How This SEO Analytics Tracking Works
Here’s the general idea:
1. Someone clicks on an organic search results
2. The user lands on your site
3. A custom piece of code that you install on your site collects the keyword and the rank of the result using a Google Analytics event
4. Google Analytics will automatically calculate the average position for the result
5. You create indexes of keywords and analyze the data using the Event reports OR Excel and the GA API
Things to Keep in Mind with new SEO Google Analytics Method
Basically what they are doing here is manipulating the event tracking option to track rankings. It is a great idea, however, there are some things to keep in mind.
Segments are Key
First, if you are looking at the average ranking for all keywords on the website that data will probably not be very useful. Think of how many random keywords your site ranks for. Instead, I recommend looking at keyword segments and using those metrics to determine success.
Outliers Ruin Everything
Outliers will also be a factor. While this new SEO analytics tracking method will only track keywords that you get traffic for, there is potential that it will track a keyword that is listed on page 20 but just so happened to get one click. This can greatly throw of your average ranking data.
Final Word on New Google Analytics SEO Tracking Method
Google has been jumbling rankings lately due to their new patient so it makes sense to use an average. However, whenever you are using a new form of data it is important to keep points like outliers and segments in mind.
Kudos to these guys for making this work with event tracking, but I don’t really see it as a long term solution. Why not just look at the search engine optimization tab in analytics? The data is very similar. Also, I am sure Google will offer this data in a more formal manner at some point. Why force it?