How to Track SEO Results Using Google Analytics
If you want to see how your SEO campaign is performing, the best place to look is Google.
But just searching for some of your target keyword phrases to see how high you are ranking.
But this is the least accurate method to check your SEO results for two important reasons:
- Google personalizes search results so your website rankings will be extremely skewed by your previous browsing history. Most notably, all the previous visits to your own website will artificially increase your website’s rankings for your personal search experience because Google uses your browsing history as a ranking factor.
- Search engine rankings alone mean absolutely nothing. Just because your website ranks #1 for a handful of keyword phrases does not mean you are going to get a flood of new leads and sales. Rankings can be a good measure of SEO progress over time, but they should not be viewed and closely monitored as the only goal. The goal is to drive more traffic and more conversions.
That means, if you want to track SEO results, then you need to measure 3 key metrics:
- Unbiased search engine rankings to see if you are moving in the right direction over time
- Website traffic from search engines
- Website conversions from the search engine traffic
Google Analytics puts all this information in one place.
Unbiased Keyword Rankings
The first step to get your rankings data in Analytics is to link your account to Google Webmaster Tools (for instructions, read this). Then go to Acquisition > Search Console > Queries to view all the keywords that your website is ranking for. Plus, you will see how many impressions, clicks, average position in Google, and average click-through rate.
By monitoring this data, you will be able to see how edits to your website impact your SEO over time.
Website Traffic from Search Engines
Go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels and then click on the Organic Search channel in the report table.
Now you are looking at all the organic (non-paid) traffic visiting your website from search engines. Do not get concerned on the exact numbers here. More important is the trend of the graph when you look back 6 – 12 months.
Is the graph trending upward or downward? That will tell you how your SEO campaigns are performing over time.
Website Conversions from Search Engine Traffic
To do this, you first need to set up Analytics Goals, then go back to the same Channels report to view all the Goals from Organic Search traffic.
If you have an e-commerce website, then also set up E-Commerce Analytics so you can track the exact revenue generated from your search engine traffic. Simply change the Channels report from Summary to E-Commerce in the Explorer navigation above the graph to view revenue from Organic Search traffic.