Building an SEO Dashboard is important to any analyst and digital marketer. Websites get more than 50% of their traffic from SEO. There are trillions of searches on Google alone. So you can’t deny that measuring SEO performance and interpreting the data are critical.
Google Data Studio hastens the process and removes any manual work. This guide shows how to build an SEO dashboard in GDS on your own. Automated and interactive.
SEO Dashboard in Google Data Studio
1. Google Search Console Installation
2. Google Data Studio
Have access to Google Search Console and Google Data Studio to get much from this guide. Before doing an SEO dashboard in Data Studio, install Google Search Console first. A Google account, whether a personal Gmail or G Suite, is needed.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is where you track website’s SEO performance. The SEO dashboard on Google Data Studio needs this bit first.
1 – Go to Google Search Console and log-in.
2 – Once inside, click “Add property” on the upper left.
3 – For simplicity, choose “URL Prefix” on the right. Enter the main domain. The URL should be a complete name.
Note: https and www are added if this is part of the main domain. If the main domain is https://yourdomain.com (no www), then add that one instead. This is important in the data collection phase. Consult with an SEO specialist or digital analyst for clarity.
4 – Next is you verify the property. There are two ways. Choose one.
a) via Google Analytics or
b) via Google Tag Manager
Choose Google Analytics and click Verify. If that doesn’t work, Choose Google Tag Manager and click Verify.
Note: You shouldn’t have a problem with verification if all conditions are met:
a – The email access to Google Search Console is the same email access to Google Analytics.
b – The email address has access to Google Analytics.
c – The Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager tracking code is already installed on the website.
Consult with an analyst if the verification doesn’t work. This shouldn’t be a problem since you have access to all data sources anyway. It’s a bigger issue if Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager isn’t installed yet.
Let it gather data for a couple of days. Once you gather the data, you see something like this:
What do the metrics mean?
Total clicks – The number of clicks from the Google search results page going to the website.
Total impressions – The number of times the website appeared on the Google search results page.
Average click-through rate (CTR) – The average percentage of clicks from the impressions. Calculated as clicks divided by impressions (total clicks / total impressions).
Average position – The estimated ranking of the website for a specific SEO keyword.
The data gathered in Google Search Console is transferable to Google Data Studio. You are done with Google Search Console.
Now to the next phase…
Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio is a data visualization tool from Google. You use the metrics collected from Google Search Console.
1 – Go to Google Data Studio and log-in with the same email.
2 – Click “Create” from the top left. Then click “Data source”.
3 – Search for “search console” and pick the choice.
4 – Once inside, choose the domain you want data from. This is the same domain in the Google Search Console you added earlier.
5 – Choose “Site impression” under Tables.
6 – Name the data source.
7 – Click the “Connect” or “Add” button on the right side. This adds the data source in the Data Studio internal drive.
8 – Click “Create Report”. You should have a prompt “Add to report” in the end.
You should now have an empty canvas for the dashboard. Now add metrics…
1 – Click “Add a control” from the top. Click “Date range control” and drag it on the canvas.
2 – Click “Add a control” from the top. Click the first “Scorecard” and drag it on the canvas.
3 – Click “Add a control” from the top. Click the first “Time series” and drag it on the canvas.
You’d see something like this…
At this point, you now have a solid foundation for adding SEO metrics on the dashboard. You can add other metrics from Google Search Console. You can design the SEO dashboard further by using the navigation on the right.
Designing a comprehensive dashboard requires dedication and time. It requires a deep understanding on how to use Google Data Studio. You may copy dashboard templates from other websites. You’d see something like this in the end.
Note: Google Data Studio can import other SEO tools through Supermetrics. This connector can import data from the following:
– Google My Business
– Bing Webmaster Tools
– SEMrush Analytics
Bonus: Using the scatter chart in Google Data Studio
This section is inspired by an article from notprovided.eu. A scatter chart is one of the built-in charts in Google Data Studio. What makes the scatter chart effective with SEO is you see the relation of SEO metrics with each other. It’s an opportunity to find low hanging fruit optimizations.
I’ll explain the usefulness of this chart but first, let’s add it to the SEO dashboard.
1 – Click “Add a chart” at the top. Click one of the scatter chart and drag it on the canvas.
2 – Click the scatter chart. Follow the data filters for the navigation pane.
Metric X: Average Position
Metric Y: Clicks
Bubble Size Metric: Site CTR
Sort ascending for Average Position
In this case, you use average position on the x-axis; clicks on the y-axis. How it looks will depend on the data that Google Search Console is collecting.
What’s the function of this chart?
This shows the correlation of 2 metrics: Average position and clicks. In SEO, the higher the average position, the higher the odds of getting more clicks on Google.
This visualization shows the low hanging fruit keyword to optimize for. This lessens the unbearable data cleaning in Excel. This chart expedites the data collection side and helps you focus on data analysis.
What makes this chart useful?
Let’s say that you’re looking for SEO keywords that will improve an SEO campaign. See the example below.
– The encircled SEO keyword has an average position of 20.
– For this average position, it gathers around 50 clicks.
– If this keyword is optimized, the average position increases.
– When the average position ranks higher to the first page, the clicks and click-through rate increase. It will boost the clicks.
– Higher clicks and click-through rate translates to higher traffic on the website.
– There’s an opportunity to mine other SEO keywords that are relevant for the business.
You see these potential keywords in Google Data Studio much faster in a more visual way. What’s great about the scatter chart is that the Google Data Studio features are at your disposal. You can filter by metric range, change colors, other SEO keywords, device, etc.
Conclusion – Build an SEO dashboard for performance improvements
There are steps to create an interactive dashboard and measure SEO performance. Once the dashboard is created, the data analysis is easier and actionable in the end.
Marketers measure sales funnels and blog performance. Building an SEO dashboard in Google Data Studio is also super helpful. Measuring website performance on SEO is as critical. One can’t ignore the impact of search engines. This is one of the high traffic sources of the digital space.