Tracking and Measuring SEO Success
Tracking and Measuring SEO Success
There are many options to help you monitor and improve your SEO efforts. However, we recommend two reporting tools to gain a holistic view of your overall SEO performance:
Google Analytics is meant for both small and large online businesses. Although we have a robust analytics suite, Google Analytics will provide granular insight on how Google views your online store, how shoppers engage via search engines, what keywords are the most fruitful and more.
If you have not done so already via the steps in our previous chapter, here are the steps to fully track your SEO efforts using Google Analytics:
Getting Started with Google Analytics
1. Set up Google Search Console: If you have not done so already, you'll want to set up Google Search Console (formally called Google Webmaster Tools) and verify your site. This not only verifies that you own your website, but also empowers you to access its performance.
Google Search Console gives you access to the "Fetch as Google" tool, which helps you to understand how Google crawls and accesses specific URLs on your site. Successfully crawled URLs can also be submitted for indexing.
2. Submit your sitemap to Google: Another step in our SEO Guide is to submit your sitemap to Google as this alerts the search engine you are ready to be crawled and indexed (even though it can take weeks for this to occur) and helps search engines best learn about the structure and content of your website's pages.
3. Set up Google Analytics: In order to gain insight as to how Google views your site, how people are finding your site and more, take the time to set up Google Analytics and ecommerce tracking. By enabling ecommerce tracking, you'll come to understand what tactics for attracting shoppers best convert and which tactics you should retire.
4. Sync Google Search Console data to Google Analytics: This is a little more advanced, but syncing Google Search Console data to Google Analytics, does allow for you to gain even better data around your store's performance, including keyword performance.
Google Analytics Reports
Google provides a robust series of reports that can feel overwhelming. If you're just getting started or want to quickly check in on your store's performance throughout your workday, stick to the main report categories in the left navigation menu. These reports provide actionable insights to help you better drive quality traffic to your online business.
Learn what's happening on your online store in real time. You can use this report to monitor immediate impact on things like; promotions, flash sales, blog and social post. If you would like more granular reporting to support a specific marketing effort (e.g. email blast to your Australian customers), drill down into this report by selecting location, traffic sources, content, events and conversions.
Review details about your shoppers (referred to as “sessions”) so you may better tailor your SEO efforts. This series of reports provide details about your shoppers including; language, age, location and even what type of device they used to view your website. This means you do things like better understand your audience's interests which can help you create more targeted content or learn where your shoppers are located and adjust your shipping to boost sales.
The audience report uncover metrics including:
- Sessions — Total number of visitor “sessions” to your store.
- Users — Total number of unique visitors to your store including where they're located geographically, what language they speak, how often they visit your site and what computers and browsers they use to get there.
- Pageviews — Total number of pages viewed on your store. Flagging pages that do particularly well or poorly and work to figuring out why will help you continue to create high-performing content.
- Pages per Session — Average number of pages viewed per session (visit). The more you encourage your shoppers to shop, the better. Improving your website navigation and adding calls to action or links to other webpages on your store will serve you well here.
- Average Session Duration — Average amount of time visitors stay on your store. Even if you have thousands of pageviews on a post, if your readers' time on page is low (less than 30 seconds), then your post didn't do its job. You want those who come to your blog post to actually read it — and spend some time.
- Bounce Rate — Percent of visitors that leave your site after viewing only one page. The longer your shoppers stay means you can safely assume they are enjoying your website content.
- % New Sessions — Percent of total visitors who arrived at your site for the first time.
Uncover how visitors and customers found and clicked-through to your online store. By understanding what's working and what is not working to drive shoppers will help you improve. Take time to determine what channels drive the most visitors, website engagement and, most importantly, the most sales.
After you hone your efforts using this report, try leveraging these reports to find what others websites are linking to you and the volume of traffic they drives so you may better capitalized on them.
Better understand areas of your online store that are functioning well, and what needs improvement to help you boost your conversion rate. These reports will show you how your shoppers are reaching your online store, how they react to it and even the time it takes to load your webpages which can positively or negatively impact your SEO ranking.
If you have enabled ecommerce tracking, you will be able to view information from your Bigcommerce store regarding products, sales and conversions via Google Analytics. By understanding things like what products are being bought, in what quality and the revenue being generated will help you sell even more. Although it is nice to view this information in conjunction with other metrics only available in Google Analytics, you may also view this information using your Bigcommerce Analytics.
Leveraging your Bigcommerce Analytics will help determine how well your SEO efforts are impacting your business's bottom line. Bigcommerce provides a series of reports which will help you measure your overall success including:
- Bigcommerce Store Overview Report: Provides an overview of your store's orders, revenue, customers, visits, conversion rate and average order value.
- Bigcommerce Real Time Report: Displays revenue, items sold, orders and visit origin in real-time.
- Bigcommerce Marketing Report: Aimed to showing you how visitors are finding your online business.
- Bigcommerce Merchandising Report: Offers insight to your store's performance on a product and SKU level.
- Bigcommerce Orders Report: Provides total number of orders, units sold, revenue, percent of orders discounted, and average order value.
- Bigcommerce Customers Report: Shows how many total customers have placed an order from a selected time frame, and what percentage was new versus returning.
- Bigcommerce Purchase Funnel Report: Measures the actions visitors make on your site before making a purchase.
- Bigcommerce Abandoned Cart Report: Displays abandoned revenue, carts, abandon rate, total revenue and orders from all shippers, including guests.
However, the Bigcommerce Marketing Report will uncover which marketing sources your highest quality traffic is coming from and which sources need attention. By measuring what is working, we've had merchants make changes and improve their organic traffic by over 50% within 30 days.
Drilling down into this report will show your visit origin breakdown. You'll find we've aggregated (revenue, visits, orders, conversion rate, average order value, and revenue per visit) by visit origin type to help determine where to spend your time, energy and money.
Many store owners feel that once they have implemented essential on-page optimization and link acquisition they can expect immediate results. Search engines have to crawl your web pages, acquired links, etc. and then index and process them. The metrics and rankings you're seeking may be weeks or even months to show the progress you've made.
Remember, SEO is a journey, not a destination. Evaluating your strategy should become a part of your regular business operations and should evolve as your business grows.
If you have questions or concerns, we're here to help:
Bigcommerce Community: If you have more questions about SEO or need specialized advice, we have a thriving community of seasoned clients, helpful staff and industry experts waiting to help.
Bigcommerce Partners: Our network of marketing partners has dozens of firms that specialize in SEO for Bigcommerce stores. They can provide you with SEO audits, optimization and training, plus can offer other marketing services to grow your business.