B2C Marketing Analytics for Beginners

Tracking SEO Metrics in Google Search Console and Google Analytics

The last lesson went over the key metrics for understanding SEO performance. This lesson will show you how to monitor those metrics through the Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

Google Search Console

If you don’t have Google Analytics tracking on your site, you can see many of the metrics through the Google Search Console. However, this also requires some set up. Unfortunately Google doesn’t provide a demo account so on the video we’re using an internal account. You can follow along on your own account if you have access to one.

Through the Search Console you can only get data from searches that took place on Google. There is an equivalent tool for Bing (Bing Webmaster) with much of the same functionality, but specific to searches on Bing.

Note that through the Search Console you won’t be able to get on-site metrics such as revenue, conversion rate, site speed and bounce rate since those require tracking on your site that you can get through Google Analytics. But you can get a lot of information about how Google and searchers see your site.

There is a lot of useful information in the Google Search Console for managing your SEO strategy like reviewing the indexing of your pages, the sites that link to you, HTML improvements, and so on. However, this lesson focuses on the key metrics for SEO, which we discussed in the last lesson: query terms, landing pages and crawl errors.

To see these metrics through the Search Console:

  1. Go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools and select the desired property
  2. Navigate to Search Traffic – Search Analytics
  3. Select all the metrics – clicks, impressions, CTR (click-through-rate) and rank
  4. Leave the toggle set for “queries
  5. Filter the report as desired
  6. First you’ll see a chart with all the metrics trended over time
  7. Next is a table of the top 1000 search query terms you rank for. Here you can see the performance of each
  8. Scroll back to the toggle and switch to “pages” to view the same information by landing page instead of by queries
  9. Lastly Navigate go Crawl – Crawl Errors
  10. First you’ll see the crawl errors trended over time
  11. Then you can scroll for more details of the specific errors. You can click in to them for more information about the error

Google Analytics

In the example videos we use the Google demo account which we introduced previously.

Console Metrics in Google Analytics

You can set up Google Search Console data directly into your Google Analytics account following this guide so you don’t have to go to two places for the data. You will also have access to additional valuable data relating to your landing pages.

In Google Analytics you can get to the same data on query terms and landing pages following these steps:

  1. Navigate to Acquisition – Search Console – Queries
  2. Select the date range you’re interested in. To match the data in the video select May 3, 2018 – May 9, 2018
  3. First you’ll see a trend of the metric you select. You can add additional metrics to the plot
  4. Next you’ll see the table of search queries with the same metrics as we saw in the Search Console – clicks, impressions, CTR and average position (rank). Use this data to see the performance by search query
  5. Navigate to Acquisition – Search Console – Landing Pages
  6. Again, you’ll have a table similar to the one in the Search Console, but this time with site metrics attached – behavior metrics and conversion metrics. Unfortunately you can’t tie this back to individual search queries

Channel Performance Metrics

The SEO performance metrics are in a report we’ve already seen, the Channels Report. But there are some SEO – specific information you can drill into by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to Acquisition – All Traffic – Channels
  2. Scroll down to the table that gives you performance metrics by channel. You can see the performance metrics of Organic Search directly in this table
  3. You can click into Organic Search to get more details
  4. It pulls up a breakdown by keyword. Note that “keyword” does not refer to organic search queries, it actually corresponds to keywords used in bidding on the Adwords paid search platform. Unfortunately Google doesn’t provide site performance data for organic search queries
  5. A more useful breakdown is by source, where you can differentiate between the different search engines. Select “source” as the primary dimension
  6. You can also select “landing page” as the primary dimension. This is similar to the Search Console report by landing page, but it aggregates the data from all search engines, not just from Google. For this reason, it doesn’t have the pre-site metrics (impressions, CTR) since Google wouldn’t have that information for other search engines

Site Performance Metrics: Bounce Rate

To measure bounce rate:

  1. Navigate to Behavior – Site Content – Landing Pages
  2. At the top is a line graph tracking users over time. You can add “bounce rate” as a metric to plot along with users to see its trend
  3. Scrolling further down is a summary by landing page, where bounce rate is one of the metrics for each landing page. The top line is the bounce rate across all landing pages
  4. In this dataset, it looks like there is one landing page in particular (/google+redesign/shop+by+brand/youtube) that gets a lot of traffic and has a rather high bounce rate compared to the rest. You can drill down to the page of interest by clicking on it and check the trend over time and dissect performance across different dimensions
  5. Besides cutting data by landing page, you can also cut it by traffic source (or many other dimensions GA provides). Here you see again that traffic from Youtube has especially high bounce rate

Site Performance Metrics: Site Speed

To measure site speed:

  1. Navigate to Behavior – Site Speed – Overview
  2. Here you can see how your speed has trended over time. Tracking changes over time allows you to measure the impact of new features or releases on site speed
  3. Scrolling down, you can drill down by browser, country and specific pages so you can investigate low performers

Conclusion

Even though SEO isn’t easy to directly influence, Google Analytics and Google Search Console provide a lot of information to help you set an SEO strategy and improve performance.