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In this course, author David Booth explains what search engine optimization (SEO) is and how you can start using it to increase your website's visibility to search engines and attract the right kind of traffic to the right kinds of pages on your site. Discover how to read a results page and find your ranking, and see how rankings affect both large and small businesses. Then find out how to implement basic optimization strategies, like conducting keyword research, building inbound links, optimizing your pages and content, and measuring your successes and progress while planning for a long-term SEO strategy. SEO for ecommerce, local search, and an international audience round out this comprehensive look at the basics of SEO.
Keywords are the backbone of search engine optimization, and when we're measuring our SEO efforts, analyzing the different keywords that are bringing people to our websites is an excellent place to start. Inside Google Analytics, we can navigate to the Organic Search Traffic report by drilling down through Traffic Sources > Sources > Search > Organic. This report will show us all the keywords that have driven traffic to our pages from organic search engines, and although we are only looking at 10 by default, you can change this to show up to 500 rows at a time.
Another quick tip is to use the Secondary dimension dropdown so that we can see which search engine sent us the traffic. Just select Source from the dropdown and you'll see another column of data show up with this information. By default, we'll be looking at general site usage metrics, and here we'll be able to get some insights around just how engaged visitors are that find our site through certain keywords. Take a look at the second and third rows. We can see that the keyword "explore california" keeps people on the site six times longer than "california events," and people view three times more pages.
Not only that, but we're getting a lot more visits from this particular keyword. Looking at the Bounce Rate, we can see that people are much more likely to dive deeper into our site if they found us from a Google search on the "explore california" keyword as well. If you haven't yet configured goals in your Google Analytics account to track business outcomes, you'll probably want to stop this video and make that your top priority. You can't manage what you can't measure, and that goes for all of your online marketing efforts, not just SEO. Once you've got your goals set up, you can click on a goal set to see how your keywords are performing with respect to your business objectives.
Here we've got even more data that tells us california events isn't necessarily a good keyword for us. The explore california keyword is driving more contact form submissions, newsletter signups, video views, and PDF downloads by far. Of course, if you have configured ecommerce in Google Analytics, you can also look at not just goal data, but transactional data for each of the keywords you are analyzing. One thing we need to mention is that in late 2011, Google made a change to how it allows Web Analytics Tools to capture keyword data from organic searches.
If a user does a search while logged into their Google account, Google now encrypts the keyword data so that it cannot be read by Analytics Tools. And unfortunately, this means that all of those keywords are dumped into a generic row of data called not provided. Here we can see that over half of the organic traffic to this website came from users that were logged into Google, and unfortunately, that means that the keywords that they used are unavailable to us in Google Analytics or any other web analytics software.
One thing that we can do is drill down on that not provided link and change your primary dimension to Landing Page. This will at the very least allow us some insights into how the ranking pages are performing, and if we combine this with data around which of our pages are ranking for which terms, we can often infer the keywords that led to these visits. Remember that when you're looking at keyword reports, you're only seeing data for people who found your website through a search that you ranked for, and they clicked on you in the search results.
What that means is that Web Analytics is not a very good indicator of what opportunities you are missing. If you don't rank for a keyword, no one is going to be clicking on a search result for you, and no data for those missed opportunities will ever show up here. Make sure to continually look at data from your keyword research tools as well, to identify keyword opportunities, and once you do start getting traffic from them, you'll be able to analyze how they perform in your Web Analytics tools. Earlier in this course, we looked at Google Webmaster Tools, and one thing you can do is link your Google Webmaster Tools account to your Google Analytics account.
Once you've done this, you can view all of this data under Traffic Sources > Search Engine Optimization. In the Google Webmaster Tools' Queries report, you can find data on impressions in search engine results, your average rank positions, and clicks and click-through rates. Note that these numbers aren't perfect. So feel free to take the data in Google Webmaster Tools reports with a grain of salt. That said, it's still accurate enough to get some valuable insights based on the trends rather than the raw numbers.
One thing to look for are keywords that have high impressions, but low click-through rates. This means that you might be showing up in the search results, but no one's clicking on your listing. This could mean that you've got problems with your title, or maybe your description, and it's worthwhile to take a closer look. With all of the data available, analyzing keywords can be an intimidating task, but it's an extremely important one for anyone doing SEO. Because everything begins with a search, understanding what happens after searchers click on those pages that we've worked so hard to rank for is the key to putting a value on all of our efforts.
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