All websites that subscribe to the Growth, Promote, or Maximize marketing packages will receive an SEO report at the beginning of each month. The report shows the most important metrics to look at when determining the success of your website’s SEO. The data is sourced from Google Analytics, which tracks user activity through a code in your website’s back end.
Refer to the definitions below to understand how to read your Monthly SEO Reports:
By default, we track the data from the past month. Under each metric, you may see a green or red arrow along with a percentage - this compares the last month’s performance with the month before it.
For example, if you receive your report on March 1st, then the data in the report is from February 1-28. February’s data is also compared against January. For example, if you look at “Organic Sessions”, notice that there is a green arrow accompanied by the figure “7.0%”, that means that organic traffic was 7.0% higher than it was in January.
This section details key performance indicators for the organic traffic your site received over the past month.
Organic Sessions - A session is counted anytime a user is actively engaged with your website. It is possible for a user to have more than one session.
Organic sessions, specifically, refers to sessions from users who found the website via an organic search. This means that they found your website after clicking on your website’s link in the search engine results page - not including paid ads.
Organic Pageviews - “Pageviews” refers to the total number of times that any page on your website was viewed. This number is normally much higher than the number of sessions because users can visit more than one page per session. This metric looks at users who found the website via an organic search.
For example, if a user visits your website and comes upon the home page, then clicks on your “services” page, then clicks on your “contact” page, then leaves the website, then they have racked up 3 pageviews.
Avg. Session Duration - This is the average time that each organic session on the website lasted. The higher the number, the better. Websites that have lots of engaging content and photos tend to see users spending more time on their website per session.
Pages / Sessions - This refers to the average number of pages organic users look at per website session. The higher the number of pages per session, the better. When users visit multiple pages per session, it’s a sign that you have an engaging website that entices them to look at more pages.
New Users - These are first-time organic users who haven’t visited your website in the selected date range. It is subjective whether a higher percentage of users is good or bad. A high percentage of new users may signal that your website reaches a lot of people, but a lot of so-called “new users” may also be bot traffic or users who “bounce” (explained below). A lower percentage of new users means that many users are returning to your website often. Returning users can be a good thing, but you want to make sure that these return visitors are bringing you revenue - which is why it’s important to measure your success via tracking conversions instead of traffic or rankings.
Bounce Rate - A “bounce” refers to any time that a user visits your website then immediately leaves. Some bounces could be due to bot traffic but it can also come from real people. There are many reasons why a user might “bounce” - they may have clicked the wrong link, the site may have taken a long time to load, or they couldn’t find what they wanted to when looking at the website.
It is normal for websites to have some bounces. If you notice a high bounce rate or an increased bounce rate month over month, then it is important to find out what could be causing it. There might be an increase in bot traffic, or perhaps image file sizes are too large and are causing your site to take a long time to load. Your site design may also be too busy or not user-friendly, which may turn off some visitors.
Contact Form Submissions / Contact Page Visits / Form Completions - If your website has any forms that users fill out and submit, we track those on these reports. Based on the third party form provider, the metric may be tracked via the actual submissions or tracked by the number of times users visited the page where the form is located.
Organic Phone Calls - This section counts the number of phone calls that you received from users who found the website via an organic search. Here is our guide that describes how organic phone calls are tracked and identified.
This graph shows the total number of sessions on your site over the past month, broken out by source. Organic users are users who come to your website through search engines such as Google or Bing. Referral users are users sent to your website from a link on another website. (none) refers to visitors sent to your website by directly typing your website's URL into the browser, and "other" refers to visitors coming to your website through any other means.
This graph is similar to the “total sessions” graph above, except this one only shows organic sessions over the past month.
This table expands upon the “Organic Traffic” section of your report. This section shows how many organic, direct, social, and referral visitors your site received over the past month, and how they interacted with your site.
Below is a description of each channel grouping:
Organic Search - Users who found your website from an organic result on a search engine result pages.
Direct - These are users who came to your website by directly typing your domain name into their internet browser. These users could have likely found your website name through an offline advertisement or promotional material. They may also be repeat visitors - many internet browsers will auto-fill URLs after users have visited the website, which makes it easier to find a website via its URL.
Social - These are users who clicked on your website from a social website like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Referral - This refers to users who found your website from a link on another website. It is important to have interesting and unique content on your website, as this makes it more likely that other websites will reference you with a link to your website.
(Other) - This refers to all other traffic or data that is undefined or data that is not tracked by Google due to a user’s privacy settings.
Geo Network Performance
This table shows the top geographic locations of visitors to your website. Google Analytics gathers this data by using the IP address of the visitor. The data below is a rough guess of where the visitors were located. The (not set) category refers to a location that Google was unable to determine, or has declined to share due to the user's privacy settings.
This table is the best way to guess where bot traffic is coming from. If your business is located in Texas but keeps getting traffic from New York, London, or Moscow, then there is a good chance that those are bots and not real users. Generally, bots “bounce” after visiting the site after a few seconds, so you may notice that the bounce rate is high and the average session duration is low for bot traffic.
Top 10 Website Areas
This table contains the top 10 viewed areas on your website. If you notice a page with a backslash after the name, such as “/services/”, that denotes that it is a parent page. When you see this, that means that the data includes the pageviews of child pages within their area on the website. If you see the same page without the backslash (“/”), then the data is only being counted for that one page and not its child pages.
For example, if you have a “services” page, which then has three smaller pages contained within, such as “catering” and “bakery”, the services page would be the parent and the catering and bakery are the child pages.
Past 12 Months - Organic Traffic
This table shows metrics such as the number of users, percentage of new sessions, total sessions, bounce rate, average session duration, and page views for each month within the last year.
This chart is a good indicator of changes and trends in your website traffic over time. Many businesses might be affected by seasonality, which describes when traffic dips or surges during certain times of the year due to forces beyond the control of SEO. For example, a florist may see spikes in traffic to their websites during Valentine’s Day or during winter holidays.
If you have any more questions about how to read your Monthly SEO Report, feel free to send us a support ticket or give us a call so that we can connect with your point of contact and schedule an in-depth phone call!