• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Google Analytics

Optimizing SEO with Google Analytics: A Beginner's Guide

  • Felix Rose-Collins
  • 13 min read
Optimizing SEO with Google Analytics: A Beginner's Guide


The world of SEO(Search Engine Optimization) can be confusing for a beginner. What is the correct way? Which tools do I pick? Adding more chaos, the internet has countless tips and tools to offer in improving your site's SEO. Among the abundance of SEO optimizing tools, Google Analytics stands out for all the right reasons. This tool offers a lot of valuable insight into your website’s traffic.

If you are a beginner in SEO and need to learn how to use this tool from scratch, then you have landed on the right article. It is a beginner’s guide to optimizing SEO with Google Analytics.


Source: Unsplash

Understanding Google Analytics For Effective SEO

Understanding Google Analytics is crucial for any effective SEO strategy. Google Analytics is a free tool to attain valuable insights into the website metrics including; conversion rates, engagement, demographics, and more.

What Is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free web analytics platform that offers basic analytical tools and statistics that are used for Search engine optimization. Google Analytics is used to integrate your advertising and analytics so you have deeper insights into customer behavior so you can act on it quicker.

Table For The SEO With Google Analytics With Every Detail

Metric Description
  1. Organic Sessions
The total number of sessions that are generated from organic search.
  1. Organic Users
The total number of unique users that come from organic search.
  1. Bounce Rate
The percentage of single-page sessions.
  1. Pages/Session
The average number of pages that are viewed during one session
  1. Average Session Duration
The average time users spend on your site.
  1. Conversion Rate
The percentage of users who completed a goal.
  1. Goal Completions
Number of times a goal was completed.
  1. E-commerce Conversion Rate
The conversion rate for e-commerce transactions.
  1. Revenue
Total revenue generated from e-commerce transactions.
  1. Keyword Report
Keywords driving organic traffic to your site.
  1. Landing Page Report
Pages where users enter your site.
  1. Exit Page Report
Pages where users leave your site.
  1. Site Speed
Page load times and speed data.
  1. Geographic Data
Location of your website's visitors.
  1. Mobile Traffic
Information about mobile users.
  1. Referral Sources
Websites send traffic to your site.
  1. Backlink Analysis
Overview of inbound links to your site.

What are the Benefits of Using Google Analytics for SEO?

Google Analytics offers several tools to help you build a successful SEO campaign. It helps you track the performance of your initiative. Using Google Analytics, you can optimize your website and boost your revenues year after year. Here’s a list of proven benefits of using Google Analytics for SEO:

  • Google Analytics is a free-to-use tool.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It lets you track what people do when they visit your website.
  • You will have access to data on who is visiting your site and how.
  • You will know the popularity range of each website's pages.
  • You can track conversions using the Google Analytics tool.

How To Improve Your SEO With Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that gives deep insights into your overall website’s performance. To improve your SEO with Google Analytics, first of all, use Google Analytics to track and analyze your website's traffic.

Starting here, you will have an overview of all the keywords and web pages that are driving the most organic traffic. Based on this information; you can revamp your content strategy so the content matches with the keyword that your target audience searches for.

Google Analytics gives valuable insights into the bounce rates, user activities, conversion rates, user behavior, and the time spent on the site. This information is helpful in determining what is working and what is not. So, you can make the required changes accordingly. This includes; optimizing page load times, enhancing user experience, and improving navigation.

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Google Analytics also lets you evaluate how effective your SEO efforts are by tracking; CTR(Click-through rate), organic search traffic trends, and goal completion. Now, let us dive into the details of the ways in which you can improve your SEO with Google Analytics.


Source: Freepik

  1. Google Analytics for Keyword Research

Google Analytics can prove to be an impactful tool for keyword research as well. Using Google Analytics, you can gather meaningful insights on keywords driving maximum traffic. Not just that, you will have a better understanding of how users interact with your site and where the optimization is needed for overall improvement.

1.1 Identifying High-Performing Keywords

The first and foremost step in keyword research is identifying high-performing keywords. Follow this step-by-step for identifying high-performing keywords:

  1. First, go to the acquisition section in the Google Analytics tool.
  2. Then select “all traffic”, from there select “ organic search?”
  3. Now, explore the keywords driving the most organic traffic to the website.
  4. After that, analyze and sort the keywords based on sessions, conversion rates, and bounce rates.
  5. From that, select the high-performing keyword.
  6. Compare your content with the list of high-performing keywords. Optimize if necessary.

1.2 Analyzing Keyword Performance Over Time

Now coming to the next step in keyword research, analyzing keyword performance over time. You can simply follow these steps for analyzing keyword performance over time.

  • First, access the Google Analytics tool.
  • After that, select your website property.
  • Then, navigate to the acquisition section.
  • Now, under the “all traffic section” select organic traffic.
  • After that, view the list of keywords.
  • Now, you can set the date range. You will select a specific time frame here.
  • Then, analyze the keyword range based on bounce rates, conversion rates, and sessions.
  • Now, apply filters to focus on specific keyword performance.
  • Using Google Analytics, create a report that showcases the keyword performance over time.
  • Identify the high-performing keyword and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
  • Review regularly.

1.3 Finding New Keyword Opportunities

Finding new keyword opportunities is an equally important factor for keyword research. Follow these simple steps to find new keyword opportunities.

  • Use the Google Analytics filter for keywords generating a certain number of sessions.
  • Explore secondary keywords using the secondary dimension feature available in Google Analytics. You can add dimensions like landing page or device category, this will help you determine which keywords do well on certain pages and devices.
  • After identifying keywords, create your content around new keywords.
  • Then, optimize the existing content to target new keywords by updating headings, titles, and meta descriptions. Also, include the keywords in the content while maintaining the natural flow.

2. Analyzing Organic Traffic and Referral Sources

Another crucial step for effective keyword research is analyzing organic traffic and referral sources to know how users find your website and interact with it.

To have a deeper insight into the effectiveness of your SEO efforts, you need to monitor organic traffic trends. To do so, go to the "all traffic" section, here you will find an overview of several traffic sources, including the organic search. Also don’t forget to look for short and long-term trends. Compare these trends with the metrics to improve your SEO.

2.2 Analyzing Traffic from Referral Sources

To analyze traffic from referral sources, follow these steps;

  • Go to Google Analysis and select your website.
  • Now, navigate to reports. Here, you will see a lot of reporting options in the left-hand menu.
  • After that, select “Acquisition” then “Channel” and “Referral source. Then, you can analyze the referral sources.
  • Go to the channel and select “organic search”. Now, you can access the key SEO metrics. Then, adjust the time range so you can view trends over time.
  • Again, in the channel section, go to referral. Here, you will have access to data specifically for the referral traffic.
  • Go to the admin section to understand how organic and referral traffic contributes to your website's goals.
  • You can create custom reports and segments using Google Analytics to understand your data better.
  • Regular organic and referral traffic monitoring is vital for improving and optimizing the content.
  • You can also export and share the reports with your team using Google Analytics.

2.3 Identifying Top Referring Websites

Identifying the top referring website is crucial for a better SEO strategy. Top referring websites are the kind of websites that link to a page on your website sending you more traffic. Analyzing content with Google Analytics will give you valuable insights into which website drives the most traffic. You can identify these websites through the referrals section.

This way, you can direct your efforts to build relationships with those driving the most organic traffic. You can also optimize your content in such a way that it aligns with their interest and target their audience for greater exposure.

3. Analyzing Page Traffic and Bounce Rates

Analyzing the individual page traffic and bounce rates will give you proper insight into what’s working and what's not. This way, you can keep doing more of what works and eliminate what isn’t.

3.1 Assessing Individual Page Performance

Assessing the individual page performance includes analyzing different metrics related to specific pages on your website. To access each page performance,

  • Access Google Analytics and navigate to the behavior section
  • Select site content and then "all pages," and also select the date range
  • Now, analyze the metrics
  • Then, sort and filter the data and click on a specific page URL for detailed insights.
  • Take action according to the insights, and be sure to monitor the page performance over some time regularly.

3.2 Understanding Bounce Rates and Its Impact on SEO

Bounce rates are the total percentage of users who leave the website after viewing just one page. This shows how often users need to engage or explore further to visit your site. Few bounces are inevitable; however, higher bounce rates indicate that your website needs to be appropriately optimized.

A bounce rate doesn't directly impact your page's ranking, but a higher bounce rate shows deep-rooted user experience issues. So, it indirectly affects organic ranking.

3.3 Optimizing High-Bounce Rate Pages

Here are some proven tips to optimize high-bounce rate pages:

  • Prioritize mobile optimization
  • Provide easy navigation and make the site easy to search
  • Pay attention to page load speed
  • Target relevant audience and use relevant keywords
  • Avoid Pop-ups and limit distracting ads
  • Provide convincing CTAs
  • Limit broken link
  • Use a Google Analytics tool

4. Tracking Conversions and Goals

Tracking conversions and goals is equally important for creating an effective SEO strategy. Keeping track of conversion and goals will give you an overall view of where you are and where you are headed.

4.1 Setting up Goal Tracking in Google Analytics

The goal-tracking feature in the Google Analytics tool allows you to measure how well your site fulfills your target objective. To set up goal tracking in Google Analytics:

  • Sign in to your Google Analytics property
  • Press admin in the bottom left-hand corner
  • In the view column, select "Goals."
  • Tap on the new goal button
  • You will find several goal templates, choose custom, and continue
  • Then, give a name to your goal and select your goal type.

4.2 Measuring Conversion Rates

In Google Analytics, the conversion rate is calculated as the number of conversions divided by the number of sessions and multiplied by 100. Google Analytics will provide this data. The higher the conversion rates, the more effective your content is.

4.3 Analyzing Conversion Pathways

The report conversion path shows you the path that the users take to complete the conversions. The top row of the report showcases an overview of how the selected conversion types are performing. This shows the total conversion and revenue.

5. Analyzing User Behavior and Engagement

All your SEO efforts boil down to improved user experience. Analyzing user behavior and engagement is an intelligent approach to finding faults and points in your SEO strategy.

5.1 Understanding User Flow and Behavior Flow Reports

The behavior flow report tells you the user's behavior on your site. It focuses on the content that keeps the users engaged. It helps you identify the content with the most potential issues.

The user flow report compares the volumes of traffic from different sources. It displays the various marketing channels that are sending traffic to your site.

5.2 Analyzing Page Value and Exit Pages

Page value is a metric that shows the average value of the page as compared to the site's overall average. This will help you identify which page contributes the most conversion and revenue. Pages with high page value play a significant role in conversions. And the page with fewer conversions requires optimization.

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Exit pages are the last pages that the users visit before leaving your site. Analyzing exit pages will help you identify potential issues or pages that need optimization. To analyze the exit page, from the behavior section, select site content and click on exit pages. You will see the list of ranked pages based on the number of exits.

5.3 Identifying Engagement Metrics for SEO Optimization

Identifying engagement metrics is vital for SEO optimization. Key engagement metrics include

  • Bounce rates.
  • Average session duration.
  • Conversion rates.
  • Pages per session.
  • On-page time.
  • Exit pages.
  • User engagement by source or keyword.

6. Improve SEO Strategy Using Google Analytics Insights

Using Google Analytics insights to improve your SEO strategy is essential for driving organic traffic and optimizing your website performance. Insights from Google Analytics empower you to make well-informed decisions. It helps continually refine your SEO efforts to improve your website's visibility and relevance in the search engine.

6.1 Identifying Weaknesses and Opportunities

Identifying weaknesses and opportunities is the first step in improving the overall SEO strategy. Google analytics tools give insights into bounce rates, exit rates, and session duration.

Examining your website based on these metrics will help you identify your weaknesses. You can use the site's report to identify slow landing pages driving users away. Also, analyze the search query report to find keywords with high impressions but low CTRs.

Now, about finding opportunities, look for keywords with high search volume and low competition. You can use Google Analytics to identify the landing pages that receive significant organic traffic.

So you can further optimize them for higher conversion rates. You can analyze user flow and behavior to understand how visitors navigate your site better. This way, you can identify opportunities for enhancing user experience.

6.2 Refining Content Strategy Based on Data

Consistently refining your content strategy based on the data from Google Analytics is an intelligent approach to maximize the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts.

You can create more engaging, compelling content that drives traffic, conversion rates, and overall business growth using Google Analytics tools. Some of the essential tips are;

  • Keyword analysis
  • Content Engagement
  • Analyzing top-performing content
  • Content Calendar
  • Conversion tracking
  • Content gap analysis

6.3 Optimising Website Structure and Navigation

Optimizing website structure and navigation using Google Analytics tools is crucial for enhancing user experience, increasing engagement, and achieving your online objectives. To optimize website structure and navigation,

  • Start by examining user behavior data in Google Analytics. This will help you understand how users engage with your site.
  • Then, identify higher bounce rates and optimize the content accordingly.
  • Analyze the site speed to identify slow-loading pages, optimize images, reduce server response time, and employ browser caching to improve page load speed.
  • Prioritize mobile optimization
  • Use content grouping to create a clear content hierarchy.
  • Continuously monitor and audit your website structure and navigation.

6.4 Tracking SEO Progress and Adjusting Strategies

Tracking SEO progress and adjusting strategies for optimizing your website's performance in search rankings are equally essential.

7. SEO Tracking Metrics That Matter

Implementing an SEO strategy is essential, but how do you know the effectiveness of these strategies?

Meet Ranktracker

The All-in-One Platform for Effective SEO

Behind every successful business is a strong SEO campaign. But with countless optimization tools and techniques out there to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Well, fear no more, cause I've got just the thing to help. Presenting the Ranktracker all-in-one platform for effective SEO

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Tracking SEO based on valuable metrics enables you to make informed decisions and continuously improve your website's ranking, visibility, and user experience. Here's an elaborative list of 7 SEO tracking metrics that matter:


Source: Freepik

  1. Keyword Rankings

Keyword rankings are the fundamental aspect of search engine optimization. Monitoring keywords allows SEO practitioners to evaluate the effectiveness of their SEO efforts. Even though it is a crucial factor in any SEO strategy, it is just a piece of the puzzle.

  1. Location-based organic traffic

This approach is best suited for local businesses. Use Google Analytics to have a clear picture of your target audience in a specific area. Then, capture them using local keywords and catchy images. If you keep getting inquiries from people living far away, it's time to change your SEO strategy.

  1. Bounce rate

If your website has a lower bounce rate, you're headed in the right direction. This shows that your site is ranking for the correct terms at the right place and time. However, if you have a higher bounce, it can tell a lot of things about your site:

  • The content on your website could be more engaging.
  • You are ranking for the wrong keyword.
  • Customers accidentally clicked on your page.
  • You need a better user interface.
  1. Return on investment (ROI)

You can track your conversion rates using Google Analytics. Are your time, money, and effort rewarded with genuinely satisfied customers? You must be on the right path if you keep getting orders repeatedly.

  1. Click-Through Rate(CTR)

Click-Through Rate(CTR) is another valuable metric to analyze your SEO efforts. You can check your click-through rate using the Google Analytics tool. CTR is the percentage of web page users who click on a specific advertisement.

  1. Site Speed

Having a fast page speed is essential for a successful SEO strategy. Slow-loading sites negatively affect user experience. Several factors affect the site speed, including web hosting and page size. Did you know bounce rates triple if your page takes longer than 3 seconds to load?

  1. Backlink volume

If you persistently deliver high-quality content, other websites will likely link to your site. Having more high-quality backlinks is an excellent metric to evaluate the success of your SEO.


In the rapidly changing landscape of digital marketing and SEO, Google Analytics remains an indispensable ally. Armed with the invaluable data it provides, you can gain a deep understanding of your website's performance and make informed decisions to propel it to new heights.

In this ever-evolving world of SEO, Google Analytics serves as your guiding star, illuminating the path to improved visibility and a more satisfying user experience. By following this beginner's guide, you'll be well-equipped to not only keep pace with the competition but also establish a foundation for long-term SEO success. Harness the power of Google Analytics to elevate your SEO strategies and thrive in the dynamic realm of digital marketing. Your journey to SEO excellence begins here.


  1. How to Install Google Analytics on Your Website?

Follow these steps to install Google Analytics on your website:

  1. Set up Google Tag Manager.
  2. Create a Google Analytics account.
  3. Set up analytics tags with Google Tag Manager.
  4. Set up your goals.
  5. Then, link to the search console.
  6. Can Google Analytics help boost SEO on a website?

Google Analytics will give you a deeper understanding of your website's performance. It can provide valuable insights that will help boost SEO on your website.

  1. How do I use Google Analytics for SEO reporting?

To use Google Analytics, you can follow these simple steps:

  • Set up Google Analytics: Create an account, install the tracking code on your website, and verify its configuration
  • Navigate to the Acquisition section and see the organic search traffic data
  • Now, analyze the SEO metrics
  1. Can I do SEO on my own?

Yes, you can do SEO on your own. Hiring an expert can be costly and challenging, so starting independently is better. However, it is a long-term process and takes a lot of time.

  1. Does Google Analytics affect website performance?

Yes, Google Analytics can affect the website's performance. Factors such as improper implementation and excessive third-party scripts can slow the website's performance.

Felix Rose-Collins

Felix Rose-Collins


is the Co-founder of Ranktracker, With over 10 years SEO Experience. He's in charge of all content on the SEO Guide & Blog, you will also find him managing the support chat on the Ranktracker App.

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