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You need to ensure you’re tracking metrics and KPIs that give you concrete insights into SEO traffic. There are different ways you can go about improving organic traffic (backlinks and link building, improving page load time, or rewriting landing pages, for example) each of which has different metrics attached to them. However, there are some basic metrics and KPIs you’ll always want to keep your eye on when it comes to SEO:
Search engine optimization is a key part of any digital marketing strategy. Equally important is the ability to monitor SEO performance so you can ensure your SEO efforts are paying off. A Google Analytics SEO dashboard will let you quickly and easily track your SEO analytics data – this means you spend less time sorting through SEO data and more time adding value for your clients.
Best of all, our dashboards are fully customizable so you’re never locked into an unchangeable selection of KPIs. You can choose where and how your data is displayed in your dashboard (line graph, charts, tables) and add data from other sources to see how, for example, your SEO and social media campaigns are working together. We even have white-label options so your dashboard can reflect your business’ branding. Once it’s set up just how you want, you can save it and reuse it over and over again so you don’t have to build it from scratch for a new project.
This guide to the best Google Analytics SEO dashboards gives you everything you need to know to get started, including some templates to get you going!
Which SEO dashboard should I use?
It’s easy to get started: create a DashThis account (you just need an email address and a password), select your data sources (we support over 34 integrations, from Google Analytics to Moz to Bing and more!) and your template (or create your own custom template) and you’ll be ready to go. It’s really that easy.
And, if you have a custom data set you want to use you can upload it in a CSV file and we’ll take care of the visualization for you.
Here’s a short video showing you exactly how:
Simple: a dashboard is an intuitive, customizable, and powerful reporting tool. Google Analytics reports can sometimes be a bit clunky and they can lack key information that you need to get a full understanding of how your SEO campaigns are performing. With a DashThis dashboard, on the other hand, all you have to do is link your Google Analytics account, select the metrics you want to track and we take care of the rest. SEO reporting has never been easier.
A Google Analytics SEO dashboard is a complete dashboard with data from Google Analytics, enabling digital marketers to track and act on their SEO results.
DashThis has created a bunch of preset templates you can use to get started. Here are a few of our top marketing dashboard recommendations for SEO:
To create your dashboard, you can use a digital marketing tool like DashThis that lets you visualize all your SEO metrics and KPIs from Google Analytics. You’re able to select only those metrics and KPIs you want to track and you can also easily create beautiful reports to send to clients, managers, or your team.
At the end of the day, Google’s Analytics’ SEO reports are alright but they don’t let you do all this.
DashThis is the power behind thousands of reporting dashboards created by and delivered for agencies and digital marketers every month.
Why should you use a dashboard?
What is a Google Analytics SEO dashboard?
You will find the reports very similar to what’s available inside Search Console (under ‘Search Analytics’), the difference being that the ‘Landing Pages’, ‘Countries’ and ‘Devices’ reports are combined with a handful of metrics from Google Analytics. This allows you to see engagement (bounce rate and pages per session) and conversions along with the data from Search Console.
The Site Speed reports inside Google Analytics give you details about how long your content is taking to load. Head to ‘Page Timings’ (under ‘Behavior’ and then ‘Site Speed’) to find the reports.
Since our SEO efforts are focused on highly engaging content for our audience the Behavior reports provide valuable insights into what’s working (and what’s not working) when it comes to acquiring audience members, engaging them and converting them into leads and customers.
If you head to Google to perform a search you’ll notice that you’re on http s ://www.google.com the ‘s’ means that you’re on a secure version of Google (and if you don’t see an ‘s’ in your browser, then you should see a small lock icon).
The report I use most often is the ‘Technical’ report. You can find this by clicking ‘Technical’ under the ‘Explorer’ tab at the top of the report. Then click the table icon (just to the right of the search box below the graph).
8. Site Speed reports.
Take some time to browse through the different websites that are linking to you. Clicking on each individual referring website will allow you to see the individual pages that are linking – it can be useful to open each of these pages to see how people are linking and what they’re saying about your brand.
You can add the Non-Organic Traffic segment to your account now and compare it using your own data.
Here we’re looking at the first tab in the report which is ‘Landing Page and Page Title’. This shows you the most popular pages people are finding from the Google organic search results. By including the page title in the report you can get an idea of the content’s overarching theme which will relate to what people are searching.
The example above is from the Google Analytics demo account and we can see the first page in the report is the homepage. This is likely to primarily receive traffic from organic brand terms. The second page in the report is for YouTube merchandise, so we can assume that the keywords being used related to this theme.
The ‘All Pages’ report shows you the content people are viewing on your website. You’ll notice that the report is ordered by ‘Pageviews’ which means your most popular content is at the top of the report. Another useful metric is ‘Page Value’ on the right of the report – this uses goal conversion data to establish which pieces of content create value. I’m not going to cover Page Value in this post, but I absolutely encourage you to configure goals with a value assigned to make use of this metric.
The referrals report shows you website that are linking to your content. Building links can be an important part of SEO, so seeing how people are currently linking to your website can help you identify additional opportunities to create content.
So this raises the obvious question…
To find duplicate page titles navigate to the ‘All Pages’ report (under ‘Behavior’ and then ‘Site Content’). Then select ‘Page Title’ (under the graph and above the table). You’ll see the the page titles of all of your website content in the report.
The Google Search Console reports allow you to understand how people are finding your website inside Google search results. To use the reports you’ll need to link Google Search Console with Google Analytics (this is generally really simple), to do this head to ‘Admin’ and select ‘All Products’ under ‘Product Linking’ and then follow the steps to link Google Search Console.
The loading time of your website has been a factor in organic ranking for a while now (and it’s also factored into Quality Score if you’re running AdWords). And apart from rankings, loading time can also impact usability and conversion, so it’s one of those things that is always important to be considering.
7. Search Console reports.
As you can see, this custom report won’t give you really granular insights for organic keywords, but it will give you a top-level understanding of your most popular (and important) keyword themes.
To start with I recommend switching from ‘All Users’ to ‘Organic Traffic’ which will mean you’re only looking at your SEO traffic for your website. (You can search for ‘Organic Traffic’ or find it within the ‘System’ segments.)
From here you can use the ‘Landing Pages’ report to understand which content people are seeing first when they visit your website. And you can use the ‘Content Drilldown’ report to understand the performance of content based on your website’s folder structure.
Here are my top 11 methods for SEO reporting with Google Analytics…
It can be helpful to add an annotation inside Google Analytics so that you know when you’ve changed page titles. This is because the titles of pages won’t be modified in your historical Google Analytics data.
For localised businesses SEO is all about where people are located and making sure you’re visible when your target audience is nearby. The geographic reports allow you to understand how you’re performing compared to these target audience members.
Once you’re done you’ll find the Search Console reports available directly within Google Analytics. The reports include:
4. Pages report (and landing pages)
You do get to see the total number of people coming from organic Google searches (you’ll see this in the Acquisition reports later in this post), but you don’t get to see the keywords – instead you’ll see ‘not provided’.
The first thing you’ll need to overcome is ‘not provided’ when it comes to understanding the performance of your SEO efforts. If you’re not familiar with ‘not provided’, it basically tells you that someone came from a secure organic search, as individual keywords are kept hidden from Google Analytics (or any analytics tool for that matter).
You might also want to consider setting up Content Groups which allow you to define a particular way to group individual pieces of content together for top-down analysis.
You can even create a non-SEO traffic segment so that you can compare the performance against your SEO traffic. Here you can see an example of these two segments applied to a report:
You can find this by navigating to ‘Acquisition’, then ‘All Traffic’ and ‘Source/Medium’. If you want to narrow your results down to only include organic traffic you can apply a segment as we covered previously or you can simply enter ‘organic’ in the search at the top of the report.
You can add this report to your Google Analytics account right now (and feel free to tweak it and customize it as you need – I’d love to hear how you make it your own too.)
Well, you can jump down to the section on Google Search Console reports which allows you to understand what people are searching for to find your website. However the problem here is that it doesn’t allow you to understand what happens after people land on your content (for example, what pages do they go on to view and if they end up converting).
This is where my special Not Provided Custom Report comes in handy. My disclaimer is that it can’t perform miracles, but it can help bring some insights into how people are finding your content.