During the remaining 8 chapters of this SEO guide we have seen how to carry out an SEO strategy from start to finish, but we still need to know the most important thing in this whole process: measuring the results. Without a good analytical process we will not know if all our efforts have served for something or if we are on the right track towards a web optimization adapted to the needs of our users because it is possible that we are attracting a lot of traffic to our website, but, is this traffic turning?
How to correctly measure the evolution of traffic?
In a content strategy, analytics will be the one that tells us what works, what the user likes and how to keep growing; regardless of whether your goal is branding, visits, leads or purchases.
The first thing you should know is that to see if something works or not, you must compare it. To give an example, if you make a change in your website and suddenly the traffic goes up or down it can be for two things:
- That your action has had a consequence on your website
- Let it be for something seasonal, that is, because at that time of the year traffic always tends to increase/decrease
The safest thing is that if you analyze your website traffic in Analytics for a whole month, the graph you find is this:
The same thing would happen if you do an analysis of the whole year, there are specific moments in which the traffic increases because they are special dates:
It is therefore essential to always compare the evolution of traffic with the same period last year, thus avoiding any seasonality error and the vision of what does and does not work will be much more faithful.
Segment traffic by keywords
The second point that you should be clear about is that you must segment the traffic of some in order to know which pages of your website are the ones that work best and which ones you have to focus on improving because they do not attract all the traffic that you want or not. they convert everything they are supposed to convert.
For this, it is necessary to have previously done a good analysis of keywords to know which are the keywords from which later we will have to analyze results.
To get into the situation first you have to know that the keywords can be grouped into three groups:
- According to the number of visits that attract the keywords can be Head, Middle Tail or Long Tail
- If the keywords include the name of the brand
- If the keywords do not contain the name of the brand
1. According to the volume of searches
The volume of searches differentiates the keywords according to the number of search around them, it is divided into three groups:
- Head: They are very broad searches with a lot of search volume and a lot of competition. Ex: Cats, Houses, etc.
- Middle Tail: Searches in which more is specified but still very general. Ahem: Funny cats, cheap houses, etc.
- Long Tail: This is where the opportunities are since they make up 70% of the total, they are very specific searches, with little competition and that are mostly transactional. Ahem: Videos of funny Siamese cats, Buy a cheap house in Madrid, etc.
What is best for your web then? At first glance, it might seem that the best thing is to focus on the keywords that attract the most traffic since obviously, these will attract more users to my website, but of course, if you are taking the first steps with your website, it will be extremely difficult to get into the first position. results when there is already an established competence.
The long tail can mean the difference between your page getting or not start. Imagine that you can successfully position the KW that you have determined to be important, but leave aside the long tail, which is more than 70% of the visitors that enter your website: you are losing most of the traffic you could generate.
What’s more, the traffic that comes to you through generic words has a worse conversion than those of long tail.
2. The keywords that contain the name of your brand
These keywords are directly related to how important your brand is or not, ideally a good balance between brand and non-brand searches, since if the percentage of brand searches is very small it will mean that your brand is very little relevant and if it is too high it means that the SEO of your website is not well optimized to attract organic searches.
But as I say this would be ideal, very few websites get this balance, most have a higher percentage of brand searches.
3. The keywords that do not contain the name of your brand
These are the keywords that you have to focus on since they are the ones with the best chances of improvement without the influence of external factors such as the relevance of your brand. But since September 2013 there is a huge problem of 100% of Not Provided.
What to do with Not Provided?
Surely you still do not have 100% Not Provided data, so it is advisable to extrapolate the existing Keywords data between your data not provided now that you can still.
Anyway, given that Not Provided data is already 80%, and given its increase, it would not be surprising that throughout 2014 we reached 100%.
Although extrapolating the data is a good solution, it is temporary, because although we can know what volume of traffic you do not have, in the end, what is really important is to know what specific keywords this traffic arrives at.
1. Traffic per landing page: Instead of concentrating on the keywords that send traffic, we can focus on the landings that attract it. If we have a good segmentation of keywords, the information obtained will be similar. We will lose definition (we will not know the exact word) but we will know what the word revolves or the general intention of the search.
2. GWT data: Google Webmaster Tools is not as accurate as Google Analytics but Google recently updated it in a way that gives much more reliable information than before by not rounding up the number of visits attracted by each keyword.
The information you will find here is all related to the keywords that attract traffic to your website:
- Keywords that have attracted traffic in the last 90 days
- Changes in last month’s statistics
- Data on the number of impressions, number of clicks, CTR and average position of the keyword
If you click on a keyword, it will give you information about the page that users reach through that search and the positions from which they have arrived.
- The filters will let you segment by word, type of search (image, video, web, etc), location and by the number of searches of the terms
Since it has only 3 months of history, it is convenient to consider exporting the data and keeping a record in Excel in this way, we will avoid having periods without information. Another negative point is that the results with changes are only shown in periods of 30 days, so measuring compared to the year before the analyzed is a bit difficult.
How to segment the not provided?
This is based on detecting what percentage of measurable traffic is brand and not brand, and distribute in the same proportion the traffic you can not measure, so that proportionally distributed traffic not provided between the visits of brand traffic and no brand.
This is very simple to do once we export the Google Analytics data to an excel with this formula:
= tm / (tm + tnm) * np + tm
= tnm / (tm + tnm) * np + tnm
tm = Traffic brand tnm = Traffic non-brand np = traffic not provided
How to measure the user experience?
As in everything, before putting one to measure anything, the first thing to do is to understand it, so first we will explain what the user experience really is and what is needed to offer good user experience and know-how to measure it.
According to Wikipedia:
The user experience is the set of factors and elements related to the interaction of the user, with a specific environment or device, whose result is the generation of a positive or negative perception of said service, product or device. The user experience depends not only on the factors related to the design but also on aspects related to the emotions, feelings, construction, and transmission of the brand, product reliability, etc.
Something essential to have a good experience is to know exactly what your user needs, knowing that what you should get is a product that is easy to use and with which the user finds what they are looking for.
In order to achieve a good user experience, it is necessary to combine usability, design, and SEO in a perfect way.
The main metrics to measure the user experience are these:
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a website that only enters a page.
The bounce rate serves to detect which users do not see the content of the site as interesting, since they enter a page of our website and without navigating through any link, leave the site, or bounce.
The percentage of bounce is useful data to measure the level of satisfaction of your users, as long as you have a reference with which to measure it: together with the time of permanence, it indicates if the user has been a long time on the page before bouncing and therefore, you may have found the content you were looking for, or if it was immediate, so you may not have had a satisfactory browsing experience.
However, Google Analytics only records the bounce rate and on-site time through page views. It is very important that you understand this – otherwise you may start to remove content from your website that you think does not work well when it is.
For example, if a visitor in one of your pages stays for 8 minutes and 12 seconds before bouncing back to the search engine, two things will happen:
- The search engine will see it as a good sign because there has been a long stay time (long stay time = good user engagement)
- Google Analytics will show a 100% bounce rate and a time on the “0:00:00” page that most webmasters will interpret as a dire signal.
How do I fix this in Google Analytics?
What we really do not know is: – “For each page of my site, what percentage of users stay more than x seconds?”. The value of x can vary according to what you think is enough for your users. We think that a sufficient amount of time is 30 seconds.
If someone enters a page and leaves before 30 seconds pass, it is quite possible that he has not found what he was looking for. On the other hand, if someone stays longer, at least we have achieved some engagement (he has started to read or is watching a video).
Thank God using a feature called “Event Tracking” we can measure it relatively simply by adding a line of code to our GA code.
Synchronous Analytics Code (Old Version) If you are using the original Analytics code (not the asynchronous version) this is the code you need. Add the following line below pageTracker._trackPageview ();
setTimeout(‘pageTracker._trackEvent(\’NoBounce\’,\’NoBounce\’,\’Over 30 seconds\’)’,30000);
Asynchronous Analytics Code (New Version) If you are using the new Analytics code (the asynchronous version) this is the code you need. Add the following code as the last _gaq.push declaration in the script:
setTimeout(‘_gaq.push([\’_trackEvent\’, \’NoBounce\’, \’Over 30 seconds\’])’,30000);
Thanks to padicode for these code snippets.
How does it work? This script will count 30 seconds since the page loads and will then force an event for Google Analytics. Once the event has been activated, Analytics will not count that user as a bounce even if it does not load any other page on your site. The result would be that you should see the bounce rates on your pages go down.
Here you can see a picture of when the code was added:
The best way to find pages with low performance
Now we have a bounce rate that will only be activated if a visitor spends less than 30 seconds on our site before leaving, so it is a much better metric to identify those pages that are not doing so well.
To find these pages, I recommend browsing to content -> site content -> all pages, clicking on “Bounce Rate” to sort them from highest to lowest and changing the sort order to weighted. This will give you a list of pages with the highest rebound rate at the lowest, showing the number of page views.
With this view, you can sort the pages to identify the highest bounce rates and the shortest page times.
How to measure conversions?
Generally, in an online campaign the mistake is made to choose a single objective and focus on it at all costs, call acquisition, lead or download. But apart from these metrics, you should measure other user actions that, although they are not the ones you have marked as decisive, they do contribute in some way to achieving your goal.
Some examples can be visits to the information page or who we are, posting comments, sharing on Social Networks or filling out a contact form.
You can find more information about conversions in Google Analytics in this official guide.
How to create goals in Google Analytics
In this case, we are going to create the most common type of objective in a web, that of a fixed URL, which in the case of e-commerce could be something like this:
Now let’s create the goal:
- Click on Admin, and then select an account, a property, and a view. Click on Objectives and on “Create a goal”
- Give the target a clear name and select the “destination” option
- Now you have to enter the target page of the target (in this case it would be «/ thanks-for-your-purchase /»)
- If we create a conversion funnel, the information we will obtain will be much more precise, being able to know at what point of the purchase process users have abandoned. For this, you have to activate the “conversion funnel” button and go listing the URIs of all the steps of the purchase process.
Now that you have created the conversion funnel, review the following points:
- Test the sequence on your website and write down all the pages that configure the entire purchase process to verify that you have not skipped any
- The last page of the sequence is the target and its URL must be entered in the Object URL field and not in the funnel section.
- The match type you select for the target URL is also applicable to any URL in the conversion funnels section.
- Skip the domain name of the URL in all the steps of the conversion funnel (ex, for http://example.com/checkout/direction/you write /checkout/address/)
- Check that the URL for the goal is unique to the page/goal and consistent with the content. If the URL is the same in many steps of the purchase process you can check in this article how to set it up
How to interpret a conversion funnel
Now that we have configured the conversion funnel we can know in which part of the purchase process our users have gone, knowing that parts of this we must optimize to increase conversions.
To do this you have to (in Google Analytics) go to Reports> Conversions> Objectives> Funnel Graph.
In the picture, you can see how 42’51% of users who have reached the shopping cart have not proceeded to make the purchase. It’s a very high number of dropouts, so since we know where we need to focus to improve the number of conversions. In the same way, we have to study the behavior of those who do not abandon.
You have to bear in mind that the more advanced in the purchase process occurs, the more critical the abandonment, as the user’s purchase commitment increases as the process progress, therefore, the more progress the lower the percentage should be of abandonment.
Rankings of Keywords
The ranking of keywords is undoubtedly something that has lost much importance since the search results are becoming more and more personalized, due to what is called as Social Search, that said fast and bad is the use that Google makes of the social signals from users to provide them with search results more suited to their needs.
But for much relevance that has lost is very useful to review the rankings of keywords to know what is the approximate positioning of the keywords that we are optimizing.
How to measure keywords rankings
In this section, I would like to differentiate between the keywords you are trying to optimize and the keywords that are really attracting traffic to your website.
And why make that differentiation? Because it is very important to realize through the keywords that attract traffic (although Google wants to end it) or if we are focusing on the keywords that really matter.
To know which keywords attract traffic you have to go to Google Webmaster Tools> Search traffic> Search queries. This tool will tell you the average position of the keywords that bring more traffic to your website, the CTR and the number of impressions and clicks; In addition to the changes registered in each keyword.
Compare the number of impressions with the number of clicks and if the CTR is very low even though the average position is good (above 5) try to find out why people do not click on that result. It may be that your search result is less attractive than your competition’s:
You do not have the meta description tag implemented or it is not relevant for the user
Your title tag does not convince the user
You do not have data markers implemented (you can do it through Google Webmaster Tools)
It is not a local result. Local results have a much higher CTR than normal results
Tools to measure the ranking of keywords
- SEMRush: Allows analysis of the ranking of keywords, analyze the SEM campaigns of your competitors, search and analysis of keyword possibilities and make customized reports.
- MOZ: It allows you to create different campaigns in which you can analyze the ranking in search engines, analysis of the links of the competition, on-site analysis of your website, relevance analysis in social networks and link your Google Analytics account to make traffic comparisons with your different keywords.
- Positionly: Positionly is a tool for monitoring search results, simple, with the search for competition and integration with external add-ons.
- Advanced Web Ranking: A tool for measuring rankings, reporting and backlinks with integration with Google Analytics. At the interface level, it is one of the cleanest and most elegant.
- Raventools: Keyword ranking analysis, monitoring relevance in social networks, on-site analysis, tracking of PPC campaigns, competition analysis and creation of customized reports.
- WooRank: Woorank is a tool focused on giving you SEO feedback on your website; Although it has information on backlinks, visits, traffic, and competition, its biggest difference with the competition is that it gives you feedback regarding the marketing plan of your website.
- Colibri: Very visual and intuitive. This tool allows the analysis of keywords ranking, reports of links to your website, analysis of the competition, search of keywords according to your traffic and difficulty and links your Google Analytics account to make comparisons of traffic with your different keywords.