The way customers discover new businesses is changing.Mobile search is now contributing to organic search volume in its own right. Google even discovered distinct mobile search behavior in internal research. In addition, people are increasingly blogging and sharing their discoveries across social media.
These changes mean you need to adjust the digital presence of your business or services. But with the help of some basic analytic starting points, you can easily determine your top organic and paid search traffic tactics. With the right adjustments, your intended audience will more easily discover your business through relevant searches and online media.
Look at how search traffic is a contribution to your goal on your site
Look at the keywords contributing to your website’s conversion rate (i.e. the percentage of traffic that is reaching the goal you have set in your analytics solution). This is the organic traffic that is bringing value to your site objectives.
You can review resulting visits and time-on-site trends. Look for arrival frequency to note a general volume increase rather than a spike — trends mean that an effort is more or less working. For new blog post ideas, note words or phrases related to topics that drew visits and an average time on page of one to two minutes. This indicates potential engagement.
In order to refine your target keywords, examine analytics reports to compare your results against organic search traffic on the Web. If you are interested in traffic from certain regions, you can compare your search results in a map overlay report against geo-location in Google Insights. Do the results come from the regions you expect? You can also use tools like Microsoft AdCenter to review your site and create a list of keywords for which paid search campaigns can be created to increase exposure.
Try grouping search into familiar segments to view trends relevant to your business objectives
Give simple segments in analytics tools a try to reveal more specific search segments, from just keywords to keywords from a region or visitor type. You can apply regions from a map overlay, for example, as well as New vs Old visitors to know which search terms attract returning site visitors.
For blog or SEO refinement ideas, you can try sorting keywords. For example, if you are running a bakery and your website contains a blog, you may have group of keyword phrase regarding the words “rolls” or “cakes.” Use your knowledge of the site purpose and business to begin grouping and examining what keywords could be used in future posts to attract traffic.
Compare search results against site search
Site search — the search text box you typically use for finding text terms on your site — can also be analyzed in analytics solutions. Although it has limited usage on sites containing only a few pages, site search is truly excellent for blogs, e-commerce, and B2B sites with more content. A site search analysis can reveal terms repeatedly sought and which words lead to visitor loss.
Another good approach is comparing the site search reports against the keywords that drew search traffic to the site. Are there other words, phrases, or descriptions that draw people but they are not finding what is expected? Is there a mismatch of traffic to certain pages where a site search and an exit occurred?
Consider examining social media to augment exposure on keywords with little response
Using high demand keywords may bring exposure but may be expensive for some pay-per-click budgets to augment. An alternative is to have visitor discover your site through regularly attended social media channels.On Twitter for example, many people use a commonly agreed hashtag to let followers find others who share a similar interest in a topic. Social media search engines like 48ers, Kurrently, and Social Mention can display word usage in Facebook and Twitter. And new analytics tools can monitor the reach and frequency of shared media. Tools and features include the social plug-in in Google Analytics, Twitter’s new analytic tools, and dashboards such as Crowdbooster and Pagelever.
The purpose of search engine optimization is to establish a baseline visibility for your site. Reviewing keyword traffic sources through your Web analytics solution will help manage that baseline. Moreover, it can reveal which additional efforts offer the best return on investment, regardless of whether the cost is your PPC budget or your time with social media efforts.
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Pierre DeBois is a marketing analytics expert. He is the founder of Zimana (www.zimana.com), a small business analytics consultancy. Pierre is not a Pitney Bowes employee and shares his insights on this blog as a paid contributor.