Google Analytics 4 (GA4) won’t necessarily improve the search engine optimization (SEO) of your site by itself, but tracking performance and analyzing the data will help you create and/or adjust your strategies. And having a data-driven strategy will almost certainly improve your SEO.
Knowing what people are searching for to get to your site and what they do once they get there is critical to developing an effective SEO strategy. Understanding search queries and landing pages is important, but learning how users engage with a site is just as critical.
Using site engagement data, digital marketers can create data-driven SEO strategies and adjust their tactics based on performance instead of gut instincts. Additionally, you and ensure that your SEO strategies are aligning with business goals.
It’s helpful to understand how users are engaging with your site when making SEO decisions. For example, let’s say a product page is ranking well on Google (and by proxy driving a lot of traffic) for upper funnel search queries (i.e., the users are just getting started in their customer journey). From a strictly SEO-perspective the rankings and clicks may seem like a win, but when taken into context the traffic is of minimal value to the business because they’re content is sales-focused. By using site-side analytics data you can ensure that SEO rankings and organic clicks are actually driving value for your business.
In rare instances, it’s possible to actually hurt conversion rates by having “good SEO” and ranking for more things than your website is actually relevant for. For example, a prominent brand may rank well organically on Google for root words that aren’t necessarily associated with their brand or products. Search engines are great at understanding the context of a search query and personalizing results accordingly, but things aren’t always perfect. This is why large enterprises that rank well organic focus on improving the relevancy of their results as much as increasing visibility. And doing so analytics data like that provided by GA4.
Potential Use Cases
Using Funnel Exploration, you might find roadblocks to getting segments of your organic traffic to convert. For example, a retailer might notice a page ranking very well doesn’t have any outbound links to their ecommerce pages. Although numerous users are coming to the site, they aren’t finding what they want and therefore didn’t convert.
Or you might discover a page with longform content deep within the site that users are engaging for long periods of time, but it isn’t necessarily driving the most traffic. After reviewing the website, you might notice that the page lacks inbound links and improving crosslinking performance improves.
To summarize, GA4 will give you the UX context needed to better understand your organic search users and improve traffic.
Linking GSC to GA4
Google Search Console properties can be linked to Google Analytics 4 properties via the Google Analytics Admin setting at the bottom of the navigation menu (screenshot 1).
From there look under the Property settings under Product Links and clicks Search Console Links and follow the prompts to connect your Google Search Console account(s) (screenshot 2).
Once these cross-platform link is established Google Analytics 4 will provide additional details about Organic Traffic in reports. This is helpful for seeing all your data together without switching between platforms.
We’re here to help!
Contact Nuaveu today to learn how to leverage Google Analytics 4 to improve your site’s search engine optimization!