It is a common conversation in marketing agency in discussing what topic or content to add to your site, newsletter, and blog. Here are some tips on using web analytics to increase qualified traffic to your website.
Web analytics could tell you which of the content on your site is popular based on traffic coming from different sources. With an emphasis on search engine marketing, I’d like to discuss several different options for you to determine the content demand from your audience so you can create one to drive more qualified traffic to your website.
Traffic coming from search engines would obviously involve some keywords that users searched on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. Search engines would serve relevant content based on their complex algorithms and indexed pages (search engines’ inventory). The majority of web analytics applications would be able to tell you what keywords users used to arrive at your site or pages. If you segment your traffic from search engines and view top content, you’ll be able to see which of your site content has the most traffic from search.
Search engines would serve relevant content based on their complex algorithms and indexed pages (search engines’ inventory). The majority of web analytics applications would be able to tell you what keywords users used to arrive at your site or pages. Except Google has limited that visibility in Google Analytics so there aren’t much we can do here. However, if you’re investing in paid search ads, you’ll be able to capture the keywords that users have searched and arrived at your website.
My favorite tool to accomplish this is Google Search Console. Google Search Console allows capturing the impression, clicks, Avg position of your page, and the search phrase users used on Google. This tool is very powerful and every content marketer should use.
Here is an example of Google Search Console data I exported and analyzed through Tableau. This helps me understand the page’s exposure on Google’s SERP (search engine results page) by different search terms people used. What I like doing is looking at the content and the search terms to see if there is any gaps so I can further optimize the title and the content to match user’s demand.
If you’re trying to use web analytics applications to determine what content to add or write about in the near future, I would be careful about few things.
First, web analytics and referrals from a search are only based on the pages that are available.
Second, web analytics applications won’t tell you the content demand, popular search keywords don’t equate to a lot of people are searching for those topics.
To shed a little light on web analytics tools, perhaps you have a page writing about topic A, but you may coincidentally have many keywords within that page related to topic B. In that case, you could be lucky in a sense that users searching for topic B could end up on your page about topic A. Bounce rates for it could be high, but I would keep an eye on this aspect.
This is when you need to decide if you want to combine the content, then use 301 redirect to route your traffic to the page that you killed to the enhanced page.
So what content should you add? Obviously, your goals and objectives would be different but something to consider as you decide what to writeYour goal or objective could be:
- Reach your target audience who are interested in XYZ, and drive more traffic to your site
- Build an engaging content so that bounce rate will be reduced and more people are signing up for your email newsletter
- Write content that is so engaging that more people will share the content, so you build your Facebook audience for future targeting of ads
Since this article emphasizes on search engines traffic, I would like to state SEO (search engine optimization) as a relevant method to increase traffic for current and upcoming pages. There are several tactics to consider if you’re thinking about adding content to increase traffic from search engines.
1. Make sure your SEO due diligence are well executed (Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Linking across internal pages, seeing pages on social networking sites, update your sitemap XML for better indexing, etc.).
After doing the basic SEO practices, I was able to double (even more for some sites) site traffic from search. Be aware of black-hat methods and stick to the basics first. Tweak your site little by little and you’ll notice the difference soon.
2. Run surveys, polls, quizzes, etc. Your users would be able to tell you what they like and what they don’t like. Depending on how you question your users, they can tell what they want to know more about.
It is amazing to hear directly from your users, it can’t get better than raw voices. This may be limited to the way you ask your users, but it would be a tactic you want to execute.
3. Research online. There are so many ways to research and even know what to research on. However, leverage what’s available online to see what topics are hot in your industry, has buzz, sites with many traffic, etc. This can inspire you on what to write next and generate new traffic opportunities. Seasonal or annual events would be a great way to look at in order to guess what users would be searching for and want to read.
4. Utilize tools available from search engines. I personally love Google tools such as Google Search Console, SEM Rush, Moz Tools, BuzzSumo. These tools would definitely open your eyes on keywords and content topics that could potentially give you an idea of what you can add to your website.
5. Add content and measure. Track what kinds of content are available and understand what you added or wrote on your website.
That spike in traffic could be that new article you wrote on XYZ. Maybe you can write more about that to give more contexts and opportunities for your reader to think and comment, but to make sure the content is not redundant.