Whether paid or organic, when it comes to search marketing, keywords are king.
Good keyword research is at the heart of any successful search marketing campaign, so it pays to get it right from the get-go.
Good keyword research, however, isn’t just about search volume, competition level, suggested bids or any of the other metrics you see in a keyword research tool like Google’s keyword planner.
While all of these metrics are helpful, the most important trait of any keyword is the intent behind it.
From a data perspective, a keyword can look like a perfect fit, but if most of the searches related to a term aren’t related to your business, that keyword probably isn’t worth your time or money.
Unfortunately, Google’s keyword planner doesn’t tell you a lot about the intent behind a keyword. But that doesn’t mean you have to guess. Google can still tell you a lot about the intent behind a keyword; you just have to know where to look.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why intent is such an important part of keyword research, how to get at the intent behind a keyword and ways to use intent to guide your search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) keyword strategies.
To begin, let’s start by taking a look at how the intent behind a keyword can affect your SEM and SEO efforts.
Intent and SEM
The easiest way to demonstrate the importance of intent in search marketing is to look at a search engine marketing example.
Why? With SEM, you pay for every click, so if you’re targeting the wrong intent, you can waste a lot of money… fast!
For example, one of my company’s clients offers business translation services (documents, international deals and so on). During our initial audit of their accounts, I noticed something interesting: They were bidding on the keyword “translate.”
At first glance, this keyword seems to make sense. Their business is all about translation, so “translate” seems like a no-brainer keyword, especially when the keyword gets hundreds of millions of searches every month.
Not surprisingly, bidding on “translate” had won them a lot of clicks: $150,000 worth of clicks, to be precise.
This would have been great, except for one little thing: Those clicks didn’t turn into sales.
Despite the fact this keyword and many others looked relevant to their business and had great search volume, their SEM campaigns were a colossal waste of money. The intent behind their keywords was wrong.
While “translate” is a great match for what this business does, most people who use the word “translate” in an online search aren’t looking for business translation services. In other words, the keyword was right, but the intent was wrong, and the end result was $150,000 down the drain.
Intent and SEO
Intent isn’t just an SEM problem, though.
For example, someone in my company recently wrote an article focused on pay-per-click (PPC) tactics. It was a cheeky piece that used Wes Craven’s Freddie Krueger slasher film as a framework for discussing why different PPC branding tactics were so effective.
Almost overnight, traffic to our blog increased 497 percent. It was our first real blogging breakthrough!
Which would have been great… except that no one was converting.
Our traffic wasn’t finding us because they were not searching for things like “PPC branding” or “branding tactics,” they were searching for “freddy krueger tactics.”
Somehow, we had ended up as the #1 article for “freddy krueger tactics,” and we were getting hundreds of clicks a day from fans of the knife-fingered serial killer.
Our content was targeted on the right keywords, but the intent we were targeting was wrong, horribly wrong.
Bad traffic is bad news
Now, before you argue that free traffic is always good for your content, even if the intent is wrong, try searching on Google for “PPC branding tactics”:
Yes, our company article ranks #1, but it isn’t our Freddy Krueger article. Even after all those thousands of clicks, that article doesn’t rank on the first page for the keyword it was optimized for. In fact, it doesn’t even show up for this search.
Instead, the article that matches the intent behind the keyword “PPC branding tactics” is the one that ranks.
Wondering why? Because Google is dedicated to understanding intent. For Google’s algorithms, an article that gets a lot of clicks from people searching for “Freddy Krueger tactics” probably isn’t a good match for people who are searching for “PPC branding tactics,” even if that’s what the article is actually about.
Obviously, we didn’t write this article with the goal of dominating the keyword “Freddy Krueger tactics,” but the article was written to catch the eye of “Nightmare on Elm Street” fans, so we inadvertently ended up targeting the wrong intent and completely missing our target audience.
Whether it’s SEM or SEO, the intent behind your keywords has an enormous effect on the success of your marketing. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get clever with your content or ads, but if you want to succeed at search marketing, you need to match your marketing to the intent behind your keywords.
Figuring out intent
Fortunately, when it comes to intent, you don’t have to guess, Google has actually done a lot of the work for you!
Google is dedicated to understanding search intent. It has invested enormous resources into creating algorithms that can identify the intent behind a search and deliver the results you’re looking for. Instead of picking keywords that seem right and hoping for the best, why not use Google’s algorithms to identify the intent behind your keywords?
To show you how this works, let’s jump back up to our translation company example and take a look at the search results for “translate”:
First off, the fact that the first result is a giant Google Translate widget should be a big red flag.
If so many people type in “translate” because they want to quickly translate a word or phrase that Google has created a dedicated widget for meeting that need, that keyword probably isn’t one a business to business (B2B) translation business should be targeting.
Even if we ignore the widget, none of the first-page results are related in any way to business translation. Same goes for the second page of results.
In fact, translation services of any type don’t show up until the third page, and those translation services are for individuals, not businesses:
Now, I’m not saying Google is perfect at predicting or interpreting intent, but based on the results Google is showing here and 450 million other times a month, I’d wager that almost no one who types in “translate” is looking for a business translation service.
On the other hand, let’s take a look at what we get if we search for “business translation”:
First off, unlike the “translate” keyword, the first thing you see from this keyword is ads.
If you’re thinking about running SEM ads, that’s actually a good sign. Yes, it means you’ve got competition, but it also means that other companies think the intent is good enough to run their own ads on the keyword.
But let’s see what Google thinks people who search for “business translation” are after. Here are the organic search results:
The keyword “business translation” could imply a lot of different intents, ranging from educational intent (“what is business translation?”) to the actual desire to know what the word “business” is in another language.
However, from these business listings, it looks like Google thinks people who search for “business translation” are looking for a business translation service. This seems like a good intent to target.
Of course, the monthly search volume for “business translation” is several orders of magnitude lower than the search volume for “translate,” but it’s much better to get 100 conversions a month than 1 million clicks a month from the wrong traffic — especially when you’re paying for those clicks.
As a quick aside, if you want a real eye-opener, take a look at your search terms report and try typing in the searches your ads are showing up for. Your ads just might be showing up in some of the most unexpected places.
SEM vs. SEO: Targeting the right intent
While checking the search engine results page (SERP) for a keyword seems simple, in my experience, many search marketers, especially paid search marketers, never bother to look at what Google thinks is relevant content for a keyword.
That is unfortunate, because the wealth of insight Google offers can save you from wasting a ton of money and/or time on the wrong keywords.
Depending on whether you’re trying to pick the right keywords for an SEM or an SEO campaign, however, the “right” intent can mean very different things. Here are some things to keep in mind while picking SEM and SEO keywords:
- SEM keywords. SEM keywords are expensive. Every click costs you, so if you’re going to target a keyword in your SEM campaigns, you need to target keywords with high purchasing intent. So, if none of the first page search results for a potential keyword indicate purchasing intent (home pages of sales or lead-gen orientated sites, product pages, services pages and so on), it may not be a good SEM keyword. No matter how right a keyword seems, a SERP filled with links to forums, question and answer (Q&A) sites, blog posts, Wikipedia pages or other informational sites usually isn’t worth spending money on. People in information-gathering mode usually don’t want to buy right away, so paying to get them to your site or landing page is usually a waste of money. However, if the SERP is filled with links to businesses, especially competitors, you’ve probably just discovered a great candidate for your SEM campaigns.
- SEO keywords. SEO keywords, on the other hand, are fairly cheap. As long as the intent behind a search is relevant to your business (i.e., not “Freddy Krueger”), an SEO keyword doesn’t need to be particularly high-intent to be profitable. That is important, because ranking organically for high-intent keywords can often be difficult and time-consuming. With SEO keywords, it’s often a good idea to target a wide range of keywords that indicate an interest in what your business offers. Even if those keywords don’t translate into an immediate purchase, they help you build brand awareness with a relevant audience. So, if you type in a potential keyword and see a lot of blog posts, Q&A sites or forums that are discussing topics that are directly related to your core business offering, you’ve found a great keyword.
Creating content around those keywords will help put you in front of the right audience and will eventually improve your organic ranking for high purchasing-intent keywords. So it’s a double win!
Whether you’re trying to pick SEM keywords, SEO keywords or both, the key to successful search marketing is picking keywords with the right intent. No matter how much search volume a keyword might have, if those searches aren’t relevant to your business, they aren’t worth your time and/or money.
Fortunately, you don’t have to guess why people use certain keywords in their searches. By conducting those searches yourself and taking a hard look at the results, you can use Google’s algorithms to get at the general intent behind a given keyword.
Here’s a fact: effective SEO results require hard work and effort.
Anyone who has been in the SEO game for more than a few days knows that earning your website a place in search results is no piece of cake.
Not only do you need to carefully plan and execute your strategies, you also need to be on the lookout for changes in algorithms and other tweaks.
But the fact that SEO requires dedication doesn’t mean you can’t use tools and software to simplify the process, especially when you work with several large websites.
SEO automation means making the search engine optimization process automatic through the use of tools, software and other programs that reduce human labor.
The entire SEO process is far too complicated for all of it to be automated, but certain aspects of SEO definitely can be. And this can free up considerable time for other creative and administrative work.
The key here is to understand what you can automate and what you can’t (or shouldn’t) automate. For example, tasks like site monitoring and data collection should be automated so that information is collected on the go. A professional then needs to take decisions based on the data collected.
However, SEO processes like content creation and organic link building should not be automated because not only would you end up with low-quality content, you could also get penalized for building spammy links.
Your best bet is to find a combination of tools and software that helps you get the job done in minimal time.
So, if you’re thinking of automating your SEO, here are some of the best tools that can help you with specific areas.
SEMrush for advanced keyword research and tracking
Keyword research is the foundation of any good SEO programme. After all, the goal is for your audience to find you through search. While a free tool like Google Keyword Planner is a great place to start, SEMrush is one tool that would save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to keyword research.
With the SEMrush keyword research tool, you can identify your competitor’s best keywords, observe position changes in domains, uncover long tail keywords for your own site and for PPC campaigns.
Combining the Keyword Magic tool and Keyword Analyzer allows you to carry out keyword research faster than you would with a combination of tools. You can easily sort through thousands of keywords and uncover long tail keywords without dealing with multiple spreadsheets.
The keyword analyzer sorts selected keywords according to volume, KD, and click potential. Using the Keyword Magic Tool, you can select a combination of phrases and the tool will suggest long tail combinations with the exact phrases people search for.
If you work with clients, then the SEMrush Report builder comes in handy for creating custom reports. All you have to do is select widgets relevant to your report and customize the settings. The report builder automatically updates the information whenever you need to generate a report.
You can also schedule the reports, or use them as templates for future reports.
Cyfe for all-in-one monitoring
One of the pains of SEO is that there is always so much information to track. From keeping an eye on analytics, to monitoring your rankings and catching up on advertising campaigns, there can be a lot of logging in and out of several dashboards.
This is where Cyfe comes in. Cyfe is an all-in-one business dashboard that allows you to keep track of important marketing metrics including SEO and SEM metrics. Cyfe’s strength lies in its ability to pull in data from several sources into one dashboard, giving you an eagle eye view of all your SEO efforts.
Cyfe’s pre-built widgets allows for easy monitoring of any metrics you may want to track. With the Moz widget, for example, you can monitor a website’s authority in search without the need for a paid Moz account.
Another place Cyfe excels is in competitor tracking. With the Cyfe competitor dashboard and RSS feeds, you can monitor your competitor’s content, email and social media strategies at a glance.
Once you have configured all of your dashboard widgets, you can set up rule-based SMS alerts, allowing you to continue with business as usual, knowing you’ll get a mobile push notification when anomalies that demand human attention arise.
Screaming Frog SEO spider for site crawls and audits
The bottom line in SEO is knowing what to fix on your site to boost performance in search. That means you need an excellent site audit process, especially one that you can put on repeat. For this, Screaming Frog SEO spider is a great choice.
Screaming Frog is a web crawling tool that checks for broken links, audits redirects, analyses page titles, meta data and discovers duplicate content. It can also generate XML sitemaps and integrates with Google Analytics, and you can even set it up for regularly scheduled crawls.
If you have ever tried to perform these activities manually, you would know how tedious they can be, especially for large websites. Screaming Frog saves you the time.
To generate a sitemap, all you have to do is crawl a site completely, and select the XML sitemap option. The tool also comes in handy when searching for and replacing links on your website.
Ahrefs for backlink analysis
The best way to jumpstart your SEO effort is to get backlinks from reputable websites. Ahrefs is one tool that can help you keep an eye on how well your efforts are paying off. The tool crawls 6 billion web pages daily and has an index of 3 trillion known URLs, making it the perfect option for backlink analysis.
With Ahrefs, you can automatically set the tool to monitor how well you are ranking in search, using the recently rebooted Rank Tracker tool. You can also get alerts for new keywords, new/lost backlinks and brand mentions.
Keeping an eye on the competition is also easy, as you can find content attracting the most backlinks in your niche and spy on your competitors to know where their links are coming from.
SEO is a tough nut, and there’s no magic way to automate all of it. To get the best results, you’ll still need to put in the required time and effort. What you can (and should) do, though, is to arm yourself with excellent tools that make the job easier and faster.
The SEMrush keyword research tool is a great option for intelligent keyword research while Ahrefs helps you track down your backlinks effortlessly.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider helps you stay up to date with your site performance through in-depth crawling, and for monitoring all your site metrics in one place, you can rely on Cyfe.
Which tools do you use to automate your SEO? Share your recommendations in the comments!
The digital marketing landscape has evolved significantly over the last two decades. And between Google’s ever-changing algorithm and the deluge of misinformation floating through the digital marketing sphere, it’s easy to lose sight of basic practices we should be employing in our own SEO and content marketing strategies.
With every new algorithm update and technological shift in search, we become obsessed with how the field of SEO will enter a wholly new paradigm, and we shift our focus to reflect this. Yet as much as the medium may change, the core principles remain the same — and it’s time to get back to the basics.
We all understand the secrets and best practices of SEO, so why do we often fail to leverage these tactics? Let’s explore five common blogging mistakes you may be making right now.
Unoptimized keyword structure
Despite the rise of semantic search and machine learning technology, keyword research should still take precedence when modeling an internal content marketing campaign. All on-site content should be thematically linked by topics and keywords to your overall business objectives.
If our content is simply covering topics and not keywords, how do we know what users really demand? Without keyword research, how can you truly know who your audience is and who you are writing for?
Keywords serve as the bridge between user intent and informational/transactional content. Keyword-optimized content helps to position individual web pages to rank higher organically and drive impressions for targeted searches. This effectively makes blog content a lead generator.
For on-site blogs, the focus should remain on informational long-tail keyword phrases. Common examples include question phrases beginning with how, what, when, where and why.
Other keyword ideas could include actionable phrases that are often searched for, such as the top “tips” and “hacks” to improve upon some process.
Bloggers often fail to optimize their headers, meta tags and content with targeted keyword phrases. Consider the fact that specific keyword phrases will often be bolded within the meta description of a SERP listing, potentially increasing your click-through rate.
Inadequate keyword research runs deeper than failing to optimize your header structure (e.g., title, meta description). Many bloggers fail to leverage semantic SEO, or similar keyword phrases with the same meaning. Semantic SEO allows bloggers to create more thorough and readable content that can drive impressions for multiple keyword phrases, answer more user questions and qualify your content to be a featured snippet — think of the rise of voice search.
On the other hand, over-optimized content could cross a dangerous line as well. Keyword stuffing, or possessing a high keyword density, will qualify your content as spam. Keyword stuffing also obstructs your content’s readability, which results in poor user signals.
Following SEO best practices, it’s still important to optimize all relevant site elements, such as URLs and meta tags, with targeted keywords to categorize and rank individual web pages. And aside from signaling to search engines the main focus of your on-site content, keywords also serve an important function for your site architecture.
Inconsistent internal links
Internal linking is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of SEO optimization, and issues with internal links frequently occur on SEO agency websites themselves!
There are many functions of proper internal linking for SEO:
- Establishes paths for users to navigate your website.
- Opens up crawling to deep linked web pages and increases crawl rate.
- Defines site architecture and your most important web pages to search engines.
- Distributes “link juice,” or authority, throughout your website.
- Indexes linked-to web pages by the keywords used in the hyperlink anchor text.
While backlinks remain the gold standard of search engine ranking factors, their magic can be amplified through strategic internal linking.
Ideally, you’ll want at least three to five internal links per blog post, and a drop-down or navigation menu on your home page to provide deep links to inaccessible web pages. Just because a piece of content is posted to your blog, it doesn’t mean Google or Bing can automatically access it.
Conduct a thorough internal link audit and record which web pages have the most authority. Simply insert internal links on these pages to other high-value internal pages to distribute authority evenly throughout your domain.
Many websites display featured posts in a drop-down menu or on the home page to distribute authority to their blog posts. A blogger’s home page will be his/her most authoritative. Limit the number of links between each blog post and your home page to evenly distribute link juice throughout your domain.
Don’t overlook the importance of a sitemap, either. This will ensure all web pages are properly crawled and indexed — assuming URL structures are clean and keyword-optimized.
Finally, optimize all anchor text to categorize and drive impressions for linked web pages. Be sure to use varying anchor text phrases for each link so that you can rank your web pages for multiple search queries.
Poor page copy
As we often say in digital marketing, it’s important to write for readers and not search engines. Keep content light, don’t try to show off knowledge with excessive jargon, and write for readers on an eighth-grade reading level.
In most cases, on-site content is not about publishing, but building awareness around a need. I always suggest placing actionable tips in informational content to provide value.
Content marketing is as much a branding exercise as it is a marketing tactic. Consistent content production establishes your brand’s ethos and also creates your voice as an author. In turn, this establishes you as an authority in your niche.
Don’t sacrifice this authority with poor body copy.
Look over your blog post as a whole. What does a reader experience when they first encounter your web page? Consider the fact that the average attention span is estimated to be eight seconds. Optimize your header structure and meta tags to encourage easy scanability and communicate a clear purpose.
Leverage a powerful headline to pique reader interest, and nurture this interest with a strong introductory paragraph. Always insert clear transition phrases, and consider using animated GIFs and videos to give users a mental break between long chunks of paragraphs. These will also increase your average user dwell time.
Make your content visually appealing by utilizing white space properly and inserting images after every 400 words or so. This essentially chunks content and prevents information overload.
Finally, edit fiercely. Many writers live by the rule that about two-thirds of writing should be editing and reworking. Use tools such as Grammarly and the Hemingway App to create concise and clean body copy.
Unoptimized images and videos
Speaking of poor page copy, most bloggers still ignore image and video optimization. Unoptimized image file formats and sizes are the most common load time mistakes that deteriorate SEO performance.
All on-site images should be formatted as .jpg, and all vector images as .png.
Always optimize image alt text to position it to rank in a targeted keyword image search. The alternative text is what’s displayed when a browser fails to actually display the image and tells search engines the content of your image. (It’s also used to describe images to those with screen readers.)
When optimizing video files, host all of your video files in a single folder and create a video site map for search engines to index your videos. You should optimize the meta description of all video pages with targeted keywords for indexation. Leverage a call to action in your meta description and video annotations.
Video marketing can be distributed from multiple channels, as well as your blog. According to a recent survey by HubSpot, 43 percent of consumers want to see more video from content marketers.
Poor content promotion
This leads us to probably the greatest error that plagues bloggers and stumps small businesses. We’re told that a good piece of content should serve as a natural link magnet and even rank highly based on the merits of the writing itself. To be candid, from experience we’ve discovered this isn’t always true.
Consider the idea that a 10-hour project totaling 3,245 words, featuring exquisite content and imagery, is just as useless as a poorly written 400-word listicle if it doesn’t drive conversions or traffic. This is what I refer to as potential energy. Without a proper technical structure or any content promotion strategy at work, your awe-inspiring content is a dud.
What if, after writing his Theory of Relativity, Einstein had simply posted his theory on his front door and waited for someone to discover it? Content distributed over a blog on a young domain won’t gather backlinks or social shares without promotion.
Leverage your connections, and follow these strategies to promote content and allow it to compound over social media:
- Have influential members of your organization share and promote a piece of content.
- Contact influencers over social media to share content.
- Request a quote from an industry thought leader to place in your content; advertise this in your rich snippet on social media channels.
- Repurpose content into a video or infographic for greater shareability.
- Contact websites that have linked to similar content in the past.
- Submit your content to replace relevant broken links on authoritative sites.
- Run a paid advertisement campaign over social media to place content directly in front of targeted audience members.
Content promotion involves thorough audience analysis. Segment audience members into one of three boundaries based on habits, demographics and psychographics. Investigate what social media channels each audience segment uses the most and the points of time when they are most active.
Understand which pieces of content perform best over specific social media channels. The most viral content examples include:
- “How-to” tutorials
- “Why” articles
Content serves as an effective pull marketing tactic and inbound lead generator. Yet, if content is simply sitting on the shelf and gathering dust, it’s a lost investment.
Social and user signals factor greatly into organic ranking. Essentially, social promotion will draw users to your content, which will determine — based on their engagement — the efficacy of your content.
SEO agencies and content marketers often tell clients about technical and onsite errors they may be making. But sometimes it takes a little realism to take a step back and analyze our own campaigns for greater success in the long run.
Hopefully, you’ll take the news that your SEO content strategy is imperfect in the right way. It’s an opportunity to refine and improve.
Content is the first thing that comes to mind with search engine optimization. There is a process, however, to creating and optimizing strong content.
The process involves four separate tasks: data analysis, programmatic optimization, content creation, and manual optimization. These tasks are often performed by three teams: SEO, marketing, and IT.
This article covers the first of those four tasks, the critical data analysis. Data may not be sexy to most people. But strong data is the basis of every good SEO plan. Do not skip this first step in the content optimization process for any reason, no matter how quickly you need to move. Poor data inevitably leads to poor execution.
Keyword data shows the potential demand that each keyword concept holds based on how many searches are conducted for that concept in an average month. Demand is an important consideration. It is separate from performance. Demand identifies how strongly you could be driving traffic and revenue to your site for specific keyword concepts. Performance identifies how well you have already done so.
Keyword data shows the potential demand that each keyword concept holds based on how many searches are conducted for that concept in an average month.
The difference between the two is your missed opportunity, which organic search competitors are capitalizing on. (For additional details, see my how-to articles on keyword research planning and execution.)
Search Engine Rankings Data
This data is a little trickier to get without an enterprise SEO platform like Searchmetrics or BrightEdge, or a dedicated search rankings tool. If you cannot afford ranking tools and must do it manually, at least sign out of your search engine accounts and open an incognito window. This is not a foolproof technique, but it’s better than nothing.
When collecting rankings data in the U.S., it makes the most sense to use Google as the engine to target based on the large percentage of traffic it drives. In Google, collect not just the position that individual keywords are ranking at, but also the URL that ranks for that keyword.
Google Search Console Search Query Report
Sadly, the Search Console “queries” report (Search Console > Search Traffic > Search Analytics > Queries) will only yield 2,000 search queries, but it’s the only reliable source of keyword data for Google searches. Everything else is either estimated or inaccurate based on the keyword “not provided” challenge that SEO professionals have faced since the search engines began stripping search query information from referral strings by default in October 2011.
An important aside: Do not use your web analytics’ natural search keywords report as a substitute for this data. It is not accurate, and hasn’t been for years.
Google Search Console also provides average rankings for each keyword. It’s a good idea to keep all the data that any report contains, but you’ll especially want the rankings data because it is the only accurate indicator of Google’s true average ranking for your site.
While the online keyword report showing all 2,000 search queries allows you to click deeper to see all of the URLs that drove natural search impressions and traffic for that keyword, unfortunately there’s no way to download that information. That pairing of a keyword that ranks and the URL that ranks for it can still only be found in bulk with a third-party rankings tool.
SEO Keyword Data Mash up
Using VLOOKUP formulas in Excel, create a worksheet that contains a row for every keyword with columns showing the values from keyword research, rankings, and Google Search Console search query reports. This mash up will inform the next three steps. Save it, update it regularly, and consult it religiously for every important keyword or content-based decision you make.
Web Analytics Sessions and Revenue
While not keyword based, the reports showing sessions or visits, and orders and revenue, by natural search page or URL are another important source of content optimization information.
Whether your analytics platform is Google Analytics, Adobe Analytic, Coremetrics, or something else, your natural search landing page report is one of the most critical tools for determining everything from how well your content is performing today to how well it should perform tomorrow and how you should get there.
If you have the support of an analytics team, it may be tempting to rely on it to do the pulling and analysis of the data for you. Resist that temptation.
If you have the support of an analytics team, it may be tempting to rely on it to do the pulling and analysis of the data for you. Resist that temptation.
To be sure, consult with your analytics experts to get a recommendation on which reports to use in which profiles to get to the correct data that you need: visits or sessions, and orders and revenue. But data analysis inevitably leads to additional questions that can only be answered with additional data.
Rather than requesting and waiting for additional reports to be pulled for different timeframes and with different levels of granularity, it’s much more productive to become familiar enough with the analytics tool to extract the accurate data yourself. You’ll also get a better feel for the data when you’re actually using the tool.
Initiatives, such as supporting new product launches and the need to boost sales in certain areas, will also feed into decisions about which content to create and optimize. But they shouldn’t be the only information you reply on to drive your SEO content plan. If one-time initiatives supersede potential and performance data, your SEO plan will be primarily reactive as opposed to driving broad, strong performance.