How to use Google Analytics to set your SEO strategy | Marjet Wullink | Skillshare

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How to use Google Analytics to set your SEO strategy

teacher avatar Marjet Wullink, Boost your business by ranking in Google

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. The best start of SEO - Make a SEO strategy

    • 2. How does google work?

    • 3. What is a SEO strategy?

    • 4. Google Analytics: Add to your site

    • 5. Google Analytics: See your statistics

    • 6. Analysis 1: Your favorite pages

    • 7. 301 redirect

    • 8. Analysis 2: Time on page

    • 9. Analysis 3: Returning visitors

    • 10. Skillshare Project, Worksheet & Next class

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About This Class

Do you have a website but don't get many visitors via Google?
Did you start optimizing your website for Google but stopped when you didn't see the results you want? 

Then join me for this strategic class to get some focus in your SEO struggle and grow your traffic. After this class you understand better how Google works and where you have to focus on. You will see positive SEO results sooner and this way you will start to love SEO as your main marketing channel for your business.

This class is the first of a sequence of classes that will help you to Set your SEO strategy. This class uses Google Analytics as a tool to create a strategy and in the next classes we use other tools to adjust or refine your strategy for the best results.

In this 45 minutes class I show you how to start your Google Analytics analysis to make your own SEO strategy. Each short lesson is filled with data and experience as well as specific strategic choices and examples. 

Plus, the class includes an exclusive downloadable worksheet to help you put the analyses into a strategy! 

This class is ideal for everyone looking to take their online business to the next level. If you wanna start with SEO and you have a website, this class is the perfect place to begin.

Looking for more knowledge about SEO and want to start optimizing pages? Be sure to join my Skillshare class, Keyword research and optimizing pages class.

Meet Your Teacher

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Marjet Wullink

Boost your business by ranking in Google


Marjet has 10 years of experience in SEO. First in a Dutch publishing house and after 3 years she started her own company Minimalist Marketing in Amsterdam. From there she already helped over 200 entrepreneurs to make their SEO strategy.

Her background is in business and coding, but Marjet's strong social skills and patience make her drawn to being a teacher. Her goal is to combine humorous elements with seemingly boring subject matter - learning should be fun!

Getting serious stuff to people in an amusing way is one of my top goals. She wants to make it more exciting and more tangible to reach your goals in small steps.


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1. The best start of SEO - Make a SEO strategy: Hi, my name is Marjet Wullink and today I'm teaching on Skillshare about SEO strategy. My other classes on Skillshare about SEO are more practical classes and actually, you should follow them after you set your SEO strategy. I saw the need for SEO strategy because a lot of my clients are struggling with SEO. They were putting a lot of time and effort in SEO and optimizing all of their pages but they didn't see results. What I did is I sat down with them and I looked at their Google Analytics and we made together an SEO strategy. Today I want to take you through the same process as I take my clients through. If you do not have Google Analytics yet installed in your website, don't worry, because one of the videos explains how to do this. This is a class that's the first of a sequence of classes that can set your SEO strategy. If you have a website and you want to really see results of your SEO efforts, then join me in this class. 2. How does google work?: Welcome to this class and nice that you're joining. In this first video I'm showing you how Google actually works. Because how does Google actually work? Well, Google indexes your website and index websites are visible in Google search results. That's why Google can so quickly show your website in the search results. It doesn't have to index your website at that moment but it did it already before. So it made like a big Excel sheet containing all of the world's websites and one of them is yours. How often Google indexes your site depends on how often you publish new content. This means that if you blog daily, the chances are that Google will come by on a daily basis to see whether you've published new content that he can take in his index. All pages and blogs are indexed based on their links on their URLs. So not only your homepage is indexed, but also all the other pages and posts with URLs. So very often on a keyword, on a search term, you will be found not maybe on your homepage, but the search results shows another page. It shows it into the search results. You can see your own website if you google your own website. For example, here I Googled UK news site and then I checked the BBC News website, when Google indexed this website the last time. You can see it by clicking on the green arrow that's after your link and then on the drop-down, you choose cached. What you see then is an overview of your website with all the images and the content of the last time that Google index your website are at this page. You see that Google was coming by around three o'clock on the 19th of October and when I checked this website it was five o'clock on that same day. So Google came by just two hours before. We can say that at least every two hours Google's coming by, maybe a little bit more, maybe a little bit less. You can be sure if you check it again in two hours or something to see if Google came already within this time frame again. So then you can also see how often Google is checking your website, if it would be your website. An additional tip, according to indexing, is that it's good to spread publishing your content. Which means that if you want to write some blog posts and you think of one day per month to do this, it's good to not publish them right away. Because then they will be published all at the same day. But it will be better to save them as a draft and publish them occasionally like every week, so that Google thinks that your website is very active, that every week or every two days there is a blog being posted. So then google comes back early because he thinks there was new content just one day ago, if I come back tomorrow and there might be new content again, and then I can check it again. So that's how Google is thinking, and the more active your website is, the better. Then it's good also to do this with, for example, your projects. Because if you have a portfolio, you sometimes like me, I wake make websites. Then if you have a new website that you want to put in your portfolio, you should not do it once like 20 at once in one day. But again, save them as a draft and published them, for example, every week. There's again new content every week so Google will come by more often. The more often you post something on your website, the more Google will value your website. Because if you post the recent tips and tricks, Google assumes that this will be better for your website and if you just have a static website where nothing happens. On the other side, it's good to often publish new things because Google can value if your content is really valuable for your visitors. So it has more points to see if your content is really of good value, and the better your website is valued by Google, the higher he will rank you in the Google search positions. So our next class is about what is SEO strategy. 3. What is a SEO strategy?: In this video, we will start explaining what are SEO strategies. In this class, we will base the SEO strategy on Google's logic. So we make a plan to start your SEO by how Google values your content. Because it's easier to start somewhere to have a real focus, then to optimize all your content for SEO and this Google's logic is depending on a few things. For example, Google's logic for valuing a page is depending on the more visitors he sees on your page. It better he thinks your pages are, the more visitors returned to a page, also the more value the page will have. Because Google things that if visitors returned to page, there must be some valuable content. So then it gives you more value. The more value you have with your page, with your URL. Actually this value is part of the URL. So really a value that Google gives you, it gives it actually to your URL, to your link of that page. It thinks that if people's returned to your page is more important and visitors are more attracted to see this page, so it's more valuable. The more value you URL gets, the higher it will rank for a certain keyword or certain search term. So the more higher you will go into the ranking of Google. So also the third ones, for example, the longer visitor stay on a page, the more interesting they think it is. So they will also think this is more valuable information for them because they stay longer. They read more on the page. This, all these three valuables are actually factors. We're going to Let's look at them today. So the factors are the elements of Google's logic that we just explained are very important to work with but we will discuss them later in more detail and it's important what I already mentioned to optimize page completely with all the requirements for Google but this takes a lot of time if you really want to do it good and it is unnecessary. So it's not necessary to invest this time in all of your posts and pages. So you have to focus on a few because some can better be promoted with social media because you have very little chance of finding them in the search results. For example, your competition is too high. Or another example is that some pages you don't have to optimize because it's an event that only takes place in two weeks. It takes pays only once. This event that takes place or disposed that you write about it, can maybe not even be indexed. If Google comes by only once a week, for example and this event is taking place in one week and you're writing about it, then maybe Google can come buy once and very maybe twice. So Google might have put you in the ranking at number 80, which means on the seventh page at the last spot. So I don't think that anybody will click on it. So probably It's not a good idea to optimize this page and put a lot of effort in it. What you can do better is then use a lot of nice, funny words in this page. That will also attract a lot of visitors and put it out into the social media. Another example of posts or pages that you don't have to optimize for Google's, for example, a very poetic text opposed with the poetic texts or fancy words that nobody would search for. So that's another thing if you're not really thinking that it would get high into the Google search results, then you don't have to put a lot of effort in it. You can better use it for other things. So developing a strategy that works for you is what we're going to do today in this class. Because every website is different, in every website owner is different, everybody will have a different standard strategy. There's no strategy the same. Today we're going to make an SEO strategy with Google Analytics. But maybe it's better for your website to make it with. For example, another tool, which is Google Webmasters or the Google Search Console. That's what we're going to do in next class. But that's also next step. So today, first we make it with Google Analytics, which is already a very good tool to look at these values that Google will give you. So it's very valuable. You can start already your SEO strategy. But maybe in the later episodes of this sequence of classes, you can define your SEO strategy a little bit more with extra information and extra things that you learn. Before you start your SEO strategy, it's good to ask yourself a few questions. For example, which pages are most important for you, and then choose maximum three. Write these down on the side. So then we can see if after this class, those pages are also in the list of the pages that we subtracted from the examples today. Maybe those are the pages that are indeed the ones that you should start with to optimize. Or maybe it's other pages which are suddenly bumped into your mind because you saw them in the Google Analytics and you never thought about it. I always like that. But it's always good to first write down the pages that are most important for you. Or for example, pages that you earn money with, you should also write them down. The other one is, which pages do you want to grow in? Like if you have something like being a coach and you write it somewhere on a page that you are a coach, but actually you don't really know where to put it out in the open, so you have it somewhere hidden. But maybe a lot of people go to that page because they find it via Google. Because you don't really shout it or the text on the page is not really the best. People are not calling you for this. But maybe there's a lot of people that read the terms. So it's interesting to see if this actually is working or not. The pages also that you want to grow in. So please write these things down and then we can see at the end,if the pages that came out here are also the pages that will come back from the Google Analytics, from the statistics that we see today. 4. Google Analytics: Add to your site: Google Analytics is a very useful tool that shows you what your visitors do on your website. For this class, we need Google Analytics to set your strategy. In this video, I will show you how you can add the Google Analytics key on this script actually to your WordPress website. If you do not have a WordPress website or you have another theme, of course, because I showed with my theme, most of the themes also have somewhere where you can add the Google Analytics script, and you can always google your theme and google Google Analytics and then they will show you also how to do it. That's an easy tool on you, if you have another CMS on WordPress, you can also Google your CMS and Google Analytics, and then probably they will also show you where to add this tool [inaudible] descriptor [inaudible]. But if you do not have any idea, you can always ask your developer to help you with this. Let's get started and let's start to add the script and Google Analytics to your website. You can go to, and there you click on the right side on sign in and then Analytics. Then you login with the right account, a Gmail account, or a Google account, enter username and password, and then you click on Sign Up button on the right. There you can fill in your account name, can be anything. website name, can also be anything. The website URL should be a HTTPS or HTTP industry category, and you can just choose quick one, time zone derived one, and then click on, maybe Account Specialist, off or on, and then get tracking idea. There you can accept the Google Analytics terms and then you get a blue pop-up, which you can say okay or just click it away, and there you see that there's a tracking code. You can copy this tracking code that's now there in blue. Here you seen that there's how you find it if you might not come into this type of area. Here you copy this whole blue section, and then you go to your website and you login, and then for example, in my web Divi theme, in my theme, my Wordpress theme, I can put it into an integration tab in my theme settings, and there I can add it to one of the integration sections. That's how you can add and you just paste the copied script into this section. You save it, and then Google Analytics is into your website and the next day you can see how many visitors were there the day before. From that moment on, you can start tracking your statistics and see what your visitors are doing on your website. 5. Google Analytics: See your statistics: If you added Google Analytics ages ago to your website, but you have no idea how to see your statistics, this is how you can see them and log into Google Analytics. You just Google, Google Analytics, like I do here. Then, you see the search result popping up, and you'd just click on the search result, and there you will be going to Google Analytics. If you are already logged into, for example, Gmail or another Google account, then Google Analytics will automatically give you the login to Google Analytics, but if this is not true, if you are not logged in yet, then you might see something like this, and you have to log in with the right account and then you get here. This is a little bit confusing, but you just go to the browser again and type in google dot com slash analytics. On the right, you sign in and go to Analytics. Then, you will see the overview of your website. There, you see the last month or last seven days, for example. You can see the last 28 days and you see all your traffic of those days. Then, we can start. 6. Analysis 1: Your favorite pages: In this video, we're going to look at your Google Analytics finally, and we're going to see what is already working well. We're going to look at your most favorite pages so join me. We start with what's already working and those are your most favorite pages. We're going to look at Google's logic because the most favorite pages are very valued by Google, because the more visitors there are on a page, the more appealing or attractive the page is and the more higher the rating in Google because Google thinks that you are having very attractive content for your visitors, so they will value you you a lot, and the more value you get by Google, the higher you will be ranked in the Google search results. What you can do to see your top pages in your visitor's data is that you log into your Google Analytics and then you can see how much traffic you have. If you do not have so much traffic, you can maybe check on monthly basis or even on a yearly basis because standard Google Analytics now shows you a weekly basis, but it might not be enough. Here I show you how you can change this. On the right side, you click on the little square and then you can see if you can check the last month or maybe something custom and then you click on "Apply" now I will show you last month and click on "Apply" and then the numbers will change. Then you click actually here on "Full report" but that's what I'm going to show you here. You go then after you change this traffic time. You go to behavior and then to overview on the left side of your dashboard in Google Analytics. I showed you already a little bit before that you go to the right side on the bottom and there you see view full report and then you click on that one, because maybe the top ten is not enough to judge which of the pages that you see the most favorite by your visitors may be good to focus on. Here on the right side, on the bottom, then in the next screen, you see that you can check top ten in rows or you can also say 15 or something like that and then you see more. Here I used City Mom, which is a very nice website in the Netherlands for mothers in cities, for example, in Amsterdam or in the Hague. They can search on this page for all things they can do with their kids, for example, going to a beach on a holiday, so this is the top post of City Mom it's about going on a holiday with your kids to Ibiza. But you already optimize this page, that's why it's ranked also very well, and she has the most visitors via Google. Another page that's attracting me in this top ten is this kinder kappers in Dutch, this is a Dutch sentence and says children's hairdressers, so that might be interesting, but the most interesting is the last one here, which is webshop. Why do I think that this page is the most interesting? I have some reasons and those are that optimizing this page can give direct sales because it's a webshop, so if she optimizes it and people go there and they see the webshop, then they might buy her product. Also it's not yet optimized this URL, so there's a lot to gain because what do you think if you see slash webshop, you don't know what it sells. She sells posters for children's rooms, so it's better to save children's rooms poster webshop or something like that. I helped her to change this and I think she only did almost that and a little bit of optimizing. Because she's a webshop, she's a blog and she's blogging a lot like every week, a few times and she does a lot of social media so there's a lot of people coming to her website so she has a very strong website. Her competition might be high or might be big. She can compete with them if she just would optimize her webshop page for children's room posters, then she could easily compete. These are the reasons that I choose this page. You can see for yourself why also you choose for one of the pages and then tell that. If you've seen now one of the pages, it's good to add this page or maybe there are more to your worksheet that you can download or you can look at it because it's Google Drive. Add those pages to your worksheet. You see here that I chose for her webshop, so that's a children's posters webshop. You can also see how many people were actually coming to this webshop before and therefore, I chose for this webshop page, you can also see how many people were coming via Google. You can do that by going to secondary dimension, and then you go to acquisition, and then to source. There you choose Google. Then you see that there are 71 people coming via Google and this was on the right top side, you see in the period of May, one week in May, then if we see later, one week in July, so that's like one or two months later we see we changed the page to this children's room poster webshop, in Dutch it's Kinder Kamer Poster Webshop. You see that now there's a 115, so it's almost doubled. That's very nice already for one month so it will probably grow and grow via Google. Some of that's good achievement for just a little bit of effort that she put into optimizing her page. The conclusion and their learning is the more chances to rank high if your pages are already in the favorites of your visitors and if you choose page that generates direct seals, that's very good, and optimizing a non-optimized page with a general permalink will give you the best chances to grow into ranking. An additional example with a tip for general permalinks if, for example, we use to s$ website, it's a natural skincare line. If your top pages now contain a permalink with the generic name like products as you see here on number 9 then it's better. Additional example about general permalinks is, for example, we used as s$, a website for natural skincare line. If your top pages now contain a permalink with the generic name, you can make this more specific, this will help you a lot in your SEO strategy, like for example, here on number 9, you see slash products, which is not so specific, so if you make there for this natural skincare line, you do slash natural skin care with some dashes in between then Google knows that these are products that are for natural skin care. You can also do natural skin care products. This is an additional tip to this SEO strategy video for making an SEO strategy from your most favorite pages. 7. 301 redirect: You should pay attention if you change a URL. Do not add a URL without doing anything else. Because always let Google know, if you're going to change the URL. It's like a moving address that you always let Google know when you're going to move your URL. You can do this by making a 301 redirect, after you change the permalink. This is necessary for two reasons. One reason is that you otherwise get 404-errors. This is what your visitors get for the old URL. The more often visitors bump into a 404 error on your own website, the less you will be valued by Google as being a good website. This can reflect in your overall ranking. The second reason is that you will also lose all the value Google has already given you on the old URL. The value of, for example, how many visitors were visiting in the past or returning visitors, and all of these other values, will be lost. Then you have to start all over again with your ranking for this page. How do you do that? How do you make a 301 redirect? Well, in WordPress, it's quite easy. You can download a plugin and that's called simple 301 redirect. You can Google how to do it, but it's also quite simple, explained by the plugin developers. If you have no idea and you don't have WordPress as CMS, then you can ask your developer and he will change something in the.HTaccess file. That's a little bit too complicated to just do it without any knowledge. I would always ask the developer, and if you have another CMS that you can always ask your CMS developers to do it for you, or where to find it. Make sure that you make it 301 redirect if you start to edit a permalink. But it is very important to edit your permalink SEO because it will help you, definitely, a lot for your ranking on certain search terms. 8. Analysis 2: Time on page: When a page get visitors that stay on the page for a long time, you're more likely to get high in Google, because Google's logic is, the longer the visitor stay on a page, the more attractive the page is, the higher the rating in Google. Again, we make a simple analysis with Google Analytics, to see which pages keep visitors reading for a long time, and where there are lot of visitors. How do you check this on Google Analytics? You go to behavior and to overview, and again to view full report on the bottom right side, I will now show you this into Google Analytics itself. You go again to behavior and then to overview, and there you see again on the right bottom side view full report, then you click on average time on page, and you do that because then you will have the pages on the top, where people spend the most time on the page, and then you see a whole lot of links, and these are actually too many because it's a lot of blogs. So what we do here is you go to content, drill down and then we see them in categories, and then you can go again to show rows. This makes it a little bit more simple if you have a lot of blogs and you can a little bit categorize them. Then you click again on average time on page, and there you see that advertising on City Mom. This is one of the pages that people spend the most time on, and you also see the most page views. That's why I take this page to be one of the best ones to optimize. Why I also choose this page is again, because optimizing give direct sales, and also changing the permalink from advertising on city mom to advertise mothers Amsterdam, or maybe even more popular word like affiliate marketing, can help to attract more visitors to this page. Optimizing this page has higher chances to rank high if the page has already visitors that stay for a long time. Choose a page that can also generate direct sales, that's what we do here again. It's also not yet optimized yet for certain keywords. Also here we find a page that has different elements. It has the most and the best chances to grow in the ranking. After this analysis of the longest time on a page, you can add the pace that came out of this analysis to your worksheet, and go on to the next class. 9. Analysis 3: Returning visitors: Have you gone through the first two analyses but you didn't really see anything that you could focus on, then maybe this class will help. We're looking at returning visitors. The factor that Google values is the number of returning visitors on a page. Because Google's logic is the more returning visitors on a page, the more attractive the page is to higher rating Google. We're going to look at Google Analytics now where we will see how you can see where the returning visitors on a page are the most. You go to audience, and then you click on behavior, and there you see new versus returning. Then you click on Returning visitors, and you go to user types, secondary dimension, in the middle and then behavior, you searched for. The lending page, and then you see all the lending pages that have returning visitors and you see them from the top down so you see here top 10. I see on number nine, the very interesting page, and it has 458 visitor sessions. There's also people that stayed long on this page so all these values are high. If you don't see it in this top 10 yet, you could also add more rows if you'd like. Again, I already found here just checklist. Why do I choose for this page checklist? Well, it's a checklist for parents that have to travel with kids and that need to pack their luggage, such a very general process can be a value for a lot of parents. It's not just yet optimized but a URL so there's a lot to gain, just like we already mentioned before, that there's still a lot to gain its very interesting page. You can maybe change also to URL to travel checklists with children. If you want to optimize that or with kids, you have to do keyword research to see which are the best keywords in this case. The conclusion in learning from this analysis is that there's more chances to rank high if pages have visitors that return to a page. Or there's another reason than a conclusion actually that if you choose a page, it could be a page that the audience is not too small, so there is a lot of people that search for these term, or that are interested in this subject. The last one that we've already discussed more often, if a page is not yet optimized, it has the best chances grow in the ranking if you optimize, especially the URL. 10. Skillshare Project, Worksheet & Next class: We come to the end of this class. You probably filled in your worksheet with all the pages that you want to focus on with your SEO strategy. I would really like to see it. If you could upload your worksheet, maybe make a screenshot of it and then upload it to a project in this class, then that will be great. That we can all see what your outcome is and what's your strategy will be and maybe you can also add why you chose for these pages. If you're not sure about the outcome and if you still have questions about it, then don't despair. Follow the next class and then you can set your SEO strategy using this search console or you can follow an AMA, that I'm going to give and if you then already add your question to your project, I will answer that question in the AMA. I would love to see you in my next class about setting an SEO strategy with the Google Search Console.