Thursday, 1 April 2010

Google Analytics for Keyword Research (Pt III)

Google Analytics is an absolute must for any website owner. It is a bit like Google Webmaster Tool in that it takes a while for website tracking to kick in.  If you don't use Analytics you must have a really good excuse, because I wonder how you know what your website is doing! Don't get me wrong, there are other tracking tools out there but a lot of them aren't free and besides, most people search with google so why not use their free tool? Also Google Analytics is a great tool to find out more about your keyword sources and what people search for to get them to your site. Let's see how we can utilise that for keyword research.

Analytics is used to keep track of your website activities including:

  • Number of visitors to your site,
  • Geography of your visitors, i.e. where they're coming from,
  • How they actually found your website
  • What they did on your website.
This list could go on and on but I'll stop there. Now the part I'm interested in for the keyword research is to knowing the keywords which bring people to your website. You will be amazed at what people search for on the Internet. The Keyword list is found under the Traffic Source of the Analytics Dashboard. Sometimes you can actually find a keyword which you never thought of being relevant to your website. Sadly, since my website is still quite new my Google Analytics account has not been able to pick up much data on my keywords yet, but I'll give it a couple of weeks then hopefully that should change. However, I was able to find an old site which had a couple of keywords so I'll make do with that. You can actually work on some of those keywords and get further key phrases out of it, phrases which people actually search for, with less competition. This is known as the long tail keyword.

Taking a look at this miserable website you would see some keywords under which the website is found for. If you're not too sure of that keyword you could research it with Google Adword Keyword tool which I talked about in a previous post. This could be an untapped keyword traffic source for your website and a lead to further increase in overall traffic to your website or blog. Sometimes keywords found on your Google Analytics links in with your Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP) result found on your Google Webmaster Tool (more information on my next post).

So! Thats my first series on keyword research. To sum it up:
  • Keyword Research is VERY important for any website or blog hoping to get traffic. The sooner you do your keyword research, the better. Keyword research also never really ends; Less is more, it's better to focus on a keyword with less competition and rank well for that than vice versa.
  • Google Keyword Tool is used to check synonyms of a key phrase, the search volume and the level of competition for that word or phrase. This helps to make your decision on what keyword to focus on for your website.
  • Google Webmaster Tool is used for many things which I hope you'll experiment with, however I mentioned it here to check keyword relevance to your website. Sometimes those keywords can be used to form other key phrases for your site.
  • Finally, Google Analytics has the  Keyword Traffic source which shows you what key phrases brought people to your site. Sometimes this could be used as a source of future keywords to target depending on the volume of search carried out for them.
Like I said, there's a lot more to Keyword Research than what I've mentioned. Some of it you will find out by yourselves but I'll write up some more stuff on keyword research as we go along. My next post will be on Search Engine Ranking Position, which I've just mentioned in relation to the Google Webmaster Tool and I'll link it into your keywords. As usual, feedback is always appreciated and don't hesitate to drop me a line for clarification or to give your opinions...


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