Google Analytics 4

How to Use Google Analytics 4 for SEO Monitoring

Gary Spagnoli
November 7, 2023

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still a big deal, helping websites get free traffic and boost their online presence. But SEO isn't a one-size-fits-all solution; it's an ever-changing field that needs constant attention and tweaks to get the best results. That's where Google Analytics 4 (GA4) comes in.

GA4 is a powerful tool that has changed the way we understand website analytics. While it's the next version of Universal Analytics (UA), GA4 offers a whole new way to track and interpret user data, making it a game-changer for SEO pros and website owners. In this blog post, we'll explore how you can use GA4 to level up your SEO monitoring strategy, optimize your website's SEO strategy and achieve your digital goals.

Table of Contents 

  • How to Integrate GA4 with Google Search Console
  • Other GA4’s SEO Specific Reports
  • Organic Search Data in Traffic Acquisition report 
  • Organic Search Data in Conversions report
  • Organic Data in Landing Page Report
  • Other Reports in GA4 to Measure SEO Performance
  • Demographic report
  • Mobile Traffic
  • Automated Insights
  • Helpful GA4 Tips for Effective SEO monitoring
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are the next steps?
  • Final Word

How to Integrate GA4 with Google Search Console 

  1. In Google Analytics, click Admin.
  2. Make sure you are in the correct account and property.
  3. In the Property column, under PRODUCT LINKS, click Search Console Links.
  4. In the link table, click Link.
  5. If you are a verified owner for one or more Search Console properties, in the row for Link to Search Console properties I manage, click Choose accounts, then select the account you want to link your property to.
  6. Click Confirm.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Select the web data stream for your site.
  9. Click Next, then review and submit your configuration settings.

Now, you need to understand that The Search Console’s collection of reports is unpublished by default. After the linking, you must Publish the Search Console collection to make it available to everyone with access to the Analytics property. Here are the steps: 

You need the Editor role to publish a collection.

  1. In the left navigation, click Library (at the bottom of the left navigation). If you don't see the Library, you don't have Edit permission.
  2. Locate your collection card, e.g., "Search Console."
  3. Click More (three dots - action icon).
  4. Click Publish.

Once the linkage is complete, you’ll find two(2) new reports under the Search Console report. 

  • Google Organic Search Queries: Here, you’ll find the keywords users entered in the Google search engine. Note that the dimensions you can use for drill-downs are the same as those in the Search Console – Landing pages, Countries, and Devices.

  • Google Organic Search Traffic: Here, the report focuses more on your site’s landing pages but is based on organic search traffic and metrics from Search Console. The table can be drilled down by the Device and Country Dimensions. 

Other GA4’s SEO Specific Reports

Beyond these standard reports, GA4 offers additional ways to delve into specific SEO metrics. Let's explore these methods to gain deeper insights into your website's SEO performance.

Organic Search Data in Traffic Acquisition report 

  1. In your Google Analytics account, go to Reports → Acquisition →  Traffic acquisition.
  2. Filter Session Default Channel Grouping by “Organic Search”.

Organic Search Data in Conversions Report

  1. In your Google Analytics account, go to Reports → Engagement →  Conversion report.
  2. Add a secondary dimension by clicking the + Plus sign and select First User Medium.
  3. In the search bar above the Primary Dimension, type Organic and press Enter.

Organic Data in Landing Page Report

  1. In your Google Analytics account, go to Reports → Engagement →  Landing Page report. 
  2. Click the + Plus sign and select First User Medium. 
  3. In the search bar above the Primary Dimension, type Organic and press Enter.

Other Reports in GA4 to Measure SEO Performance

Demographic Report

Understanding your audience's demographics can significantly improve your content strategy. Google Analytics 4 provides a report that gives insights into your users' geographic location, age group, and other demographic data. This information can help you understand who your content is reaching and guide your future content creation and marketing efforts.

  1. In your Google Analytics account, go to Reports→ User → Demographic details. 
  2. Add a secondary dimension by clicking the + Plus sign and select First User Medium.
  3. In the search bar above the Primary Dimension, type Organic and press Enter.

Mobile Traffic

Understanding mobile traffic is as important as any other reports. For example, high bounce rates for the mobile category may indicate that your site is not mobile-friendly.

  1. In your Google Analytics account, go to  Reports→ User → Tech details. 
  2. Add a secondary dimension by clicking the + Plus sign and selecting First User Medium. 
  3. In the search bar above the Primary Dimension, type Organic and press Enter.

Automated Insights

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) automatically generates insight cards, which may include organic search data.

To view these cards, click the Insights icon in the upper right corner of the page when you are in a GA4 report.

In the Insights section under User Acquisition, check the automatically generated insight for organic search information.

Helpful GA4 Tips for Effective SEO monitoring

Here are a few tips on how to use GA4 for SEO monitoring:

  1. Set up goals and conversions: In GA4, goals and conversions are used to track the actions that you want visitors to take on your website. For example, you might set up a goal for completing a contact form or making a purchase. Once you have set up goals and conversions, you can track them in GA4 to see how well your SEO efforts are working.
  2. Track your organic traffic: GA4 provides detailed insights into your website's organic traffic, including which keywords are driving the most traffic and which pages are ranking highest in search results. This information can help you identify which keywords to target in your SEO efforts and which pages to optimize.
  3. Analyze your user behavior: GA4 allows you to track how users behave on your website, including which pages they visit, how long they stay on each page, and what actions they take. This information can help you identify areas where your website needs improvement, such as pages with high bounce rates or low conversion rates.
  4. Compare your performance to your competitors: GA4 allows you to compare your website's performance to that of your competitors. This information can help you identify areas where you need to improve your SEO efforts in order to rank higher in search results.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is SEO data different in GA4 compared to Universal Analytics?

GA4 uses an event-based data model, which is a significant change from Universal Analytics, which used a session-based data model. This means that SEO data in GA4 is more granular and flexible, allowing you to track a wider range of user interactions and behaviors.

What SEO data is available in GA4?

GA4 provides a wealth of SEO data, including:
Organic Traffic: Track the number of visitors who came to your website from organic search results.
Keyword Performance: See which keywords are driving traffic to your website and how your pages are ranking for those keywords.
Landing Page Performance: Analyze the performance of your landing pages to see which ones are most effective at converting visitors into leads or customers.
User Engagement: Understand how users interact with your website after they arrive from organic search.

How can I make the most of GA4 for SEO reporting?

To make the most of GA4 for SEO reporting, we recommend that you:
Set up goals and conversions: This will help you track the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and identify areas where you can improve.
Use custom dimensions and metrics: This will allow you to track additional data that is not available in the built-in reports.
Create custom reports: This will allow you to track specific SEO metrics and dimensions that are important to your business.
Use machine learning insights: This can help you identify trends and opportunities that you may not have noticed on your own.

What Are the Next Steps?

If you want to learn more about the platform, we have provided some resources for you to continue your journey. These resources include:

Final Words

Overall, GA4 is a powerful tool that can be used to track and analyze a wide range of website data, including SEO performance. By using GA4 effectively, you can identify areas where your website needs improvement and track your progress over time.

GA4 surpasses its predecessor, Universal Analytics, by offering a holistic view of user behavior, tracking cross-platform interactions, and leveraging machine learning to provide actionable insights. 

In essence, GA4 is not merely a tool; it is an indispensable partner in the pursuit of SEO excellence. By embracing the power of GA4, you can transform your SEO strategies, unlock hidden opportunities, and elevate your digital presence to new heights.

Thank you for reading!

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