We regularly tell you that one of the most vital areas for SEO is having fresh, original content on your site. That means not just having the kind of “thick” content that search engines prefer — it also means useful content that’s regularly updated. The easiest way to take care of this is by having a blog on your site, where you can provide regular updates that address aspects of your business or industry, questions customers might have, advice that helps demonstrate your expertise, and sure, the occasional cute pet picture that gets a lot of shares.
While blogging definitely gets the job done when it comes to SEO, blogging isn’t always an easy job. After all, if even great authors like Leo Tolstoy and Virginia Woolf suffered from writer’s block, what chance does your average small business owner have of constantly coming up with new, interesting ideas to write about? For too many, after the obligatory “Welcome to Our New Website” post, the well runs dry. Having a blog that’s sparse and unfilled doesn’t get you much SEO benefit, and it also doesn’t look great for any site visitors who happen upon it. So, what can you do to break out of “blogger’s block”?
Assuming you have Google Analytics set up on your website (if you don’t, check out this Google tutorial to get started), you can use the information it provides to learn about what your site visitors are actually looking for — info that not only gives you timely topics, but also ensures that you’re writing about stuff your visitors want to know! You may find that visitors are coming to your site by searching about content for which you don’t (yet) have much content. A relevant blog post can help you cash in on what could otherwise be a missed opportunity.
How do you do it? Well, Google prevents webmasters from directly seeing organic keywords (in other words, exactly what terms are getting you the best results), but experts have found a number of creative workarounds that enable you to extract important info from Analytics.
See What’s Sticky
Unbounce, a landing page authority, recommends using data from “All Pages” and comparing “Page Views” with “Average Time Spent on Pages.” This combo will show you your most popular pages and where your site visitors spend the most time — in other words, the content you already have that’s getting the most interest is probably also the most relevant.
How do you do that? Go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages, and specify a period to gather data (probably no more than a year). Then use the comparison view on the right to sort “All Pages” by “Average Time on Page.”
If we look closer at that comparison, we can clearly see where site visitors are spending their time. Revisiting the content you have on those pages can give you ideas for blog content that is likely to be “sticky” — getting and keeping visitors.
Use Site Search
Once you have Google Analytics set up for your site, it’s also worthwhile to enable site search (here’s Google’s official help page for site search). Once you’ve had site search running for a while, you’ll be able to look at what visitors are searching for within your site by going to Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms, again setting up date or time parameters to get the most useful info. These search terms are clues as to what site visitors want to see. Users who are searching for terms that don’t actually get them relevant content are going to leave your site — a blog post or two on the topic gives them something to actually find in their site search results. This also will likely bolster your SERP rankings, as if people on your site are looking for these terms, it’s likely that those using search engines who haven’t found you yet are looking, too. Once you have content on these areas, you’re more likely to show up in their search results.
Image via StackOverflow
Check Out Queries
If your site has been added and verified with Webmaster Tools, you can also take advantage of the Search Query report in Google Analytics. To find it, go to Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries.
What’s this telling you? Well, “queries” are what users actually typed into Google to find your site — the search terms they entered to get to you. “Impressions” shows you the number of times any URL from your site showed up in search results (an “impression” means hypothetically someone saw it). “Clicks,” obviously, is the number of times one of your site’s URLs actually got clicked on in the search results. The “CTR” (aka Click-Through Rate) represents the equation of clicks divided by impressions multiplied by 100 — for every X number of clicks, we needed Y number of impressions, so X over Y times 100 gives us a click-through rate of Z. If you’re thinking your CTR looks really low, don’t forget to look at your average position. That’s approximately where a URL from your site is showing up in search results — if you’re not on page one, CTR is going to be low. If you’re beyond page two, it’s going to be lower still.
It’s not all doom and gloom though! Sorting this information by your Average Position will give you an idea of queries where your site is getting decent rankings. If these queries are getting a decent number of impressions, you’ve got a topic right there that you can write about and that is likely to help your SEO. Even if you’re not overly excited to sit down and start pounding away at that keyboard, knowing that what you’re writing about is likely to help your business is a pretty awesome incentive.
Still not convinced that you really want to be your own wordsmith? We love blogging, and our professional writers can help you build thick content that can bolster your search results and keep users on your site. Call Higher Power SEO at 760-881-4736 today to learn more!