Melanie Grace Guthrey asked,
You speak a lot about finding the terms people search online in relation to our town/business. Is there a particular way or site you recommend for doing this research?
It’s a great question. How can we know what words and phrases people search that lead them to our site? The answer is in your website statistics or analytics package. Most of the time when a visitor types a word or phrase into a search engine, the search engine passes that keyword along to the page they click on. And your statistics package records it. (When the search engine doesn’t pass it along, your statistics package will record something like, “not provided.”)
Not sure if you have statistics? They may be built in already. If you have a blog, look around in your Dashboard area. For Blogger users, you want to look for the “Search Keywords” section. It looks like this:
The most widely used statistics package is Google Analytics. It’s free, and can be installed on any website. In Analytics, you have to go to Traffic Sources, then Organic to see keywords:
If you don’t have statistics installed on your website, you want to fix that today. If you’re not comfortable copying HTML code, get a tech savvy friend, or get back with your website developer for some help with it.
The Big Limitation
The big limitation of statistics packages is they can only collect data from people who actually visit your site. You never know about potential customers who never make it to your site. To find out what those folks might be thinking, re-read How do you get found in search results?
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I get the Google Analytics keyword report sent to me every Monday so I know what people are searching for to get to my site.
Jonathon (d2ianalysis.com) says
Search terms can provide owners some useful insights about customers. Using this data to deliver targeted content, such as on landing pages, can improve conversion rates and make paid search and other digital marketing efforts more efficient. It’s a great way to differentiate from competitors who are still directing customers to the home page.