So you have a great blog with a number of quality posts. Your blog is indexed by Google and you are already getting reasonably good amount of traffic from search engines. However, like everyone else, you feel that you need to improve your search traffic (organic traffic).
In this post, I shall share a few tips that I have found working for me in order to increase search engine traffic of your existing content or the posts that are already published. We will be using only the Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools to figure out where to optimize.
Step 1: Tap into your Top 10
Open your Google Analytics account and go to the Traffic Sources => Search Engines page. Filter by the ‘Landing Page’ option and increase date range to show the last three months search traffic.
The top 10 landing pages you see there – except the home or index page – are your:
i. Cash cows for monetizing your content via affiliate links or offers
ii. Linking sources to boost traffic to other potential pages
In this post we will be worrying only about the usage of your top landing pages for linking (Let me call this set of pages S1)
Step 2: Optimize your First Page listings
Now, open your Google Webmaster Tools account. Click ‘Your site on the web’ and then ‘Search queries’. Here, you have to select the time period from dropdown calendar to get a filtered duration of at least a month – ie. the past one month’s search queries. If the data is available, you can make the duration something like two or three months.
2.1 Top impression pages
Sort your Search queries list by Impressions. Now take a look at the CTR (Click Through Rate) of those search keywords. Pick ten pages that have very high number of impressions but a CTR of below 10%. These will be your top SERP pages that are not receiving much search traffic. Please note that to understand pages from keywords you have to click the ‘+’ sign in front of the keyword.
The above process can be tedious if you do within the Webmaster tools. But you have the chance to download it to Microsoft Excel and play around with filtering and sorting to arrive at your top impression pages (Let’s call it T1)
2.2 High CTR pages
Now sort the search queries listing by CTR. Pick the Top ten of them with exceptionally high CTR (sometimes even 60% or 70% for those #1 or #2 search position on Google). These keywords and their underlying pages are again potential candidates for linking from and let’s call them S2).
2.3 SERP runners ups
Again using the search queries results from the Webmaster tools, sort by Avg. Position. Pick those ten pages that are positioned in SERPs from 11 to 20. These are laggards that you can push further up to the front page with some effort. Let us call these pages T2.
Step 3: Optimize pages
Now it’s time to optimize your pages to get (a) improve SERP rankings and (2) better CTR. In order to do this, you have to do the following.
1. Using your Favorite SEO plugin such as All-in-one-SEO, improve the title and meta description of your ten pages (i.e. T1) from 2.1. Since they are already on the front page of Google search, you don’t need to really optimize the keywords or build links to them but just optimize the title and description to make the SERP results attractive thereby improving the CTRs or organic visits.
2. Link your target pages (T2 from 2.3) via appropriate keywords from source pages S1 and S2. Since S1 and S2 are high traffic and top ranked pages, linking from them will improve the search rankings (as well as page views per visit) of these secondary posts. If required, one could also do further keyword optimization on these pages.
3. You could always use the set of pages (S1 and S2) to link to other potential pages that you think need more attention. Also, you can improve the on-page SEO aspects of such target pages using keyword optimization and backlink building techniques.
4. You can also use S1 and S2 effectively to link to other ‘Related posts’ from them so as to increase the reach (page views on a single visit).
I hope the post wasn’t too difficult to understand. I have been using this technique to improve conversion rate on this blog. It’s pretty amazing how even some extra 10 page views from those vital pages can result in an affiliate sale. Hence it’s worth the effort.
By the way, you have to keep doing this exercise on a continuous basis or as and when you have time.
Sorry for not putting any pictures or illustrations as I didn’t want to expose my Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools content.