We’ve said it before, but Google’s dominance in search is (for now) unparalleled. Thankfully, the search giant also has a variety of tools any business can take advantage of and improve SEO.
The resources listed below will help you evaluate your site, monitor SEO efforts, spot opportunities, and drive growth.
If you haven’t already, take a minute and set up Google Analytics for your site.
Once Google Analytics running, you’ll be able to collect a variety of data about visitors like how they came to your site, what device they used, which pages they visited, and what content they engaged with. As long as you turn on demographic and interest reports, you will also know age and gender breakdowns.
There are so many ways to look at data in Google Analytics and at times it is easy to get lost in the noise. Two key areas to pay attention to are: traffic sources and bounce rate.
Knowing how people arrive at your site is important, especially if SEO isn’t your only traffic acquisition strategy. Doubling the number of visitors is great, but is a meaningless stat without extra context. All of those visitors could have been from paid advertisements. Unless you monitor this information, you won’t know which areas need to be improved.
Also called “pogo-sticking” in the SEO world,
So why are we bringing it up? Because it can provide clues that your SEO content marketing strategy isn’t working. Let’s say you create a keyword focused blog post that you plan on using to gain new clients. But visitors are leaving the post without engaging with other pages, signing up, or reaching out to you in some way. That is not what you want, and you’ll need to avoid making the same mistake twice. The data in Google Analytics can help.
Set up a custom report in Google Analytics that shows landing pages and filter for organic traffic. Have the report show sessions and bounce rate. You can then evaluate pages with a high bounce rate to see what can be improved, test new ideas, and meet content goals.
You can enter any URL in PageSpeed Insights and get an analysis of the site.
Why does this matter? Because studies have shown that people will leave your site if they think it is taking too long to load. Data collected by Pingdom found that there was a 9 percent bounce rate on pages that took 2 seconds to load. For pages that loaded in 5 seconds, the bounce rate jumped to 38 percent.
Google My Business
Local SEO needs to be part of the strategy for any business that serves specific communities. Google My Business is one way to make it easier for potential clients to find you in search and maps. These are few of the things you’ll be able to do:
- Add key details like your address, contact information, and hours.
- Receive and respond to customer reviews.
- In a BrightLocal survey, 86 percent of respondents said they read reviews of local businesses.
- See data about who is looking up your business.
- Share promotions, offers, and updates.
This is an open-source tool that was created to improve web experiences. To access it, you can use:
When you run an audit on a URL, you’re shown a score between 0 and 100
Below this will be a table displaying: Impact, Category, Audit, and Guide. The “Audit” section will provide a brief overview of an issue and “Impact” ranks how high a priority it should be for you. “Guide” then links out to additional resources.
Enhancing the security, performance, and accessibility of your site are all best practices that can help your search performance.
This is in no way an exhaustive list, but the tools above will point to what needs to be improved in order to create the best experience for users, boost your SEO, and attract new visitors to your site.