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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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.