Customization options, dashboard construction tools and APIs make it easy to get lost in the Google Analytics wilderness. But the truth is, most of what you need is already there.
If you’re looking to track how your seo-optimized content is performing, you may not need a lot of fancy custom reports. Just start with a hard look at the wealth of reports that are already built into Google Analytics.
You’ll find Google’s default reports listed in the menu on the left side of the dashboard screen. Google provides reports in five categories:
In each category, you’ll find a bunch more reports that can help you drill down deeper into what's attracting and engaging your users.
Now let’s take a closer look at how each of these Google Analytics reports helps you track your SEO efforts.
5 Default Google Analytics Reports for SEO
1. Real-time reports
Real-time reports give you a glimpse of how your website is performing right at this very moment. Use the Locations report to monitor worldwide response to an email campaign or track the response to a Twitter post as it happens. While these aren't strictly SEO initiatives, it does help you get a look at what users are doing now (and it's really fun).
2. Audience reports
Reports in the Audience section are especially useful in helping you produce better-performing SEO content. Start with the Overview report, which provides detailed statistics on user acquisition and engagement.
Other Audience reports provide more detail on who is coming to your site. For example, the Interests report provides statistics on the intentions and background of your website’s visitors. It can tell you who is visiting for curiosity’s sake and who has an intent to purchase your products or services. This report can also provide some good ideas for topics to cover in blog posts or social media promotions.
The Audience section also contains the Mobile Overview report, which provides detailed information about how users access your content. This data is crucial for preparing content that fits into users’ lives and preferences.
3. Acquisition reports
One of the most useful is the Source/Medium report. You’ll find it in the Acquisition reports under All Traffic. This report highlights the paths users took to find your website. It tells you how many users each site sends you, plus details about the quality of those users and how engaged they are. You’ll see which sources are the most productive and which produce the best quality leads.
Most marketers are spending lots of time and energy on social media these days. The Acquisition section’s Social Landing Pages report can tell you how effective those efforts are and which of your strategies are working.
4. Behavior reports
Reports in the Behavior section help you understand how your current content is performing. The Site Content report is particularly useful. It provides detailed information on page views, user paths through the site, user engagement, and bounce rates.
5. Conversion reports
The Conversion category includes a variety of reports for gauging your content’s effectiveness in moving buyers through your marketing funnel. You’ll be able to see which pages work best and which are underperforming so you can fine-tune content to meet your company’s needs.
Optimizing for SEO is All About Matching User Intent
Increasing your traffic to SEO-optimized content is all about matching user intent. Drilling down into these reports will help you find the content that is resonating with your current users and what actions that content is encouraging them to take next.
Want to know more about measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing? Check out our article on how to see if your words are working.