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Google analytics for SEO part III

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 01 December 2008 09:05

Content engagement analysis with Advanced Segments

This time out we’re going to look at using some more advanced segments and custom reporting for Google Analytics and SEO. More specifically, we’re going to look at our content and how it is performing from an (organic) search perspective.

So far we looked at; Search traffic analysis and Keyword effectiveness analysis

While those trails contained plenty of primary indicators, we can get some deeper insight to potential points of interest by looking at the content of the site and related search data.

Google analytics for SEO

Query Types and performance

Last time out we created some advanced segments in the form of isolating ‘transactional’ and ‘informational’ query types; this time we’ll add geo-modifiers. Essentially we’re looking for query types that are from a given targeted geo-location. This can tell us, at a glance, how well any location targeting aspects of the SEO program are progressing.

To get started, go to Advanced Segments > Create New Segment

Then we’ll create our KW Geo-modifier; in this case we’re using Australia as an example.

Advanced segments

Start with your core targets and then look at past search referrers for other potential granular level (city, region) geo-modifiers. Once done, name and then save the new segment.

Now, let’s put all three into context with some of the content from the site. Go to ‘Content > Top Content’ and then select the segments (2 created last time and our new one);

Geo-modifiers Segments

This will produce a report now that juxtaposes our various query types against the content which can tell us what types of traffic we’re getting and it’s general efficacy. This can be important in establishing how well your targeting and keyword mapping programs are playing out… here’s an example of the report;

Query type segments

In this case, we’re definitely getting traffic that we want which is transactional terms inclusive of geo-targeting that we are after. I would then dig deeper to establish which terms are achieving this and associated conversion metrics.

Additionally if you are offering brands of products or tracking brand searches for your company name, you can also create a segment for navigational query types as well. It all depends on the situation.


Keyword target performance

Next we can have some fun looking at which content items are pulling users for our various KW targets associated with our SEO program. For this we need to create a few new advanced segments based on the primary and secondary terms being targeted with the SEO program. We went through this earlier, but as a quick refresher;

Go to our advanced segments screen and create a new one (Advanced Segments > Create New Segment ). Break out your keyword research and start entering them into the segment (we’re creating a ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ segments);

Primary keyword targeting


Do this for all your core target terms and then name and save it. Repeat the process, this time using your secondary KW targets and then name as save that as well (I name mine ‘KWs Primary’ and ‘KWs Secondary’. Once we have that navigate back to ‘Content > Top Content’ and apply our two new advanced segments. This gives us a report like this;

More keyword perfromance analysis

Now, none of this is of any use unless you are actively mapping KWs to pages in your SEO programs and have a general content plan as far as the types of targeting being conducted. Once you have this in place, you can look at the data to ensure the over-all program goals are making sense.


Moral of the story

Ultimately this journey was about looking at ways in which Google Analytics and the new features can be used in concert with your SEO programs. Each type of site (blogs, ecommerce, informational etc..) are going to have different key indicators and conversion points. This means that you will need to establish which types of segmentation and reporting best workd for your optimization plans.

Over the last three instalments in the series we looked at what types of approaches are possible – it’s up to you to adapt them for your own applications.

In the near future I will be going over various key performance indicators that we can take from these new tools and how to glean actionable data from them. That is really where the rubber hits the road… data by itself is useless. We will look at data analysis real soon…

Related Posts; Google analytics for SEO Part I and Google Analytics for SEO Part II

Google Analytics for SEO


FREE DOWNLOAD - Get the entire series; If you’re interested in having all three parts of the series be sure get a copy here  (in PDF format). You can offer them for download, give them to friends and clients alike…



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