The Role Of Analytics In A Successful SEO Strategy

Jul 24, 2023   |   Clock Icon 8 min read

Without analytics, an SEO strategy would be based on guesswork. Analytics provides the data and insights needed to make informed decisions, continually optimize your strategy, and ultimately generate more traffic and more leads from your website. Getting more traffic is not just about attracting more visitors; it's about attracting the right visitors. By combining SEO with digital marketing analytics, you can ensure you're attracting visitors who are interested in what you have to offer and are more likely to convert.

What are some of the ways analytics benefit SEO?

1. Identifying high-performing keywords

Analytics can show you which keywords are driving the most traffic to your website. This information can help you optimize your content around those keywords to attract more qualified leads. Google Search Console provides a search analytics report that shows which search queries are bringing users to your site. This data can help you understand which keywords you're currently ranking for and identify potential opportunities for optimization.

Use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to see which keywords your site is ranking for organically. You can also see the search volume, competition level, and your position in the search results for each keyword. Analyzing which keywords your competitors are ranking for can help identify opportunities for your own SEO strategy. If your competitors are ranking well for certain keywords, you might consider optimizing your own content for these keywords.

Once you've identified your target keywords, you should aim to include them naturally in your website content, meta descriptions, URLs, and alt tags. Over time, this can help improve your visibility in search engine results for those keywords, driving more traffic and leads to your site.

2. Understanding user behavior

The right data can provide insights into how users interact with your website. For example, you can see which pages users visit most often, how long they stay on those pages, and what actions they take. This data can help you optimize your website's user experience to encourage more conversions.

Pay attention to metrics like new vs. returning visitors, which offers insight into the loyalty and engagement of your audience. Top landing and exit pages help you identify strong and weak points in your content strategy, and user flow adds clarity into how users interact with your site and identify any potential roadblocks in the user journey.

3. Tracking performance over time

Analytics can provide valuable data and insights into how your strategies are performing and where improvements can be made. One of the primary indicators of SEO success is the amount of organic traffic your site receives. You can use analytics to monitor your organic traffic over time and identify trends or changes that might be related to your SEO efforts, or track the ranking of your targeted keywords to find opportunities for added visibility and increased organic traffic.

Don’t forget to look beyond engagement metrics to check that your site has a positive user experience. For example, site speed can help monitor your website's load time and identify pages that might be slowing down your site. Regularly monitoring these metrics and making necessary adjustments, you can ensure your SEO efforts are effective and yield the desired results over time.

Success starts with the right data

We start every client relationship with a complete SEO audit, to get baseline metrics where needed, and to identify where there are opportunities to make changes and see improvements. This free guide tells you everything that we would (and can!) do to show you how to make your website more attractive to the right types of audiences.

4. Uncovering technical issues

You can use analytics to identify technical issues that could be hurting your SEO performance, such as broken links, slow page load times, or duplicate content. Slow loading pages can negatively impact user experience and your site's ranking on search engines. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix can help identify issues that are slowing your site down, such as large image files or unnecessary JavaScript.

Broken links also lead to a poor user experience and can harm your SEO. Tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider or Ahrefs can crawl your site to find any broken internal or external links. Check for duplicate content that can confuse search engines and might lead to ranking penalties. SEO tools can help identify duplicate content across your site so you can consolidate or differentiate the pages. Regular SEO audits and adjustments are essential to ensure your website stays in good health and performs well in search engine rankings..

5. Measuring ROI

By setting up goal tracking in your analytics platform, you can measure the ROI of your SEO efforts. This can help you justify your SEO budget and make more informed decisions about where to invest your resources for the greatest return. Start by determining what you want to achieve with your SEO efforts to set your goals.

Your goals might include increasing organic traffic, generating more leads, boosting sales, or improving conversion rates. The goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

6. Tracking conversions

The ultimate goal of SEO isn't just to drive traffic—it's to drive qualified traffic that's likely to convert. By integrating SEO with analytics, you can better understand your audience, refine your strategies, and increase your conversion rates. Do this by setting up specific goals that align with your business objectives. A goal might be when a visitor makes a purchase, completes a form, or downloads a resource. By setting up these goals, you can directly track when a conversion happens on your site.

Analytics can also provide you with data on the path visitors took on your website before converting. This can give you insights into which pages are most effective at driving conversions and where there might be bottlenecks in your conversion funnel.

7. Calculating costs

Calculating the cost of your SEO services involves more than just adding up expenditures; it requires a deep understanding of your efforts and results, which is where analytics come in. You can use analytics to track the time and resources spent on different SEO tasks. For example, you can monitor how much time is spent on keyword research, content creation, link building, technical SEO, etc. This helps you understand where your team's time (and therefore money) is being spent. Many SEO strategies involve using paid tools for keyword research, site audits, rank tracking, and more. Analytics can help you evaluate the ROI of these tools by comparing their cost with the results they help you achieve.

You can also attribute revenue to your SEO efforts by tracking which conversions come from organic search. Comparing this revenue to your total SEO costs can help you calculate your ROI. To help with planning, use analytics to evaluate opportunity costs. For instance, if one type of content consistently performs well (e.g., blog posts), but you're spending most of your time creating another type of content (e.g., infographics), there's an opportunity cost there. You could be getting better results by reallocating your budget and resources.

8. Informing content strategy

By examining your analytics, you can identify which pieces of content are attracting the most traffic, engaging users, and driving conversions. Understanding what makes these pieces successful can help guide your future content creation. More importantly, you can learn more about who your users are, what their interests are, and what problems they're trying to solve. This information can help you create content that more effectively resonates with your target audience.

Backlinks and social shares give you an idea of what content is most popular and impactful in your industry. If a piece of content has earned a lot of backlinks or social shares, it's a sign that the content is high-quality and valuable to your audience. By consistently tracking your content performance, you can see trends and patterns that might not be apparent from a one-time analysis. This can help you adapt your content strategy as needed and ensure it remains effective over time.

Show the progress of your SEO program with smart analytics

In addition to all of the benefits analytics offer your SEO strategy, they are also the key to sharing your work within your company, and beyond. Use metrics that are familiar to other stakeholders, and transform information into easy-to-understand action items for leadership to see how you are adding value to the company. You can start today - contact us to talk about the types of analytics you need to be tracking to improve SEO for more traffic and more business.