Do you want to know if your search engine optimization (SEO) investment is paying off? Many tools can help you measure your SEO efforts, but they can be expensive to use.
This is where Google Analytics comes in handy. It is the best tracking tool out there that lets you see how your website is doing when it comes to driving traffic.
But not many people use Analytics to its full potential. Mainly because finding the right information and extracting useful insights can be tricky, especially for beginners.
In this article, we’ll show you how to measure SEO performance with Google Analytics, so you can see which strategies are working for your business.
Let’s dive right in…
1. Monitor Changes in Your Organic Traffic
The first way to measure SEO performance is to monitor your site’s organic traffic. Looking at how many people visit your website from search engines shows how effective your SEO strategies are.
To view the data, log in to your Google Analytics account. Then navigate to Acquisition » All Traffic » Channels.
In the report, you will see different sources that people use to visit your website. Pay close attention to Organic Search, as it’s the traffic that comes from search engines like Google or Bing. Next, compare the traffic from the previous month to see the change.
If you see that Organic Search traffic is declining, then it means your SEO strategies need more improvement. It can also help identify other technical issues, like your website isn’t indexing on Google.
On the other hand, if your Organic Search traffic is increasing, then your SEO efforts are paying off, and your strategy is on track.
2. Set Up Custom Alerts for Changes in Traffic
Monitoring organic traffic daily in Google Analytics can be difficult if you’re performing other tasks.
A simple way to make sure you’re on top of things is by setting up Google Analytics alerts when there is a significant change in your search traffic.
For instance, if your site gets impacted by a recent algorithm update, the alert will notify you about it so that you can take specific measures to reverse the action as early as possible.
Basically, creating an alert ensures that you don’t miss any important changes on your site unnoticed.
Follow the steps below to set up a custom alert in Analytics that alert you to take action if there is a significant change in your Analytics report.
Click Admin in the left taskbar.
Click Custom Alerts in the View column.
Then, click the NEW ALERT.
Then configure the settings just like the screenshot below, and click Save Alert.
3. Tracking Search Queries in Google Analytics
Measuring SEO performance will be incomplete if you don’t track the search terms people use to find your website.
But how to see keywords in Google Analytics?
While Analytics gives you a basic overview of traffic sources report, including organic traffic, connecting Google Search Console with Google Analytics will give you more detailed insights.
It removes the problem of keyword not provided in Google Analytics reports, and you can precisely see how your search terms are performing.
In WordPress, you can track keyword rankings and clicks by using MonsterInsights. It’s the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and allows you to set up advanced tracking in just a few clicks.
With the MonsterInsights Search Console report, you see your top 50 Google search terms. You can view how many clicks and impressions it gets for each keyword, click-through rate (CTR), and average position.
The information for this report is extremely valuable. It shows which keywords are driving organic traffic to your website. You can use this data to find similar keywords to optimize your blog posts and pages.
It also helps to identify low-hanging opportunities. These are keywords that between 11 – 20 position on Google, and with a little effort, they can reach the top 10 and start getting more traffic.
4. Track Focus Keyphrase and Measure SEO Score
Now, if you’re using Yoast SEO plugin for optimizing your content, then you can track your most popular focus keyphrase and SEO score using Monsterinsights.
Focus keyphrase is the search term you want to target on your blog post or landing page. It can be a single word or a phrase that you want to rank on Google.
With the MonsterInsights Dimensions addon’s help, you can see which focus keyphrase brings in the most traffic. And also calculate your website’s SEO score.
Custom dimensions allow you to track additional information that Google Analytics doesn’t track by default. It helps you get more insights into how your SEO is performing.
5. Find Out Traffic from Referral Sources
One of the most important Google ranking factors is backlinks. If you just secured a backlink from a high traffic website or published a guest, and want to know how many visitors came from that link, then you can check out the referral traffic sources.
Using MonsterInsights, you can see your top referral websites inside your WordPress dashboard. You can then measure if your backlinks got any traffic or not.
Aside from that, the report also helps you find new backlink opportunities. You can find similar websites to get more high authority backlinks to boost your website’s rankings.
6. Measuring Engagement of Your Pages
Bounce rate is an undervalued metric of a successful SEO campaign. It is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after just viewing one page and didn’t interact with your website.
While Google doesn’t take the bounce rate shown in your Analytics into account as a ranking factor, it does look at how quickly a visitor bounces off a page by hitting the back button and return to the search results page.
When a visitor doesn’t engage with your content and bounces quickly, it is typically because your page isn’t satisfying their query. If many users leave your web pages quickly upon landing, it may affect your page’s search ranking in the long run.
You can view your website’s bounce in your WordPress admin area using MonsterInsights. In its Overview report, you can see the overall bounce rate of your site.
And if you want to see the bounce rate of individual pages, then view the Publishers report in MonsterInsights and see Top Landing Pages.
Using the information for these reports, you can find out which pages have a high bounce rate and struggle to rank higher in search engines.
You can then try different techniques to lower their bounce rate and improve your SEO performance.
Check out our guide on how to reduce bounce rate using quick and easy methods.
7. Measuring Mobile Friendliness
When it comes to measuring SEO performance, it’s now more important than ever to check your website’s mobile-friendliness.
In 2019, Google announced that it’s going mobile-first. What that means is that it will use your website’s mobile version for indexing and rankings.
You can use Google Analytics to see how well your site performs for users on different types of devices.
In MonsterInsights, you can easily see which device people use to visit your website.
To find the report in Google Analytics, go to Acquisition » Search Console » Devices.
For instance, in the above screenshot, you can find that mobile and tablet CTRs are high. This means people are more likely to click on your pages from the search results if they’re on a mobile device. This clearly shows that your mobile strategy is paying off.
You can also see that the bounce rate is high for mobile, so you might want to check if there is room for optimizing your content for mobile visitors.
8. Measuring Site Speed
Next to mobile-friendliness, site speed is another important ranking factor you need to focus on.
Google looks at the user experience of your website. If your site doesn’t load quickly, then it could harm your SEO campaigns.
To check website loading time, you can navigate to Behavior » Site Speed » Page Timings to get a quick overview of slow pages, which need to be optimized.
You can learn how to speed up your site for better performance.
9. Track and Fix Broken Links
Broken links are links that no longer exist on your website. Usually, you will see a 404 error shown by a browser when a link is broken. And they can negatively impact your SEO and user experience.
But the good news is that you can easily track broken links in Google Analytics and quickly fix 404 errors.
With MonsterInsights, you can automatically track broken links without any further configuration. Simply set up the plugin on your website and it will take track your 404 errors in Google Analytics.
10. Track Page-Specific SEO Performance
If you want to track the SEO performance at a per-page level, you can navigate to Behavior » Site Content » All Pages.
You’ll now find the All Pages report that provides you with a compilation of page views for all pages from all traffic sources. To sort the pageviews by traffic medium, you’ll have to add medium as your secondary dimension.
Now let’s filter the data to show only pageviews from organic traffic. To do this, click on Advanced and specify organic in the field next to the Containing dropdown.
Then, click Apply.
You can also click on any of your top-performing pages in the report to see your page-specific performance and then add medium as a secondary dimension.
You can now compare your organic traffic with other traffic sources by using the Plot Row feature. Select all results and click Plot rows below the table.
You should see a graph that looks something like this:
This way, you can easily identify how your organic traffic contributes to your overall traffic.
We hope you liked our article on how to measure SEO performance with Google Analytics in WordPress. You may also want to look at our list of best SEO plugin and how to track user engagement in WordPress using Google Analytics.