Ahoy, Digital Explorers! ☠️ Like pirates seek buried treasure, you’re hunting for the gems hidden in the vast sea of Google Analytics. But remember, not all that glitters is gold, especially in the vast Internet ocean.
The real treasure isn’t high Google rankings, or a horde of online traffic, but the shimmering coins of conversions, qualified leads, and real revenue. I repeat, the only rankings that matter are the ones that turn into real, live customers who end up putting money in your pocket.
We can only improve what we measure. So, put on your digital eyepatch, and let’s dig into how to measure your SEO in Google Analytics!
1. TRACK THE WHOLE PATH
Now, high rankings are fine, but traffic is better. Web traffic is like having people show up at your shop. But what if all your traffic just sauntered in, and immediately left without a purchase? Aaargh! Frustrating, right?
If you only measure search rankings, you are only getting a sliver of the whole treasure map.
For many businesses, their treasure map looks something like this:
- Rankings -> Traffic
- Traffic -> Conversions
- Conversions -> Qualified Leads
- Qualified Leads -> Revenue
You have to measure how many of your website visitors actually become paying customers, and how much they spend. If you are getting traffic from keywords that don’t turn into revenue, you are wasting your precious time and money.
2. TRACK QUALIFIED LEADS
Not all treasure is equal. Some are glittering gold coins, others are rusty bottle caps. Similarly, not all conversions turn into qualified leads. Focus on the visitors who show genuine interest in paying for your services.
To track this, you’re going to need a good CRM that can be linked to Google Analytics to track this. It’s worth the investment.
Look for the search terms that have generated qualified leads. If everyone who calls you is looking for something you don’t sell, those conversions aren’t worth a darrrrn.
3. REVENUE FROM CONVERSIONS
Imagine two pirates. Both dig up treasure chests. One finds a chest of gold, the other a chest of chocolate coins. Who’s the real winner here? (Okay, I do love me some chocolate.)
In business, real gold (revenue) is what counts. Track the moolah coming in from those qualified leads, and make sure that you are posting this data back to Google Analytics so that you are tying the revenue back to the traffic that generated it. If your SEO efforts aren’t generating revenue, then why are you doing it?
4. TRACK PHONE CALL CONVERSIONS
If you’re in a business where you chat with customers over the phone (like arranging pirate parleys), those calls are potential treasure chests. Each call could be a client asking for a quote, a booking, or a service. If you aren’t tracking these calls, you don’t know where that money’s coming from. If you track phone call conversions in Google Analytics, you can see the whole picture from the search term used to find you, information about your visitor, to the click to call you, and the call itself.
5. USE TRACKING PHONE NUMBERS
By assigning different numbers for various marketing channels, you’ll know exactly which calls lead to the gold. You can use services like CallRail, or RingCentral to display different phone numbers to your visitors depending on where they came from. This lets you separate the calls that came from SEO from the calls that came from Ads or Social Media more easily.
* And for a bonus, integrate these tracking numbers with your CRM. Then, we can track those phone calls all the way through to cash money. It’s like having a parrot on your shoulder, reminding you which map to follow.
** As a double bonus, use Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) to track each visitor uniquely.
6. FORMS ARE KEY
If your website has a “Contact Us” form, treat it like a message in a bottle. Are you picking up those messages that are being sent your way? And once you get them, are you closing those form leads into customers? Tracking form submissions is critical.
And, if you have multiple forms on your site (Contact Us, Quote, Newsletter Signup, RMA) you should track them separately. Different forms have different values.
7. USE GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
This beauty is like your trusty telescope. It allows you to spot distant islands (keywords) you haven’t explored yet. Yeah, I know that I said that this article is about Google Analytics, but Search Console is just as important as Analytics when it comes to seeing what your Organic SEO efforts are doing for you.
Search Console will tell you how your site is ranking for specific keywords, even if you aren’t getting clicks for those keywords. It will also tell you if there’s something broken that’s keeping your website from ranking. Perhaps you think you’re targeting the search term “best pirate hats,” but aren’t getting clicks. With GSC, you’ll know!
8. LINK SEARCH CONSOLE TO ANALYTICS
Combine your map and your telescope. By linking these two, the treasure trove of data from the Search Console will shine directly in Google Analytics, giving you a clear view of your organic keyword data all in one place.
9. IT’S NOT JUST THE DATA
Know where your treasures are coming from. If you want to know where to go next, you need more than just measurement. You need to make sense of all of this data. You need to be able to see the trends in the data, and you need to infer the human intent that lies within the terms people are searching for. A good digital marketing consultant can help you create a successful SEO strategy.
Imagine you’re Captain Jack Sparrow of the digital seas. You need direction to find the treasure you are looking for. But you don’t want just any compass. You want the Jack Sparrow compass.
You want a compass that doesn’t just point north; it points to the things that you want most: conversions, leads, and revenue. And just like Jack, you have to make decisions based on more than which way the wind blows — you need real guidance and solid direction.
All the metrics and analytics are just tools, much like a pirate’s cutlass or ship. Without a skilled sailor to navigate (that’s you!), and a compass to keep you pointed in the right direction (that’s me!), even the most detailed map won’t lead to treasure.
As you can see, it’s not just about what you measure, but how you interpret and act on that data. Set sail, measure wisely, and may your digital ventures always find favorable winds. ☠️
Here’s to a life filled with adventure and clear direction,
Your Friendly Digital Marketing Compass