Finding Ways to Reach out to New Audiences with Web Analytics Data
About The Author:Christina Inge is a consultant with Clearly Creative, LLC, an innovative marketing agency based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has over 10 years of experience in marketing and communications for both B2B and B2C audiences. Her areas of expertise include SEO, email marketing, marketing research, and events.
Create Content Specifically Designed to Attract New Visitors with Targeted Keyword Research
Effective, revenue-driving online content development takes a keen understanding of what your customers want. You need solid data to create a strategy that is practical, grounded in customer data, comprehensive, and feasible to implement with your existing resources. For content geared towards existing customers, sources of feedback that you can use to guide content strategy are abundant, such as survey data, informal feedback, email open rates and clickthrough patterns, and retail sales are among the many sources you can utilize. But what about new customers? How can you obtain the feedback you need to create an online content strategy specially geared towards reaching a new audience?
Your web analytics data contains a wealth of information that can, and indeed, should, inform the decisions you make about what content you should be creating for your site to attract new customers. To truly reach out to a wider audience, you need to provide them with the types of information for which they come to your site. The best, certainly the most efficient way to learn what your visitors are seeking is your web analytics data. Although sorting through all that data to find the information you need to guide your strategy will take an initial time commitment, it’s well worth the effort. The benefits of populating your site with content that has already been proven to be of interest to your visitors is immeasurable. But how does one cull through all the analytics data efficiently to pinpoint the most essential topics that draw new visitors?
The most efficient method is to focus on information gleaned from just one portion of your analytics data: organic keywords. Depending on your industry and your overall marketing strategy, you may have other, equally valuable sources of data, such as paid search, but a site’s top organic search keywords are the most universally useful in guiding content strategy. They reflect the actual interests that bring new visitors to your site. Organic keywords are valuable in creating content to attract new visitors, rather than retain existing ones, since most of your returning visitors are not coming in through search engines, but rather as direct traffic. Organic keywords are thus your best method for identifying the topics and interests that are drawing visitors to your site who are not regular visitors.
But Which Keywords?
Of course, you probably receive visits on scores, if not hundreds, of organic keywords a month, and it is not feasible (or desirable) to write content on all of them. Selecting which keywords to create content around comes down to several factors:
• Conversion rate
• Length of visit
• Depth of visit (i.e., the number of pages viewed)
• Importance to your core business
Keywords that bring your site highly desirable traffic, in terms of good conversion rates, longer than average visits, and deeper than average visits are naturally the ones you will gravitate towards. However, there is one caveat to bear in mind: are all the keywords that bring good-quality traffic at the moment truly related to the core aspects of your business? It is possible to have a great deal of good traffic on a keyword that may relate to an aspect of your business that you do not care to grow at this time. Eliminate those that pertain to something less relevant to your business. For instance, if you have a retail operation focused primarily on high-end hardware, but also sell fasteners as a convenience to your customers, it makes little sense to focus your limited content creation budget on fastener-related SEO, even if you have recently experienced an uptick in traffic on those keywords. Once you have eliminated such terms, the list of keywords remaining should be much more manageable.
Discover Not Just New Content Areas, But New Product Strategies
You can then use additional analytics data to further narrow your target list of keywords by grouping them according to categories determined by navigation patterns on your site. In essence, you need to take a look at what pages your visitors are viewing during a single visit—these are a good indication of what types of content are perceived by your viewers as being logically connected. This can reveal synergies between products that you never even contemplated—leading not only to great new content on your site, but also to new product marketing strategies.
For instance, say you have an e-commerce site offering natural healthcare products. An analysis of navigation patterns reveals that 30% of visitors who viewed your line of natural skincare products went on to view product listings for vitamins found to be beneficial to skin health. You may have never connected your skincare and vitamin lines in your mind, let alone your product strategy. But with the data on navigation paths you’ve just analyzed, you see that there is a strong connection between the two products in customers’ minds. Armed with this information you can cross-promote the two product lines on your site, and create packaged sets of products your customers perceive as related. You can also begin to create content around the two products. You can write articles about a multi-pronged approach to healthy skin, focusing on both topical products and nutrition; ask a staffer to try out a month-long regimen and blog about her experiences; and create online videos with tips geared towards different target demographics. Discovering new product synergies through analytics data can open the door to entirely new marketing campaigns, with boundless possibilities for interesting, quality content.
Analyzing your organic keywords can guide your online content strategy in powerful new directions. Based on solid statistics regarding what topics are bringing new visitors to your site, an analytics-based strategy can help ensure that the content developed for your site reflects the needs and interests of new audiences. The results are better quality traffic, higher conversion rates, and a website filled with the kinds of information that will ensure that many of those new visitors turn into loyal customers.