SEO: How To Use Google Analytics & Search the Web to Attract Lucrative Customers & Avoid Heartbreak.
Where are your organic customers landing, what do they want and what are you doing about it?
Okay, so I was going to write a blog post about writing for intent. But it got so damn convoluted that I felt I had to write a flowchart before I could get started. Because before we work out how we can write for intent, we need to know where your customers are landing and what they want from the page - and, if there’s anything technical spoiling your efforts, but that could be another post. So today I’m writing about SEO and not copywriting.
It pays to check in on this stuff, so you are not haemorrhaging potentially lucrative clients. Because it can be quite embarrassing, shocking, and downright expensive.
And it usually goes a bit like this:
“Let’s see how many visitors my fabulous new page is getting...”
“Noooo. OMG really? Ouch. They go there? I had no idea!”
How come you had no idea?
Answer the question. Hello?
“Um, because I haven’t checked stuff lately. I just thought...”
No you didn’t.
“Look, I’ve been so busy creating this rockin’ hot page, sinking all this time into it. I got permission to extend the budget, I’ve humoured the graphic designer - did I tell you how awesome the page looks, btw? So awesome. Anyway, I’ve put this cool info in, answered every question…beautiful graphics, bullets, form fills, infoboxes. It’s got everything. I’ve even added that daggy AF video that clueless jock in the marketing team insisted I include. Look, I’ve SEO-ed the sh*t out of this puppy”.
But sweetie, it’s the WRONG PAGE. They’re not going there. (Well, not now anyway. Christ, I feel this blog needs a flowchart.)
See what I mean? Heartbreaking stuff.
“Don’t assume people are going places for your information when they’re not.”
It’s a horrible feeling to discover that despite your best efforts, the majority of your potential customers are zipping over to some god-awful pages that frankly, you’re embarrassed to admit you played any part of their creation. (You did, btw.)
Your potentially lucrative, loyal, repeat customers are landing on pages with poor, outdated information. Pages without enough info. Pages with tired graphics, no call to action, no signup form.
But clearly, these are pages with some magical ingredient that people want. (A popular key phrase. Or an equally popular keyphrase that’s thrilling the panties off Google’s rapidly changing algos.) And you’ve failed to see it.
How did this happen?
This happened because you have failed to jump into Google Analytics and check out your traffic – and – you have failed to take some time to impersonate your customers online. (And SEO:101: you forgot to check in with your keyword research. Perhaps it’s been a while, no?) This is serious stuff.
Solution 1: Google Analytics
Jump onto Google Analytics.
First, a tiny digression: before we check traffic, see which DEVICES people are using. Are they on mobile or desktop the most? Because this will influence how you fix your pages.
If you’ve been scratching your head over a page that is not performing, it could be as simple as a device issue.
Go to Audience/Mobile/Overview
Ok, cool. That was pretty clear. Mobile is popular, isn’t it?
Then to see where you’re acquiring visitors, you can do the following. This will make you realise that you’ll need to look at all the visitors’ journeys – not just the organic ones.
Go to Acquisition/Overview
Now, as we are talking SEO in terms of strictly ORGANIC today, make sure you set up a segment for ORGANIC so you’re not looking at data that includes ads, FB, etc.
Hold tight. It’s easier than you think.
From Acquisition/Overview, you’ll see some tabs and circles sitting horizontally.
Click on “Choose segment from list”. Then check “Organic Traffic”.
Now, you’ll be able to view statistics just through organic eyes.
Which leads us to the important bit
Head to Behaviour/Behavior Flow and have a look at your organic traffic. See which pages they’re landing on and check out their journeys.
Sit back, relax and observe the truth. It could be quite exciting; it’s not all stuff ups, you know. Take a look.
Are we done? Next…
If you need people to land on a certain page and not another you can switch a page off or tell the robots not to crawl it or 301 it or whatever. And, if you’d prefer people to go to the new page you’re working on, you can keep building on that over time until they do go there. There are many nuances, and we could argue all day about the ins and outs, but essentially, you must be in control of this. You must know what you’re doing, and what your customers are doing.
Once you’ve performed any necessary fixes or decided to redirect certain pages, you must make sure the pages that people are landing on are doing their job.
“Repeat: Make sure the pages where people are landing are doing their job. Ok??”
Solution 2: Get Googling
Impersonate your customers. You know the key phrases you need to rank for. You know the money earners. So be like your customers and start Googling those keywords and phrases.
Does every search end up on the homepage? It sounds like you need to keep working on those other pages. But in the meantime, make sure people Googling X can find a clear sign for X on this oh-so-popular homepage of yours with some handy info and a link to more info.
Do some searches land in unassuming pages? Maybe they’re not so unassuming. Maybe you failed to think like your customers. For example, you could sell ergonomic chairs, and you’re so busy pushing ergonomic chairs and every feature in them that you failed to realise that, hypothetically, the public go nuts for lumbar support. Everyone wants the best lumbar support.
So they’re all racing over to this daggy little lumbar support page with two paragraphs of text and an outdated illustration.
Yikes. I feel a bit sick even writing this.
And to confirm the importance of this lumbar support topic, you look at your competition and find that their best ranking pages are their lumbar support pages. Ooh-la-la.
The answer is pretty clear.
Take the goodies from that rockin’ hot page you’ve been working on and put the relevant bits on the lumbar support page. If you been doing this stuff for a while, this news is not going to break the Internet, but it’s an incredibly valuable exercise. Do it.
That’s enough for now. The next step is to write with intent, which I must write about soon!