Google’s powerful analysis engine tracks thousands of details about your customers and their interactions with your site, but some of the most important data is hidden in reports that you may have never explored. While some of the data is most helpful when testing prices and offers, other provides useful feedback to web developers about site performance. Designers and product managers can benefit from Google Analytics data. Everything is there if you know where to look. So, here are seven key metrics that can help you track SEO performance with Google Analytics.
1. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate tells you what portion of your potential customers visit your site and click away upon viewing a single page. In general, a lower bounce rate is better. It indicates that users have found the landing page of sufficient interest to inspire further exploration. Of course, you may be most interested in funneling visitors toward a conversion or purchase page. Google Analytics can provide those numbers too.
2. Dwell Time
This metric is key to Google’s algorithm for choosing where your site ranks. It tells how long the user spends at your site before returning to the search engine results page. Google interprets a return to the SERP as evidence that the user didn’t find a complete answer to the search query on your site.
3. Time on Page
“Time on page” is a measure of how long users spend on a particular page before clicking away. The user may be returning to the SERP or click away to a competitor’s site, but this metric also includes numbers on those who click to other pages on your site, including the e-commerce page. This metric is best understood as a measure of engagement.
4. Site Speed
Users are impatient. If your site takes too long to load, the user may click away without ever seeing your landing page. Site speed metrics tell you the load times for every page on your site. Google uses loading time as a ranking factor, so this data is especially valuable to SEO marketers.
5. Mobile Traffic
The smartphone has extended the internet beyond laptops and PCs to mobile users. Surveys suggest that most sites now receive 50 percent or more of their traffic from users on mobile devices. If you know your audience is mobile, be sure to use responsive design principles to build your pages and make them load quickly by compressing images and data.
6. Return on Investment
Don’t forget: Ultimately, the purpose of SEO is to bring qualified customers to your site so they’ll move through the sales funnel and eventually buy products. Every page on your site contributes to ROI. This data can help you discover which pages are doing the best job. Figure out why and you can retool your other pages to perform better.
7. Organic Conversion Rate
The conversion rate is closely related to ROI. You want to know which of your pages are best for moving customers along through your sales funnel. If your SEO efforts are bringing you lots of low-quality traffic, that’s a problem. Tracking conversion rates can help you focus on bringing in qualified buyers who contribute to your success.