For many years, most business owners focused the majority of their digital marketing efforts on driving overall organic traffic to a website. If a website’s month-over-month overall organic traffic was up, champagne was poured, high-fives were issued, and everyone let out a big sigh of relief. However, in the past few years smart business owners are realizing that there must be more to analytics than just traffic growth and for a smart business owner traffic growth must provide some sort of insight into their customer interests.
As a marketer I am asked on a regular basis, “does organic traffic growth have any value.” The answer is an affirmative “yes!” But…the real value of that overall organic traffic growth is not in the overall number that represents total organic traffic growth as a whole, but rather what’s inside that overall organic traffic gain and the story it’s telling about a business’s current and potential customers interests.
As the old idiom suggests, “the devil is in the details.” And that certainly holds true when examining overall organic traffic growth.
Read on to learn how keywords and landing pages provide valuable information into how your customers and potential customers are interacting with your site and what your business can do keep your customers interested.
- Examine Your Keywords
If you’re not looking into what keywords your customers are using to find your website, you need to do so immediately. Your keywords tell a story of what key terms and phrases people are using to find your website.
With that said, it's important to note that although Google Analytics no longer provides all the keywords people are using to find a website, they do however provide more than enough insight into what keywords people are using to find your website. And if you're running and AdWords campaigns - even better. Compare the keyword data from your PPC campaigns to your organic keywords.
From there you need to look at a few metrics to get a better understanding of how those keywords are impacting your site’s traffic. Those metrics are:
- Bounce Rate
- Time on Site
These metrics will provide some very valuable look into how customers are interacting with your site's content based on the keyword that is being assigned to that page.
Look for patterns - are there certain keywords that are driving more conversions or lending towards more time on site, whether organically or through your PPC campaigns? If so, you may want to consider building more content around those specific keywords to drive traffic and performance.
- Look into Your Landing Pages
Much like keywords, your websites landing pages tell you what your potential customers are doing once they arrive on your site.
When considering the success of your landing pages, again, take a look at bounce rate, pages/sessions, and time on site.
Take a look at the image to the right.
The chart reveals that on one particular page, potential visitors are exiting this website at a higher rate on average than any other page listed. This again, reveals that your potential customers may not like what they are seeing once they arrive on that page and are leaving rather quickly.
- How You Can Use Keywords and Landing Pages to Enhance Your Online Presence
Okay, we’ve examined what specific metrics tell us about our keywords and landing pages, but what does a business do with that information? Well, there are a number of practical and powerful things that your business can do to enhance those factors.
Two purposeful opportunities are optimizing your pages and providing new content.
Optimizing Your Pages
When we have a page that has a high bounce rate, but has a lot of traffic coming to it, that may suggest that the page’s meta-data is not being fully optimized to represent the page’s content; thus, people are leaving as soon as they arrive.
Another theory is that visitors are in fact finding what they need immediately from your site and exiting - which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Look into the title tag and meta-description. Do they accurately describe the page they represent? Look at the conversion and navigation opportunities within that page. If the visitor is in fact getting the information they need and leaving, are there other opportunities to include within this page to encourage the visitor to continue browsing or to convert?
Create New Content that Interests Your Customers
If you find that your business has a keyword that is drawing a lot of traffic, it would be in your best interest to create additional pages that support that page that is ranking high for that keyword.
For example, if you’re an Infiniti auto dealer that is drawing a lot of traffic to a page that is ranking high for the keyword “new Infiniti Q60,” it would be a good idea to create pages of new content that point back that page and further support it.
Pages like the “2015 Infiniti Q60 Review” or “Infiniti Q60 vs BMW 4 Series” that point back to that page optimized for “new Infiniti Q60 will drive even more traffic to that page. You already know that your visitors are interested in the “new Infiniti Q60;” you have the analytics to supports it. The new content will keep your customers engaged on your website and will further support the possibility of increasing your click through rate and chances for conversion.
If you feel unsure or the concept of keywords and landing pages or the thought of on page optimization is overwhelming to you, download The Total SEO Checklist - learn 17 ways to start improving your organic search results, where to start with a link building strategy, as well as steps to integrating content into your SEO campaign.
All the best,
Daniel is a Sr. SEO Strategist at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.