5 Ways to Use Google Data Studio to Improve Your SEO | WordStream
Google Data Studio has long been a go-to tool for visualizing your data and mining insights. But now that it is integrated with Looker (and actually now called Looker Studio), it has become a powerhouse for analytics and business intelligence.
Looker Studio connects to any authorized third party data source—Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Tableau, etc.—but for SEOs in particular, connecting to Google Analytics and other SEO tools gives you endless opportunities to improve your visibility, traffic, rankings, and site experience.
In this post, we’re going to share five ways you can use Google Looker Studio to improve your SEO.
5 ways to use Google Data Studio (Looker) to improve SEO
By connecting Data Studio to your SEO reporting tools—like Google Analytics, Search Console, and more, you can analyze organic performance, monitor site engagement, track goal completions, compare traffic sources, and stay on top of backlinks. The result? More traffic to your website and more sales, of course. Here’s how to do each of those.
1. Analyze organic traffic
With Google Data Studio’s numerous connectors, there are many ways to track organic traffic and engagement trends.
The best way to track organic performance is to connect to Google Analytics. Here’s how:
- Log into your Data Studio (https://datastudio.google.com/) and click “Create”
- Click “Data source”
- Choose Google Analytics
- If you’ve already set up your property parameters, you can enter the property to automatically import your data—images, videos, or URLs. You can also choose your parameter manually using the filters. If you’re not sure what a property is, here’s Google’s help page on properties.
- Narrow down your data with filters and dates. You can filter your data by channel, web pages, device type, country, etc., and more.
Here are some things to track:
- Clicks and CTR. Connect to Google Search Console and use the clicks and site CTR tab to check your site’s click-through rates over a specific period. A line chart will provide the best representation, and then you can use the weekly date range to spot trends from specific days. For instance, you can see a clear pattern shift over the weekends.
- Specific pages. Check for traffic patterns across specific web pages or sections of your site using the page filter option. Use a table or spreadsheet to draw a clearer comparison between different pages or page groups. This can be super helpful when conducting a content audit.
- Keyword performance. You can connect Data Studio to Google Analytics, Search Console queries, or similar SEO tools like Ahrefs and Moz to track keyword performance. The metrics you can see will vary depend on which data source you use. Moz, for example, has several connectors for tracking SERP visibility, including keyword rankings and changes, click share, ranking distribution, and more. Note that if your chosen tracker isn’t already an official partner connector, you can add them manually.
If you find your keyword performance is lacking, you may need to make some improvements to your on-page SEO. If you’re looking for keywords to target, try our Free Keyword Tool.
2. Monitor site search data
Understanding the terms your website visitors search when on your site search can help you to optimize your content and site architecture. There is no in-built functionality for this, so you need to add a widget to your Google Analytics. This Analytics Mania article explains how to set up site search insights in Google Analytics 4 by creating a view_search_results event and how to connect to Data Studio.
3. Track goal completions
With Google Data Studio, you don’t need to switch between multiple windows to keep track of your goals. Simply integrate with Google Analytics and you can track them all from your Data Studio dashboard.
You can then have visibility into the ROI of your campaigns and find clues to improve your conversion rates. Here’s how to do it.
- Click on the Add Chart tab on Google Analytics and choose Scorecard.
- Choose your metric and add your goal. For this example, I have goals set up in Google Analytics for bounce rate, so the goal I’m entering here is to reduce the bounce rate below 30%. The goal comparison is measured in percentages, so the target will be 30% divided by the current rate.
- You can set the ratio to be displayed in percentages or points, and visualize it with the chart of your choice. With that, I can easily see (or show my client) how close I’ve come to reducing bounce rate.
4. Investigate traffic sources
With Google Data Studio (Looker Studio), you can easily track which traffic sources work best in driving your particular goals, and whether those sources are search engines, social platforms, apps, marketplaces, and more.
With all of this, you can find new traffic opportunities and build a solid multichannel marketing plan.
Your dashboard can connect with various platforms for tracking traffic of any kind, but the Google Analytics connector brings most of them together in one spot.
For example, here’s how to track traffic from social media ads:
- Run your Google Analytics connector and go to Chart Data.
- Choose your data source. Facebook ad tracker, YouTube ad tracker, etc.
- Select your chart type. Some charts are more useful for specific purposes. For instance, a line chart comparing traffic from different age groups will clearly show the dominant age group of your traffic.
- Finetune your output. You can filter further with specifications like how many visitors converted and timeframe.
Some quick tips:
- Explore comparison charts and tables. For instance, you can show a correlation between your ROI and seasons, comparing the returns from lull seasons to peak periods.
- Measure your returns. You can also track your cost per result to find the most profitable channels. Open your chart data settings, choose a table or stacked chart as your chart type, and then enter the ad cost, impressions, and clicks as the metrics. Choose the timeframe for the comparison, and that’s it. We show you how to import cost data to Google Analytics here.
5. Analyze backlinks
If you want to rank higher on Google, you need to get high quality backlinks. If you connect your SEO tool to Google Data Studio, you can track your backlink profile to determine which referral links get the most traffic. The functionalities you can use to track referral links depend on your choice of connector, but here are some general tips.
- Spot high-potential referral sources. If you look only at traffic volume from your referral links, you could miss out on sources with high traffic potential. Instead, monitor for percentage increments in traffic. If you see a jump in traffic from a recent referral link, that site could be a great opportunity to reach out to and build more links.
- Track links in categories. You can use your dashboard’s filter to group data exported from your backlink tracker for easier tracking and referencing. For instance, you might exclude social media referral links or old backlinks.
Start using Google Looker Studio for SEO today
Thanks to the Looker integration, SEOs and marketers now have even more firepower in their Google Data Studio dashboard, with the list of platform partners and integrations growing by the day. These are the most effective ways for you to mine valuable insights about your website to improve traffic, ranking, and user experience:
- Organic performance
- Site search
- Goal completions
- Traffic sources
- Backlink profile
Give it a shot today!
Alex Medawar is a seasoned digital media expert focused on B2B paid search campaign management and strategy for global brands in the tech space. She believes that with a data-driven approach, both small businesses and large enterprises alike can speak to their audience and drive results within the digital media landscape. For tools, resources, and more visit alexmedawar.com.