What do I do because of my Analytics?
The million dollar question is having spent all of last week looking at my analytics, what conclusions have I drawn from it and what am I going to do about it. I think maybe it is a time to revisit last week’s analysis and tell you what I’ll be doing on my blog because of that. Some things won’t tell me anything and some things will lead me up blind alleys, but there is no good not practising what you preach. So here goes:
In March my traffic report showed me that I had most traffic from Organic Search. This seems a good place to start. Now without going into the effort of making sure that my blog is technically optimised, I can still do a number of things to help promote myself on the web. First of all is making sure that all of my posts are linked to from relevent places. That means that I have to ensure that they are all tagged appropriately. They are the labels that you see at the bottom of the post. If I can show to a search engine that I am actually writing in a certain area, then they are going to rank me higher for that area. Hence most of these posts are labelled Web Analytics (hey it’s what this blog is about).
How important is this? Well this is the 100,000 dollar question. The answer can be ‘not very’ if you don’t set up your labels into something that a user would search for. Am I good at it? Not so sure at the moment – look at that list down the left hand side and tell me which you might search for. Maybe you’d go for Google Analytics, Persuasion Architecture or Blogging, but I am guessing that you aren’t going to search for ‘Engagement’. And even if you did, you’d end up finding a load of stuff about engagement rings (and rightly so).
The other thing that this might help you with is people who set up feeds of links on their pages (more web 2.0 news etc). You might not get clicks from the pages, but its good to know that they are linking back in (check in Yahoo site Explorer)
Step number two in this is to ensure that not only do I label everything well, but I use key search terms to link within my posts to other posts. Those of you coming in at the home page won’t need to me to link to the next post, but those coming in direct to the post will (they can’t see it). This is a good point to pick out some key terms that I want to rank for and see what I can do about it. As you can see, I regularly link ‘SiteCatalyst HBX’ and ‘Omniture SiteCatalyst HBX’ back to my original post on the subject of WebSideStory being taken over.
The other article that does well in the search engines is the conversion funnel analysis post. These are key search terms that generate a lot of traffic and appearing higher in rankings will help drive more traffic to the site.
Another good option is to mention company names in your blog posts (and headlines). Many people set up alerts around the web so that they can find out all the blog posts or news around their company. Don’t skirt around it (unless you are slamming them, of course).
We’ve started micro, but we are moving macro now – lets look at which pages got the most traffic at a macro level. I can’t split it into labels, but what I can do is split it into age (that is how my urls are structured). If I was using HBX or SiteCatalyts I’d have defined my groups of content so that I could do this by type of content, but for this blog I only have when it was written. It won’t surprise you to hear that 2008 got more than 2007. More surprising maybe is that my search labels got more than 2007 as well. Maybe that implies that if I am linking out of the post, instead of linking to old articles, I am better off linking to search headings. This is going to be a trial and error setting, because I don’t know the effect it will have. But I can check later.
Drilling down even further I can see that some of my older postings (certainly from January) are now getting very little traffic. Is this because they aren’t interesting any more or is it because I stopped writing around them and linking to them. Maybe a revisit to some more of the Hitwise posts are in order. These were popular at the time, but have suffered from the lack of investment in my time.
The other thing I did in March was that I posted more often. Those RSS feeds that I am sure users are looking at (I get traffic from Netvibes and from Google homepages) meanst that if I post more often, I should get more traffic. This means regular posting (at least once a week) and I need to see if I can persuade someone to guest post again (just like Kate did from Search Engine Strategies in New York).