Due to the extreme value of this blog post, I don’t want any backlinks, track backs, email forwards, etc. This is top secret WhyDoWork Insider info only!

Matt‘s last post provided some useful tips on taking advantage of Google Analytics to control your visitor behaviour. Today I am going to keep with the traffic optimizing tips by talking about an amazing little feature within the Google Webmaster Tools. For those of you who aren’t already signed up, it’s free to use and there are some great revealing insights as to how Google perceives your site.

The Answer Lies in the Data

For the info we are looking at today, you need to:

  1. Login to Google Webmaster Tools
  2. Click on your domain name (or set it up if you haven’t done so)
  3. Click on ‘Statistics’ in the left hand menu
  4. Click on the ‘Top search queries’ sub menu.

What we are given now is a two columned list, one being the ‘Top Search Queries’ and one for ‘Top Clicked Queries’.

Top Search Queries – This is the list of all the search queries where your site link was visible to the user performing the search but not necessarily clicked.

Top Click Queries - This is the list of all the search queries where someone decided to click through to your site.

Both lists are based on a percentage relative to your own sites performance.

How to Analyze this Data

Take this sample data from the WhyDoWork site:

keywords

1. You can see that ‘do work’ was our most searched out keyword phrase in April, but contributes to only a small portion of our click throughs. This is because WhyDoWork is not a relevant result for that keyword (our name is obviously inadvertently targeting this phrase). This is a great example of mistargeting keywords. There is no value in being number 1 for an irrelevant keyword phrase; you are better off targeting something else.  For Example: If your site is about dogs and you’re ranking high for cats you might want to make some changes to your sites keyword content!

Note: If you are appearing at a high position for a search term you want to target but are receiving no clicks you may want to do some analysis on the title tags and description that is appearing in the results. This is a clear indicator something about your listing in the search engine isn’t appealing to your target audience.

2. The second thing I want to show you is how for the phrase ‘jobs to do at home’ we are appearing in search results but not getting any click throughs. The reason for this is because we appear at #11 which is much too low to see any action. What this does indicate is that Google likes us for that search term. With a few more backlinks and search engine tweaking we should be able to improve our ranking for this keyword. But do we want to target this keyword phrase?

Determining Valuable Keywords

Now let’s dig deeper; is ‘Jobs to do at home’ a valuable search phrase?

A great tool for this is Google Trends which gives you insight into what are popular search phrases.

I decided to search for three phrases as part of this analysis:

  • Jobs to do at home (Since we are ranking well)
  • Jobs at home (A similar, but likely more popular phrase)
  • Work at Home (A phrase to benchmark against because we know its popular)

google trends

Looking at the graph, what I have discovered is that ‘Jobs to do at home’ is a great niche keyword but not something we would specifically target as our primary search term because the traffic from that phrase is too low. However, a similar phrase with a lot more traffic which Google may favor us for is ‘Jobs at home’. This is the phrase we should be targeting.

In our industry ‘work at home’ is the big money keyword but with millions of competitors it makes a lot more sense to target something a little smaller, with a lot less competition and most importantly a phrase we have a chance of ranking well in.

Let me know with a comment if you have any questions about this process and I’d be glad to help :)

 

Joe – (cho on WhyDoWork)

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