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If you’ve been in the business of Internet marketing for a considerable amount of time now then, you probably know the importance of analytics and reporting.
Without a doubt, one of the best tools that will make this task less stressful and more fun for you is Google Analytics. Put it this way; Google Analytics is the best analytics solution on the internet with over 28 million users making it the most popular on the web; (argue with me if you can).
The good thing is that this lifesaver is free. You do not need to pay anything to use it aside from having an active Google account which is equally free.
Perhaps, Google decided to make this tool free because we won’t be able to afford the price if we’re to pay for it. That is to tell you how powerful and sophisticated it is.
However, the bad thing is that most marketers are underutilizing this tool, and that’s perhaps because they don’t know the other important things we can do with it.
Most people just pay attention at the basic stats, and graphs (GA) offers and never border to dig deeper, this is mind-boggling because you’re just scratching the surface while tracking vanity metrics.
I’m not saying that monitoring the other parameters is not okay. But, these are the basic things we’re often bordered about when we login to our GA account but, are they all you need to track? Of cause not, GA also reveals the thought patterns, the user behavior, the psychology, and emotions of your visitors.
As a wise marketer, you should always focus on metrics you don’t see such as user behavior.
2-Powerful Metrics in Google Analytics To Improve Your Search Rankings
Below, you will find the other two metrics you should be tracking for a better ranking.
1. Click Through Rate (CTR)
The word click-through rate is simply the total percentage of clicks coming from a search impression.
In case you don’t know, Google uses website click-through rate as one of its ranking factors. This has been debated a lot on the internet, and if you’re not yet optimizing your website for higher CTRs, you’re missing out.
Interestingly, some marketers assume that the influence of click-through rate on rankings is nothing more than a fad and persistent myth; however, others are highly convinced that Google must examine end user data before ranking a page if not, how on earth can Google figure out which pages to rank?
My verdict is that CTRs is essential for you to rank in Google. But should you take my word for it? No, check out the slides below which was presented at SMX by Google’s Engineer:
Rand Fishkin equally summarized the whole point in a Tweet:
If you noticed in the screenshot above, Algorithm A put position 1 before position 2 because the user clicks on position 1 is good enough.
In 2009, Matt Cutts who was the formal head of Google’s webspam team was asked the benefits of optimizing your organic click-through rate, below is what he said:
In a recent post on the Blind Five-Year-Old blog, AJ Kohn stated that “It’s pretty clear that any reasonable search engine would use click data on their own results to feedback into ranking to improve the quality of search results”.
This takes us to the factors that determine if your website visitors will click on your search results or not.
Sitting in the first position of Google’s search for your main keywords is not the main thing, what matters more is for your visitors actually to click to your contents. If a highly ranked content isn’t driving clicks, Google will not see any reason to retain it on top of the SERPs.
Below are some of the things you should look at to boost your CTR:
a. Always Write Attention-Grabbing and Compelling Headline: This is critical, your headline is the first thing that will always determine if people will click to read your article or not. Make it crappy, and it won’t be able to drive any click. This is pure content marketing best practice.
With free tools like BuzzSumo, you can easily monitor what type of headline gets the most shares in your niche.
Assuming I’m in the email marketing/list building niche, below is the result I got from BuzzSumo with the search term “list building tips”:
You will agree with me that the headlines I highlighted above are persuasive enough to drive massive clicks; their number of social shares already said it all.
Additionally, you can equally use Google to see what articles are ranking in your niche. You can monitor their headline:
While analyzing these headlines, you want to pay attention to:
- What makes these headlines popular
- Why their attracted lots of social shares and attracted high CTRs
- What you can do to create an even better headline to boost your click-through-rate.
Other things you can do to encourage clicks on your contents are:
- Write a compelling meta description without stuffing keywords: Your meta description is the short introduction that usually appears in Google search result just beneath your headline. You need to make it as concise and catchy as possible.
- Use number headlines (e.g., 15 ways to as compared to the best way to): If you look at the screenshot above from BuzzSumo, you will also notice that the first two headlines have numbers in them, which is to show you how essential including numbers in your headlines is.
Typically, the bottom line is that Google uses click-through-rate to judge how high to rank a website, this is the primary reason why you need to start monitoring your organic CTR to know how best to optimize your pages further.
With the goal setting feature in Google Analytics, you can easily track so many things on your website including your CTR.
2. Percent of New Sessions
This is the average percentage (%) of your websites first-time visitors.
According to Google, a session is the total group of interactions that take place on a website within a particular time frame. For instance, a single section can contain multiple pages, or screen views, eCommerce transactions or social interactions.
This metric tracks how many of your website visitors are coming for the first time, and those that are returning visitors, and points out the efficiency of your marketing efforts at driving new traffic to your site. The idea is to know if your website is sticky and is worthy of encouraging multiple visits from users.
Ideally, a good site that is worthy of ranking in Google will have a good mixture of both returning and first-time visitors. However, this will depend on your website goals, business, and niche. If Google can score your website high for this, you will be sure to get high ranking in the SERPs.
It is good to note that it’s not every visitor that is good to be retained as some of them will be a total waste of time, however, a having a good retention rate will tell Google that people are happy with your website.
However, your ability to drive new visitors and encourage them to click on your search ranking to visit your site is important. Google sees those first-time visitors who click on your search rankings and visit your site as your golden prospects.
The more new people are discovering your site on SERPs, the happier Google will be, and the more your ranking will skyrocket (after all, since new visitors are discovering your site already, it makes sense for Google to push your rankings to the top so that the first time users can find you), and you’ll, in turn, make more money from your website.
Google Analytics is a robust software which you can use for many things. There’s no better way to learn more about your visitor’s behavior, boost your click-through rate, and optimize your website for conversion than with GA.
If you’re not yet using this awesome tool to monitor these two important metrics that will boost your search engine ranking then, you’re making a huge mistake. Like I said before, it’s free of charge.
Therefore, get it installed on your website today, monitor and work on your websites Click-through-rate, and Percent of New Sessions, and watch your ranking skyrocketed.