Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) have the potential to increase a company’s online presence and bottom line dramatically, says Joel Gross, SEO expert and founder of Coalition Technologies. Around half of the $3.3 trillion in retail sales in the US are done through the internet. Google Analytics is a major part of capitalizing on this market opportunity.
In order to use Google Analytics well, a business first needs to identify their exact goals. Do they want their viewers to purchase goods on the site? Subscribe to a newsletter? Read their articles or view their ads? Knowing exactly what the business does and its purpose is one of the major keys to successful SEO.
Beyond knowing the business and strategizing around its purpose, Google Analytics offers many different tools that help business owners track their SEO and SEM efforts and online business. Below is Joel Goss’ take on 11 Google Analytics tips that the software company SEOMoz recently released.
Many people only use Google Analytics to track their readership and keywords, but its biggest money making potential lies in its goal tracker. Using the tool, Analytics can track every time a viewer purchases one of the website’s products, reads an article, or subscribes to a email campaign, among other things. Google supplies goals templates based on common business goals, or people can set them up for themselves.
Combine Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics
Google Webmaster tracks different data than Analytics, such as which search queries drive viewers, the website’s position on Google and links to the site. With this information, plus Google Analytics’ goals, owners or SEO experts like Joel Gross can target search queries with low conversion rates or other weaknesses and optimize the pages to help nudge viewers into completing the business’ goals.
Events can include things like ad clicks, newsletter sign ups, video plays, errors during checkout and other interactions with the site. To track an event, an SEO expert places the following code into the HTML:
_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘category’, ‘action’, ‘opt_label’, ‘opt_value’])
The category, action, opt_label and opt_value fields are filled in with the values the site wants to track.
Utilize Multi-Channel Funnels
Goal conversion can be broken down further than ever with the new Analytics. For example, if a viewer comes to a site one day from Facebook, leaves the site for two days, then comes to the site again from Google and buys a product, multi-channel funnels will record both the Facebook and Google listing as a source of the goal conversion. This can help business owners determine the true origins of their business.
Explore Flow Visualization
Analytics has flow visualization reports for both all viewers and for viewers that complete a specific goal. This allows business owners and SEO experts to see exactly what viewers do before they leave the site or complete their goal.
Track Site Load Speed
By analyzing the site load speed, a business can increase its readership and keep its viewers happy. Studies show that if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, most viewers click away from it. Large graphics, videos and other elements of the site can be removed if the site load speed is depressing viewership.
Analyze Site Search
Site search lets a business see what search term their most important viewers, goal converters, use to access the site. They can then target and optimize their site for those terms to drive more business.
Use Realtime Reporting
Realtime reporting shows the number, source, country and current content for site viewers in real time. If a manager was curious about who uses the site at a specific time, they can utilize this tool.
Evaluate Your Efforts with Campaign Tracking
Campaign tracking records visitors from ads, promotions, emails and links from other sites. This tool can increase a site’s productivity by directing its SEO technician to the most beneficial sources of viewers.
Compare Sources with Plot Rows
Plot rows allow people to compare keyword sources, referrals from other pages and other sources against each other in terms of goal conversion and other metrics. It can also help determine the most effective marketing strategies.
Customize Your Dashboards
Google Analytics allows users to create up to 20 dashboards. The dashboards can increase productivity by showing an SEO expert the most important reports first.
Check back on the Joel Gross’s SEO company Coalition Technologies’s blog for more information about ways to use Google Analytics.