Leveraging Google Analytics 4 User Behavior Data to Optimize Your Holistic SEO Strategy
Successfully acquiring a consistent stream of organic traffic from search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns is extremely valuable when it comes to reaching your target audience. Organic traffic provides you with long-term value, bringing fresh prospects to your web property.
Acquiring and building an audience is essential but a holistic SEO strategy requires you to consider the entire funnel. You want people to engage with your website in a meaningful way that helps you accomplish your goals and objectives.
It's one thing to earn that organic search traffic, but what are the outcomes of the traffic that arrives on your website?
That's where Google Analytics 4, the latest version of Google's web analytics tool, comes in. Google Analytics 4 makes it easier to understand and act on user behavior data. It provides you with insight into key user behavior metrics that you can leverage to evaluate the success of your holistic SEO strategy.
Use Google Analytics 4 to Investigate How Specific Landing Pages Perform
In Google Analytics 4, it's easy to access the top pages report.
Marketers, and any product managers, for your website are definitely interested in top-performing content. As far as key pages on your website go, landing pages are near the top. It’s the first impression your users have of your website and everyone knows it’s important to make a good first impression.
In the Google Analytics 4 interface, hover over the icons in the left navigation and click on the “Reports” section.
Choose the “Life Cycle” dropdown menu and click on the “Engagement” dropdown from that list. Then, choose “Pages and Screens”.
The data table is located at the bottom of the report. This pages report can be filtered for organic search traffic.
You can switch the page title dimension to page path. This is especially useful if your website has different URLs with the same page title.
You can use this report in Google Analytics 4 to identify top SEO landing pages.
Scroll to the right in the data table until you see the column labeled “Event count”. Below the “Event count” column header, you’ll see the “All events” dropdown list.
Click on the dropdown list, and type in or scroll down to find “session_start”.
Now, you’ll see the pages where the landing pages where sessions start.
Hover your mouse over the “Event count” column until an arrow appears that points downwards.
You can click on it to sort the table by the event count column in descending order. This will provide you with the top landing pages.
To view organic traffic users, create an audience or filter for this report. Near the top of the screen you should see an “All Users” label. Click on “Add Comparisons” next to it.
This will bring up a panel on the right side of the screen. Click on the “Select dimension” dropdown in that right panel.
Type “default” into the search box that appears, and it should pull up an option labeled “Session default channel grouping”.
Next, click on the “Dimension values” dropdown and select the “Organic Search” option.
You can also set your dimension to “medium” and select “organic”.
Click “OK” to confirm and select “Apply”.
You can see how organic traffic users compare to all users or remove “All Users” if you only want to view data for organic search traffic.
Alternatively, you can create a filter by clicking on “Add filter” at the top and using the same steps above to configure the organic traffic dimension.
Not only does this Google Analytics 4 report provide you with the top SEO landing pages, it gives you visibility into the user behavior on these pages and outcomes.
You can dig further into specific events but this report contains a nice overview with the number of pageviews, average engagement time, the number of events, and the number of conversions. For example, even with pages that are strictly content pages, you can see the number of users that scroll down to at least 90% of the page in the form of “unique user scrolls”.
Google Analytics 4 Provides Real, First-Hand Insight Into What Interests Your Users
Most business owners realize the importance of understanding what their customers want and care about. After all, it's the key to providing them with the products and services they need and keeping them happy.
However, many don't know where to start when it comes to understanding their customers' wants and needs.
Using the same pages report mentioned in the previous section without filtering for landing pages with session_start, you can view the pages that users are interested in most and whether they’re able to navigate to key content you’ve identified in the user journey.
This data can be incredibly useful for content creators and marketers who want to produce material that resonates with the target audience.
It can also help you identify new trends and areas of interest that you may not have been aware of before.
Identify Stages in the User Journey Where Users Struggle with Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 user behavior data for organic search traffic can help you identify points in the user journey where they get stuck, struggle, and leave.
You can create a custom Explorer report using the funnel exploration report type.
Configure the settings for your report.
You can only view organic search traffic or compare it with other traffic sources.
Then, define the steps in your funnel. For each step, use an event and add conditions for dimensions such as page location.
You can identify points of friction in the user journey and create a smoother experience for your funnel.
Leverage Google Analytics 4 User Behavior Data to Optimize User Experience
User behavior data is critical for understanding how organic search traffic engages with your website. Using this data, you can align your website user experience with your target audience’s search intent.
Understanding this data will help you make informed decisions about how to improve your website's design and user experience. You can tailor your content and offerings to ensure relevance to your audience and better meet their needs. This will optimize your website to achieve your goals.