Utilizing Google’s “Search Engine Optimization” Reports

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http://www.quicksprout.com/2013/12/30/how-3-simple-google-analytics-reports-will-increase-your-search-engine-traffic/

Once a Google Analytics account is linked to its matching Webmaster Tools account the new “Search Engine Optimization” Reports become available.  Each of these reports has useful information.  The data is usually a couple of days behind though so keep this in mind when looking for new data.

Queries

Queries shows keywords that your website appears for along with the number of impressions that the listing has received along with the click through rate.  This can be used to find keywords that have a good impression rate that can be improved on to increase click through.  Quick Sprout suggests looking for relevant keywords with high impressions and a click through rate under 7%.  These can usually be easily improved on to bring an increase in traffic.  They also suggest 20% as the goal for click through rate.

Landing Pages

Landing pages is similar and related to queries.  It shows how many impressions various landing pages receive along with their click through rates and their average ranking position for all the keywords they rank for.  Here we should seek to improve the pages with the highest impressions and the lowest click through rate.

Geographical Summary

This report shows you what countries you are getting traffic from.  This an be helpful in determining or refining audience and deciding what countries to invest time and money into pursuing.

Using These Reports

By looking at the Landing Page and Queries reports together you can quickly find pages that can be improved.  First, put the highest impression pages into a spread sheet and list out the highest ranking keywords with their stats for those pages.  Next you will be highlighting those number based on their value:

  • Highlight rankings of 1-4 in green (rankings should be considered based on a scale of 1 to 10 so 14 would be 4)
  • For rankings 7-8 highlight click through greater than 3% in green, less in red
  • For rankings 4-6 highlight click through greater than 8% in green, less in red
  • For rankings 1-3 highlight click through greater than 20% in green, less in red

This will provide a quick visual guide to what pages can be improved quickly.  For low rankings focus on ranking factors.  For low click through focus on title tag and meta description.

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Dealing with Not Provided

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http://moz.com/blog/100-percent-keyword-not-provided-whiteboard-tuesday

With keywords in Analytics moving entirely to “not provided” tracking certain mertics has been cut back.  In this video Rand gives his suggestions of ways to work around the lack of keyword data.  This includes things like tracking rankings in brackets (branded, non branded, long tail) and comparing the traffic to the pages that rank for those types of terms or using other tools such as AdWords and keywords research tools.

Google Increasing Not Provided

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http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2296351/Goodbye-Keyword-Data-Google-Moves-Entirely-to-Secure-Search

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-gone-100-provided-secure-search/70799/

There are a number of articles all discussing this topic.  Google is shifting all of their searches over to secure which means most if not all searches will be moving to (not provided) and no longer provide keyword data in Analytics.  There is, however, some mention that those with active AdWords accounts will still have keyword data.

User Behavior and Search Queries

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http://moz.com/blog/the-future-of-user-behavior-whiteboard-friday

This Whiteboard Friday discusses how search queries are evolving as Google gains the ability to gather information beyond the query itself such as user location, previous search history, device they are searching on, etc.  As time goes on and these capabilities increase users are learning to rely on it rather than the keywords of the query.  With things like Google Now the query is being removed entirely.

The video also brings up an interesting theory about (not provided).  The theory here is that this is Google’s way of saying that their focus is moving away from keywords and towards the solution to the searchers problem.

Quick Long Tail Keyword Research

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http://contentverve.com/long-tail-keyword-research-how-to-find-hot-phrases/?utm_source=sel

This article discusses some quick ways to do long tail keyword research.  They are:

  • Use Google’s search suggestions to come up with ideas and things that people are searching for
  • Use Ubersuggest.org to get even more ideas
  • Create titles that answer your audience’s questions
  • Create titles that target several different keyword phrases
  • Always write for humans and don’t over optimize, it should sound good and make sense