If you are familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), you are probably aware of the fact that it goes far beyond simply creating keyword content for your website. SEO also involves everything from how your HTML and website coding is written to the number and quality of backlinks you have. Since there are an enormous number of factors that are involved in search engine rankings, determining where your website needs improvement can be difficult. However, by using web analytics, you can develop a detailed plan of action that will help you improve your search engine rankings.

Look for Pages With High Bounce Rates
There are a number of factors that will improve your search engine rankings, but there are also several things that can actually lower your rankings as well. One common ranking detractor is a high bounce rate. Bounce rates are when someone arrives at your website and doesn’t go to another page on your site. High bounce rates generally indicate to search engines that visitors are not finding what they are looking for, which is why they can damage rankings.

Through analytics data, you can see which of your pages have the highest bounce rates and look for common factors that could be causing them. One of the most common reasons for high bounce rates is a keyword mismatch. This occurs when your keyword content does not match what people are looking for, and the best way to resolve these issues is to refine your keyword choices or adjust content to match your visitor’s expectations. Doing so can improve your visitors’ experiences and keep your search engine rankings high.

Choosing the Right Keywords
As mentioned, poor keyword choices can lead to high bounce rates. However, finding the right keywords to focus on can be a challenge, especially since there are such a large number of keywords to pick from for the most websites. Using analytics data can help you determine which keywords you have the most success with and which ones are not worth the effort. By looking at the most common keyword searches that lead people to your site, you can figure out which are the best matches and therefore focus on improving your search engine rankings for these terms.

You can also use data from your bounce rate pages to help you determine if your keyword choices are matching your visitors’ expectations. If you find that you have a high number of visitors for certain phrases but those pages also have high bounce rates, it is not worth your effort to improve your rankings with these terms. Additionally, following keyword entry point information can also help you track your success and progress with particular terms.

Social Media Referrals
Google and other search engines have stated that they will be incorporating social media activity into their search engine indexing and ranking algorithms. This is mostly good news for webmasters because with Google demoting web pages that have large numbers of backlinks from what they consider to be low-quality websites, webmasters can make up for the lost ground through social media. Analytics data can help you monitor not only the sources of your social media traffic, be it Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter, but it can also help you track bounce rates and conversion rates for these inbound links.

This gives you the ability to see which of your social media posts and shares are sending the most traffic to your website, and it can help you determine which types of posts generate the best responses. Knowing the links, landing pages and sites that drive the most traffic to your site and create the fewest bounces can help you improve your traffic, your search engine rankings and your social media marketing plans.

Localized Keyword Content
Along with incorporating social media activity into ranking practices, search engines have also begun to focus on and promote localized content. When someone searches for something like “lawyer” or “car dealership,” the top search results are now usually going to be those that are closest to the geolocation of the user. This means that webmasters who focus on localizing their content can see an improvement in their search engine rankings, sometimes above other websites that are more optimized.

Still, attempting to optimize your website for every major city or geographic location would require an incredible amount of keyword content and website optimization, so it is simpler to focus on a few key locations. Using web analytic data, you can track the geographic locations of your visitors. With this data, you can either focus on creating keyword content for areas that you receive the most traffic from or create content for areas that you would like more visitors from. Localizing your content for a few areas can give you a huge boost in traffic and your search engine rankings without a large amount of time or effort.