Exploring your digital reason to be with Google Analytics

Every company online needs a reason to be found via search that goes beyond the brand name.  Without one, your brand and perhaps your product names become the only search terms that you are likely to dominate and that means missing out on traffic, discoverability and customers.

Google Analytics provides insight into whether you are being associated with any significant search phrases and you can use Search Console to investigate. If, as is often the case, there is no content or idea for which you have high visibility then you can start defining what that would be and creating resources the improve your visibility.

To explore your current search visibility:

  1. Log into Google Analytics
  2. Make sure that Search Console has been enabled in the Property Settings for your account. You may need to get help doing this if you do not have full admin authority for your Google Analytics but it is a simple change.
  3. Now find the Search Console reports in the Acquisition tab of GA. This is one of the most useful reports that Analytics provides as it signals how your site performs inside Google Search. You’ll want to view the Queries report inside Search Console. Below is the analytics data for the Google Merchandise store which Google kindly makes available for all GA users.Google Merchandise Store in Google Analytics
  4. Notice that the most important keywords for which the store dominates in the search results are almost all brand names.  In the above sample report, Google’s store has appeared over 8 million times (in a month) when people have searched for YouTube although the clickthrough rate is very low (0.03%). The average position in the results was at the bottom of page 1 and position 10.
  5. It’s useful to exclude these branded terms from the report to see more clearly the other terms are contributing traffic (or at least visibility).  Use the advanced search and Exclude using Regular Expressions the main Google brands “google|youtube|you|waze|android|nest”.  If you don’t feel comfortable using regular expressions then you can exclude each brand separately.
  6. Now we have our “Digital Reason To Be” report and for the Google Merchandise Store there are only generic terms such as merchandise, apparel and t-shirt although the numbers of search impressions and positions are impressive.  The click through rates are disappointing particularly  for terms with such high visibility.
  7. If you sort the table by impressions (high visibility terms) you’ll see that many of the highly performing terms are actually misspellings of the brand names.  This will often be the case and you can exclude these too from your report by adding these misspellings to the regular  expression.
  8. You can add a shortcut to this report so that you can view it regularly by using the shortcut link at the top of the screen. As you improve your site check back regularly.

Now that you have produced your report it’s time to consider whether this is satisfactory or whether you are missing a big opportunity.  Put yourself in the shoes of your consumer and consider what searches they might be doing for which your site is the answer.  Focus on one or two big ideas for which you would certainly want to be known.

Spend time creating content and service around these big ideas, these digital reasons to be,  and monitor this report regularly

Let me know how you get on and checkout my Analytics Cards if you want some more ideas on how to get more from GA.

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