Understanding keywords and measuring traffic
Within the web, a keyword is a term that’s used by search engines to quickly identify websites that relate to that keyword and display them in the search results. So keywords play an important role in attracting traffic to your site.
There are two types of keyword – paid and free. The paid for listings are typically displayed at the top of the search results but did you know that a person browsing the web is 2 or even 3 times as likely to click on an organic search engine listing than paid listings?
So before you spend money on potentially expensive keywords, there are some simple points you can follow to improve your visitor numbers:
- Use a ‘keyword’ planner tool such as Google’s keyword planner or http://keywordtool.io
In the case of Google’s keyword planner, you can type in 15-20 keywords and it will tell you how popular each keyword is. You can use it to guage how much traffic your site could attract if you used that keyword*. You can use these keywords for each of the pages on your website to help draw visitors to your website.
- Include an internal search button on your site and allow customers to search only within your website. You can track what your customers are interested in and make this content more prominent or improve promotion around it. These could become new keywords.
- Add your keywords to your web page description, within the headings and text within your pages.
- There are some practices which will see your site excluded from search results such as overuse of keywords for example if a keyword was every other word on any page. For more information on practices to avoid simply Google ‘Black Hat SEO’. For tips on how to optimise your site safely click here.
Now you know your keywords, invest time in analysing your traffic using an analytics tool such as Google Analytics. It’s free and will give you great insights into how to get the best from your website such as:
- Who are your visitors – have you targeted the correct audience? Where are they based? It may be that you need to refocus your content and promotion.
- How your customers enter your site – what search engine and device did they use. This will help define keywords and highlight potential technology barriers ie. is your website ‘responsive’.
- What content is viewed – what were the most popular pages and where did they go next. If your top content isn’t going to make you money, you need to promote the content that will.
- How long did your visitor stay – your site should encourage your visitor to stay longer and view more content. The average ‘bounce’ rate for a site is between 41% and 55%. So aim to keep within or below this bounce rate if you can!
You can also measure the effectiveness of your social media activity and set up ‘goals’ which can report upon how many visitors complete a task such as download a pdf or complete a booking form.
A beautiful site doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get traffic to your site. Good planning will result in the right traffic. A search engine will draw upon the information you give it to tell potential visitors about your site. You design your site to promote to visitors what you want them to know but how your visitors engage with your site is often very different to how you planned. Analytics tools will help you to understand that difference and change your site to draw more visitors in.
If you need more help on how to optimise your site using keywords, come and talk to us
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