Optimize Content Using Keywords from Search in Google Analytics
There is one method that I favor in taking a holistic look at search keywords performance, and a great point to start off in optimizing your site’s content.
In Google Analytics, their “Traffic Sources > Keywords” report is a very useful tool in tackling such analysis. Take a look at the sample list of keywords.
* This collection of data is made up for the purpose of this topic.
Assuming that the site is called “California.com”, and the site is about introducing various places and lifestyle info. Using that Google Analytics’ keywords reporting, you can query several main keywords that are relevant and important to your site.
The key metrics to look at is highlighted in the red box, which are:
Visits – % of Site Total
Page / Visit
Avg. Time on Site
Basically, we’re looking at a metrics associates to collection of keywords that contain the terms, like “California”, “Los Angeles”, etc.
This is very powerful way of looking at it, since it gives actionable insights to:
- Important and popular terms associated to the main objective of the site.
- Engagement by keyword, which will tell you if those contents are engaging or not.
- Gauge the disconnect between your content and search engine acquisition strategies.
Let’s look at Keywords vs. Traffic.
It is obvious that referring terms associated to California ranks high in terms of # of visits, which is great, considering that the site is about California. In addition, California related keywords accounted 16.8% of the site visits.
Now, using this method of looking at this data, this tells me that Sacramento and Orange County related terms are pretty weak in terms of traffic. That means, you need to either add more content relevant to those terms or simply invest in buying more keywords if you are participating in paid search.
Now looking at Engagement vs. Keywords
Some how the keywords associated to “San Francisco” and “Food” are getting relatively high traffic, but low page per visit. Additionally, average time on site is lower and bounce rate seems high. This tells me that something is wrong with the content related to these key terms.
Perhaps there are some contents that aren’t engaging, which are causing users to not view through the pages.
This is a good starting point to tackle a deeper analysis by digging into granular keywords containing those low engaging keywords, and looks at popular entry pages by those terms as well. It won’t be surprising to find one particular page receiving high level of traffic with low engagement.
Finally, Content vs. Search Acquisition Strategies
As mentioned earlier, the objective of the site is to build awareness of different places and life styles in California. So observing that the keywords “Sacramento” and “Orange County” contributing few traffic is something to look into. It could mean that there aren’t many content introducing those places, or it could mean that the existing contents aren’t relevant and Google is ranking them very low.
Whatever reason it is, these metrics tells you that it is something worth looking into and take some actions.
The case study introduced here is just a beginning for deeper analysis. Obviously, it will be your job to dig into these main keywords and look at a much granular level. For example, the term California may be broken down into multiple combination with terms associated to food, like “California Pizza”, “California Tacos”, etc.
The caveat here is not to focus too much on keywords from pure acquisition stand point, but rather look into it from serving relevant content. When you have great relevant content and you execute the necessary SEO due diligence (pate titles, meta tags, header tag structure, anchor text, etc.), eventually your web pages will be index and properly served by search engines. This method in analyzing the keywords, allows you to balance out your content strategy with what people are finding relevant to their search.
- Planning for Tag Management System TMS Implementation
- How to use heatmap studies to build good hypothesis and increase task completions
- Important planning process and methodology for A/B testing
- What is distracting your customers from your website
- Digital Analytics Roadmap 2013
- Page Load Speed Impact to Bounce Rate and Value
- Using visitor goal, department goal, and analytics in optimization planning
- Screening through mobile metrics
- Generating awareness from YouTube and digital strategy expectations
- Key considerations for a landing page optimization