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Google Analytics Tip: Blog Tag Analysis

July 29, 2010

Want to optimize your blog? If so, you may have some questions about the best way to configure and structure your blog in order to provide the best user experience, while also taking advantage of all of the potential SEO benefits. Understanding these aspects of the blogosphere can help you make the right decisions for how to improve yoru blog, and better understand the potential risks and rewards of making such changes. We’re here to help you get there!

This post dives into one of our favorite Google Analytics Tips that we use to analyze and optimize Blogs. Specifically, we recommend that you evaluate the utilization of Blog Tags (or topics, categories, and etc). It is useful to help you understand the tag benefits and/or impacts in regards to navigation and user experience, compared to the benefits of driving quality organic search traffic.

There are two aspects of Blog Tag analysis which will be shared in detail:

  1. External Tag Traffic to evaluate SEO Benefits
  2. Internal Tag Activity to evaluate UX/Navigation Benefits

External Tag Traffic to Evaluate SEO Benefits

Understanding External Tag Traffic is done by filtering users that came from a SERP (Search Engine Result Page) listing for a Blog Tag page.

How To: This is done by setting up the filters on the “Content > Top Landing Pages” report in Google Analytics to identify users whose landing page includes “/tag/” and the source is organic (e.g. default advanced segment “Non-Paid Search Traffic” is applied).

Google Analytics Advanced Segment Non-Paid Search Traffic
How to set Google Analytics Advanced Segment for Non-Paid Search Traffic

Here is a screenshot including the “/Tag/” folder for landing pages to show the SEO impact of Tags. An interesting metric is the bounce rate. At 62% this seems pretty high, but this rate is 25% lower than the bounce rate for the rest of the site. This shows that user expectations are more satisfied and the Tag pages are providing value, but the pageviews is only 0.52% (less than 1 percent!) of total site traffic. Thus, this is not currently providing a substantial amount of organic traffic value.

Google Analytics Landing Page (External Tag Analysis) Filter
Google Analytics Landing Page Filter for External Tag Analysis

Internal Tag Activity to evaluate UX/Navigation Benefits

Understanding External Tag Traffic is done by filtering users that clicked on an internal Blog Tag link because they were interested in reading more posts on this topic.

How To: This is done by setting up the filters on the “Content > Top Content” report in GA to identify users who visited a “/Tag/” page, the landing page excludes “/tag/” and the source is all traffic (i.e. not segmented).

Google Analytics Content Advanced Filters
Google Analytics Top Content Filter for Internal Tag Analysis

Here is a screenshot of the filter strategy to show the user experience impact of Tags. Below you can see an important setting is the “landing page” option that is selected in the drop-down (above the results list) to add the additional column for landing pages. Then in the advanced filter (shown above) you set landing pages to exclude the “/Tag/” folder.

An interesting metric to pay attention to is the exit rate. At 23% this is 68% lower than the rest of the site which shows this is providing value but the pageviews are only 0.18% of total site traffic.

Thus, this is not a key aspect of the navigation or overall user experience.

Google Analytics Content Filter Example
Google Analytics Content Filter Example (Blog Tags)

Want more tips?

Let us know what types of Google Analytics Tips you are interested in and we will keep posting more Google Analytics tips that help you gain more actionable insight. Feel free to ask a question in the comments!

Need Help configuring your Google Analytics to get actionable insight like this? Learn more about our Google Analytics Consulting services.

Kayden Kelly
About the Author

Kayden is the founder and CEO of Blast Analytics & Marketing. He leads overall strategy and execution in positioning Blast as a leading analytics and digital marketing consulting company. An industry trailblazer who stays ahead of trends and opportunities, Kayden has spent nearly two decades building his expertise in all areas, with a deep focus on analytics, search engine optimization, and user experience. He is an evangelist for “the customer,” helping clients create sustainable competitive advantage by developing, optimizing, distributing, and connecting valuable content to customer needs. Connect with Kayden on LinkedIn. Kayden Kelly has written on the Web Analytics Blog.

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