Search Engine Optimization

Using the SEO Reports

The SEO reports in Analytics provide Google Web Search performance data about the website that you have set up using Webmaster Tools. You can use this data to identify opportunities and prioritize efforts to increase the amount of traffic to your site. This article describes the reports and how to use them. If you do not see any data in your SEO reports, read Enabling SEO data in Analytics. To understand how Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics work together, see About Search Engine Optimization.

The SEO Metrics

The Search Engine Optimization reports in Analytics use four metrics specific to Google Web Search data:

  • Impressions—the number of times any URL from your site appeared in search results viewed by a user, not including paid AdWords search impressions
  • Clicks—the number of clicks on your website URLs from a Google Search results page, not including clicks on paid AdWords search results
  • Average Position—the average ranking of your website URLs for the query or queries. For example, if your site's URL appeared at position 3 for one query and position 7 for another query, the average position would be 5 ((3+7)/2).
  • CTR—clickthrough rate, calculated as Clicks / Impressions * 100

The SEO Geographical Summary Report

The Geographical Summary report provides a general view of Impressions, Clicks, and CTR by country. At a glance, you can see which countries are generating the most search activity for your site on Google search. You can also select Google Property as a primary dimension to see a breakdown of search activity on Google search by the following:

  • Web search
  • Mobile search
  • Video search
  • Image search

The SEO Queries Report

The Queries report shows the Google search queries that generated the most impressions for your website URLs. You can sort by other columns—such as clicks—to order queries in descending/ascending rank by those metrics. By using this report, you can identify search queries for which your site has a good average position, but poor clickthrough rates. These are queries for which your pages get attention, so improved content could lead to more traffic.

Keep in mind that the most typical search queries return only a single URL from your site, and the average position for a search query is based on this single URL position. In the case where a query returns more than one URL from your site, the average position is based on the most prominent URL in the search results when only a low number of URLs from your site are displayed.

The SEO Landing Pages Report

The Landing Pages report shows the URLs to your website that have generated the most impressions in Google Web search results. With this report, you can identify landing pages on your site that have good click through rates (CTR), but have poor average positions in search results. These could be pages that people want to see, but have trouble finding.

In addition, a single URL is typically associated with many unique queries. For this reason, the average position ranking for a given page can be influenced by more generic queries, and if you are comparing the top landing pages to the top queries with respect to Average Position, you should keep this in mind. For example, for a website dedicated to classic automobiles, a query such as classic automobiles might return the URL for the home page only, whereas a query such as classic automobiles Ford might return the URL for the home page as well as other pages in the site. In this case, the generic query improves the position ranking for the home page over the ranking of pages that are more specific in nature.

Tips for Using Webmaster Tools and Analytics SEO Reports

The following table identifies terms that are used in both Analytics reports and in the Webmaster Tools reports.

Term Analytics usage Webmaster Tools usage
Impressions Used for both AdWords impressions and Google Search impressions Used exclusively for Google Search impressions
Clicks Used for both AdWords clicks and Google Search clicks Used exclusively for Google Search clicks
Average Position Average ranking in Google Search results Average ranking in Google Search results
CTR Clickthrough rate. Clicks/Impressions for both AdWords and Google Search clicks. Clickthrough rate. Clicks/Impressions for Google Search clicks.
Keyword When used in paid search or AdWords reports, describes a paid keyword from a search engine results page. When used in the organic search reports, describes the actual query string entered by a user from a web search. Applies to the key terms used in the written content of the website pages. These terms are the most significant keywords and their variants Google found when crawling your site. When reviewed along with the Search queries report and your site's listing in actual search results for your targeted keywords, it provides insight into how Google is interpreting the content of your site.
Query Only used in the SEO reports. Applies to the actual query entered by a user in Google search. The actual query entered by a user in Google search.