Life has not been easy for SEO specialists and webmasters the past few years. Despite Google’s obvious good intentions, the updates it has rolled out, starting with Panda and continuing through to the more recent “mobilegeddon,” have made optimization more difficult for digital marketers.
Things are slowly starting to get back on the right track. Announcing the mobile update and rolling out the new Search Analytics Report (SAR) are both important steps Google has taken to mend its relationship with SEO experts.
What are some of the innovations that will help you optimize websites better, more easily, and with greater accuracy? Here are four tips to help you get the most out of the new SAR.
1) Segment your data. One of the most important improvements the SAR brought about is that you can now segment data at a very granular level. As a result, you can adjust your campaigns to suit your target audience in a more efficient way. Some of the criteria you can use to filter your website’s data include the following:
- Search type. You can now differentiate the data provided by search results on the web, including images, videos, and more. This can be extremely helpful when the expressed search intent is different on the web than it is on YouTube, for example.
- Location. Even when people speak the same language, they might use different search terms according to the country in which they are located. With Google’s tool, you can now refine your data according to users’ location. This can help you find new opportunities in international markets.
- Device. Filtering your traffic data by device is very important, especially after the mobile update. By knowing when your site performs poorly across certain types of devices, you know where you are losing traffic and you can take measures to improve the situation.
2) Improve the mobile version of your site. With mobilegeddon still very fresh in SEO specialists’ memory and Google’s announcement that more people search on mobile devices than they do on the desktop, it has become more important than ever to optimize your website for mobile.
SAR can help you do this by allowing you to analyze your site’s performance on different platforms. Furthermore, aside from the desktop and mobile devices, you can now look into your site’s traffic on tablets as well. This is extremely helpful if you want deeper insight into how your website is behaving on different devices.
3) Generate better content. Finding new content ideas can be difficult, especially when you write for an industry where everything seems to have been covered already. The good news is that Search Analytics has just become much more helpful in this respect.
While the old Webmaster Tools had features that helped marketers find new content ideas, the new SAR pushes everything to a whole new level. Similar to the old tool, you can see your search queries and come up with some general content ideas based on your analysis. What the SAR helps you do better is filter these search queries according to certain parameters.
For example, you can now filter according to particular keywords, see if they perform well, and then generate content ideas based on this data. What’s more, you can compare your search queries as well, which will help you gain deeper insight into how your content behaves online.
Another way to generate new content ideas with the new SAR is by using its page filtering feature. Because it can help you determine whether or not a page is performing well, this Search Analytics parameter will allow you to see if a page needs better content. Also, it can help you think of content ideas that are in the same area as those on the pages that perform better according to the SAR.
4) Evaluate your brand’s value. Aside from content generation, the search queries keyword filter in the new SAR also is helpful when it comes to evaluating your brand’s value. According to Joost de Valk, when people search for terms that include your particular brand name, it is likely they will click on results related to your website. To see if users do this, filter your search queries according to keywords that contain your brand name. Further on, comparing the clickthrough rate for branded and non-branded searches can help you understand more clearly just how much your brand “weighs” from your readers’ point of view.
It wasn’t long ago that Google proclaimed content is king. And yet, it was not until just a few months ago that Google finally rolled out a tool to help markers actually measure their content’s impact. Google’s new SAR enables you to do just that and more.
Alexander Grosu is an SEO Manager at inSegment, a Boston-based digital marketing company. When he isn’t optimizing websites for search engines, Alexander likes to engage in a variety of sports — and he does everything with the same level of dedication.