Major search engines like Google have what’s called primary search results, a list of sites returned after a query is fed into the search bar. The items on the list include web pages, local listings and videos. The results are ranked according to what the search engine thinks is relevant to users. A number of factors are involved in determining “relevance” and the process of using those factors to improve rankings and drive traffic is what’s known as search engine optimisation (SEO).
One of the most important aspects of SEO is making it easy for search engine robots to understand what a site is all about. Although the level of sophistication of robots is much higher than it was in the past, it still can’t process a web page like a human can – it needs all the help it can get. This is where SEO comes in by helping robots figure out the contents of a page and determine how that could be helpful to users.
A Simple Example of How SEO Can Help
Let’s say you wrote an article that provided tips on photographing cats. Another person seeing that post will know exactly what it’s all about. But how can a machine make sense of that when it sees a combination of numbers and letters? With the help of SEO, you can give the machine hints through keywords and links to understand the content of your article.
SEO involves understanding what a search engine can and cannot do so that you can create content that is easier for them to digest. With this, you can build content that can be easily understood and as such, increase the chances of getting a spot on the first results page.
Why Is SEO Important?
- It considers the needs of the target audience. Businesses should always ask what their customers want. There are lots of tools available these days that would provide the answers you’re looking for. It could be as simple as taking a look at demographics to determine what kind of content is suitable for your audience. But it doesn’t just stop at content: the design of the site should be both friendly to the audience (colours, themes, text) and search engine robots (crawlability, user friendliness).
- It is an integral part of the marketing strategy. In today’s marketing world, there is more than one channel that you need to be on for effective targeting. Even though you write the most convincing content for your target audience that can still amount to nothing without social signals – likes, shares, etc.
- It impacts customer behaviour. Customers are looking to save more money and as such, are more conscious when it comes to making purchases. They tend to do a bit of research before committing and it’s up to you to convince them. This is possible through the use of carefully crafted content that uses relevant keywords and phrases.
There is value and a number of benefits that can be gained from investing in SEO. Yes, competition for attention on the web is at a high but knowing how to improve ranking through the proper understanding an application of ranking factors will result in an increase in both traffic and visibility.
It is extremely difficult to take an existing website and then plug in certain SEO aspects. To really get the best result, the site must be designed from the ground up with SEO in mind. After all, you would never attempt to bake a meatloaf first and then add the breadcrumbs, would you? Think of SEO as the bread crumbs that holds all the other ingredients of your website together and the result will be much more effective than you dreamed.
SEO Means Designing the Right Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
In print media consider what the right tag line does to attract attention and motivate consumers to stay with you long enough to find out what you have to offer. This same idea holds true with the SEO descriptions you write to describe your site and the title tags that go with every page. For the best results, you want to:
- Create a helpful and informational meta tag.
- Keep it short and simple.
- Make it enticing enough that users will want to click on your site.
Descriptions and tags require just as much consideration as the content and images on your web pages. An SEO expert can show you how to make the most of these tools and increase traffic to your site.
SEO Helps You Navigate the Ranking Factors
Many business owners are surprised to learn just what goes into the ranking of a website, a blog, or a page. In fact, search engines use at least a couple hundred different criteria to determine where a page ranks in the search results. While using the right SEO keywords in your page text will help, there is much more to consider.
This is where understanding all of how SEO works will make a huge difference. You have to understand what will attract the right type of attention and drive your site higher in the results, as well as what could leave you on the back page of those results.
Navigating the waters of the Internet does not mean planning out a roadmap and then sticking to it from that day forward. As search engines refine their algorithms, you will find that your site goes from ranking in the third spot on the results to falling off the front page. The only way to avoid that is to
- Be aware of what is working right now today.
- Anticipate search algorithm changes.
- Update your strategy before these changes are implemented.
While this takes time, it will mean your SEO strategy will be ever-evolving and continue to be successful into the future.
SEO Aids in Building Your Credibility
Your website, blog, or other form of online presence is to convey something of value to other people. In terms of a business, you want to educate, entertain, and ultimately convince consumers that what you have to offer is what they need to buy. Unless you establish some degree of credibility with those consumers, your efforts will go nowhere.
SEO is one of your most powerful tools for gaining attention, establishing rapport, and ultimately earning credibility. Based on how well you use the right type of search engine optimization to tell who you are, what you offer, and why it matters, you engage the visitor long enough to make your point. If that point resonates with the prospective buyer, he or she will give you a try. Assuming your products deliver on the promises made, then you have gained a loyal customer who will stay with your for a long time.
A key component in establishing your credibility is link building. The more links to your site that can be found on other credible sites, the better it is for your site’s reputation. Also, you want the links to be natural and not forced. Google and other search engines take all of these factors into account when ranking your site.
SEO Teaches You to Avoid Keyword Stuffing
There are older methods of SEO that worked fine in years past, but they left many Internet users feeling a little cheated. One of those strategies is referred to as keyword stuffing. Older algorithms did not just look for keyword(s) that related back to the phrases users employed for searches. They also looked for multiple uses of those phrases. That meant if you included a commonly used search phrase in your text, the odds of that page showing up high on search results were very good. And the more you used those phrases the better.
Today’s algorithms are much more sophisticated, and the focus is on content that is useful to the reader. That means keyword stuffing and similar approaches no longer help to place a site or page high in the results. In fact, if you overdo it with certain phrases, there is a good chance that one or more of the search engines will penalize your site and drive it lower into the results. The right kind of SEO strategy helps you avoid this mistake and improve the odds of coming out on top.
SEO Works Well with Other Marketing Methods
Back in the day, there were those who predicted that traditional advertising would become obsolete. That has not happened. Instead, there are more options than ever to get your business and its products in front of the customer. Some of those additional options are related to the use of SEO on social networks.
In recent years, major social networking sites have opened up a whole new way for business owners to reach customers. Establishing a company account or page on a social network site means the chance to build an audience by word of mouth. People can choose to “like” or “follow” the page and keep up with the posts that are added on a regular basis.
Along with making posts that entertain and inform, it is also possible to include links back to specific pages on your website. You can even call more attention to your posts by including a keyword prefaced with a hash tag. What this does is allow anyone using the search feature on a social network to learn about your page, visit it, and then follow it and the links you included in your posts.
Here’s a few things you want to keep in mind as you learn how to get the hand of using hash tags to grab the attention of potential clients:
- Hash tags must precede words directly related to your content.
- Less is more. Only use one to three hash tags per post.
- Eliminate unnecessary hash tags.
SEO Enhances Your Ability to Compete with Other Brands
Your brand may be well respected, and that’s great. The thing is there are other brands out there that are also known to users, and they have no problem comparing the quality and pricing of your services with those competitors. You cannot rely on the reputation of your brand alone, since just about everybody is looking for a good deal.
Think of how your product descriptions would show up in search engine results, provided you use the right keywords and key phrases. Higher placement in those results means that your offering has the chance to make a positive impression on comparison shoppers before anyone else can do so. You have effectively set the standard by which all other competitors will be judged. Unless they can come up with some strong incentives, many of those shoppers will return to your site and place an order.
SEO Increases the Odds of Getting Your Site Bookmarked
The right type of SEO effort gets people to visit your site once and decide that it is worth coming back to again and again. If you have used the right approach and the consumer believes that your site offers the benefits that were promised based on the search results, there is a good chance of it being bookmarked. Rather than having to find it with another search, the user will simply click on the saved link.
Keep in mind that saved link can be shared repeatedly with others. The person who found your site by means of a web search now has the power to cut and paste that link into the body of an email to a friend or two. That consumer can decide to share the link via a post on his or her Facebook or Twitter account. Thanks to those solid SEO strategies, you have created a basis for the time-honored tradition of relationship marketing. Anyone that the consumer thinks could benefit by visiting your site will now receive that link using one type of online tool or another.
SEO Aids in Evolving Your Online Presence
If you have been in business for a number of years, then you already know that traditional advertising recommends shaking things up every so often. The idea is to not show the customer the same old thing, but to present the company in a new way. For example, think of how often new television commercials are released for different products. Even the ones that capture the imagination of the buying public are typically retired in less than a year.
SEO teaches you to follow the same basic concept for your online presence. Keep things interesting by:
- Updating your site often.
- Replacing images as well as content.
- Reworking your meta descriptions and tag lines.
Keeping it fresh will allow you to hold on to long-term customers even as you attract new ones in other desirable demographics.
There is no doubt that SEO is important to the success of your business. As a tool that constantly changes, you must always take fresh look at your online presence. Working with a professional who understands SEO will mean always being on the first page of rankings, have a great reputation on social networks, and in general always be in a position to capture the attention of more consumers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the method used to increase a website’s position on search engine results pages (SERPs) on sites such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Developing an SEO strategy for your business can help draw consumer traffic to your website as well as grow your sales and revenue. To get you started on your SEO strategy development, here is a little background to understand how search engines, such as Google, use metrics to rank organic search website placements.
The goal of a search engine is to provide unbiased results that deliver information you are looking for as quickly and as accurately as possible. In order to do this, search engines are capable of identifying all relevant information online and ranking them in order of quality and relevance. There are hundreds of factors that are involved when search engines rank websites in an organic search. Amazingly enough, they can analyze billions of pieces of data in as fast as 0.5 seconds! The actions you take to optimize your site will have a direct effect on your SEO ranking. Components such as H1 tags, the words used in your website meta description, content and keyword density, permalinks, and backlinks are some of many things that you can leverage to boost your ranking.
Here is a quick overview of these components and how they relate to the most frequently used search engine, Google:
- H1 Tags: These are the larger headers you use to title your content. For example, the H1 for this article would be the title, ‘What is SEO and why is it important for your business?’. This article page may surface on the google search results when someone searches for keywords that are present in the H1 tag like ‘SEO’ and ‘business’. Make sure your H1 tags are relevant to the keywords you want to be showing up for.
- Keyword Density: This is the amount of times that the keyword your audience is searching for appear on your website. Make sure to mention your keywords, not only in your H1 tags, but also in the body of your content. While you want to include your your keywords often, don’t oversaturate your content. Remember, Google will also consider the use of synonymous keywords.
- Meta Description: This is the description you provide search engines in your <meta> html tags. The meta description you use for your website should also include the keywords you want your target audience to search for.
- Permalinks: This refers to permanent URL links that are specific to your website. It is advantageous to include your keywords in these permalinks in order to be considered for higher ranking on Google. For example, if you have a gardening website and want your consumers to find the keywords “lawn products,” it would be optimal for you to have a page with a permalink such as: http://www.gardening.com/lawn-products.
- Backlinks: This is when other websites link back to yours by providing their viewership with your website URL. For example, if Forbes mentions your business on their website and includes a link for their readers that leads back to your website, this would be considered a backlink. The more of these you have, the better your opportunities are to be higher ranked in your keywords. However, the source of your backlinks also play a factor in ranking. Google values quality and the bigger the source your backlink come from (ie. Forbes, NY Times, .gov addresses etc.) the better chances you have for being ranked higher in your SERPs. Be advised that buying backlinks from websites is considered ‘black hat SEO’ and is not recommended.
Here is a quick video from Google Search Evangelist, Matt Cutts who speaks briefly about how all of these factors affect your website’s ranking on a keyword search:
SERPs on desktop vs mobile: Is your website mobile friendly?
Search engines are constantly evolving and changing their algorithm in order to keep up with the constantly developing new technology. With the rise of the mobile device, more and more individuals are searching on the go. Google has noticed the increased mobile traffic of its users and has rolled out a new addition to their search ranking metrics. If your website is not mobile friendly (responsive, optimized to be viewed on various mobile screen sizes), Google will rank your website lower on the search rankings. However, this will only affect your mobile search rankings. Search rankings from a non-mobile device such as a desktop computer or laptop will not be affected. This is something to keep in mind if you know your specific target market is more likely to search for your keywords on a mobile device (i.e. your product is a mobile app).
What about paid rankings?
If your business has expendable revenue, achieving that #1 spot on a search engine can be money well spent. The image below identifies the advertisement sections where you can bid for certain keywords and be placed above the organic searches. Remember that google also prioritizes these paid ranking advertisements as seriously as their organic searches. The more relevant your website is to the search keywords, the better positioning you will get and possibly cheaper pay per click pricing. Be advised that certain keywords can be more expensive than others. Make sure to budget appropriately.
Your SEO strategy should be a long term process
Getting placed on the first page of a Google search doesn’t happen overnight. Your SEO strategy needs to be a continuous process. As technology develops, search engines also adapt to these changes by altering their algorithms that define how you website gets ranked. Stay on top of your SEO strategy and make sure that it is up to date.
Your SEO strategy will go a long way for you and your business with the proper maintenance. Not only will you have your current customer base, but you can passively accrue traffic to your website by being present in the top 5 searches for your keywords. Customers will be able to find you and your business easily when looking up relevant information that pertains to your business. A good rule of thumb to keep on top of your SEO strategy is to research the tactics used by your competitors. Google your own keywords and see who places in the top 5 searches then analyze their websites to see how and why they are being placed in the top rankings. By working on the components mentioned in this article and via our partner HowToStartABlog101.com, you should have a good head start on boosting your rankings.
Any business looking to drive more organic traffic to their website to increase their online sales should take their content marketing strategy seriously.
Good content marketing campaigns can reap rewards in terms of more new visitors to your website, an increase in the number of customers, better brand loyalty and greater brand awareness.
A good content marketing strategy doesn’t happen overnight but the following seven tips will help put you on the right track:
Create Killer Headlines
Killer headlines are great for increasing your click-through rate as well as getting your content shared socially.
Headlines which start with a number or have a killer adjective close to the start of the article are usually among the most popular. ‘How to’ and ‘research’ also go down well.
Likewise, if you can create content that resonates with your audience it increases the likelihood that they will share. If you can take any of these suggestions and transform your headline you should expect a greater audience than before.
Optimise Your Landing Pages
Your homepage isn’t the only page that should be drawing traffic to your website. In fact, it’s often ideal to drive traffic to your product pages or your blog when trying to get new users to convert.
After you’ve done your keyword research, you may find you need to create new pages for your target audience. Whether the pages are new or existing, make sure to optimise them fully in order to get the best out of them and to increase their chances of ranking highly in Google’s search results. You don’t want to hold yourself back with poorly optimised pages that hurt your rankings.
You should always be running A/B tests on your website to improve its performance and ultimately, the conversion rate.
Whether you’re a small or large business, a slight increase in your conversion rate could make a massive difference on your bottom line come the end of the year.
A/B tests can also be useful for testing out headlines and content types to determine which works best on your blog. Any kind of information like this is extremely useful input for your long-term content marketing strategy.
Create An Editorial Calendar
Taking the time to create an editorial calendar before you start any content marketing campaign will help you plan towards your ultimate goal: keep your blog organised and ensure you’re not scrabbling around for ideas at the last minute.
It helps if you know your audience and the type of content they would like to read. Tracking the effectiveness of each piece of content (conversions, bounce rate, time on page, social shares, etc.) helps you further develop your content marketing strategy for the future.
Noting down information such as deadlines, publishing dates, the article title, author etc. will help prevent you or your writers from missing deadlines so that blog posts can go live as scheduled. A schedule also allows you to excite your readers by teasing them with content that is going to be published in the coming days or weeks, so they come back to your blog.
Give Your Audience What They Want
It helps in any business to know what your audience wants. Keyword research is one method but you should also check the demographics data in Google Analytics to give you a more precise idea of your audience. Any information you have about your customers is a bonus.
Google Trends is another free tool to help you find which topics in your industry are currently in demand and which are in decline.
Spy on your competitors to see what they’re up to and what’s working for them. There are several tools out there to help you find out what they’re doing online. A couple of them are:
SEMRush – Find out which keywords they are ranking for
Majestic – Find out who is linking to them and what their most popular content is
BuzzSumo – Find out what content is working for your competitors on social media
Competitor analysis is an important part of any online marketing success. Once you have researched what your competitors are doing successfully you can use this to generate ideas for your own content marketing campaigns or even try to do a better job than them.
Making The Most Of Your Content
The more traffic you get to each piece of content, generally the better. We’re always craving more readers, more social shares and more comments.
As with teasing your readers with what content you have coming up in future, you can also let influencers and friends in your industry know about it at the same time so that they can share your content when it does go live.
This can help increase social shares of your content and even get it listed on industry roundups – opening you up to a wider audience. Contacting influencers helps you expand your network also which could lead to beneficial partnerships such as sharing each other’s content, creating interviews and doing business together.
If your content can be placed in more places than just your blog then again you are reaching a wider audience. Perhaps it includes a Powerpoint demo that can be uploaded on Slideshare, or images that are worthy of Pinterest or Flickr, or answers to questions on Reddit or Quora. These different social media channels are vital in getting your content in front of as many people as possible.
Your business or your client is going to want to see results so it’s worth taking into consideration all seven of these tips to improve your content marketing.
If you get it right you should see an increase in your audience to help you increase the number of customers, in turn this should lead to increased sales volume and essentially improve your bottom line and generate awareness of your brand.
Google’s search ranking algorithms sure keep us on our toes, but the complexity is just part of the fun! Why won’t Google just tell us what to do to improve our position? Google Search Console (formally Google Webmaster Tools, as of May 20) might be the closest we’ll get to Google whispering the secret to successful search in our ear.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console offers insight into how Googlebots view your site, how it appears in search results, and how your audience interacts with those search results.
It’s a looking glass into your search efforts and helps you monitor, optimize, and maintain your website. (You’ll notice some overlap if you currently use Google Analytics. For example, you’ll see a breakdown of your most popular landing pages in both tools, but Google Search Console takes it a step further to show your placement in search results for specific keywords.)
The Search Console dashboard is a quick look into your site’s current status, and the left navigation offers a deep dive into search appearance, search traffic, Google Index, crawl status, and security issues.
Instead of listing all the functionality bundled into Google Search Console, we’ll focus on two main assets: is your website performing at an optimum level? Are your SEO efforts paying off?
Google Search Console measures website performance
Google Search Console monitors your site’s health and performance to ensure you maximize your website investment. It offers granular insight into the complex inner-workings of how Google sees and experiences your website, but also actionable fixes that a non-technical person can understand and correct.
For example, Under Crawl, you can check Googlebot’s crawl activity for the last 90 days. Among many other features, you can check and correct URL errors across desktops, mobile, and featured phones.
Under Search Appearance, the HTML Improvements tab calls out corrections for your site’s user experience and performance. Correcting duplicate meta descriptions, for example, is usually a quick and immediate issue you can resolve.
You can also improve overall search results by controlling some of the information users see. This is just the tip of useful resources to explore in Search Console.
Google Search Console helps measure SEO success
Search Console is the best way to shake Google until you get SEO answers!
Under Search Analytics, Search Console spells out the most popular search queries driving people to your site and the search results generating clicks. (Search Console’s ability to deliver search queries is especially important, in light of Google Analytics’ change to SSL and ‘keyword not provided’ in metrics).
This section provides rich SEO information:
• Queries: the keywords people type into a browser to find your site or that returns your site in search results
• Pages: your landing pages people visit from organic search
• Countries: countries where the search originates
• Search Type: filters search results in Google Images, Video, or Web search
• Devices: breaks down results by desktop, mobile, and tablet
For each set of data you can measure clicks, impressions, click-through rate, and search position.
These factors tell you if you’re reaching enough people and if they’re clicking (aka, is it working?), so you can develop a more successful search strategy around topics resonating with your audience. (If the site pages you deem most important aren’t listed under your Top Pages, you have work to do.)
Understanding popular search queries can also help you develop audience personas and fresh content ideas to target users with specific questions.
Similarly, under Links To Your Site, Search Console quantifies sources linking the most frequently to your site and the specific content that is getting the most traction.
You can even check for mobile usability issues under Search Traffic, a huge factor in light of Mobilegeddon.
Setting up Google Search Console
Sign up for free at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/. First, add your website’s URL in the property field. You’ll then have to verify that you own your website. There are many verification options, but we’ve found the Alternate Method: HTML tag option to be easiest.
1. Click the Html Meta Tag
2. Copy the provided meta tag and paste it into your site’s home page in the <head> section, before the first <body> section.
3. Click Verify.
(Don’t remove the meta tag, even after verification succeeds.)
Unlike duking it out in the search competition, setting up Google Search Console is easy!
Linking your Google Search Console + Google Analytics account
We highly recommend linking your Search Console account with your Google Analytics account for a 360 view of your site performance and activity. To do so:
1. From the Search Console homepage, select Manage Site
2. Select “Google Analytics Property.”
3. Choose your website property. Click save.
You’re halfway there! Now you need to make sure all that rich data is accessible in your analytics account.
1. In Google Analytics, go to Acquisition – Search Engine Optimization – Queries.Select “Set up Webmaster Tools data sharing.”
2. Review and modify settings to meet your needs.
3. Scroll down to Webmaster Tools Settings at the bottom of the page, click the edit link, and select your website.
4. Hit save.
Enjoy the best of both worlds: a wealth of information about your website and site visitors in one place.
Google Search Console is your search ally
Brands should monitor data on Google Analytics, AdWords, and other search tools to make cautious tweaks and changes reflective of consistent trends, instead of rushing to modify at the slightest traffic peak or valley. Used in concert with other search tools, Google Search Console offers a holistic view of actions to take today to improve your site and search results.
I help a lot of companies with website redesigns or CMS migrations (from an SEO standpoint). As part of that process, it’s extremely important to download all of a website’s top landing pages so you can check them in staging and when the redesign or migration goes live. By doing so, you can test the pages to ensure they resolve correctly before you pull the trigger, and then right after you launch. Basically, you can nip serious SEO problems in the bud by crawling those urls.
I also help a lot of large-scale websites with redesigns or migrations. For example, sites with 500K, 1M, or more pages that need to be downloaded, crawled, and analyzed. For situations like that, it’s not simple to export the top landing pages from Google Analytics. Unfortunately, you cannot export urls in bulk from the UI. You are limited to 5K urls per report. Then you would need to click to the next page in the pagination to retrieve the next 5K rows. That’s not efficient, to say the least.
You could also tap into the GA API, but you need programming skills. That’s unless you leverage a tool or plugin that has the functionality built for you. More on that soon. 🙂
The GA rowCount Hack is Gone
There used to be a hack in Google Analytics that let you manually set the row count in your reports via the url in your browser. I loved that feature, since it enabled me to get around the issue I mentioned above. For example, I could add rowCount%3D15000 in the url, and boom, I had a report with 15K rows of data.
Well, Google Analytics removed the ability to do that and now the most you can get in one batch is five 5K rows. Sure, you can click to the second page of results and keep exporting, but that gets old quickly. Exporting up to 5K pages is fine for some smaller sites, but not if you have hundreds of thousands of pages, or more.
So, wouldn’t it be great if there was some plugin or add-in that could help with this? Well, there is. Read on!
Analytics Edge for Excel
While researching options last year, I came across an Excel add-in called Analytics Edge. The add-in is packed with functionality, including the ability to export pages from Google Analytics with ease. And not just export pages, but export them in bulk! That’s exactly what I was looking for.
Again, the plugin can do many things for you, but I’ll just focus on exporting top landing pages from Google Analytics. If you are going through a redesign or migration, and want to export all of the top landing pages from organic search, then this could be a great solution for you. It has worked extremely well for me.
Note, there is a free version of the add-in that contains the Google Analytics connector. You can also pay more for the “Core” add-in, which gives you even more functionality. The screenshots below are from the core add-in, so you might see slightly different options with the free version. Now let’s get started.
How To Export Top Landing Pages From Google Analytics (Beyond 5K)
1. Download and install the Analytics Edge add-in for Excel. Then register the add-in to get started.
2. Click the Analytics Edge menu at the top of the worksheet to access the various options available to you.
3. Click “Free Google Analytics” in the menu and then “Accounts”. You will need to connect the add-in to your Google account so you can access various properties and views in GA. You should enter the account that’s tied to your Google Analytics properties and views. Note, you can add several Google accounts for future access, if needed.
4. Next, click “Free Google Analytics” and then “Analytics Reporting”. A small macro box will show up, which will capture the commands you are using via the add-in. Simply name your macro to move on.
5. Here’s where the magic takes place. This is where you will choose the settings for your new report. First, select a login and then a view. The options will match the Google account(s) you entered previously.
6. Next, choose the dimensions and metrics you want to see in your report. For this example, I’ll keep it simple. We’ll choose landing pages, sessions, and bounce rate.
7. Instead of clicking finish, let’s select the Dates tab. There are some presets here like “Last 30 Days”, but you can enter a custom date as well. I’ll choose “Last 30 Days” to keep this simple.
8. If you click the “Sort” tab, you can sort by sessions (which is typically what we would want for top landing pages).
9. Last, but not least, we want organic search data for this example. So head over to the “Segments” tab and select “Organic Traffic” in the list. This will limit the data to landing pages from organic search.
10. Then click Finish. Analytics Edge will begin pulling the data from Google Analytics. Note, for larger sites, this could take a while. Be patient. You’ll notice the plugin says, “Running…” and you might see the Query Status window showing the number of rows downloaded.
11. Once completed, you’ll see a “Step Results” worksheet filled with data. You’ll also notice there are only 50 records in the sheet. This is where most people freak out and think the plugin screwed up. It didn’t. It’s simply showing you a sample of the data that was pulled. If all looks ok, then you need to write the data to a new worksheet.
12. To write the data to a new worksheet, you need to click “File” in the Analytics Edge menu, and then “Write Worksheet”. You can name your new worksheet whatever you like and then click OK. Once you do, you’ll notice a new worksheet with all of your data. For the view I used, I retrieved 98K top landing pages from organic search over the past 30 days. Awesome.
Bonus: The only thing left to do here is to use the concatenate function to build the full url. Once you do, you can export that list and crawl it via Screaming Frog, Deep Crawl, etc. You can read more about checking top landing pages in a recent post of mine. There are some helpful tips in that post once you have a final set of urls.
Summary – Breaking Through The 5K Limit
For those of you that are working on large-scale sites, the process I documented above can help you export many more urls than you could via the UI in Google Analytics. By using an Excel add-in like Analytics Edge, you can export hundreds of thousands of urls, if needed (and all in one shot.) That will save you time, and your sanity.