Utilize Analytics During Keyword Selection

Written by Nick Stamoulis

A business website is an important component of a marketing strategy today. Everyone has Internet access and everyone is looking for information on products or services online. If your business doesn’t have a website you are missing out on a huge opportunity to inform potential clients or customers about what you have to offer. Every business website is different but the ultimate goal of any business website is to improve conversion rates. That conversion could be making a purchase directly from the site, calling the business, filling out a lead form, subscribing to a company blog or e-newsletter, downloading a whitepaper, etc. The bottom line is that you want a visitor to take some kind of action once they land on the site.

The first step of an SEO campaign is keyword research. Keywords are incorporated into site meta information, content, and anchor text links pointing back to the site. Targeting the wrong keywords can result in getting the wrong traffic to your site, traffic that will bounce from the site without converting. It’s important to use a keyword research tool (like the Google AdWords Keyword Tool) to see search behavior for certain keywords and generate a list of relevant keywords. The Google Keyword Tool will tell you what the monthly search volume is for each keyword on a Global or Local (U.S.) level. It will also note what the competition level is for that keyword (Low, Medium, High). Keywords with a high search volume are typically much more competitive than those with a lower search volume. Typically the best keywords to target fall somewhere in that middle “sweet spot”.

In addition to using a keyword research tool, it’s also important to take a look at the data from your own site during the keyword research and keyword selection process too. It’s necessary to conduct keyword research page by page. Each page of the site should be optimized since each page serves a different purpose and has the potential to rank in the search engines for related keyword searches. As long as Analytics have been set up on the site, data from each page can help formulate your keyword approach. If Analytics hasn’t yet been set up on the site, set it up now! You will essentially be starting from square one but over time you can begin to visit Analytics for keyword information.

One important data point to consider within Analytics is the keyword conversion rate. As long as you have set up conversion points within Analytics, you can trace which entrance keywords resulted in a conversion. In many cases you will see that the keywords with the highest conversion rates are long tail keywords. This is because someone searching with a long tail keyword most likely knows what it is that they want. Obviously, these keywords should be a part of the SEO strategy, but it doesn’t mean that keywords should be limited based on conversion.

You also want to look at keywords that are bringing in significant traffic. Targeted keywords should be a mix of the very niche (long tail) and more broad. Even if the more broad keywords don’t have that same conversion rate, they should still be a part of the mix, as long as they are relevant. These visitors might not be ready to convert immediately, but they could come back at a later time once they’ve checked out what you have to offer.

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