SEO Keyword Research: 5 Ways To Mine Google Analytics For SEO Opportunities

Better than Google Adwords. Better than SEOmoz. Better than SEObook. The best keyword tool isn’t actually a keyword research tool at all.

Keyword research tools like the Google Adwords keyword tool can provide excellent data on keyword volumes and competition levels, but the most valuable data you can get is lurking in your Google Analytics reports. This is because keyword data in Google analytics is based on the actual performance of your website – rankings, click through rates, conversion rates, etc. Here are 5 ways you can get valuable data on which keywords you should focus on from Google Analytics.

Run a rankings reports on top organic keywords

Go to Traffic Sources > Sources > Search Engines > Organic and export the list of keywords (they will be sorted by # of visits by default). I usually filter the list to only include keywords that are sending 5 or more visits per month. Import these keywords into your favorite rank checker and run a rankings report. Look for keywords that are driving traffic, but are ranked in positions 5-30. Achieving top ranking for these keywords will be relatively easy, since you are already ranked on page 1, 2, or 3.

Run a rankings report on top paid keywords

Go to Traffic Sources > Sources > Search Engines > Paid and follow the same steps as above.

Run a rankings reports on top converting organic keywords

Go to Traffic Sources > Sources > Search Engines > Organic and then click on the tab to view conversion data (usually either the eCommerce or the Goal Set 1 tab). Click to sort the kewords by conversion rate. Just as before, export the keywords, run a ranking report, then look for keywords that are driving traffic, but are ranked in positions 5-30.

Note: the above method is subject to a flaw – your highest converting keywords will often be keywords that have only sent a couple visits and one conversion. That’s not enough data to make an accurate decision. To avoid this, create a custom report to sort keywords by total number of conversions like this:

You can then use an advanced segment to view only paid or only organic search visitors.

Run a rankings reports on top converting organic keywords

Go to Traffic Sources > Sources > Search Engines > Paid and follow the same steps as above.

Find keywords and landing pages with low click-through rates

You will need to have linked your Google Analytics account to your website’s Google Webmaster Tools profile for this report. Go to Traffic Sources > Sources > Search Engine Optimization > Landing Pages (and/or Queries). Look for pages and/or keywords with high impressions but low CTR. Once you’ve identified pages with low click through rates, you can seek to diagnose and address why visitors are not clicking on the SERP listings for those pages. In most cases, your best tools to increase click-throughs are the page title and meta description.

What reports do you run Google Analytics to find opportunities to improve SEO?

Adam Thompson is a qualified Google Analytics consultant and founder of www.RYPMarketing.com a conversion-focused internet marketing agency.

Comments

6 Responses to “SEO Keyword Research: 5 Ways To Mine Google Analytics For SEO Opportunities”
  1. Alex says:

    Might be smart to mention this: http://www.jafaloo.com/2011/10/21/google-analytics-is-not-showing-search-keywords/

    You’re missing a huge chunk of keywords!

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