SEO tutorial: Analyzing keywords |
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SEO tutorial: Analyzing keywords |

Keywords are the backbone of search engine
optimization, and when we’re measuring our SEO efforts, analyzing the different keywords
that are bringing people to our websites is an excellent place to start. Inside Google Analytics, we can navigate to
the Organic Search Traffic report by drilling down through Traffic Sources>Sources>Search
>Organic. This report will show us all the keywords
that have driven traffic to our pages from organic search engines, and although we are
only looking at 10 by default, you can change this to show up to 500 rows at a time. Another quick tip is to use the Secondary
dimension dropdown so that we can see which search engine sent us the traffic. Just select Source from the dropdown and you’ll
see another column of data show up with this information. By default, we’ll be looking at general site
usage metrics, and here we’ll be able to get some insights around just how engaged visitors
are that find our site through certain keywords. Take a look at the second and third rows. We can see that the keyword “explore california”
keeps people on the site six times longer than “california events,” and people view
three times more pages. Not only that, but we’re getting a lot more
visits from this particular keyword. Looking at the Bounce Rate, we can see that
people are much more likely to dive deeper into our site if they found us from a Google
search on the “explore california” keyword as well. If you haven’t yet configured goals in your
Google Analytics account to track business outcomes, you’ll probably want to stop this
video and make that your top priority. You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and
that goes for all of your online marketing efforts, not just SEO. Once you’ve got your goals set up, you can
click on a goal set to see how your keywords are performing with respect to your business
objectives. Here we’ve got even more data that tells us
california events isn’t necessarily a good keyword for us. The explore california keyword is driving
more contact form submissions, newsletter signups, video views, and PDF downloads by
far. Of course, if you have configured ecommerce
in Google Analytics, you can also look at not just goal data, but transactional data
for each of the keywords you are analyzing. One thing we need to mention is that in late
2011, Google made a change to how it allows Web Analytics Tools to capture keyword data
from organic searches. If a user does a search while logged into
their Google account, Google now encrypts the keyword data so that it cannot be read
by Analytics Tools. And unfortunately, this means that all of
those keywords are dumped into a generic row of data called not provided. Here we can see that over half of the organic
traffic to this website came from users that were logged into Google, and unfortunately,
that means that the keywords that they used are unavailable to us in Google Analytics
or any other web analytics software. One thing that we can do is drill down on
that not provided link and change your primary dimension to Landing Page. This will at the very least allow us some
insights into how the ranking pages are performing, and if we combine this with data around which
of our pages are ranking for which terms, we can often infer the keywords that led to
these visits. Remember that when you’re looking at keyword
reports, you’re only seeing data for people who found your website through a search that
you ranked for, and they clicked on you in the search results. What that means is that Web Analytics is not
a very good indicator of what opportunities you are missing. If you don’t rank for a keyword, no one is
going to be clicking on a search result for you, and no data for those missed opportunities
will ever show up here. Make sure to continually look at data from
your keyword research tools as well, to identify keyword opportunities, and once you do start
getting traffic from them, you’ll be able to analyze how they perform in your Web Analytics
tools. Earlier in this course, we looked at Google
Webmaster Tools, and one thing you can do is link your Google Webmaster Tools account
to your Google Analytics account. Once you’ve done this, you can view all of
this data under Traffic Sources>Search Engine Optimization. In the Google Webmaster Tools’ Queries report,
you can find data on impressions in search engine results, your average rank positions,
and clicks and click-through rates. Note that these numbers aren’t perfect. So feel free to take the data in Google Webmaster
Tools reports with a grain of salt. That said, it’s still accurate enough to get
some valuable insights based on the trends rather than the raw numbers. One thing to look for are keywords that have
high impressions, but low click-through rates. This means that you might be showing up in
the search results, but no one’s clicking on your listing. This could mean that you’ve got problems with
your title, or maybe your description, and it’s worthwhile to take a closer look. With all of the data available, analyzing
keywords can be an intimidating task, but it’s an extremely important one for anyone
doing SEO. Because everything begins with a search, understanding
what happens after searchers click on those pages that we’ve worked so hard to rank for
is the key to putting a value on all of our efforts.

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