Ultimate SEO Dashboard

Mixing again two of my favorite topics, SEO and Dashboarding but this time I would like you to help me create a very specific dashboard for SEO that I'll create and share with everybody, free to download from this page once it is ready to go.

Download the SEO dashboard: Matching Google WMT & Analytics keywords. First version.

What Analytics is got to do with SEO

There are two ways SEO and analytics interact. You do your stuff and wait to see what happens. I already explained to you how to do it with a dashboard to measure SEO performance. Post-action use of web analytics data flow.

The other way round, pre-action use of data. Besides a general strategy you might have for a SEO campaign, best practices and such things we all know, in a daily basis work you have to dig deep into data to find underperforming areas, discover unsuspected trends, outliers, correlations or any other pain point to heal as soon as possible. Then you make decisions, what is going to be your next actions, implement them and back to performance evaluation.

Objectives of the dashboard

The goal here is to create a dashboard going further than Google Analytics interface goes for SEO purposes or make scrutinize data easier for us. Not reinventing the wheel, just a free tool where you can do some simple settings, hit 'refresh' button and ready for surgery.

Data sources

In SEO world data sources for analysis are not limited to Google Analytics, or any measurement tool you installed. We have some other like… ranking reports? To say the truth it is pretty hard to drive clear conclusions from them due to their inconsistent accuracy. It is part of the game, we know. To spice up everything a bit more some keywords are now reported as not provided lately.

Google Analytics, not perfect but probably the best tool we have now to get hands dirty and successfully connect some dots so data from this tool is what we are going to be using. Its popularity is also going to help to make the dashboard useful for a larger audience.

Tools involved and limitations

It makes no sense at all having to do all this manual work: export data from Google Analytics, import it to a spreadsheet (data layer), do some math (analysis layer), and then create charts and tables (presentation layer).

We have a fabulous plugin that, using GA API, solves and automates the two first layers leaving everything ready for the presentation one in Excel: http://excel.nextanalytics.com

The advantage is that GA API is more flexible while pulling data from dimensions and metrics than the regular GA interface. The disadvantage is that the latest features and integrations in GA are not yet available via API like data from Webmaster Tools recently integrated added to the mix.

In any case, if someone comes with relevant data from other tool or service, rankings exported in CSV format to be imported to Excel for example, that could be integrated it would be welcome of course.

Wait, did I put together in the same sentence 'relevant' and 'rankings'? My apologies, it won't happen again.

Want to help creating your SEO dashboard?

It's simple:

  • Write down there in the comments what would you like to have in the dashboard
  • Contribute with your opinions to improve any ideas from others

I'll be moving the finest ideas here at the reportlets section.

Of course all contributors will be listed here and in the dashboard itself, authorship must be credited conveniently.

Reportlets

Here we a couple for an start:

Keywords to landing pages
List of pages (landing ones) receiving traffic from organic, obviously, + keywords + metrics like bounce or conversion rates.

This would help us check what keywords are driving traffic to what pages and how they contribute to conversions helping you guess where is the gap between your initial keyword research, content optimization and what is really happening with the visitors' keywords.

Landing pages not receiving organic traffic
A must have classic including some metrics. Any page with a decent conversion rate but receiving thin or not organic traffic at all?

Want to become a dashboard master?

You know, SEO consultants have to be like the Renaissance men, whose expertise spans across different areas. Analyze web traffic data and represent it in an insightful way is one of them.

There are many more but If you want to start somewhere mastering the noble art of dashboards here you have some resources

Chandoo Advanced Excel website is the place for almost daily pilgrimage.

Microsoft Excel dashboards & reports by Michael Alexander & John Walkenbach is THE book for your first dashboarding steps.

Why not? My presentation From KPIs to dashboards.

Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data & Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis by Stephen Few are books teaching you coloring numbers. In better words Visual Intelligence made right.

Google Analytics Data Export API: Reference, Query Explorer and Official group. Understanding how queries work will help you tame the learning curve with other software based on the API.

NextAnalytics does not only provide the tool previously described, also tons of ready to use dashboards and widgets.

Thanks in advance.

Nov 11, 2011
Written by:
Filed under: Analytics






4 comments
Nov 21, 2011
Posted by:
Kemeny #1

great idea. Hope to help. How about some social traffic reports? Engaged users? I´m not sure if this info is on the API, but at least from advanced segments, social traffic from sources and how they behave is an interesting piece of insight.

:)

Nov 21, 2011
Posted by:
Ani Lopez #2

Hi Francisco
Good idea to integrate some data from Social although this represents a challenge: if they are tagged correctly it can be analyzed as any other campaign. If not, it's just referral traffic but also mesurable.

Besides that, Next Analytics plugin does a fantastic job pulling data from Twitter and Facebook what let us measure the activity in those platforms but not it's direct relation to SEO.

Something we could probably add is how and how much visitors share our content on social networks. Lately services like AddThis or SahreThis integrate their activity directly in Analytics. I'm testing that now because i see a more direct relationship with SEO.

I'll keep on thinking about that. Thanks for your help.

Nov 28, 2011
Posted by:
Scott Krager #3

Building an SEO Dashboard is not easy. Everyone has their favorite reporting metrics and depending on the user they may be building it for themselves, their boss, or a client who thinks organic traffic has something to do with Whole Foods.

Best of luck on this, I'd love to help in any way possible.

Nov 28, 2011
Posted by:
Ani Lopez #4

Hi Scott.
No, it is not easy, you already know it :) but I'll try to add 2 cents to it. I'll be uploading the first one this week and I'll appreciate your comments.

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