Adding Relevant Content with Google Analytics

Adding Relevant Content with Google Analytics

You place a Contact Us form at the top of your website and ask your readers to tell you what they would like to see more of, but let’s face it — they usually don’t. How many times have you filled out a contact form? The first days after starting a new website can be difficult. You want your readers to enjoy the time spent at your site, and you want to keep them coming back by adding more of what they want. How can you know what they want, though, if they don’t tell you? If you have Google Analytics installed for your website, each visitor that finds your site through a search engine leaves behind an important trail that you can use to add more relevant content to your site quickly.

  1. Navigate to Google Analytics and log in.
  2. Click the blue “View Report” link next to the website that you are working on.
  3. Click the blue “View Report” link under “Traffic Sources Overview” in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
  4. Click “View Full Report” under “Keywords” in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

You are now looking at a report of all of the search engine keywords that visitors have used to find your site. After launching a new website, I like to gather this data each day using the Google Analytics results from the previous day. Google Analytics begins displaying the totals for the previous day at midnight in your local time zone. To see only the previous day’s results, click the “Day” button in the upper-right corner of the screen after logging in.

So, how do you use this information? Imagine that you have a website for the hottest new product, the Big Blue Widget. You’ve launched the site by publishing a comprehensive 1,000 word review describing every aspect of the product. If you really did an excellent job describing the product, you are going to begin seeing some very long-tail searches such as:

  • Big Blue Widget problems
  • Big Blue vs. Big Red Widget
  • Best accessories for the Big Blue Widget
  • How to upgrade the Big Blue Widget
  • Big Blue Widget squeaking when I use it
  • Big Blue Widget won’t turn on

People have come to your site looking for answers to these questions. If your site doesn’t have the answer already, use this information to find out what people want and give it to them. You can use the information that you gather from Google Analytics to add relevant content such as a troubleshooting and help section, a section comparing the Big Blue Widget to other products, a FAQ section — be creative. The best part is that with each new bit of relevant content you add to your site, Google Analytics will provide more information that you can use to continue expanding.

I find that this trick works best for product-oriented websites. For general interest and humor sites, content that you have added previously may have no bearing on what you write about in the future. Additionally, your site has to already have some strongly-written content created for the readers, not the search engines. A one-keyword article isn’t going to give you any information.

Tip: Google Webmaster Tools has a report similar to the one I’ve described in this article — the “Search Queries” report that is shown after you log in and click the name of a website. This report is equally valuable, as it shows the search engine keywords that result in your site being displayed on the results pages, whether or not your site is clicked. However, the information is about three days behind, while Google Analytics updates every day.

Photo credit: Gastev, Flickr.com



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