A common request we get from prospects/clients is “I want my building product website to be ranked on page 1 or at the top of Google for these search terms” and pulls out a piece of paper with 20 or so search phrases scribbled on it. My reply would always be “How do you know they are the search terms or keywords your prospects use?”
To help clients understand the impact of search engines on website performance, search traffic generation and implementing a search engine optimisation strategy we need to understand where they are now by benchmarking. I wrote in a previous post about the importance of benchmarking to help identify where improvements can be made and where additional efforts are required through controlled experiments (small changes but made often).
The benchmarking process involves gathering data from various analytical sources to help identify:
- What are my top 20 non-branded search terms? (non-branded = excluding company name and this is where your SEO should be focused)
- Where is my website currently ranking in Google for those non-branded search terms?
- How many visits have been generated to the website from those non-branded 20 search terms over a 6 month period?
- Approximately how many ‘exact’ searches are made in Google for those top non-branded 20 search terms over a 6 month period?
- What is my % share?
- Which search terms should I prioritise and optimise? (Note: This is the outcome, actions!)
Once all the data has been gathered we can show the data in a table (see below). If we look at the data for search term 1 we can see that we are ranked number one in Google and this search term generated 602 visits to the website over 6 months. There are approximately 840 searches performed in Google (data gathered from Adwords keyword tool) over a 6 months period therefore our share of search is 71.67%. This search term also converts 4.89% of the visitors into some sort of data capture like sign ups, enquiries or registrations.
By analysing this data we can quickly see where we need to focus our efforts in the short term (prioritising) to gain more search share whilst also improving rankings to increase conversions from organic search traffic. For search share, red is bad (below 30%) and green is good (above 50%) and for conversion rates you will need to decide the brackets for good and bad. Where we have low search share but high conversion rates we should look to improve rankings, increase search share and then measure the impact against conversion rates over time. This allows you to take a small group of keywords at a time and measure accordingly rather than taking a large batch and trying to do all things in one go.
It is very important that this exercise be repeated on a quarterly or half yearly basis in order to keep optimising the website and ensure maximum visibility within search engines. You will also find that new search terms are being discovered which may yield a higher conversion rate (lead generation) which you may put more effort into and prioritise.
So, next time, instead of just requesting to be at the top of Google, ask “Which search terms have the highest share of search and which ones have the lowest? What can I do about it to increase visibility and additional traffic for the lowest?”
Don’t focus just solely on rankings alone, focus on the bigger picture. Sometimes the golden nuggets are hidden down below the top 10 most popular keywords.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about calculating your website’s ‘share of search’ then let us know, we’d be happy to help develop your search engine optimisation strategy for your construction website.