As Google’s algorithms change, content marketing becomes increasingly important. Blogs and website information need to be constantly improved to keep search engine results high. In 2009, Google announced 200 variables were used to determine search engine results. Today, that number is believed to exceed a thousand.
With updates being released at a rapid-fire pace, it can be difficult to keep on top of the recent changes. SEMGeek has simplified that process for you. We will briefly cover the latest, most important changes, and how you can use Analytics to improve your site content.
Searching Google: What Has Changed
Google has focused its efforts on decreasing website owners’ ability to manipulate the system. Content strategy is in, keyword stuffing and link building is out. Google’s message is that companies need to use their website content to promote and build their brand, speak to customers, and deliver relevant content. By cramming the same keywords into your text over and over, your rankings will actually decrease.
Google’s responsiveness reflects its attitude. Knowledge Graph is a data project by Google that uses past searches, the links the users clicked on, and page retention time to anticipate what future users will need. Google then adjust their rankings accordingly.
Another bad behavior Google is trying to undermine is the market for links. Website owners have been trading and selling links to supplement their inbound links; another search tactic that has previously seen success. However, if you know you deliver quality content, inbound links certainly help. The more those links are used while people are clicking on content on your site, the more it helps your page ranks. Remember, quality trumps quantity in the evolving Google engine.
Marketers who know the long-term strategies pay off will spend more on advertising earlier, realizing that Google rewards companies that are in for the long haul. Gone are the days where digital marketers can approach companies guaranteeing results with SEO tactics in couple of months or less. The real question is, even if you write excellent content, are you able to use your traffic to constantly improve?
How to Increase Web Traffic With Data
1. Google Webmaster Tools. This is an app that lets you see conversions, metrics, and impressions. In other words, it provides data detailing how your website relates to other sites in your industry. It tells you your position in Google’s rankings based on relevant keywords and products.
What is important to know about this app is that Google “diagnoses” your site after people poke around on your webpage. If users visit your site and immediately close the webpage, your site gets penalized. If the webpage is scrolling, indicating that it is being read, the site climbs in rankings. It is the digital equivalent of a customer review without the person’s knowledge.
How does this help you? Well, you can target keywords that have low click rates but great position. If you know what is keeping customers there, you can optimize your titles, meta titles, and page descriptions to make your site easier to find by using more common searches.
Or maybe you have landing pages with great click rates, but a low diagnosis. By setting up some experiments or on-page optimization, you can improve your rankings by providing more relevant content.
2. Enable Site Speed. This is a powerful tool. Most web users open multiple tabs at the same time, then briefly scan pages to see if the site has what they need. Excess ads and bad design are a red flag for most readers. The most telling? Slow loading pages.
Site Speed is a subsection of Analytics that allows you to assess the load time of your web pages. You can isolate problem pages to cut out apps and other content that is slowing you down. Another reason? Google hurts your search rankings if your site loads slowly.
3. Set up multiple profiles. In Google Analytics, there is a setting that allows you to duplicate your profile. This allows you to add different filters, manipulate data, and isolate different market segments. You can separate traffic based on paid customers and free subscribers, or you can set up different steps within the same campaign to judge user reactions. By setting your preferred campaign as the control, all of your variable profiles will let you challenge different reactionary methods to judge user behaviors.
4. Google Experiments. Experiments is an app that operates similar to creating duplicate profiles. What is different about this app is that you can judge users’ reaction to different content. Google Experiments allows you to set up web traffic data collection between landing pages, blog posts, and other text-based content.
For example, say you are marketing a new product aimed at people aged 18-35, but have had a difficult time retaining female users between the ages of 28-35. A new version of the same product is being launched in six months, and you have planned a six-week marketing campaign. You hire a digital marketing expert who suggests three different approaches.
Your company then writes three landing pages and three sets of differing blog posts. The marketing company then isolates your demographic and sets the experiment to last for two months. The data they collect will then compare the efficacy of each strategy, giving you a couple of months to prepare a solid campaign. With this approach, your company can collect thousands of data points in a relevant market, and give you plenty of time to write the content that bolsters sales in the lagging target demographic. In short, Google Experiments excels at lowering a business’s CAC.
5. Multi-Channel Funnels. This software enables websites to closely track conversion rates. You can track users from every corner of the web without a survey. You can find users who accessed your site through social media sites, RSS feeds, e-books, search engines (including non-Google engines), and more.
The best part of this tool? Multi-Channel Funnels will track users every step of the way. For example, say one of your products was posted on Facebook. Bob sees the link, clicks on it, and is led to a review site. From the review site he follows a link to your webpage. You can find the origination of Bob’s journey across all web pages, from the time he first learned about your business down to the final purchase.