Tracking response for SEO (Technical SEO for Profit, part 4)

Posted by Mark Nunney
Learn SEO
Learn how to set up Google Analytics to track response for SEO - Technical SEO for Profit series, part 4 - from Wordtracker, the leading keyword research tool

Whatever your site’s objectives, you need to measure its response rates if you want to know which keywords your SEO should target. Mark Nunney introduces how to use Google Analytics to monitor response and make sure you track response and get the best possible return on investment.

Technical SEO for Profit

SEO success starts with technical SEO. Based on extracts from Mark Nunney’s best-selling e-book, SEO for Profit, this article is part of a series on technical SEO, including:

1) How to optimize URLs for search engines and people
2) How to get your pages found and preserve their link power
3) How to optimize your code for search engines
4) Tracking response for SEO with Google Analytics
5) Technical SEO checklist

Set up Google Analytics

Your site analytics software – perhaps Google Analytics - should be configured to monitor response (however you measure it, eg, in sales, email recruitment, downloads or visits to your key pages). Whatever your objectives, you should be measuring your site's total response and response rates (make sure you know the difference).

Where possible, money values should be attached to your response metrics. In Google Analytics, this can be done with ecommerce tracking and by attaching values to Goals.

To get you started, here's some help on setting up and configuring your Google Analytics tracking:

Google Analytics set-up checklist

Google offers a good set-up checklist for Google Analytics (albeit with the usual PPC (ie, AdWords) bias).

Google Analytics checklist

Ecommerce tracking

The first time you see ecommerce tracking is a moment of wonder. You’ll see exactly how much money (and on what products) all your different types of visitors spend. Flip that, and you’ll see exactly which visitors buy which products and how often. This is essential information for anyone who's selling products online. If you're selling products online and don't have ecommerce tracking in place, you're almost certainly missing out on marketing opportunities.

Here's an example of an overview report in ecommerce tracking:Analytics ecommerce tracking

Setting up Goals in Google Analytics

Goals are the responses you want to track. A Goal might be product sales, email address recruitment, PDF downloads or visits to a key page. Learn how to configure Goals, including setting Goal Values

Track external promotions

Track external promotions (ie, visits via links from marketing on other sites) by adding tags to your inbound links

By tracking visits from specific campaigns you can measure their success and, of course, invest more in the best performers.

Track internal promotions

Track internal promotions and links using Event Tracking

For example, the Google Analytics report below shows daily numbers of downloads of three free Wordtracker PDF guides

Analytics PDF downloads

You might track clicks on your own site's adverts, buttons or other calls to actions, like sign-ups to email newsletters on different pages or different places on the same page.

It's worth noting that Events, like Goals, can be given money Values (the fourth column in the report below) even (perhaps especially) if any financial return is not immediate.

You can also use Event Tracking to help plan and assess design changes eg, it can help you find out how effective particular menus or other links are.

And Event Tracking is a simple way to test the popularity of different types of content.

Don’t use tagging for internal links as the internal link tag will override any tracking of visitors that arrived via tracked external promotions.

Track social sharing

Track social sharing links (eg, Tweets, Facebook likes and Google+ clicks) from your site.

With social sharing reports you can find out which content your visitors like the most and which social networks they prefer. Like all the tracking mentioned here, you can use that report to give site visitors more of what they want.

If you've questions about any other technical aspects of SEO, please let us know using the comments below.

More Technical SEO for Profit

This article is part of a series on technical SEO, based on extracts from Mark Nunney’s best-selling e-book, SEO for Profit:

1) How to optimize URLs for search engines and people
2) How to get your pages found and preserve their link power
3) How to optimize your code for search engines
4) Tracking response for SEO with Google Analytics
5) Technical SEO checklist

Get a free 7-day trial

A subscription to Wordtracker's premium Keywords tool will help you to:

  • Generate thousands of relevant keywords to improve your organic and PPC search campaigns.
  • Optimize your website content by using the most popular keywords for your product and services.
  • Research online markets, find niche opportunities and exploit them before your competitors.

Take a free 7-day trial of Wordtracker’s Keywords tool