To set up SEO Web Vitals within Matomo, you should start within the relevant reporting area. Within the main navigation menu on the left-hand side of your Matomo instance, click Acquisition to reveal the sub-menu, and then click the SEO Web Vitals menu item.
When you first visit, there is no data, so instead, a link to configure your settings is presented as shown in the screenshot below:
The SEO Web Vitals feature within Matomo makes use of the Google PageSpeed Insights API to collect data. If you already have a PageSpeed Insights API key for your site, you can click on the displayed link, which will take you to the settings page where you can enter it. Alternatively, refer to the next section to acquire a free API key from Google.
How to Get an API Key for SEO Web Vitals from Google
To get your free PageSpeed Insights API Key, you will either need to have an active Google account. Head to the PageSpeed Insights page and click the button to Get a key, as seen in the screenshot below.
If you aren’t logged in, it will prompt you to do so now, and if you don’t have an account then you can click the Create account link to get started. Once logged in, you may be asked to add this key to a project. If you are already using Google Cloud for your site, then select the relevant project. Otherwise, you can click to + Create a new project and give it a name. You can use any name but using the name of your website probably makes sense.
Once you’ve done the above, you’ll be presented with your API key as shown in the screenshot below.
Click on the copy icon within the API Key box and then reopen the SEO Web Vitals configuration page within your Matomo instance where you should paste it into the API token field and click Save.
How To Set Up SEO Web Vitals for the First Time
After setting up your PageSpeed Insights API Key, you still need to configure which pages you want to track within the SEO Web Vitals Feature. Under the Acquisition section of the main navigation menu, revisit the SEO Web Vitals reporting section, which will now be showing some additional options.
Click the link to configure 5 popular URLs to track. By default, Matomo can automatically monitor the top 5 most popular URLs based on their number of visits. However, you can also customise which pages are monitored if there are specific pages that you want to measure. Whichever option you choose, it is always possible to change which URLs you wish to monitor later.
Selecting Which Pages are Monitored for SEO Web Vitals
While Matomo can monitor your top five pages, there are times when you may want to track other pages. For example, if you have a new website without lots of traffic you may want to select specific pages. Or there may be specific pages you want to optimise for faster performance and improved search rankings. Yet another example is if you have both a blog and an ecommerce store on your site, you may want to ensure that you have at least one representative blog post link and one product page.
Using the Matomo website as an example, it might make sense to select the homepage, a single blog post, the pricing page, an FAQ page, and a guide page to monitor. This is a total of five pages and would look a little something like the screenshot below:
Ultimately, the goal is to have representative pages for each significant page style on your site. A few examples of page types that you may want to track for your website are:
- Blog Page
- Product Page
- Pricing Page
- FAQ Page
- Archive or Category Page
- Marketing Landing Page
Once you have identified the various styles of pages on your site, choose one URL for each style and then enter their URLs within the SEO Web Vitals configuration settings. You should still aim to track no more than 5-10 unique URLs because there are limits to the number of API requests you can make within a certain timeframe.
Whether you remain with the default selection or choose your own pages, data for the selected pages will only start to appear up to one day after being added. Once the data arrives it is continuously updated based on a rolling 28-day average.
Changing Which Pages are Monitored for SEO Web Vitals
As your website evolves, you may find that there are new styles of pages on your site that you would like to monitor. Or, you may end up deleting older pages after a redesign. Whatever the reason, you can easily update which pages are tracked within your Matomo configuration settings.
You can access these from the Matomo settings page, which you can access by clicking on the cog icon at the top right of the page. Once there, expand the Websites or Measurables menu represented by this icon and click on Manage.
Then simply look for the list of URLs to monitor under SEO Web Vital URLs to monitor and update it to reflect your new selection. When you are happy with your choice, click the Save button.
It is worth mentioning that if you change the selected pages at a later date, any newly selected pages will only collect data moving forward from the time they are set up. As before, you will typically need to wait up to 24-hours for the first data to arrive for a new URL and up to 28-days for a combined average that can be fairly compared with any unchanged URLs.