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Showcasing Organic Traffic Results using Megalytic

Published September 19, 2014
Here’s a question:
After researching keywords, optimizing landing pages, writing interesting and relevant content, fixing crawl errors, and everything else you’ve done to transform your company’s website into a search engine magnet, how do you showcase the results? How do you demonstrate the benefit of your SEO efforts to clients or internal stakeholders to prove the ROI?
One way is to cut and paste charts and tables from Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools into a Word document and email it to your boss or client. But, that is a lot of tedious work. Particularly, if you have to do it every month, for a bunch of different websites. Or, if you’re doing it for an audience who may not understand what those charts and tables mean in the first place.
And maybe you’re not a Google Analytics guru. We’re all pressed for time and few of us have mastered Google Analytics well enough to quickly pull up exactly the data we need and assemble it into a compelling report.
Thankfully, there’s a better way - with Megalytic.

showcasing organic traffic with megalytic

 

Megalytic's Organic Traffic Summary Report

Megalytic offers a stronger solution for showcasing your organic traffic results. It provides widgets to visually represent the important metrics. In addition, Megalytic gives you templates – pre-built reports – that you can populate with your data in just a couple clicks. If you need to create the same report for a number of different websites, you can save it as your own custom template, and easily populate it with data from each site, creating a dozen or more reports in minutes instead of days. You can even add comments and cover pages, to personalize each report and explain important data.

In this post, we show how to start with the Organic Traffic Template to create a summary report containing the charts, tables, and metrics relevant to organic traffic.

If you do not already have a Megalytic account, the first step is to sign up for a 14 day free trial. This video shows you how. The free trial gives you an opportunity to get familiar with the tool, without requiring a credit card or any other binding commitment. Next, connect your accounts to Megalytic - authorizing the tool to access your data to be displayed in its reports. You’ll need to go through this “Add a connection” process twice, once for your Google Analytics account and once for Google Webmaster Tools.

 

add a connection in megalytic

 

With your connections set, you are ready to create a report from the template named Organic Traffic Summary.

 

megalytic's organic traffic summary report

 

Megalytic will access the data from your Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools account and product a report containing six charts and tables

Contents of the Report

The first chart in your report shows the daily organic traffic to your website over the last six months, together with the 30 day rolling average.

 

megalytic widget showing rolling average traffic

 

This chart provides the reader with a quick view of organic traffic over the last six months. Daily spikes in traffic are clearly visible. The red line – called the rolling average – shows the average daily traffic over the last 30 days. Superimposing this average on the daily chart smooths out the spikes and weekly fluctuations, providing a true sense of the trend.

The next chart in the report shows the monthly change in organic traffic together with the bounce rate.

 

megalytic widget showing monthly traffic and bounce rate

 

This chart shows the growth in organic traffic together with any changes in its quality. Ideally, you like to see the organic traffic (blue bars) increasing, and the bounce rate (red bars) holding steady or decreasing.

It is important to look at traffic growth and bounce rate together, because many strategies for growing organic traffic end up decreasing the quality of the visitors. For example, if you work hard to rank for keywords that are not backed up by good content, you may see your organic traffic go up, but you will also see the bounce rate spike up along with it. The best organic search strategies are backed up with great content that engages visitors, and will show increasing traffic and a steady or decreasing bounce rate.

Here, we show the data monthly, rather than daily, because bounce rate fluctuates a great deal and is more meaningful when viewed over a longer time period.

Next, we compare organic traffic with two other important sources of visits – social and referral.

 

megalytic widget comparing organic, social, and referral traffic

 

Organic traffic should be growing along with social and referral. If either of the other traffic sources are growing much faster than organic, it may indicate a problem. Why? Because if there is interest in your site on social media, for example, that interest should spill over into people searching for your content. If that is not happening, it may mean that your brand is not well identified with the content on social media that is generating website traffic. It could also mean that your content is getting penalized in the search rankings and you need to check your SEO tactics.

Next in the report, you will find a table labeled “Quality of Organic Traffic – Last 6 Months.” This provides an overview of how well organic visitors engaged with your site content, and how this has changed over the last six months.

 

megalytic widget showing a group of metrics over 6 months

 

Here you’ll see the following data broken out:

Sessions – The number of visits from organic traffic during the month.
Pages / Session – The average number of pages on your website viewed by an organic visitor. A high value indicates visitors are interested in what they see when they arrive at your site and continue looking at additional pages.
Avg Session Duration - The average amount of time an organic traffic visitor spent on your website during the month. Higher numbers indicate visitors are spending time with your content and are not simply taking a quick look and leaving.

Bounce Rate - This is the percentage of organic visits that bounced during the month. A bounce is when a visitor arrives at your site, views only one page, and leaves. A low bounce rate indicates your organic visitors are finding your content relevant to their search.

Taken together, the Pages / Session, Avg Session Duration, and Bounce Rate are referred to as engagement metrics. These provide an indication of whether or not your content is relevant to the organic searches bringing visitors to your site.

If organic searches leading to your site are connecting visitors with the content they are looking for, then your engagement metrics will be high. If your spending SEO efforts researching keywords, optimizing landing pages and writing interesting and relevant content, and you’re succeeding, you should see these metrics trending up.

Unlike in Google Analytics, where you can only compare across two periods, this table (build from the Megalytic widget called “Metric Table by Period”) allows you to compare a group of metrics across as many periods as you like.

The next chart in the report is the Top 10 Organic Traffic Landing Pages. This table shows where most of your organic search traffic is landing.

 

megalytic widget showing top 10 organic landing pages

 

The column on the left shows the volume of traffic landing on the page, and the right hand column shows the bounce rate for the landing page. It is helpful to view these two metrics together to see how engaging your visitors are finding the content where they most frequently land. Consider further content optimization on high-ranking pages that have a high bounce rate. Here, I can see the blog post “How to Make a Web Analytics Presentation to the CEO” gets a lot of organic traffic, but has a relatively high bounce rate compared with other blog posts. My guess is that’s because the article is very long, and people leave the site before finishing it. I might break it up into a series of short articles and provide links to other site content within that article to point readers to other Megalytic content they might find interesting.

These first 4 charts and tables have been created from data in Google Analytics. They provide an overview of organic traffic visitors reaching your website and how they are engaging with your content.

The last two tables are generated from data provided by Google Webmaster Tools. These provide insight into how Google views your site and the type of traffic that Google searches are generating.

The Top 20 Search Queries (Keywords) table shows you the Google search queries that sent the most visitors to your site over the last 90 days. The table is sorted by Clicks, so you can see the keywords sending the most traffic at the top.

 

megalytic widget showing top 20 organic keywords

 

Clicks – The number of times that one of your pages was clicked on the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for each query (keyword).
Impressions – The number of times that one of your pages was clicked on the Google SERP for each query (keyword).
CTR - The percentage of clicks received out of all the impressions your pages received for each query (keyword).
Avg Position - Also referred to as the Rank, this metric indicates the average position for your site on the Google SERP for each query (keyword).

The last table in the report shows the keywords Google’s crawler is finding on your website.

 

megalytic widget showing top 20 content keywords

 

This table shows you what keywords are jumping out at Google when they crawl your site. Ideally, you should see keywords here that are relevant to the type of traffic you want to attract to your site. This example, which is from a crawl of the megalytic.com website, shows Google is associating us with “analytics” and “google.” Further down we see “reporting.” Since Megalytic is a reporting tool, this indicates we should probably work harder to create content that is relevant to reporting and generate more organic traffic from searchers looking for reporting tools.

Conclusion

The Organic Traffic Template provides a way for you to quickly and easily create a report summarizing the results of your SEO efforts. You can easily customize this report to suit your needs. Check out this video to quickly get up to speed on how Megalytic reports can be customized. And, consult the Megalytic support site for detailed instructions.

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:

 

 

It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.

 

Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?

The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.