLOG OR WEBSITE’S TRAFFIC
Now that we’ve recorded data from your Queries and Landing Pages section, it’s time to analyze it and find ways for you to improve. Looking at your completed list, you should be able to see which keywords/landing pages have the lowest click through rates (CTR). Time to work some magic!
If you have CTRs that are less than 10%, then it’s likely because of one of these problems:
- Your post title is not catchy or interesting enough.
- Your meta description (the few sentences that appear below your post title in search engine results) is not catchy or interesting enough.
To fix these, just edit them! You can easily edit your post titles. To edit your meta description, you can use a WordPress plugin like Yoast. Think about a title that is descriptive, uses your keyword, and would make someone want to click your post. For the record, posts that begin with phrases like “How to… or 5 Ways…” tend to receive more clicks.
Similarly, if you want to show up more in search engine results for a particular term, then try these tips:
- Add your keyword (organically) throughout the related “landing pages” more often. Simply edit the text to add your keywords in a few more places.
- Make sure your keyword is used in the title, meta description, text of the post, and URL (if possible).
- Write more posts about that keyword/query topic and link them within your posts.
- Lengthen your popular “landing page” posts to include even more valuable information. Google rewards posts that are in-depth.
- Share these posts on social media in the hopes that others will repost them on their own social media or mention them in a blog post on their site. When other sites link to your site, it boosts your SEO.
6.LASTLY, FIGURE OUT WHICH KEYWORDS YOU WANT TO RANK FOR IN SEARCH ENGINES
You’ll want to select keywords that are relevant to your brand and will likely bring you traffic and sales. You can search for these keywords on the Queries page to see if you’re already getting traffic from them and then use the steps above to improve the number of clicks and amount of traffic you receive for a particular term.
This process may sound complicated if you’re reading through this for the first time, but following the steps above is actually pretty simple and quick. It should show you which keywords are bringing you the most traffic and which ones could bring you a lot of traffic if you tweak certain posts on your site.