First, a framework
When looking at data, follow the cycle of gathering information, asking questions, analyzing insights, and acting on those insights — and repeating. With this process, we can use data and operationalize it in order to constantly optimize our digital strategy. To start, ask your team, “What are you trying to figure out?” Then, use this approach (along with awesome tools like Google Analytics) to find the answer.
How is organic traffic doing year over year?
Our question for today is “How is organic traffic growing year over year?” Organic traffic is search behavior, or how people are finding your website via search engines like Google. Typically, organic traffic makes up 50% of a website’s traffic sources. We aim for 10-20% growth in organic traffic year over year. This pace is ambitious, but a strong indicator of increased awareness and impact.
How to find it
Go to your Google Analytics account and refer to the top right corner where you can choose the desired date range. Choose the last full month, and then choose “Compare to” and “Previous year.” We look at month versus month, year over year because then we are controlling for seasonal factors.
Next, go to Audience followed by Overview to see how traffic and goals are increasing or decreasing. To dive deeper into organic traffic, go to Acquisition » All Traffic » Channels, and you can see whether or not your organic traffic is increasing or decreasing.
In this example from Power Poetry, when we look at November 2016 compared to November 2015, we see that organic traffic was actually down by almost 5%. The action we took to address this decrease was to build out more content.
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