In a recently article for the National B2B Centre (Google Analytics – First Time Through) I highlighted the top 5 or 6 reports I look at when reviewing Analytics for people.

If I was trying to prioritise that list then in fact I would choose the keywords report as number 1, especially for clients who are just starting out in understanding how their website is working and beginning to make their own changes.

The keywords report will tell you exactly what words and phrases visitors have typed into a search engine to get to your site (or blog). So you get to find out exactly how people are thinking about you or your products when they do a search.

Some of my clients are a bit disappointed when they see that a lot of searches include their company name. I usually suggest that they turn that thought round and consider the possibility that their company or brand name is strong enough for people just to type that in.

Other times people are disappointed when people search on “simpler versions” of a product name than they have used on their website (e.g. “thermometers” rather than “temperature monitoring equipment”). This is an example of having to understand the language that your customers use to describe products, services, processes, places etc. Use this feedback to modify the way your site is optimised and maybe even modify your sales processes.

Finally people get drawn, naturally, to the keywords that have generated the highest number of visits. Well don’t ignore the smaller numbers.

  • Firstly use the filter field at the bottom of the report to aggregate searches that include important words and synonyms, for instance “Thermometer|Temperature gauge|Celsius”. The report that follows will show you all the searches that include those words and suddenly you may see a substantial amount of visits from all sorts of variations of these search terms. Most people find some real surprises when they do this and it can impact the way that you think about your business.
  • Secondly have a look at some of the search terms that have generated a small number of visits (but which are relevant) and do a search on them. If your site isn’t ranked in say the top 3 pages of the search engine results then consider what effort people have made to actually visit your site. If your site isn’t optimised for the keyword already then “make it so” because it is likely that your site gets more visible for the term you will generate additional traffic.

Gareth Edwards

Arrowsmith Marketing – Managing your website for business success