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Google Analytics for SEO part II

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 18 November 2008 07:53

Keyword analysis with Advanced segments and custom reporting

In the first part on Google Analytics for SEO we looked at advanced segmentation and custom reporting for search traffic analysis. This time around we’re going to look at different metrics and key indicators for keywords and phrases that are being used to reach your site.

What’s important with this is that we’re looking to adapt our SEO programs by better understanding how various keywords/phrases are performing.

Before we get going, it should once again be stressed, be creative. These are but some examples to start you down the path of crafting approaches that best work your situation.

Google analtics for SEO

Engagement by keyword

Right away, to get us started, navigate to ‘Traffic Sources > Keywords’ this is our main focus for this round. Now, last time we created a custom segment to measure our prime engagement visitors by segmenting those that went 3 pages or more into the site.

We can now use this segment on our keyword report;

Keyword performance analysis

And of course the ‘Goal Conversion’ tab –

Digging deeper into keyword referrers
There are a few things we’re looking at here;

  1. Level of engagement – which terms are bringing in the visitors that engage with the site the most. You can then do some deeper analysis as to why a target is performing well or why it isn’t. This can be used to better adapt the over-all keyword targeting of the SEO program.
  2. Engagement V. Conversions – As you can see above, some terms are going to accomplish your goals better than others. This begins to help focus future efforts as far as where you invest your resources in your SEO program.

What we can see from that above is that while some terms to have some great traction engagement wise, they don’t always ultimately lead to the best conversions. Another evident factor is that it re-affirms our desire to engage visitors on this particular site as deeper engagement does show itself to lead to higher conversions ultimately.

At a glance

Now, using the default report can give us some in-depth understanding, but I like to have an over-view; so let’s create a custom report. Go to ‘Custom Reports’;

creating custom reports
This will give us a report which is more of an ‘at a glance’ view incorporating engagement metrics AND conversions data as well. Using our earlier custom segment we’d have this;

keyword engagement

Once more, I normally add other conversion points, but I leave that to you. The main thing is we can look at some of our core keywords to gain insight into the engagement and conversion points related to them. If I am deciding where to concentrate my efforts ( as far as something like link building is concerned) on terms that are performing best. This is essential to an effective SEO campaign.

Geo Targeting

Last time we also created an advanced segment for our Australian visitors since this program is specifically targeting this market. So now let’s apply that to our Keyword Engagement Report – and we’d have something like this;

geo locational analysis

Once more we’re looking at not only the efficacy of the keyword targeting but also how well the geo-targeting efforts are going. I this case, it’s going well and we can drill down other ‘at a glance’ engagement metrics for each term.

By creating segments, that are important to your site, you can have a nice set of engagement metrics to better understand the performance of your core terms. Now let’s look at primary and secondary terms.

Primary and secondary keyword targeting

I don’t know about you, but we generally have primary and secondary targets with each SEO program. These are essentially groups of terms that have been identified as the money terms and secondary ones. For this we’ll be creating some new segments…
creating custome segments

Depending if you want to track ‘just’ the primary terms, or inclusive of connectors (used in long tail) you can use either ‘matches exactly’ or ‘contains’ – it’s situational.

Now if we go to ‘Traffic Sources > Search Engines” and then activate our two keyword segments that we just created. We’ll get something like this;

more keyword analysis

This shows us that our primary terms are certainly not only pulling greater traffic, as expected, but also engaging the traffic better. It’s worth noting I am using constructors ( inclusive of primary targets). As always we also want to look at the conversion data to look for weaknesses which can be further mined.

Engagement by query type

Another area worth having as an overview on is query types, that is the general nature of a keyword/phrase. Common ones are transactional (seeking a purchase, support information and so forth), informational and geo-modifiers (location specific). So let’s go create a few more advanced analytics.

Transactional query modifiers

transactional query modifiers

This time, add the following one at a time as shown above;


…and so on. Try mining your keyword referrer data for transactional terms related to your market. Once done, we can name this (KWs Transactional) and save.

Now create one for informational queries. This time use this list;

How to

… and mine your keyword data as always.

If we return to our ‘Traffic sources > Search engines’ report and apply our new segmentation; we have something like this;

Primary and secondary term targeting

After that? Well you can also create another segment for geographic triggers that you may have as well as one for brand related searches (company name, product names, your name..etc..). By looking a search traffic engagement and related conversions a deeper understanding of your over-all content creation and term targeting invariably emerges.

Dig in and muck about

It should be noted that you should be cross referencing your mean average rankings and geo-targeted rankings with ALL kw analytic data and analysis. Often times we find that certain search types (transactional, informational etc..) can lead to deeper engagement. This data is but starting point for deeper research.

The easy access across reports for cross referencing with conversions, make these advanced segments and custom reports quite useful. Each website and market is going to have different key indicators, by playing with the goodies we looked at here you should be able to get your own creative juices flowing into ways to best identify keyword interactions produced from your SEO efforts.

Next time we’re going to look at the content engagement from an SEO point of view. We shall then be able to wrap all our new ideas up and how each can be analyzed for adaptation of ongoing search optimization programs.

Stay tuned…

More reading;

Google Analytics segmentation – Online sales blog
A deeper look at Advanced Segmentation: filtering on the fly – Google Analytics Blog
Using Google Analytics Segmentation To See Value of Existing Customers -
Quick Start Guide for Custom Reporting – Google support

..and if you missed it, be sure to read part I of our Google Analytics for SEO series.



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