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SEO Tip: Almost 7 Ways To Re-Optimize Your Posts

re-optimize-blog-posts.jpgThe following SEO Optimization post was submitted by Linda Bustos fromElastic Path.

Smart bloggers often use keyword research tools to brainstorm “long tail” opportunities and keyword niches. These keywords are then worked into blog post titles, image attributes, headings and body copy as part of an SEO strategy, knowing that this “low hanging fruit” can drive some very valuable traffic.

While this is a great strategy, it’s not without its downsides. Keyword research tools are often expensive, the data can be unreliable or too general to reflect your readership. If you use Google Analytics, you’re sitting on a very valuable keyword research tool that’s free, accurate and can tell you so much about your readers.

I’d like to share a “hack” with you – how you can use Google Analytics to identify your most valuable keyword referrals, and how you can re-optimize your posts to raise your rank and drive more traffic for these keywords.

Using Google Analytics to Identify Hot Keywords

1. Log into Google Analytics, and select (from the left hand gray menu) “Traffic Sources” and then “Keywords”

trafficsources.jpg

2. Select “Non-Paid” to isolate organic traffic (if you’re using Google Adwords)

nonpaid.jpg

3. Select a generous date range (not just recent content, show trends over a few months to a year)

daterange.jpg

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “500″ rows

showrows.jpg

5. Now we’re ready to get our hands dirty. I’m going to use my own site as an example (because it’s the only blog for which I have analytics access!) from now on. The current goal of Get Elastic is to grow the subscriber base. So I’m interested in what keywords attract new visitors and have a low bounce rate, assuming these visitors like to check out other related content. For you, it might be which keyword referrals convert well. In that case, you’d want to flip your view to “Goal Conversion” and sort results by clicking on “Goal Conversion Rate” or “Per Visit Goal Value”:

goalconversion.jpg

Back to our example. Scanning my keyword referral list, I notice a couple stand out with lower bounce rates than average:
finding-keywords.jpg

6. Now I’m going to check out my current positions in Google to see if there’s room for improvement. I make sure I’ve signed out of any Google Accounts to avoid a personalized search skew, or even better – check in an alternate web browser while signed out of any Google Accounts.

Fair enough, rankings are nothing to obsess about. But we know the difference in click through above and below the fold!

Checking for “Facebook ecommerce,” Get Elastic is already number one. But “Twitter marketing” has room for improvement:

twittermarketing.jpg

Get Elastic’s positions 8 and 9 are sending traffic, could I triple that by cracking the top 3? Twitter marketing is currently a hot topic – many new blog posts about it every week and potentially more searches as awareness builds and people start taking it seriously. I should also be looking at protecting my post’s visibility as well.

“Almost” 7 Ways to Re-Optimize Your Posts

Now I take a look at my post that is ranking for “Twitter marketing”. I’m looking for non-spammy ways to beef up keywords in the Page Title, Title Tag, post tags, image attributes, H1, H2, H3 etc. Anywhere but changing the keywords in the URL. These SEO basics are usually considered when writing the post, but sometimes you discover “surprise winners” you never expected would send you such good traffic.

Then I start asking myself questions:

1. Are there other related posts on my blog that I can link back to the “Twitter marketing” post using keyword-rich anchor text? Can I tag them with this keyword phrase to make an indexable category page (even if it’s not one of the main sidebar categories)?

2. Can I write a follow-up post on my blog? Can I seed it in any relevant social news sites (Digg clones) in my niche?

3. Can I build links to it by writing related posts on my other blogs?

4. Can I write guest articles for other sites that link back to it?

5. Do I have blogger friends who will link back to it?

6. Are there “Twitter marketing” resource (link) lists that I can get included on? Yep, this takes old fashioned networking to achieve. One way to get a webmaster’s attention is to run a link validation check on their website, and send them a kind email pointing out the broken link, and mentioning your post may also be of interest to their visitors. (Hint for finding these lists, type in {keyword} + “links,” “resources,” “top 10,” “articles” etc. into the search engine, and manually check the results. Or run backlink checks on the results above you.)

7. Can I buy links to the post? (Just kidding)

Measuring Impact

Unfortunately it’s difficult to attribute subscriber increases to this technique. But you can measure rankings and traffic. You’ll want to make note of your current Google ranking before your tweaks. And you can always measure if traffic has increased month by month by adjusting your date ranges in Google Analytics.

Of course, this is a time-consuming practice. But identifying “money keywords” for your site visitors using your own stats can be an effective tactic in reaching your blogging goals in 2008.

Linda Bustos is the Emerging Media Analyst for Elastic Path, an ecommerce software vendor. Linda blogs daily about Internet marketing (SEO, social media marketing, email marketing etc) with a special focus on ecommerce at Get Elastic.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Linda,
    I have been with analytics for quite a while, never though I could do that. Sounds like nerds don’t know it all afterwards :-)
    Just kidding, I am implying the methods you mentioned tonight, I will also use some info from my statcounter logs.

  2. Frugal Dad says:

    “#5 – Do I have blogger friends who will link back to it?” This is a great way to build up some linkage in the search engines. Try to partner with a few sites in your niche and agree to link to each other’s work. The synergistic effect of everyone linking to each other will cause all your sites to rise in the rankings. Eventually, it might make sense to start a network of sites with a separate site for the network itself to advertise all your sites.

  3. Learn SEO says:

    Well descriptive post and a strategy that works … all the time ;) In other words, improve what you already have instead of hunting for something else and with Google analytics one can learn so much about his website and the visitors that read his blog.

  4. Thanks for this information filled post!

    Interestingly, it’s your bounce rate inf that I find most informative! Seing all those 8, 90 and 100% bounce rate stats on my site can be depressing out of context. It’s nice to see that this is normal….and my 30% and better stats in a few cases are reason for optimism.

  5. Becky says:

    Thanks for the great tips, especially like the bit about finding keyword phrases with a low bounce rate.

  6. Thank you for explaining all of that. This will help me a lot.

  7. Bibokz says:

    Nice tips… I’m using free keyword tracker. There are lots of keyword research tools out there, for those who got hard time to find a free tools, just search google.

  8. Thanks for the optimization tips for bloggers. Can this posted as video?

  9. Sangesh says:

    This is quite helpful tips. Since now-a-days, i’m into SEO and stuffs too. I will use some or many of these tools too, including google :)

  10. Submitting articles with links back to the post can also be helpful.

  11. Denis says:

    This was one of the best posts I’ve read here lately. This is a very nice technique, I’ve been doing something like that but your advice will definitely improve my methods. Thank you.

  12. Nice post! I need to do this for my keywords.

    Funny thing is that sometimes you come up high for random stuff.

    I rank high for poodle manicures though my site is about getting traffic and building your online business.

  13. Great article Darren.
    I regretfully find myself working more on SEO than actually writing content for my site, which bugs me. And since barely any relevant search engine traffic comes my way I don’t have a lot to gain from it. Most of the traffic I get is the kind I steal from people searching for tutor.com.

    Would you suggest trying to improve keywords that are so far back in search rankings due to my pagerank of 4 and the lack of any links pointing to me, or would it be a waste of my time?

  14. Another great tool for measuring keyword is 103bees.

    It lets you check both complete search terms and the keywords in them. It also reports to you what your ranking is for the search terms.

    Combined with the Google Analytics keyword tools it really tells you a lot about your search traffic.

  15. Starfeeder says:

    Get tips, started doing that and my 2nd most common keyword was Starcraft alpha, which I then went back and did a bit more keyword optimization…

    I guess time will tell if it works :) currently I rank 3rd for that keyword, and 1st and 2nd is a 2 year old digg link that doesn’t even link to anything anymore.

  16. Chris says:

    The more I learn about GA, the more I realize what a powerful free tool it is. You just have to use it. It was fascinating to learn the keywords that people are using. Someone stumbled upon my fitness blog, using the search term, “I hate Snap Fitness”.

  17. Calaelen says:

    Simple, easy and really usefull. Can’t wait to check my post positions in the next weeks :-)

    The Screenshots really help to get the “first round” done without confusion.

  18. Linda Bustos says:

    Hi Niklas,

    If you’re blogging, I would switch the focus from SEO to writing content and networking. Darren’s recent series on blog promotion will have some great tips for this.

    Not only will you be adding more content that gives you more entry points to your site through search engines, it could also help you raise your Page Rank – especially since you will be getting natural back links to your posts if you are networking, participating in blog carnivals etc.

    Don’t get too worried about Page Rank, because it’s not unusual for lower toolbar Page Rank to outrank higher PR pages for certain keywords – there are more factors than that in play. (PS PR4 is decent)

    Links of course will help your authority the most so the content/networking definitely go hand-in-hand for you.

    Nevertheless, digging into your stats now to see which terms are sending you traffic may also indicate what topics you might want to write on again, and link up your posts together, which can improve the internal page rank (links from within your domain rather than from other domains) and that also helps your page look more important to search engines.

    Hope that helps!

  19. Great post Linda!!

  20. I have used this method on ecommerce sites to increase sales 100% over the period of a year. It’s slow but worth it.

  21. SiteHoppers says:

    Great ideas, I do similar things already but will focus more on analyzing my web traffic for the future.

    Cheers~

  22. Really great and useful tips, I will check my blog at once, cheers!

  23. Thanks Darren! Google Analytics can be the best tool in your SEO toolbox. Another good tip i would like to share is to use the ‘Content’ analysis section for finding the top Landing pages and top Exit Pages.

    For top Landing pages, check out the pages with good number of entrances, but comparatively lower bounce rate. These are pages where there are more chances of visitors coming and getting hooked to your site. Create more pages with valuable content on topics similar to these pages.

    Similarly for top Exit Pages, check out the pages with lower than average bounce rates but more pageviews and create content on similar topics.

    Also, visit the Conversion university by clicking on the link located left bottom in the Help Resources Section in Google Analytics. They have some very good tips there.

  24. Starfeeder says:

    After implementing some keyword updating on “Starcraft Alpha” the keyword I talked about optimizing in my comment above. I noticed a increase of at least 20 something more visits due to that keyword :D

    http://www.starfeeder.com/mint/

    This morning it was at about 80 something, now its 113 as of this comment!

  25. Chip says:

    Thanks for the great tips. Together with Webmaster Tools showing position for certain keywords, this is pure gold.

  26. Albert says:

    Howcome when I click on conversion rate, the entire column is just a bunch of dashes?

  27. Wayne Tully says:

    Google analytics is great as I have gotten into the use of using it now pretty well and these helpful tips on it’s further use is much appreciated Linda, many thanks!

    Thank god for blogs like this and the webmasters and bloggers who run them!!

    I’m learning at a fast paced rate now!

    Thanks all!

  28. Syed Balkhi says:

    thanks for the cool ideas … I use awstats and target the keywords.

  29. Linda Bustos says:

    Hi Albert,

    You won’t see any conversion data unless you set up conversion goals (sign ups, downloads, sales etc)

  30. Carolyn says:

    Thanks, Linda! That was an awesome post. Since I’m not familiar with Google Analytics, I’ve got my homework assignment for the next couple of weeks ;-)

    I have to admit that I spend more time writing content than SEO Optimization because I’m still learning. This is wonderful information!

  31. Karen says:

    It seems to be working for you, Linda – you’ve already moved up to #5 in Google. :)

    I have a several articles that rank on the second page of Google for big keywords – hopefully these tips will help push me to #1.

  32. Excellent tips, I’ve never really spent much time with anchor text optimization, but I may have to start doing it more often now…

  33. Ah, Using Google Analytics to Identify Hot Keywords is very useful to select a right keyword.

    “Twitter marketing” may need a suitable talking method, as if the readers are not intersted in you post , they always overlook it.

  34. Maria says:

    These are very helpful tips, I will try these and see how it affects my traffic. Godbless.

  35. handy indeed…
    I have two new blogs and so I reckon I can use some of this ideas etc for better search results..

    Thanks

  36. dinsan says:

    very informative.. i have been using analytics for few weeks now.. really good idea… thanks a lot :)

  37. Nitin Rao says:

    This is quite insightful … but regarding the key word monitoring. What to do when not many visitors are coming in through search engines?

    http://www.my2dimes.com/

    Nitin @ My 2 dimes

  38. Miltski says:

    I was a Google Analytics virgin until today. This is a great little project to get me started.
    Great Blog.
    Thanks

  39. Young says:

    Well done, Linda.

    Learnt and will translate it into Chinese on my blog.

  40. VernLai.com says:

    Linda,

    Thanks for the tips on using Google Analytics which I’ve yet to explore fully.

    Google has lots of useful tools which I believe are still under utilized.

  41. John says:

    Linda,

    With millions of blogs “out there” using nearly identical keywords, is getting noticed by the Search Engines more luck than skill?

    Your article was interesting and informative.

    Thanks,
    John B

  42. Excellent tips, I will try them and see the results.

  43. Mr.NiceGuy says:

    Great ideas again for SEO. GA is also a very helpful tool which is very well describe in this article thru screenshots.

  44. Linda Bustos says:

    @ John,

    Even when you’re in a saturated niche (is that an oxymoron?), there are still long tail searches that will send you traffic that you didn’t foresee happening. So this technique just helps you discover these terms so you can milk them for all they’re worth ;-)

    It’s free keyword research that’s highly targeted to your audience (low bounce rates can give you a bit of an idea of relevancy of your content to the searchers)

  45. Christina says:

    Wow!

    That sounds like real “inside information”..
    Thanks very much! ;)

    Kind regards from Germany,
    Christina
    http://lovesurvivor.blogspot.com

  46. MG says:

    Great post, good work :)

  47. addimore says:

    Excellent tips, Thanks for the tips on using Google Analytics which I’ve yet to explore fully. Can’t wait to check my post positions next weeks

  48. Luke says:

    Great stuff Linda! Very informative. I think i have made it difficult for me with my blog on a subdomain with same GA code.

  49. immy says:

    some really great tips in this blog.. i like reading your post true pro blogger ;)

  50. Cookiemouse says:

    I use Google Analytics so your ideas will keep me busy for a while. SEO is hard work but does pay off.