SEO Analytics: You Might Be Doing It Wrong
71.33% of the searches on Google click on a result on the first page. The second and third pages get only around 5.6% of the clicks. SEO analytics is about being aware of this discrepancy and directing 71.33 percent’s attention towards your site. To do this, SaaS companies must understand just how many searchers of a query viewed your page and still didn’t click on it, how long the people who did click on it spend actually reading your content, and how it translates to revenue.
This analysis helps you understand a number of things: if the number of impressions is too low, there’s clearly something lacking in your SEO strategy as your content isn’t getting enough eyeballs. On the other hand, if the bounce rate is too high i.e. people are leaving your site soon after arriving on it, that means your content may not be as informative as they’d like.
The key here is to know what to track, how to track it, and automate the entire process using the right SEO tools. So, if you’re interested in learning more about SEO analytics, how it’s used, and the metrics involved in it, keep reading.
What Is SEO Analytics?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) aims to increase the visibility of your website on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. In general, better visibility is often a direct result of ranking on the first page – and the top positions of the first page – of the results for a phrase or keyword.
But how exactly does SEO increase visibility?
The search engines I’ve mentioned above put a lot of effort into showing the most accurate results to their users. When someone makes a search on Google asking, “What is Marketing Analytics?” Google strives to deliver the most satisfactory articles to answer this question. These search engines use complex algorithms that aim to provide users with the most relevant and valuable answers.
There are, however, a few guidelines that undoubtedly affect the performance of your sites on search engines.
The quality of your content
Since search engines are looking for the best answers possible, your job is to write out the answers in the most articulate way you can while covering a large range of topics. This may sound hard at first (and, indeed, it isn’t the easiest thing to do), but the good thing is you can use competitors’ content ideas, and add more valuable information from a few different angles to improve your chances of ranking.
Constantly updating your content makes it more relevant in the eyes of search engines. It also provides you with an opportunity to ensure that your content is still optimal: broken links and typos can all be fixed and new data can be added while you’re updating posts. In addition to updating existing posts, your content marketing strategy should be focused on consistency: you should be putting out fresh content periodically so that you’re answering new (or upcoming) questions and establish yourself as the authority on topics that are relevant to your company.
When searchers ask a question or look for a specific keyword/phrase, search engines want to ensure that the articles that pop up are related to that question. So, if the words in your content are relevant to the search but your article’s purpose isn’t aligned with search term, then engines won’t put it in higher ranks. For example, if your content is about PPC tools, but your target phrase is “SaaS marketing team,” then Google won’t put your article on the first page of the phrase “SaaS marketing team” because at all related to that topic, it’s related to PPC tools.
SEO analysis is about creating and optimizing content with these standards in mind. With an analytics tool or an SEO tool, you can also keep track of existing content and make changes based on its performance over time. Thus, it’s fair to say that SEO will be a never-ending process if you want to be visible on Google search and maintain this visibility.
How is data used in SEO?
The data you use for SEO is related to traffic, search volume, impressions, and any other number that indicates the attention a keyword or piece of content receives. These numbers include the bounce rate, click-through rate, time on site, page per visit, repeat visits, and so on. There are a few ways to use the SEO data that are obtained from these metrics, which are:
Keywords tell search engines what your content is about. So, keyword research naturally plays an important role in SEO. A good B2B SEO strategy is primarily about choosing the right keywords and creating purposeful content focused on those words. While keywords with high search volumes may seem attractive, they might not be the best for your content. This is especially true if you’re a new brand in the industry. The key is to choose the critical keywords with less competition so that you get a better chance at being on the first pages.
Following an SEO playbook and using SEO data can help you find these keywords with low competition and high search volumes. You need to perform keyword analysis on the search terms that your target customers are using, precisely those related to your tool and industry. Once you start ranking for the important keywords, you’ll notice more traffic coming to your site.
Measuring Revenue Per Blog Post
Marketing’s role in any organization is bringing leads to the sales team. If you are doing SEO, you would want your organic traffic to turn into users of your SaaS.
Publishing velocity is a hot trend nowadays, but what’s more important is for SEOs to measure which blog posts are more valuable for their companies. Unfortunately, most marketing teams do not go into this level of detail because they cannot connect pre-signup events with post-signup events.
You need to track which blog posts bring you the highest MRR, the most engaged customers, the lowest churn, the effect of internal linking on sales, and more to effectively scale your SEO efforts.
Updating Your Business’s Strategy
While you’re performing SEO analysis and detecting the popular keywords, you’ll notice trends in searches. These trends are indicators of the current demands of customers. For instance, if there is a rising number of searches for “SEO analytics tools,” there is an increasing demand for such tools. You can direct your business’s focus to more profitable areas by noticing patterns in searches. In this case, you may optimize or improve your SEO tools to appeal to the increasing demand.
You may also use SEO to perform competitor analysis. Targeting your competitors’ content gaps is a great inbound marketing technique to gain an advantage over other platforms. The opposite is also helpful: by analyzing the high-ranking content of your competitors, you can get an idea about the format and subject of your following pieces.
Sometimes your content may not deliver the needed value, it may have broken links that you’re not aware of, or it may not have the best format. These issues may lead to low traffic and engagement. SEO enables you to detect this drop in traffic. Once you see that your content isn’t ranking like it’s supposed to or not getting any engagement, you should start making updates and testing again.
Google Analytics SEO Tools & Ways To Measure SEO
Google Analytics is a free analytics tool that many SaaS businesses use. While its primary function isn’t SEO analytics, there are some tools that you can use for your SEO goals.
- Track and Boost Organic Traffic Via Filters and Segments
While using GA, ghost spam, fake referrals, and crawlers may give you false traffic data. You should use the segments and filters to get an accurate understanding of organic traffic. But this isn’t the best part about GA’s SEO abilities. Another tool you can use here is the time frame comparison: by looking at the traffic a particular article got at different periods, you can see if it lost its relevance and needs updates.
2. Use the Content Drilldown Report to Find Important Topics
This feature of GA lets you analyze the numbers of each piece of content you have published. You can also see the traffic demographics and how the numbers compare to other pieces. If you find that one of your pieces is performing better than your expectations, you may create more content surrounding that issue. Or, if a piece is underperforming but the subject is essential to your customers, you can start promoting that piece by linking to it more frequently.
3. Create Customized SEO Dashboards
It’s possible to create customized reports for different sections of your site. For instance, one report may only be about your most popular post, how much traffic it got, the average time users spent on that post, etc.
You can also create dashboards that focus on a single subject. Enter a topic, and GA will give you your page with the most engagement related to that topic. By focusing on different sections of your site, be it by subject or by popularity, you can optimize your underperforming pieces.
HockeyStack’s customizable dashboards are much easier to use and can be set up in no time. 🙂
4. Set Notifications for 404 Errors
Your site may contain broken links, you may have moved posts but forgot to redirect, or there may be another more complicated problem with the page. Whatever the reason, you must be aware of the errors your visitors are getting.
If these errors exist on a vital page (the sign-up page, for instance), you should know if loads of users are getting the same error and if there’s a problem with your site to prevent missing out on important leads. Search engines deprioritize pages with errors which is why you need to make sure your pages are accessible and optimal.
Is Google Analytics Enough For SEO Analytics?
Google Analytics is a fantastic free analytics tool. However, it comes with a few drawbacks, especially if you intend to rely solely rely on it for SEO analysis. Let’s take a look at some limitations of Google Analytics:
- You need to set up a ton of events & waste developer resources
- You cannot connect pre-signup events with post-signup events
- Unless it’s e-commerce, SEOs cant attribute revenue to traffic generated from individual pages using GA
SaaS companies need Google Analytics alternatives that allow them to focus on the articles, topic clusters, whitepapers, etc. that bring the most engaged users.
With HockeyStack, you can unify your marketing, product, revenue, and sales data to uncover insights, such as the LTV of a campaign, or the churn rate of each marketing channel by building custom dashboards. No setup, no code.
On top of custom dashboards, HockeyStack has other features too, such as
- Surveys to understand user perception
- Step-by-step user journey to track each interaction and conversion
- Funnels & goals to view how users progress through the sales journey
- Revenue attribution to identify which channels bring in the most revenue
B2B SEO Metrics To Track
Revenue per blog post
The ultimate goal of any blog post is to attract visitors who will become leads and then paying customers. By working your way back from the revenue generated from each customer, you can see the blog posts that resulted in the highest revenue.
For example, if the customers that had engaged with your content marketing guide generated more MRR than the others, this indicates a pattern worth analyzing. Maybe the people involved in content marketing are a big part of your ideal customer profile. When this is the case, you should create more content directed to this profile’s needs.
Churn by blog post
Understanding the reason behind churn, one of the most important customer retention metrics, is the biggest struggle of SaaS companies. When one blog post results in more churn than others, you should analyze its topic and content. Just as some posts may result in high-value customers, some may be a source of churning customers.
The customers who were interested in that topic are probably not finding your tool helpful (coming back to the content marketing example, if the users from that post are churning more than the others, they may have found your tool inadequate in terms of content analytics). You may need to change your tool according to their needs.
Top landing pages by traffic
Landing pages are the first impression of your brand for most visitors. This is crucial since visitors’ first interactions determine how they’ll remember your brand, so your brand’s reputation. Also, engaging landing pages may help you hook visitors so that they click on to other pages on your site and get more involved.
Your top landing pages create great opportunities, so it’s important to make use of their potential by optimizing these pages. You can also look for the reasons behind this heavy traffic and use best practices for creating landing pages so that they get more traffic as well.
Percentage of search traffic from non-branded keyword search referrals
Non-branded keywords are the searched phrases that do not contain your brand’s name, but phrases that are related to your industry, products, or services. While branded keywords are more likely to become qualified leads (as they were actively searching for your brand), non-branded keywords are important because they make people aware of your solutions. It’s hard to get your name heard in such a competitive industry, so these keywords are vital tools.
By seeing how much of your traffic comes from non-branded keywords, you can understand whether or not your content is attracting unaware searchers to your site.
Similar to the revenue per blog post metric, conversion is an important end goal for your content. If a certain subject or format results in more conversions, you should focus more on that subject. Just like you would for topics that generate a lot of revenue.
SEO is essential for SaaS companies that want to be seen. Knowing what your customers want to learn about, what they’re searching for, and how you can attract their attention is the only way to rank in search engines’ first pages. Remember that these engines want to provide people with the information they’re looking for. So, Google will reward you with increased traffic if you use the right words, create meaningful and fresh content, and make sure that your pages are accessible. Also, know that using the right inbound marketing tools makes all this much more straightforward.
Google Analytics has built-in tools that you can use for SEO, but it’s not the most optimal tool.
It’s good for a free analytics tool, but it has significant drawbacks as an SEO tool.
You can use the live rank checker on GA to track SEO rankings.