Custom dimensions and SEO

December 18, 2014
Comments Off on Custom dimensions and SEO

By Thijs de Valk

custom dimensions and seo

As you might’ve noticed, we’ve added a couple of pretty cool features to the Google Analytics by Yoast Premium plugin. This post is another sequel to the custom dimensions posts, in which I’ve been explaining the custom dimensions in the plugin. Today I’ll explain the new custom dimensions we’ve added and how they can actually help you on your SEO as well!

If you haven’t read my first two posts about custom dimensions and/or don’t know what custom dimensions are, please read the first two posts first. Lets start off this post with the new custom dimensions: SEO Score, Focus Keyword and Tags. Be sure to read this post all the way to end, because there’s a surprise at the end that might just save you some money!

SEO Score

This is a custom dimension that’s only available if you’re also running our WordPress SEO plugin. If you don’t have this plugin installed, you won’t be able to select this custom dimension. And that’s really a shame, because it’s quite awesome!

Let me explain why; the SEO score custom dimension actually allows you to to sort or filter your traffic by the SEO Score which can be found right above your Publish/Update button when you’re writing/editing a post:

Custom Dimensions and DashboardsEdit_Post_‹_Yoast_—_WordPress

So all of your posts and pages that have gotten a Good score will be one group, all the OK posts and pages in another, and so on. There’s obviously also a group for posts you haven’t filled out a focus keyword for, which will give an N/A score. Let me show you what this looks like in Google Analytics:

SEO Score Google Analytics

As you can see, we have a few posts and pages for which we didn’t fill out our focus keyword. As expected, the posts with the highest SEO Score (good) are getting the most traffic. So optimizing your pages seems to actually work! Yay!

However, even more interesting is to see if there are any pages with lower SEO scores that still get a decent amount of traffic. These pages are already doing well in the traffic department, and can actually still be more optimized, meaning they can probably get even more traffic than they’re getting already.

So lets filter out those hidden gems. The first step is to filter for the pages with an OK score. To do so, click ‘advanced’ and fill in ok:

SEO_Score_-_Google_Analytics

Second, add a secondary dimension named Destination Page:

SEO_Score_-_Google_Analytics

This will give you a list of the pages that have an OK SEO score, sorted by pageviews:

SEO_Score_-_Google_Analytics

As you can see, for us there’s one page in particular that’s getting some nice traffic, even though its SEO score is only OK. It’s very easy now to just go and see if the post can become a bit more optimized.

Of course, you can do the same thing for the pages that have a Bad, Poor or N/A SEO Score. This way you can find some hidden gems you might’ve overlooked in the optimization process altogether.

Focus Keyword

The Focus Keyword custom dimension is again a custom dimension that’s only available if you’re running WordPress SEO. If you’ve created the custom dimension in Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see this report in Google Analytics:

Focus Keyword Google Analytics

If you see a Focus keyword “focus_keyword_not_set”, that obviously means that your focus keyword is not set. If that’s a big part of your pageviews, then you should read this post! You should definitely make better use of our WordPress SEO plugin!

What you could do now, is look for some common denominators in your focus keyword list. For us, an obvious one would be WordPress. We write a lot about WordPress and have quite some longtail keywords for that as well. If we enter WordPress in the search bar, we get this:

Focus_Keyword_-_Google_Analytics

As you can see, 24% of our total traffic is from posts with WordPress in their focus keyword. So this is quite an awesome way to see which (groups of) keywords are getting you the most traffic. On top of that, this also gives you a nice list of everything you’ve already written about. Some (longtail) keywords might be missing, or maybe you’d expect more traffic from a certain keyword (group).

In short, the Focus Keyword custom dimension gives you a lot of insight on how you’re doing with your focus keywords. You can now quickly find if you’re missing anything and act accordingly!

Tags

The Google Analytics by Yoast plugin now not only supports categories as a custom dimension, but also tags! I’ve actually already predicted that in my first post on custom dimensions. Neat huh? 😉 So this can give you an even more specific idea of what kind of subjects are popular on your website:

Tags Google Analytics

The first one in that list is actually our WordPress SEO plugin page (which I found out using the Destination Page as a second dimension again). So you can actually see the Keyword Research tag is doing a good job as a singular tag. However, all those tags related to WordPress plugins are getting a big amount of total traffic. This is obviously no surprise to us, but this is a very good way to find subjects you didn’t know were popular on your site.

Dashboards

Our Google Analytics by Yoast plugin now also includes dashboards! So there’s no need to go into Google Analytics anymore for your basic statistics:

Yoast_Google_Analytics__Dashboard_‹_Yoast_—_WordPress

As of now, you can quickly check your Sessions and Bounce Rate for the last month. More timeframes will be available in the future.

As you can see, there are two more tabs in there. The Reports tab can give you the amount of sessions for the last month by Traffic Source, Popular Pages or by Country. Unlike Google Analytics itself, the stats there are instantaneous. So no annoying waiting for data to load, it’s just there when you click!

The last tab will only work if you have the Premium version of our Google Analytics by Yoast plugin. It will give the amount of sessions per custom dimension. Especially useful if you want to see which author has gotten the most traffic lately, for example. This data is also available instantaneously!

Both these reports have a search function as well. Type in anything you want to search for, and the results will be, again, instantaneous! It’ll actually start giving you results as soon as you start typing! This is a very quick way to filter your data and is also just fun to do!

More premium, more power!

These are the new custom dimensions in the Google Analytics by Yoast Premium plugin! They bring a lot of extra power, especially combined with our WordPress SEO plugin. Together these plugins are becoming a force to be reckoned with. And that, combined with the holidays, is exactly why we’ve created a bundle, named Prancer’s Premium Plugin Pack, which includes:

  • WordPress SEO Premium;
  • Google Analytics by Yoast Premium;
  • Optimize your WordPress site eBook.

This bundle is available until January 2nd and will actually save you 35%!

  • Up to 20 sites – $ 439
  • Up to 5 sites – $ 229
  • Single site – $ 129

Checkout
Bulk pricing starts at $439

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

Source:: SEO