Once upon a time, you may have wondered, “Hey, is it possible to know what kind of keywords people are using in Google to get to my site?” And if you were savvy, you’d know you could use Google Analytics to get that information.
I think most of us are aware of the (not provided) chronicles, but if you are not, make sure you read this post on Google’s Secure Search update.
I was fortunate enough to attend Pubcon for the second year in a row, and the key takeaway was that if you are providing your users with crazy, funny, cool, or awesome content, you shouldn’t be too worried about the lack of keyword data because you can measure your success in many other ways. And for the most part, I do agree with that. But there are some other tactics to perform your research and measure your data for opportunity.
Missed Opportunities by Buying Cycle
While you can’t view Google keyword data in the traditional way, the buying/conversion cycle has not changed. This means you should be looking at data in different ways:
- Brand queries
- Brand searches + nonbranded mix
- Nonbranded queries
- Informational Stage
- “What is, Where to find, How To”
- Research Stage
- “Reviews, Best, Top”
- Ready-to-Convert Stage
- “Price, Buy, Try, Download”
- Informational Stage
And I can’t stress this enough: don’t forget your long-tail queries. This is going to be even more crucial with the Hummingbird update, but it’s a way to both answer the questions your audience is asking and come up more easily in search results.
The Search and Social Overlap
Try adding your Tier 1 keywords to your social monitoring tool, and make sure you understand the sentiment and context behind the results you find in your monitoring tool. Compare search volume for each and compare the term among various social media sites. These are buzz words that you can easily integrate into your content to bridge the gap between your content and social media efforts.
Category Theme Identification
At Fathom, we tend to identify keyword groupings as “themes.” They’re typically grouped by the different kinds of searches I just identified. But to get an idea of new opportunities, look at which sites are ranking the most for that grouping. Take a look at what they are doing right and what kind of content they’re using. At the very least, you’ll get a content idea out of it.
Mine the Needs and Wants of Your Audience
One of my favorite ways to identify what users want out of a site is to look at internal site search data. This is crucial for not only figuring out what kind of content is missing/buried on your site, but how users are referring to content on your site. Look for questions here, and look for questions that are being asked on social media. Queries can be a great way to identify an audience persona you didn’t know you had.
Align Paid Efforts with Organic
I think this one gets forgotten pretty often. Take a look at your paid keywords that are high-CPC, but not ranking organically. Get some insights from the Paid and Organic report in Adwords. The more space you have on that SERP, the more likely you are to be reached.
The awesome slides from Bill Hunt were crucial in the writing of this post. Be sure to follow him!
Prepare for the August 2014 shopping search transition with Google Shopping and data feed optimization: