Article

Jade Crerand
Jade Crerand 7 November 2016
Categories Content, Research

4 Google Analytics Metrics To Improve Your Website Content

If you’re not well versed in Google Analytics, and you’re not a big fan of numbers and statistics, a visit to your GA dashboard can be a bit of a confusing experience. But when you know what to look for – and you understand what it means – there’s tons of useful information that can really transform the way your website performs.

And there are a few hidden secrets too, like data that hints at what Google’s algorithms take into consideration, and how this affects where your website ranks. 

Digging into Search Console

A relatively recent addition to Google Analytics is the Search Console. It used to be known as Webmaster Tools, and used to be in a different place, but it’s been renamed and moved up to a prominent location in the menu.

What does that tell you? It’s important.

For content marketers and content specialists like us, it confirms something we’ve long suspected. The content on a website should be written and aimed at PEOPLE – not robots like Google’s spiderbots!

Now that the Search Console is really easy to access, you’d be a fool if you didn’t explore the data that can be found there. It’s no longer about it being really techy and number-based; it’s about valuable metrics that can help you write better content, design better webpages, and convert more traffic.

How? Simply put, this data can make sure you know more about your audience, and it helps you learn what you need to do speak to them in the right way.

Try these four metrics, and see if you can improve your conversion rates.

  1. Landing Pages – Is this the content you’re looking for?

First up in the drop down menu, you’ll find Landing Pages.  This is ideal for finding out how your search results (and your content) matches the intent of your users.

Landing page data has been in Google Analytics for a while, but you only used to be able to use it to look at what a visitor did once they had actually landed on your page. Now next to bounce rate, you can see Clicks and Click-through Rates, which tells us what visitors thought about your page before they even came to your website.

Why is it important?

If you read into the metrics here, you can see whether or not your content matches the needs of your visitors. There’s not much point getting them to visit your site if you don’t actually deliver on what they are looking for.

Look at:

Explore the metrics here and find out what search results are popular amongst your visitors. Are they clicking through to your relevant page? Are they staying on it?

If they’re not clicking through, your title tags and meta descriptions might not be doing the trick. If they are clicking but then bouncing, your page descriptions could be misleading or the content on your page might not match what they thought they’d find. It could be time for some changes.

  1. Countries – Do you get my drift?

Being able to see where your traffic comes from is nothing new. The Demographics tab under Audience shows you where in the world people are coming from to view your website.

But the Countries tab here is different. It tells you HOW people from different countries behave on your website and react to content, based on individual URLs.  You can use it to see the top URLs visited by each country.

Why is it important?

It’s a great tool to check your geo-targeting is doing what it should be. Different cultures react to content in different ways, and we should never assume we live in a homogeneous digital world.

Look at:

Find the pages that get regular visits from international traffic. Are they the right pages for that country or region? Is the information on there relevant to the country?

For example, if you’re a British brand targeting the US, you might want to check for British English that could be lost in translation, and adjust any mentions of pricing to dollars if you haven’t already.

  1. Devices – Bigger isn’t always better

Again, you can already see the percentage of your traffic using different devices in other places on Google Analytics. But its addition here means you’ll actually be able to look at how they engage with your pages based on whether they’re using a mobile, tablet or desktop.

Why it’s important?

If you can segment traffic to your landing pages by device, you’ll be able to see if certain pages simply don’t work well on smaller screens, or bigger screens. We live in a multi-channel, multi-screen age, so you need to make sure your site converts across ALL devices.

Look at:

When the bounce rate is much higher for mobiles than desktops, it tells you something about how the page is displayed. It could be time to re-think designs, responsiveness, and the way content is featured on certain pages.

  1. Queries – Me, me, pick me!

The queries tab in Search Console lets you see exactly what users are searching for to find your website. Many of the results here will naturally be branded terms, but with Clicks, Impressions, Click-through Rates and Average Position, it’s a great way to see how your keywords are performing.

Why it’s important?

If you can see exactly which search terms you’re visible for, you’ll know what you need to improve on. And if you sort by click-through rates, you’ll be able to identify which terms are most popular, and which results just aren’t working for you.

Look at:

Patterns are key here. Find the good click-through rates and see what they have in common. What kind of language works best for your audience? Is it emotive? Does it have a sense of urgency?

Test out what you think works by changing your title tags, meta descriptions and page content. If you can tailor the results in search queries to different stages of the buying journey, you’ll be onto a winner with conversions.

Go beyond metrics – drill into how a user behaves

With Search Console - and the metrics that can be found here – you can improve your ranking position and your conversion rate. Use the data at your fingertips and make informed changes.

For example, if you’re not ranking as well as you’d like for a key term:

  • Go to Queries and use the advanced filters to exclude results that already rank well, and only show those URLs that have an indication of poor engagement – such as a high bounce rate or low click through rate
  • The results are the areas you should focus on for quick growth
  • Take each URL and check
    • Meta data matches user intent
    • The page works well across all devices
    • Content on the page meets the needs of your user
    • It speaks to the right audience, in the right geographical location

You’ll quickly see where you can make improvements to your content. It might be you need to raise awareness about the topic and key terms; you may just need to rephrase a meta description; or you could need to redesign the page.

Whatever business you’re in, Search Console in Google Analytics will help you pinpoint the opportunities to improve your content optimisation, and help you understand what you need to do to boost conversions.

This article originally appeared on Return on Digital as “Create Content That Converts with the New Google Analytics Search Console Tab.”

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