Using Google Analytics to find low hanging fruit in your SEO efforts

I find a lot of small businesses and some SEOs get really locked in on the big fish in their SEO efforts once they do their initial on-site optimization.  This can be troublesome only because those big fish can take a long time to reel in, and it’s good for the ego (or job security in the monthly report you turn into your boss) to consistently get some small wins and move the needle of qualified traffic.

Fortunately, you don’t need to start from scratch with these efforts, you can use some available data to make some quick changes and nail down some more long tail traffic.  Here’s how:

  • Hop on your Google Analytics
    • Go to traffic sources > keywords
    • Expand your results and export to a CSV
    • Open it up in Excel and sift down until you find terms that you are NOT targeting – select and copy
  • Head out to the Google keyword tool to see what you might be missing
    • Select filter my results and be sure to choose “Don’t show ideas for new keywords” (we only want to see the terms we are currently getting traffic for)
    • Be sure to use “exact” when using the keyword tool, this tends to give you more accurate results for SEO purposes
exact match for google keywords
  • Select some promising targeted long tail terms and run them through a rank checker tool
  • Check your results and see if you have items ranking anywhere from 3-2o, and which page is ranking, THESE are the low hangers (remember being on page one is NOT enough to get traffic)
    • Before you start wildly changing your pages, make sure you aren’t going to do anything that sinks an existing ranking, like dropping an important keyword out of a title tag
    • Once you’re safe, soup up your on page factors (add a picture with an alt tag, fix the page title, add some more keyword phrases, do some internal linking, etc.) and watch your traffic increase!

Adam Henige

Adam Henige is Managing Partner of Netvantage SEO. Adam heads the SEO and link building efforts for Netvantage and has been a contributing blogger for industry publications like Search Engine Journal and Moz.


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