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Stepwise Guide for Using Google Analytics Tool for Online Ranking

24 June, 2017

Steps to Setup a Google Analytics Account and Tips for Measuring the Online Rankings and SEO of your Website.

Google Analytics is used for assisting in the analysis of the traffic on any website using 3 simple steps. To start using it, you need to sign up for it with your basic details about the website; followed by adding a tracking code provided to your website so that Google Analytics can track the timings and number of visits to the website.

Online Ranking using Google Analytics is generally used for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking. Practically, one cannot specifically track the exact position of the keyword which was clicked on your website, however, a ranking tool does tell you, at what position your website or certain keywords are.

Guide for Using Google Analytics for Online Ranking-560x315
Guide for Using Google Analytics for Online Rankings

Just be mindful that there is a direct influence on the ranking because of your website’s settings, i.e. whether it’s personalized search or local results.

Guide for how to use Google Analytics Tool

Step 1 – Signing up for Google Analytics

To get the rankings through Google Analytics Tool, you need to sign up for it via the given link.

It states all the terms and conditions. You just need to follow the simple steps to sign up and yes, it is absolutely free!

Step 2 – Create a filter for a standard ranking model

A filter is like a script or coding which you use to set up the basic rules of the ranking pattern which you can create a filter via the Admin button in your Google Analytics account, it asks for certain information, like Filter Name, its type, output etc.

Please use the given information for the different fields.

 Filter name: it could be either Ranking 1, 2 or 3. It’s advisable to select Ranking 3 as a title since 1 and 2 consider everything except Google’s organic traffic, hence selecting 3 means covering every possible thing.

     Other fields should be filled as suggested:

   Filter Type: Customer filter, choose the advanced option.
   Field A: this field is for Extract A. Select ‘Referral’ from the drop down and write the code as (\?|&)q=([^&]*).
   Field B: this field is for Extract A. Select ‘Referral’ from the drop down and write the code as  (\?|&)start=([^&*).
   Output to: Constructor, Select Users defined, range to be selected.
   Field A required: Select Yes or No
   Field B required: Select Yes or no
(Choose any one of these fields as yes, instead of both, to keep the configuration simple and to avoid any data mismatch)
   Override Mismatch: Select Yes
   Case Sensitive: Generally selected as No, however you can select Yes, in case there is a specific requirement.

It’s important to follow the format else there is a high possibility that the outcome may disappoint you.

A couple of things to keep in mind: in case you want to make any changes to a filter, it’s always better to create a new one instead of editing the existing one. It helps to avoid any data mess.

Also, this filter only works for Google, in case you are using a different search engine like Bing or Yahoo, the filters will be different. Given fields need to be updated as below and the rest remains the same.

   Field A: this field is for Extract A. Select ‘Campaign Term’ from the drop down and write the code as (.*).
   Field B: this field is for Extract A. Select ‘Referral’ from the drop down and write the code as  (\?|&)(start|b|first)=([^&]*).

It’s quite straight forward if you have a bit of technical background and know the scripts. Else, you can visit the given link as well to find further guidance with screenshots available.

Alternate way to create a filter through custom variable

A standard ranking model, at times struggles since it is dependent on the region’s servers, whereas it becomes pretty simple with a custom variable ranking wherein you define the additional segments as per your requirement.

Step One -

Extract CD, which is a value from the referrer string. For details of the snippet which you can use, visit the given link:

Step Two

Call CD i.e. a value in our Google Analytics snippet

Step Three

Create an IF Statement which is coded in PhP, so the CustomVar isn't called every time.

Post this, we will check if the rank has any value, if yes, include the value in the custom variable, else run the google analytics as normal.

Step 3 – View the Ranking results

You can view a user defined report to confirm if you have created a right filter. The information which is provided isn’t a real ranking, but the number of the first results on the page. The ranking format could be different for different search engines. For example, if the rank is 20 in Google, it will appear to be 21 in Yahoo.

In case there is no number appearing, but just a page, it implies that the keyword is on the first page itself and if you want to filter the list, you can use a code: “(page: d{1,2,3})” where d stands for a digit and 1,2,3 stands for number of digits.

Step 4 – Analyze the output

The final step is to analyze the outcome. You can customize it as per your requirement using different features since, which enables you to do the analysis, based on different criteria like city, region and country. You can also analyze it, based upon the historical and definite data or perhaps ranking the data as per the e-commerce or bounce rate.

For a professional, who is always engrossed in huge data, installing analytics in excel is highly recommended and prove to be very helpful!

Anyhow, ranking data via Google Analytics Tool is self-explanatory and quite lean. What is more helpful is the fact that you can further build advanced filters which can give you deeper insight, its vast, so it depends on you, how much you want to extract from the tool.

Another point worth keeping in mind is that it only captures work from the time you have started using it, hence it doesn’t really take the historic information in consideration for analysis.

I hope you’ll find this blog post helpful, sleek and a value add!

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