Measure organic traffic to your content

Contributors

@jamaicawinshipgmail-com @andreea-macoveiciuc-content-expert @danielisler1gmail-com


Business Benefits

Make data-driven decisions about your content strategy.


Decide what content you want to analyze: all pages on your website, your blog, or another section of your site.

While content can exist on any page of your website, you may want to understand one particular subset of your content. For example, all of your website’s blog content, or all of your product pages. Grouping your content will make it easier to analyze. For example, if all of your site’s blog content lives under /blog/ or /articles/, use that as a filter in Google Analytics or Google Search Console.

Evaluate tools that measure organic traffic to your site, including 1st party and 3rd party data.

  • Tools that provide first party data measure your organic traffic directly. These include Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and any other analytics tools your company might use such as Mixpanel or Adobe Analytics.
  • Tools that provide 3rd party data estimate your organic traffic, so they will not contain the level of accuracy of first party data. However, these tools may still offer valuable information, such as how a piece of content ranks in search engine results.

Open Google Analytics and navigate to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages to see which pages of your website visitors arrive on.

Click on Add Segment and tick Organic Traffic, then click Apply to show only organic traffic in the report.

Consider further refining your segmentation to look at more specific subsets of organic traffic. For example, to see users who came to your site for the first time through search engines, use the New Users column in the explorer report or replace Sessions from the dropdown in your graph with New Users.

Filter to show only the website pages you’re interested in by adding subfolders to the filter text box next to the magnifying glass.

For example, if all of your blog posts live in the /blog subfolder, you can filter to only look at blog posts by typing /blog/ into the filter text box.

View organic traffic to your chosen content group over several different time periods to understand trends and scale.

Depending on the amount of traffic, you may need to look at the last week, month, or quarter to display enough data about your organic traffic. Choosing a time period meaningful to your business may also help you understand the relative scale of your organic traffic. For example, if you know your business produces 100 leads per month, look at your organic traffic over that time period. How many leads are produced by organic traffic? How many new users does it take to produce those leads?

Consider looking at a longer time period to identify trends in your content’s organic traffic—has organic traffic to a key piece of content gone up or down over the last 12 months?

After viewing your content group in aggregate, view individual content pieces by clicking the URLs in the Landing Page column of your report. Use this to identify content that’s trending up or down over time. Content that is losing organic traffic over time may be improved with a content refresh.

Analyze your content’s organic traffic by comparing landing pages to one another, or analyzing individual pages over time.

  • Understanding the relative organic traffic to individual pieces of content can show you where you need to focus your content creation efforts.
  • Analyzing performance of individual content over time can identify content ripe for a content refresh (look for declining traffic on your top blog posts, as an example).

For deeper insights and keyword-level data in Google Search Console, segment your data by navigating to Search Results and clicking +NEW in the filters bar.

For each page, look at its position over time. Identify keywords it ranks highly for and keywords for which it’s ranking in positions 5-20 from the top of page 1.

If a page is ranking in positions 5-20 on page 1 of search results for a keyword, you might be able to increase your organic traffic through on-page optimizations.

SEO tools such as Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush can help with further analysis, and may be particularly useful for comparing your content to that of competitors.