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SEO Self-Assessment Series: Website Analytics

Video 6: Website Analytics

Today we're talking about analytics and tag management solutions as part of our SEO self-assessment video series. We recommend following along so you can see which tools we use at Workshop Digital—although you can choose to watch at your own pace and in any order.

Today we're talking about checking your analytics and tag management solutions as part of our SEO self-assessment video series. It's an eight-part video series—we're shooting them in no particular order, so you can watch them in any order you like and go back and revisit them as often as you like. But we encourage you to follow along.

When we're talking about analytics and tag management, most of us are familiar with analytics platforms like Google Analytics, or Adobe, or any of the others out there that allow you to track the visitors, the sessions, the conversions that happen on your site. And all the interesting other data that goes along with that: the traffic sources or segmentation, the audiences, and everything else. It's valid and important to know that your tracking has to be set up properly before you can understand and start to utilize all of that data and unlock the insights that they can provide for you.

As part of an SEO assessment and our ongoing checklist, we're looking at the Tag Manager implementation—or the Google Analytics implementation—just to make sure that it's set up properly, there's no conflicts or issues, and that the systems can talk to each other properly. So, the way we do that in Chrome is using a browser extension called Google Tag assistant, it's available for free in their extension market. It's a tool provided by Google that allows you to see on a page, any of the Google tags that are showing up in the source code. Google ads, for example is a remarketing tag on our site; Google Analytics tracking script; a Google Optimize, which is an A/B testing tool [and] their code snippet; as well as Google Tag Manager or the container we're using to track our Analytics’ tags and triggers and everything else.

This is a helpful double check. If you're getting data into Google Analytics, chances are it's recording properly, but sometimes there can be implementation snafus that minimize the amount of data you're getting—or even sometimes ruin the data you're getting and make it impossible to really go and analyze and segment and properly compare apples to apples. So, that could include things like double tagging your pages, or having multiple tracking scripts or JavaScript snippets that interfere with the tracking code. A lot of that's going to be detailed in these reports.

If you're really wondering and really want to dig into the technical side of how these are implemented, there's a record function which allows you to record a session on your site. And ultimately, it's going to then show you that the Tag Assistant is now recording your session—so, as you're browsing your site, in the background it's capturing all the events and pageviews and session data that is being fed to Google Analytics or Tag Manager. After you navigate through a couple of pages, you're going to start to accumulate that information—you can spend as much time browsing as you want. But once you stop the recording, it's going to show you at a high-level how many pages were tracked and how many tags were fired.

And then if you really want to geek out—as we do—you dig into the reporting summary for each of these Google Tags and Google Analytics reports. The reports are going to break down for you the data, or the data contained in these tracking signals (or beacons) that are being sent back to Google—and a lot of the detailed conversion, source, and medium data. So, you can really again start to verify if things are being tracked the way you want them to be tracked.

The same thing is true of the Google Analytics report. You can pick your profile—and you have to be logged into your Google account; you can't just run this on every site across the web—and once you're logged in and verified, you can start to see session data audience data and all the information that Google Analytics is capturing about this particular session. So making sure that you're getting the correct event tracking in place, the correct URLs and pageviews being sent through to Google Analytics, as well as your acquisition information like source, and medium, and so on.

This is just one of the ways that we can track and understand whether or not analytics and tag management solutions are implemented properly—so we can really evaluate the value and the impact and the outcomes of a search engine optimization strategy. Thanks for watching the sixth video in our eight-part series.

Check out the remaining videos below in the series below.

Learn More About Your SEO Strategy

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1. On-Site Elements

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On-site elements are important for visitors as well as search engines. Learn if your site’s basic on-page factors meet these standards and cater to your end users.

2. Website Content

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Do you have a discernible content strategy that aids in copy and design decisions? Learn why visitors and search engines should understand your content.

3. Link Profile

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Search engines place more value on pages and sites with high quality inbound links. Learn more about your link profile.

4. Desktop Site Speed

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Search engines favor fast load times because they provide a better user experience. Learn more about your link profile.

5. Mobile User Experience

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Is your website accessible and easy to navigate on mobile devices? This video discusses your mobile user experience.

6. Website Analytics

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Learn why visitor and conversion data is essential to understanding how well your site is performing and identifying areas to improve.

7. Local Search Visibility

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Search engines place more value on pages and sites with high quality inbound links. Learn more about your link profile.

8. Historical Keyword Rankings

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Monitoring your digital footprint is essential for prioritizing opportunities and identifying competitors. This video reviews the importance of keyword rankings.