Market Your Business

Using Website Analytics in Search Engine Optimization

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Category: Market Your Business , Boost Search Engine Visibility

The objective of any search engine optimization campaign is to increase visitor traffic to your website by using keywords and link-building strategies that ensure your site ranks high on the results pages of search engines.

Pay per click advertising is increasingly expensive – a trend that will likely continue. By contrast, the revenue from organic searches can be far more profitable if you know how to evaluate your existing search engine optimization efforts. Website analytics can give you a unique opportunity to look at the visitor behavior on your site, including where visitors come from, which keywords drive them to your site, how easily they find your key pages and which visitors complete the desired action (for example, a sale or a file download).

Website analytics is more than Web traffic logs, unique visits and page view data. And it's more than rankings on the search engine results pages. It's a powerful tool that gives you knowledge and understanding of how visitors come to, and use, your website based on detailed observation and tracking of visitor behavior. As an evolving and invaluable suite of metrics, Web site analytics can help you track conversions, browse-to-buy rates and the ROI of new customer acquisitions. Perhaps most importantly, you can identify the most effective keywords and search engines in terms of revenue rather than pure page rankings and positioning. When using website analytics for search engine optimization, there are three main areas you should consider.


Success is typically awarded to how high a keyword climbs in the rankings on search engine results pages. While it's useful to identify the exposure of your site, it's more effective to look at the behavior from visitors that enter your site from each keyword. Wbsite analytics may reveal that a keyword that ranks high and pulls a large volume of traffic to your website is actually outperformed in terms of completed sales by a lesser ranked keyword that draws a smaller number of more highly targeted visitors. By tracking visitor behavior with website analytics, you can put more emphasis on the keywords that convert sales. Page rankings are useful – but they don't always correlate with your business goals.


Another common denominator of search engine optimization success is Web traffic. You can compare traffic logs from both before and after your search engine optimization campaign to assess improvements. But a high volume of visitors from any particular keyword doesn't always equate to a successful search engine optimization campaign. If your search engine optimization goal is to increase sales, then a keyword that is bringing in lots of traffic to an ill-performing page is not going to help you meet that goal. You may use website analytics to identify problems with site design or page layout that is failing to convert sales. Or you may consider changing keywords to generate more valuable and qualified traffic. Increasing traffic is a good thing, but using website analytics to see how and why and where that traffic enters or leaves your site is even more valuable for your ongoing search engine optimization work.


It's important to look at revenue generated through organic search traffic. With the use of website analytics, you can compare sales figures to determine which pages on your site are generating the most revenue and track the customer behavior on those pages to see where the organic search traffic originated. You may be surprised to discover that the sources that generate the most revenue may not be generating the most traffic - or that the same keyword you are using for a paid search marketing campaign is receiving more clicks through organic search. This may not necessarily mean you should drop the PPC ad since seeing your company appear twice on the page may be the reinforcement your visitor needs to prompt visiting your site. Knowing where your organic search revenue is generated is the key to making strategic search engine optimization decisions, so that you can stop wasting time on keywords, articles and Web pages that do not generate revenue.

Website analytics can get you closer to your customers in a way that isn't possible with any other sales channel. With all the metrics available, you can pinpoint the visitor behavior that prompts the most profitable results. Working with live data from Web site analytics can show you which keywords are working and how you can adjust your keyword selection, site design, content and architecture for increased revenue. While it's possible to select keywords and achieve high rankings without access to Web site analytics, by using website analytics you can choose keywords that achieve optimal rankings and support your business goals.