Top 5 metrics you should always be tracking for SEO from Google Analytics.

Top 5 metrics to track for SEO from Google Analytics including Organic Traffic, Goals, Bounce rate and exit pages.

Here is a list of the top 5 metrics you should always be tracking for SEO from Google Analytics. 

1. Change in organic traffic

Organic traffic is the number of people visiting your website from search engines. But this number by itself is not useful. You have to compare this with the percentage change in organic traffic for the last few months. Instead of saying 3500 users visited your website via organic search channels, you should be saying that the number of users that visited your website has increase by 70% this month from a total of 1051 users last month, to 3500 users this month. 

This is easy to track. Just click on 'Add Segment' while viewing on the Audience Overview page, and then choose 'Organic Traffic' from the dropdown menu to see a similar graph. 


2. The quality of the organic traffic

Not all traffic you receive on your website is equal. You need to check if the traffic you get are from keywords that are important for your potential customers. 
You need to measure if your traffic is improving your business' revenue at the end of the day. 

To do this, you need to create goals. Goals basically measure the conversions on your website. For example, if you are an e-commerce store you can set up a goal to track purchases. If you are a lead generation website, you can setup a goal to track the number of enquiries. For a content/blog website, you can track the engagement with the content. You need to decide what you want to measure for your website based on what is important for your business, and then set it up. 

There are so many different goals you can measure, but if you are starting out I would suggest just looking at the big macro goals (signups, purchases etc) and setting them up to measure your business' top level objectives. 

While setting up goals - there are three different types of goals you can measure
  1. Page based or destination URL based goals : This measures the number of people reaching a specific page. The most common pattern is someone visiting your landing page, and making an enquiry, and then taken to the destination (thank you) page. This thank you page can be set up as a Goal conversion, and you can then see how many people who visit your website via organic traffic channels are hitting this destination. 
  2. Event based goals : This uses Google Analytics event tracking to measure interactions occurring on your website. This could be making a comment on your blog, downloading a PDF or any other interaction a user makes on your website. Start by setting up event tracking first, and then add them as a goal. 
  3. Engangement based goals : These are based on the amount of time users spend on your website, or the number of pages they visit before leaving etc. 
I would recommend that you start with page based goals first, and then work your way to the secondary objectives of your business via event based and engagement based goals. 
To setup a goal, go to the main admin section for your website and click on goals, and then on 'Create New Goal', and follow the steps to complete.

Once you have set up your goals, seeing how many of your organic visitors are hitting your goals is a really good metric to measure and improve every month. 

3. Change in bounce rate

Bounce rate is the number of people that leave your website immediately without taking any action. 

This is important as you want your users to spend more time on your website, or to complete a specific action. Therefore, the bounce rate should be decreasing every month. 
A website with a low bounce rate implies that your users get what they came for from your website. 

4. Number of pages / session 

The number of pages/session is an important metric as it measures the engagements of your visitors. You want your visitors to visit more than one page when they are on your website. This metric alone is not useful - you need to have goals setup so that you know people are spending time on your website AND completing a specific goal. If you find that people are not converting, you need to improve the user flow between pages by improving your call to action buttons. 

5. Top exit pages

This is a really good metric as it shows you what to improve on your website. If the majority of your users are leaving your website after they complete a goal (thank you page, purchase page etc) - you are doing it right.. But if you find that most of your users are leaving your website from other pages, then you should again improve the conversions of those pages by changing the content or adding more CTAs. 

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