Blogalytics: Let your traffic guide your topics

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Ok so what is blogalytics? Blogalytics is a term I just made up by combining the word Blog and the word analytics - Make sense?

Ok seriously though, this blog post is TOTALLY worth reading to the end, so keep reading. (Especially for you REW bloggers)

Blogalytics is a technique I have practiced, and selectively shared with friends that helps alleviate the annoying task of trying to decide what to blog about while at the same time being guaranteed that your blog posts will receive the kind of targeted visitors that you are trying attract to your website.

The analytics part: There are 2 requirements

1. In order to practice this technique you have to have "some" traffic from search engines.

2. You must have a web analytics program installed that provides data on which searches are currently bringing traffic to your site.

Ok so here is what you do:

Step 1: Login to your analytics program (I use Google Analytics and highly recommend them) choose your favorite search engine (Once again I choose Google) and select the option that shows you which keyword searches have brought you traffic via the Google search engine (Or whichever one you chose)

*Be sure to set your date range to a decent amount of days / months so that you have a nice sample of keyword searches that have brought your website qualified traffic during that period

Step 2: Now that you have done step one correctly, you have a list of keyword phrases that have brought you traffic during your chosen time frame. Here is where it gets weird, set your display to it's maximum amount of viewable results and head for the bottom. The bottom you say? Absofreakinlutely! The reason you head to the bottom is because you are looking for keyword phrases that you are ranking for, but not ranking well enough to send you enough traffic to be at the top of the list. So let's say your maximum was 100 phrases, copy the bottom 30-50 and paste them into an excel spreadsheet, word doc or any other editor. Now start deleting! Go through the list and delete any keyword phrases that may have erroneously come to your website or are just not keywords you are interested in. What you should have left is a shortlist of keywords that you truly are interested in receiving more traffic from.

Step 3: Check your rankings - this part is easy, go to Google and copy paste each keyword phrase that is on your shortlist into the Google search bar. (To make finding your URL easier set your Google preferences to show 100 results because you might be on page 2, you might be on page 9)

If you are already ranking #1 for any of your phrases, take a look a look at the page that is ranking for that term and ask yourself, will visitors searching for this phrase find this page useful, or is there a better way to appeal to this traffic? If you are satisfied that the page your #1's are landing on is a good match for the search, delete that phrase from your shortlist (You can't rank any higher AND the page they are landing on is suited to the phrase) - However! If your #1 ranked page is ranking for that phrase purely based on change (It wasn't all that competitive and Google ranked you based on a very minor mention of the phrase and the fact that your site has authority) put these #1's in a new column of your spreadsheet called re-target (Call it whatever you want, my names are dumb sometimes, shoot I came up with Blogalytics ) - I will tell you what to do with your re-target phrases list in a minute.

Step 4: The whole point of this article

Ok - now that we have finished steps one through three, we have two lists, one of keyword phrases we are already number one for but with pages that aren't properly targeted, and one for keyword phrases that have brought us qualified traffic but don't rank #1 (And likely aren't that well targeted)

This is your new list of suggested topics for your blog. You already know that your site has enough authority to compete in the rankings for these phrases and you now have the opportunity to properly optimize a blog post for both maximum search engine rankings and conversion.

The trick with writing these blog posts is the same as every other trick - there really isn't one. You don't want to just throw up some spammy blog post of a paragraph or two with no real value just to get a blog post on your site with that phrase in the title, because even though occasionally this will increase your rankings for that phrase, it won't convert the visitors once they get there, and I mean seriously, you already eliminated all the phrases you weren't interested in, so this is traffic you feel you can convert so put as much thought and effort into this blog post as you would any main page of your site. As a rule, and absolute MINIMUM of 20 minutes should be spent to plan and write a great blog post. But don't cheat, give your blog post as much time as it takes to make it the kind of quality post that will cause that visitor to become a client.

 

Comments

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Ryan Ward

Morgan, This is a great tool. I think that it will really help take some of the guesswork out of finding topics that consumers will find relevant.

Sam Dodd

This is great advice. I was already doing pretty much the same thing (without spread sheets or whatever) It really helps find you topics as well as increase ranking and conversion for some terms you may have overlooked.

Morgan Carey

Yeah that is the whole thing, checking your analytics does really help you find those phrase that as you say "you may have overlooked" if you are doing a great job with your unique content a ton of keyword phrases start popping up that are perfectly relevant AND that you didn't even know had traffic or that you were ranking for.

Dennis Pease

That helps, I've been looking at Analytics but I hadn't really figured out how to use this data.

David Phillips

Thanks for the pointers. I have been tracking my longtail KW for a while and am at the stage of compiling the list as you suggest.

SVRPaul

Thanks for the Great advice! Especially since I just read somewhere there are some changes taking place where even more emphasis is being placed on the age of a domain making it even harder to rank for those big keywords with a newer domain.

Louie

Why don't you just use Hittail? It automates this entire process for you and gives you long tail suggestions to blog about based on your traffic and it's free...

Morgan Carey

You could use hit tail as well, it is nowhere near as robust as GA, and doesn't store as much historical data, but you could still use it just the same. Great suggestion :)

loudog

Good stuff. I have been doing this with my website (not blog). It started to become a hassle trying to integrate content into the website based on low ranking keywords and still have it make sense to the user. Using a blog to do it really makes sense.

Jennifer Mackay

This post continues to be relevant even after 2 years!

I continue to use this technique with very good results :)

Dennis Pease

It's funny you posted that today Jennifer, its been 5 months since the last comment. I hadn't looked at this post for quite a while until last night. This is one of those great posts that you bookmark for future reference and I read it all again last night.

So you can imagine my surprise to see a comment this morning on this post.

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