Content is the very fabric that makes a website useful, drives visitors, and ideally results in conversions. According to Dr. Pete Meyers in the 2014 Moz Industry Survey, content marketing had the highest year-over-year demand increase in 2014, with 71% of respondents reporting increased demand. Given how important content is towards generating traffic, growing links, and providing a positive user experience, it’s no wonder organizations are more focused on content marketing than ever.
Choosing the Right Content Topics
Creating high quality content is only half of the battle when it comes to driving inbound traffic via content. You can spend countless hours creating the perfect piece of content, but if the topic isn’t right, it may be more trouble than it’s worth.
There are two primary factors to consider when researching content topics.
- Is there a high demand for this content?
- How high is the competition for this content niche?
For most content marketers and SEO’s, performing competitive keyword research is the primary way to learn which topics are optimal when it comes to content curation. Ideally, content that has a high demand and low level of competition is preferred as it provides the easiest route towards conversions.
While keyword research will likely remain the most relevant way to determine what to write about, there are other tools content marketers have at their fingertips that can be extremely useful when it comes to determining new topics.
Using Google Site Search to Find Content Gaps on Your Website
Google Analytics offers an extremely useful tool for websites that feature a site-search bar. This feature can be found in the behavior section of your Google Analytics dashboard (see image to the right).
Site search provides all the terms that visitors have searched for once they’ve arrived to your website. These search terms are extremely useful since they provide direct insight into what your site visitors are looking for. For the most part, a site search term represents:
- Content that users can’t find on your website
- Content that does not exist on your website.
For both of these instances, any term showing up provides an opportunity to improve your website. If content related to a popular site search term is already available, this may signify a need to improve the overall visibility of said content. Excessive site searches for important keywords can be a symptom of a poor website navigation structure, or a poor link structure.
For instances where relevant content doesn’t exist on your website, this is a direct opportunity to curate new content. The best thing about finding high volume content gaps based off Google Analytics site search terms is that the new content is almost guaranteed to be successful since site visitors are already looking for that content on your website.
Using Search Terms to Find Valuable Long-Tail Keyword Terms
An additional benefit of using Google site search terms is that you often will see an extremely diverse array of search keywords, which will include a variety of valuable long-tail search terms that you may not otherwise find. This is especially true for healthcare websites, where there are hundreds of niche terms and keywords that receive zero attention.
As an example, one of Fathom’s healthcare clients revealed a relatively high volume of site searches (81 searches) during a one month period for the term “Otolaryngology”. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never heard of Otalaryngology, but that means that the competition for a term that has a high possibility to convert is extremely low. Finding content opportunities like these are the crux of a sustainable, long term content plan that aims for steady traffic growth.
Setting up Site Search in Google Analytics
In order to make use of site search, you need to set up your analytics profile properly.
- Click on “admin” on the top bar.
- From the admin section, click on “view settings” in the upper right corner.
- Once in the settings page, scroll down until you see the site search settings section.
- Click “on” Site search Tracking.