June 30


What is Organic Search in Google Analytics?

By Hanson Cheng

June 30, 2023

  • minute read
  • Last Updated on June 30, 2023 by Hanson Cheng

    Organic search in Google Analytics is a term used to describe how users find and click on a website through non-paid searches on search engine results pages (SERPs). In other words, organic search results from a query entered by a user into a search engine like Google, and the matched results are presented based on relevance. It is an essential aspect of website traffic and search engine optimization (SEO) and is critical to understanding how visitors interact with a site and its content.

    Understanding organic search and how it works is vital for any business looking to grow its online presence. This article will highlight the fundamentals of organic search in Google Analytics, including what it is, how it works, and why it matters.

    The Importance of an Organic Search in Google Analytics

    Organic search in Google Analytics refers to the process of attracting unpaid traffic to your website through search engine results pages (SERPs). It involves optimizing your website to rank higher in these search results by targeting specific keywords that users might search for when looking for your products or services. The organic search aims to increase website visibility and drive more traffic to your site without relying on paid advertising.

    This traffic can come from various search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Google Analytics is a valuable tool that helps website owners track and analyze their website’s traffic, including organic search traffic. Understanding organic search is essential for developing a successful SEO strategy that boosts website ranking and drives targeted traffic to your site. Organic search is critical for businesses that rely on online traffic, as it is an effective way to drive more leads and conversions without spending on advertising.

    The Importance of Digital Marketing

    In the world of digital marketing, Organic Search plays a crucial role in driving traffic to your website, increasing your brand’s visibility, and generating leads. It is a term used to refer to the results that appear naturally on the search engine results page (SERP) without any dedicated visibility and traffic acquisition efforts. With Google Analytics at the forefront of tracking website traffic, measuring the success of organic search efforts becomes critical for any online business.

    By analyzing and understanding organic search data, businesses can learn about the customer’s behavior, preferences, and pain points, which can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and improve customer experiences. Furthermore, organic search is cost-effective and sustainable compared to pay-per-click advertising campaigns, as it requires no direct monetary investment. With this in mind, understanding the importance of organic search in Google Analytics is crucial for achieving long-term success in digital marketing.

    How Organic Search Works

    Search Engine Crawlers

    Search engine crawlers are programs designed to parse vast amounts of information on the internet to identify and index web pages. These crawlers, also known as spiders or bots, are constantly scouring the web to find new content and update old ones. Googlebot, the crawler used by Google, is one of the most well-known and efficient crawlers out there. When a user enters a query into the search engine, Googlebot scans its index to find the most relevant pages and displays them in order of relevance. Crawlers like Googlebot play a crucial role in determining the relevance of a web page to a user’s search query.

    They use algorithms to identify factors such as keywords, content freshness, backlinks, and overall website quality to determine a page’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). For webmasters, it is essential to ensure that their pages are easily accessible to crawlers and optimized for search engine indexing. This can be achieved by using techniques such as proper URL structure, optimizing title tags and meta descriptions, using header tags to organize content, and providing high-quality, relevant content that includes targeted keywords. 

    Indexing in Organic Searches

    One critical aspect of organic search is indexing. Google uses indexing to create an organized and comprehensive database of web pages. It scans and catalogs website content and provides relevant results to users based on their search queries. Google measures the breadth and depth of content on a website and indexes pages based on the crawl frequency. The higher the quality of content on a website, the higher the rank in Google’s search results.

    This is why companies invest heavily in getting their pages indexed or improving their ranking. To improve indexing, it is important to ensure an SEO-optimized website. Website owners should focus on a good website structure and relevant keywords. In addition, creating high-quality, original content regularly can help to maintain the website’s relevance to the user’s search query.


    The ranking is a crucial factor in determining the success of a website’s organic search strategy. It refers to the order in which search engine results pages (SERPs) display links to web pages related to a particular search query. Search engines like Google use complex algorithms that take into account hundreds of variables to determine rankings. Some of the key factors include relevance to the search query, user engagement metrics, and the quantity and quality of backlinks.

    The higher a website ranks in the SERPs, the more likely users are to click on its link and visit the site. This is why businesses invest significant time and effort in improving their ranking position. Improving ranking involves a combination of keyword optimization, content creation, and link building. Through these techniques, website owners can send signals to search engines that their site is trustworthy, authoritative, and provides value to users. Effective organic search strategies can drive traffic to a website and enhance brand awareness, improve online reputation, and ultimately increase revenue.

    Organic Search Metrics in Google Analytics


    Organic Search Metrics provide significant insights into website traffic generated by search engines. Session is a crucial metric that denotes a single user’s interaction with a website in a specific time frame. It reflects a user’s behavior from the moment they enter the website until they leave, indicating the overall time spent on the site. It is a valuable metric for optimizing website content to improve user engagement and retention.

    To track organic search sessions, Google Analytics utilizes a tracking code that triggers each time a user enters the site. It then generates data that reveals visitors’ channels to find the site and the keywords that led them there. Monitoring sessions allows website managers to identify top-performing pages and assess visitor behavior, including bounce rates, session duration, and pages per session.

    Organic search sessions are crucial in determining visitor loyalty and engagement. Tracking the number of sessions originating from search engines is essential, as it helps website managers make informed decisions pertaining to content creation, promotions, and advertisement campaigns. Evaluating the number of sessions primarily relies on reviewing the user journey through the website, which can yield valuable insights into the content value and user behavior.

    Factors that affect website ranking on search engines include keyword optimization, location, content value, navigation ease, responsive design, and overall website performance. Businesses can develop targeted, efficient, and cost-effective marketing campaigns by assessing sessions generated from organic searches.

    As website traffic from organic searches is a vital parameter for business growth, monitoring sessions and other organic search metrics play a critical role in optimizing website performance. Sessions are a fundamental metric that professionals rely on to assess the efficacy of their website’s SEO strategy, including the relevance of used keywords, their organic search rankings, and conversion rates.

    By targeting SEO performance per session, website managers can evaluate the potential of their website’s ability to convert visitors into customers. Organic search sessions allow for qualitative and quantitative website performance assessments, contributing to effective business strategies that can significantly impact the bottom line.


    One of the most crucial metrics in Google Analytics is understanding the behavior of users who arrive at your website through organic search. This metric can give you insights into how users interact with your website, their content, and their actions. You can optimize your content by analyzing user behavior to improve user engagement and increase conversions. To analyze user behavior, you should focus on several key metrics, including bounce rate, time on site, pages per session, and conversion rate.

    Bounce rate measures the percentage of users who leave your website after viewing only one page, while time on site provides insights into how long users spent on your website. Pages per session measure how many pages an average user viewed, and conversion rate measures the percentage of users who completed a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. By examining these metrics, you can gain a deeper understanding of how users engage with your website and identify areas for improvement.

    Bounce Rate

    One of the important metrics that website owners need to track is how engaging their website is to their visitors. This metric is commonly referred to as bounce rate, which denotes the percentage of visitors who leave the website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate indicates that the website content is not resonating well with the audience or that the website design is not user-friendly. Bounce rate can be tracked in Google Analytics by going to the Behavior > Site Content > All Pages report. In this report, you can view the bounce rate for each page on your website, which can help you identify which pages need improvement.

    If you have a high bounce rate, try improving the website’s content, design, and load times to provide a better user experience. Alternatively, if you have a low bounce rate, this could mean that visitors are finding the website’s content and design engaging. However, it is important to note that a low bounce rate may not necessarily translate to higher conversions. Therefore, website owners should also focus on other metrics such as time on page, pages per session, and conversion rate to get a comprehensive picture of their website’s performance.

    Pages per Session

    Organic search traffic is one of the most valuable sources of website traffic. It indicates that people found your website from a search engine, such as Google, without being influenced by paid advertisements. However, just because visitors land on your website doesn’t mean they’ll stay there for long. Pages per session is a metric that tracks the average number of pages viewed during a single session. It is an essential metric because it gives you an insight into the user’s behavior when they arrive on your website.

    For instance, if users visit multiple pages, it shows that they find your website interesting and engaging. On the other hand, if the number of pages per session is low, it may imply that there are issues with website navigation or a lack of engaging content. By assessing pages per session metrics, you can discover areas that require improvements to increase user engagement, create relevant content, and increase website traffic. Organic search traffic combined with an excellent pages-per-session rate leads to a better user experience, higher conversions, longer sessions due to high engagement, and a deeper understanding of what your visitors want.

    Therefore, it is crucial to regularly monitor the pages-per-session metric for a greater understanding of how visitors engage with your website and whether your site fulfills users’ demands.

    Average Session Duration

    One of the essential organic search metrics in Google Analytics is the average time duration that visitors spend on a website. This metric measures the length of time that visitors stay on a particular website during a visit. It’s an essential metric because it allows website owners and marketers to understand how engaging their website is to their audience. This metric can help indicate how long a visitor needs to engage with the website to complete their objective, whether that’s to purchase a product, fill out a form, or read content.

    The average session duration metric can provide insight into the overall effectiveness of a website and content. If the average session duration is high, it’s a good indication that the website’s content engages visitors. However, if the average session duration is low, it may indicate that visitors are not finding the content or information they need on the website. By analyzing the average session duration, website owners and marketers can identify areas where improvements can be made to retain visitors for a more extended period.

    In addition to analyzing the average session duration overall, it’s also important to analyze it on specific pages on the website. By doing this, website owners and marketers can identify which pages have a higher or lower average time on site than others. This information can be used to optimize the pages with a low average session duration by improving the content and design to make it more engaging to visitors.

    Last but not least, website owners and marketers can use the average session duration metric to compare the performance of different marketing channels. By tracking the average session duration from organic search traffic compared to other channels, they can determine which channels are more effective at driving more engaged and interested visitors. Businesses can maximize their marketing efforts and drive higher engagement and conversions by optimizing channels with a lower average session duration.

    Conversion Rate

    In analyzing organic search traffic, it is important to consider the conversion rate. This metric calculates the percentage of visitors to a website who take a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form. Conversion rate optimization is a crucial aspect of website optimization, as it can increase revenue and provide insight into user behavior. Organic search traffic has the potential to attract high-quality leads, but optimizing a website for conversions is key.

    There are several factors that can impact conversion rate, including website design, user experience, and the clarity of call-to-action buttons. Analyzing the behavior flow report in Google Analytics can help identify where users drop off before completing a desired action and provide insight into areas for improvement. Monitoring the conversion rate regularly can aid in identifying trends and issues early on, allowing for timely adjustments to be made. Ultimately, optimizing for conversion rate is essential in maximizing the ROI of organic search traffic and improving the overall effectiveness of a website.

    How to Analyze Organic Search Traffic in Google Analytics

    Acquisition Overview

    Understanding the basics of the acquisition overview in Google Analytics is essential when analyzing organic search traffic. Acquisition refers to the process of obtaining users and traffic to a website, and understanding this process provides critical insights into how users find your website. There are various channels through which users can find a website, including organic search, referral, direct, and social media. Organic search is a vital channel that accounts for a significant portion of website traffic.

    It refers to traffic that comes from unpaid, natural search results on search engines like Google or Bing. Analyzing organic search traffic gives insights into users’ search queries to find a website, the pages they land on, the click-through rate, and the bounce rate. In addition, it provides information on users’ geographical location and compares the effectiveness of different marketing campaigns.

    When analyzing organic search traffic, it is necessary to examine the acquisition overview. This is found under the acquisition section in Google Analytics and gives a snapshot of overall traffic sources, including organic search. The acquisition overview provides information on the number of sessions from organic search, the percentage of new users, and the bounce rate. This information helps website owners determine the effectiveness of their website’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

    Higher sessions from organic search with a low bounce rate indicate that the website’s content is relevant and users find what they are looking for. A high bounce rate, on the other hand, may indicate that the website’s content is not meeting users’ needs or that the website’s metadata is misleading.

    The acquisition overview also provides information on user behavior, including the average session duration and the number of pages per session. This is crucial information that helps to understand how users interact with the website and the content they find most engaging. If users spend more time on the website and view more pages, it may indicate that they find the content relevant and engaging. Armed with this information, website owners can revise their content strategies to keep users engaged and generate more traffic.

    The acquisition overview provides a wealth of information that is essential when analyzing organic search traffic. It provides a sound foundation upon which webmasters can base their website’s SEO strategy, fine-tune their content, and improve users’ experience.

    Organic Search Report

    One of the essential tools in Google Analytics for understanding the traffic generated by search engines is the Organic Search Report. This report enables you to have an in-depth comprehension of the performance of your organic campaigns. Essentially, Organic Search Report allows you to understand which search engines generate the most organic traffic for your website. Additionally, it provides crucial insights into the keywords that generate the most organic traffic. Organic Search Report also enables webmasters to analyze the quality of the organic traffic by checking the bounce rate, pages per session, and average session duration. Furthermore, the report enables webmasters to analyze the landing pages that generate the most organic traffic.

    Understanding how to utilize Organic Search Report is essential in analyzing organic search traffic since it enables webmasters to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their website’s organic campaigns. From the insights provided by Organic Search Report, webmasters can implement measures to enhance the strengths of their organic campaigns and address the weaknesses. Additionally, Organic Search Report enables webmasters to analyze the performance of their organic campaigns over time, and they can evaluate their progress toward achieving their set objectives.

    The Organic Search Report also includes additional features that enable webmasters to track the performance of their organic campaigns. These features include Search Console Integration, which enables webmasters to track the average position of their landing pages on Google for specific keywords. Furthermore, it enables webmasters to track the click-through rate (CTR) and the impressions generated by their landing pages. This feature provides crucial insights that enable webmasters to identify the organic campaigns with the highest potential to generate traffic and revenue.

    The Organic Search Report is an essential tool for any webmaster interested in understanding the performance of their organic campaigns. Proper utilization of this tool enables webmasters to develop an in-depth understanding of their organic campaigns, implement measures to enhance their strength, and address their weakness. Therefore, webmasters should endeavor to understand how to utilize Organic Search Reports to get the most out of their organic campaigns.

    Landing Pages Report

    The Landing Pages Report section in Google Analytics provides valuable insights into your organic search traffic performance. This report displays the top pages on your website that are attracting the most organic search traffic, along with other key metrics like bounce rate, the average time spent on the page, and the number of page views. This information can help you identify which pages are performing well and which pages need optimization. By analyzing the Landing Pages Report, you can optimize your website’s content and improve its relevance to the audience.

    You can also use this report to identify high-performing pages that you can leverage for further optimization or repurposing. By drilling down further into this data, you can analyze the keywords and sources that are driving traffic to specific landing pages, which can inform your content strategy and help you optimize your website for search engine ranking. The Landing Pages Report in Google Analytics is a critical tool for optimizing your website’s organic search performance.

    Queries Report

    One of the most critical components of analyzing organic search traffic using Google Analytics is the Queries Report. This report provides valuable insights into the specific keywords and phrases that users are searching for when they land on a website. The report allows webmasters to understand the intent behind a user’s search query and tailor their content to provide a better user experience. By analyzing the Queries Report, webmasters can identify which keywords and phrases are driving the most traffic to their site and optimize their content accordingly.

    Webmasters can also use this report to track the performance of their website over time, enabling them to identify trends and make data-driven decisions to keep their site optimized for search engines. Additionally, the Queries Report can help webmasters identify potential new content opportunities, as it highlights the search queries that are not currently driving significant traffic to the site. Overall, the Queries Report is a critical tool for webmasters looking to drive organic search traffic to their websites and optimize their content for search engines.


    Organic search in Google Analytics is an important aspect of search engine optimization. It refers to the traffic from search engines to a website due to natural or organic search results. In other words, when a user searches for a keyword, the search engine will display a list of organic search results that are most relevant to the user’s query. The position of a website in the organic search results is determined by several factors such as the relevance of the content, the quality of the website, and the presence of relevant keywords.

    Marketers use Google Analytics to track the performance of their website’s organic search traffic, such as the number of visits, the bounce rate, and the conversion rate. This information can be used to optimize the website’s content and improve its search engine rankings. Organic search traffic is a valuable source of traffic because it tends to be highly targeted and more likely to convert. Therefore, it is important for website owners and marketers to focus on optimizing their websites for organic search results in order to attract more traffic, generate leads, and increase revenue.


    After digesting the information presented in this article, it should be clear that organic search is an essential component of any successful website. It provides a free and reliable source of traffic and offers valuable insights into user behavior and the overall effectiveness of your site’s content and marketing strategy. By properly tracking and analyzing organic search data through Google

    Analytics, you can gain a deeper understanding of your audience’s needs and preferences, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately increase your site’s visibility and search ranking. Some key takeaways to keep in mind include the importance of regularly monitoring your organic search performance, optimizing your content and metadata for relevant keywords, utilizing Google Analytics to gain insights into user behavior and engagement, and continually testing and refining your strategy to achieve the best possible results.

    Organic Search in Google Analytics – FAQs

    1. What is organic search in Google Analytics?

    Organic search is a method of finding information that involves using search engines to retrieve results that match specific keywords or queries. Google Analytics, a web analytics service offered by Google, provides information about the traffic generated by organic searches.

    2. Why is organic search important?

    Organic search is critical to a website’s traffic and SEO strategy. Monitoring and analyzing organic search traffic is essential to understand user behavior and improve website performance. Increased organic search traffic can lead to more leads and conversions on the website.

    3. How is organic search traffic different from paid search traffic?

    Organic search traffic is generated by users who find a website through a search engine query without clicking on a paid advertisement. On the other hand, paid search traffic consists of users clicking on paid advertisements that appear in search engine results pages (SERP).

    4. What are some common metrics used to analyze organic search traffic in Google Analytics?

    Some common metrics used to analyze organic search traffic in Google Analytics include sessions, bounce rate, pages per session, and session duration. Additionally, keyword rankings and click-through rates (CTR) across different pages can give insight into website traffic and user behavior.

    5. Can organic search traffic be influenced by website design?

    Yes, website design can impact organic search traffic. Site structure, content, and user experience can affect search engine rankings and ultimately impact organic search traffic to a website. Websites with a well-organized structure, relevant and valuable content, and easy navigation tend to perform better in organic search.

    6. How can businesses improve their organic search rankings?

    Businesses can improve their organic search rankings by focusing on SEO best practices, including keyword research, on-page optimization, backlinking, and technical SEO. Furthermore, producing valuable and relevant content, updating the website frequently, and improving the overall user experience can benefit organic search performance.

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    Hanson Cheng

    About the author

    Living in Portugal with my wife and puppies.
    Scaling online businesses and sharing lessons learned on this website and in our email newsletter.

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