Throughout this series we have compared SEO to trying to loose weight (the SEO Diet). When trying to loose weight, most people have several aspects to their strategy. They do cardio workouts, aerobics, and weight lifting as well as eating certain foods at certain times.
Now imagine you are dieting and exercising and someone tells you they can tell you exactly which foods are helping you loose weight and which are hurting your weight loss efforts. They can also tell you which exercises are most effective and which you are wasting effort on, not just because they know what tends to work, but because they can monitor exactly how your individual body is being affected by each food choice or exercise.
In the same way, when trying to get more traffic and more conversions through your website, you target a variety of different keywords and use various optimization methods. Now imagine someone can tell you exactly which keywords are actually bringing people to your site, and which keywords are producing the most conversions and bringing the most new people in contact with your ministry. Welcome to the world of analytics.
Analytics is software that can track traffic to and from your website as well as on your website. With analytics software you can see how many people are coming to your site from inbound links you’ve gotten or from the search engines. The software can tell you which keywords people searched for when they found and visited your website. It can even tell you how long they stayed on your site, what pages they visited, and whether or not they completed certain tasks like completing an information request form. In addition to giving you insights into your website design, this is invaluable information that can serve as the other side of the keyword research coin.
Analytics and Keyword Research
- You may find that even when you rank well for certain keywords, people don’t click through to your site for those keywords. The keyword popularity predicts 500 searches a day and, even though you rank number 1, you are only getting 5-10 clicks a day. This may indicate that the people searching for that keyword aren’t actually looking for what you are offering or that the keyword isn’t really as popular as the keyword research indicated. So, it may be a good idea change the SEO / link building from targeting that keyword to targeting another keyword.
- You may also find that a large percentage of visitors searching for a lower popularity keyword not only click through to your site, but end up contacting the church. This could lead you to focus more attention on that keyword to make sure you rank number 1.
- Analytics reports may indicate that links on certain types of sites (maybe other church sites or local city listing sites) produce more traffic than other links. This would indicate that it would be more valuable to focus your link building efforts on getting links on those kinds of sites.
These are just the tip of the iceberg of the information you can get from analytics. There are several analytics options to choose from include software you can purchase, professional analytics management services, and free analytics options. One of the more popular analytics options is Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is free and one of the better analytics options out there, a good combination. All you need to do is create a Google Analytics account and then put their tracking code onto your website. The software will start recording all the information about the people visiting your website.
One of the things Google Analytics allows you to do is track conversions. Knowing how well certain keywords, links and web pages convert traffic is invaluble. We’ll look more at tracking conversions in our next article.
What do you think?
Have you ever used analytics?
What analytics software do you like best?
What metrics in the analytics do you pay attention to most?