Looking for ways to boost your site’s ranking in search results so you can get more visitors and pageviews?
Creating an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can be challenging if you don’t know where to start. Add in trying to navigate the Google Analytics dashboard to find the reports and information you need, and you might wind up more confused than ever.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we’ll share different ways to use Google Analytics to improve SEO performance. By the end of the post, you’ll have actionable steps you can use to boost your site’s search engine rankings and drive traffic to your website.
Ready to get started?
Let’s jump in!
Boost SEO With Google Analytics
If you want your website to do well in search results and ideally rank on the first page, you have to make SEO a priority. Although keywords are a big part of SEO, there’s much more to it than that.
If you want to boost your site’s SEO performance, we recommend trying the tips below.
1. Track Search Queries in Google Analytics
Keywords are an important part of any SEO strategy. They are the terms people are searching for in search engines. Using the same words your audience is searching for can help visitors find your site more easily.
And you can find out which search terms people use to find your site on search engines by connecting Google Search Console with Google Analytics. That way, you see how different keywords are performing in search results.
If you want to see how search terms are performing in your WordPress dashboard, then ExactMetrics comes in handy. Its Search Console Report shows you the top 50 Google search terms your site is ranking for.
You can also see the clicks, impressions, click-through-rate (CTR), and average position for each keyword.
This report is beneficial as you can find low-hanging keywords. These are search terms that are close to reaching the top 10 search rankings, and a little push can boost their positions.
Besides that, you can clearly see which keywords are ranking the highest and generating the most traffic. You can use them as an inspiration and perform keyword research to find new keywords and content ideas.
Check out our guide on how to track keywords in Google Analytics for more details.
2. Track Most Popular Focus Keyphrase
If you’re using Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress website, then you can track your most popular focus keyphrase in Google Analytics using custom dimensions.
Google Analytics tracks different dimensions by default, including gender, age, country, source, and more. But custom dimensions help you track additional information about your website, which isn’t possible by default.
Custom dimensions make it easy to get deeper insights into your audience so you can fine-tune your SEO strategy.
And if you’re using ExactMetrics, then setting up custom dimensions is easier than ever. Using the Dimensions addon, you can view reports for each dimension in your WordPress dashboard.
It helps you track your focus keyphrases, so you can find out which search term gets the most traffic on your website. Using the information, you can come up with new keyword ideas and look for similar search terms to use on your website.
Follow our beginner’s guide to custom dimensions in Google Analytics for more details.
3. Find Low CTR Keywords to Improve Rankings
After you’ve found which search terms your site is ranking on, you can now improve the click-through rate (CTR) of each keyword.
Google uses artificial intelligence to pick up signals about how people interact with search results. One of the signals it looks for is how many people click on your link when they see it in search results.
If Google shows your website but no one clicks on it, they take that as a signal that your website isn’t a useful result for those searchers.
But if you get a higher number of clicks, that means it’s a great match, and Google may boost your search engine rankings.
You can use the Search Console report in Google Analytics to find out the keywords that are on the 1st page on Google but have a low CTR. Once you’ve done that, you can now work on getting more clicks.
There are several ways of improving CTR, but you can start by:
- Creating a click-worthly headline
- Optimizing your meta descriptions
Let’s look more closely at each of these…
How to Write a Click-Worthy Headline
The headline or title of your content is the very first thing a searcher will notice. Your headline should use keywords while also capturing their interest to make them want to visit your website.
Using power words in your headlines is a great way to improve CTR. Power words spark an emotional response and convince your readers to click on your link.
Check out this list of 700+ power words proven to increase your website’s conversions.
Another way of ensuring that you use power words in your titles is by using the ExactMetrics headline analyzer tool. This built-in tool gives you instant feedback on your title and makes it easy to test different options to see what has the highest chance of converting.
How to Optimize Meta Descriptions for SEO
A well-written meta description can do wonders for your CTR. Meta descriptions are an HTML attribute that gives a short summary of a web page. When someone performs a search, the meta description will show up underneath the page title or headline in the results.
Your meta description is another chance to drive users to your site.
Make sure your meta description is clear and uses important keywords that persuade users to click through to your site.
The screenshot above is an excellent example of a good meta description. It addresses a problem the searcher has and offers to teach them how to solve it with “tested and proven tips.” The use of power words in both the meta description and title also helps to drive conversions.
4. Lower Your Bounce Rate
Along with CTR, Google’s RankBrain also looks at other user experience signals such as bounce rate. And Google Analytics can help you find your site’s and each post’s bounce rate.
Bounce rate is when a user leaves your webpage without taking action, like clicking a link, buying a product, or filling out a form.
For instance, if you’re having difficulty ranking a high bounce rate page, then it could mean that your content isn’t matching what people are looking for.
As a result, users will arrive on your page but hit the back button without spending much time on your page. This sends a signal to Google that people aren’t happy with the search result, lowering your rankings.
A high bounce rate could also help identify issues of slow load speeds or issues with website design, which might obstruct your site’s user experience and stop you from boosting your rankings.
To view the bounce rate for your individual posts and pages in WordPress, go to ExactMetrics » Reports and click the Publishers tab. Then, you’ll see the bounce rate for your top landing pages.
You can also see the bounce rate of individual pages by going to Behavior » Site Content » All Pages. In this report, look for the Bounce Rate column to the far right.
Once you’ve found the bounce rate in Google Analytics, you can now work on reducing it. There are several ways to lower the bounce rate. A good starting point is by optimizing your content and pushing important information to the top.
You can even break up your content into smaller chunks and create a table of content, so people can easily find what they’re looking for. And to increase user engagement, you can add videos and use high-quality images.
Check out this guide to reduce bounce rate and boost your conversions.
5. Identify and Fix Broken Links
The next tip for using Google Analytics for SEO is finding out broken links on your website. Broken links are links that are no longer available and result in a 404 error.
On the surface, a broken link may not seem like a big deal. Yet, broken links can have a major impact on user experience and your site’s SEO.
Visitors that come across broken links will feel frustrated that they couldn’t access the content they wanted.
Broken links make for a bad user experience and cause visitors to bounce off your site and never return. This means you lose out on a customer and any potential revenue they would have brought.
When users leave your site after encountering a broken link, it impacts your search rankings.
Search engines may assume visitors are leaving your site because it isn’t providing relevant, high-quality content. This can cause them to give your site a lower ranking.
Broken links also restrict your website’s flow and can stop search engine crawlers in their tracks. Rather than indexing that page and giving it a ranking, crawlers will move onto the next page.
Finding and fixing broken links with a redirect is a great way to improve your site’s SEO and user experience. ExactMetrics automatically tracks broken links and 404 errors in Google Analytics.
To find your 404 error pages, sign in to your Google Analytics account and go to Behavior » Site Content » Content Drilldown. Then type 404.html in the search bar.
In many cases, you’ll find URLs like this one:
This structure gives you a clue about the error and how to fix it. Use the example above to analyze your 404 errors in Google Analytics.
- The 404 error URL is shown after the ?page= query. In the above example, the 404 error URL is http://example.com/error-page-url-slug/.
- The error URL is linked from the page that comes after the &from=, so in this case, the error page was linked from http://example.com/page/.
Once you’ve identified your broken links, you can fix them by finding the source URL, replacing it with the correct link, setting up a 301 redirection, and looking for errors and typos in the link.
Another option is to create a custom 404 landing page using SeedProd. It’s the best landing page builder for WordPress, and you can easily create a landing page that recaptures users’ interests, direct them where to go next on your site, and even capture leads with opt-in forms.
6. Get Backlinks by Tracking Outbound Links
If you’re linking to other websites in your content and sending traffic their way, then you can find opportunities to get backlinks for your website.
Backlinks are an important Google ranking factor, and they provide a vote of confidence that your website is trustworthy.
You can track outbound links in Google Analytics by using ExactMetrics. And to view them in WordPress, go to ExactMetrics » Reports » Publishers and then view your Top Outbound Links.
This report shows you up to 50 of the most clicked links that lead to an external website, including the number of total clicks.
After identifying your most clicked outbound links, you can now reach out to these websites and form a partnership to get backlinks.
There are different ways you can build a partnership. For instance, you could do guest posts, work on a content collaboration, write a case study, and more.
7. Find More Backlink Opportunities
Another way of using Google Analytics to get more backlinks for your site is by looking at the top referral sources. These are websites that are linking your content and sending traffic your way.
You can find more websites like these and see the type of content they like. That way, you can cover similar topics and open new opportunities for getting backlinks.
ExactMetrics makes it simple to see your top traffic sources right in WordPress. You can find them under Top 10 Referrals in the Overview report.
You can also reach out to your top referrers and see if they’d be interested in working together to cross-promote or collaborate on a content piece.
Since they’ve linked to your site before, you have a higher chance of convincing them to link again to your content.
8. Find Your Best Content & Cover Similar Topics
Besides backlinks, your content is the single most important ranking factor for Google. If you can create quality content that helps solve user’s problems and provides value, you can skyrocket your SEO.
With Google Analytics, you can easily uncover the top-performing content on your site, including the number of page visits, bounce rate, and average time spent on the page.
ExactMetrics Publishers report delivers all of these stats in your WordPress dashboard.
You can boost your SEO with these Google Analytics stats. All you have to do is identify the top-performing content and create new posts using similar topics or structure.
Looking at the screenshot above, you can see that one of the most popular posts is a case study. A couple of tutorials made a list too. This shows that case studies and tutorials do well on your site.
Adding similar content types can help you find new keywords to optimize on your website and boost your organic traffic.
9. Create Content Relevant to Your Audience
When it comes to creating content, tracking visitor demographics, and interest is a great way to use Google Analytics to boost SEO.
First, identifying the country or region your visitors are from can help you optimize your site’s language. More specifically, you’ll know what languages you should translate your website in.
This makes it easier for visitors from that region to engage with your content, reduce bounce rate, increase your search engine visibility, and boost organic traffic.
If you’re using ExactMetrics, you can easily see the countries your site traffic is coming from with the Overview report.
Second, knowing what your visitors are interested in can help you be more strategic about your content and marketing strategies.
With a clear picture of your visitors’ interests, you can find new keywords to target, create content, and promote products tailored to them.
ExactMetrics Publishers report will help you identify topics and categories users are interested in.
You can use this knowledge to get them to keep coming back because they know they’ll find relevant content.
Creating content your visitors are interested in can help your site gain visibility in search results by getting them to visit your site more often and engage more with your content.
10. Improve Site Speed
Have you ever searched for something and found what you thought was the perfect link, then when you clicked it, the page took forever to load?
How fast did you close that tab and find a different link in the search results?
Search engines have also started ranking sites with slow load times lower in search results, making it even hard to get visitors to your website.
You can check your site speed in Google Analytics by selecting Behavior » Site Speed.
This report will show you metrics like the average load time, server connection time, server response time, etc. It also shows you the average load time in different browsers.
To help your site load faster, try:
- Switching from a shared web host to a managed web host
- Optimizing image sizes
- Installing a dynamic caching plugin
- Use well-coded plugins and themes that are optimized for speed
For more ways to boost your website’s speed and performance in WordPress read this ultimate guide.
There you have it, 10 ways to use Google Analytics to catapult your SEO rankings!
If you found this article helpful you may also enjoy our tutorials on how to get traffic stats for a specific page in WordPress and tracking Google Analytics page conversions.