How to create engaging content and a great user experience through search term research
Just like Santa, Google knows if your site’s been good or bad. People (let’s call them elves) are searching on Google, with the potential to reward you with their custom… if only you could think of a content marketing strategy packed with content your target audience wants to unwrap!
Our festive tips will supercharge your content strategy and website structure, for Christmas and beyond. Tip one, taps into the goldmine of search research and analysis:
Explore Google trends
Google trends lets you find out exactly what people are currently searching for, relating to your products, services or industry focus.
You can view current trends, for better or worse. Perhaps a term you had been targeting with your content and site structure in the past is now tanking, or maybe there are terms you hadn’t thought of and need to switch focus to.
Brilliantly – Google trends also lets you see ‘rising’ trends, so you can start planning content and site structure in anticipation of future search demand. Nice, hey!?
Searches for ‘is santa real?’ are up 350% – Could you create some fun content linking to your brand?
Bonus search analysis / content ideas tools
For other ideas for your content strategy, based on popular internet searches, hop over to:
Get specific with Google Keyword Planner tool
It’s like Santa’s grotto. Only it’s packed with the present of knowing exactly what your potential customers are searching for and how many of them are doing it at any given time.
Google Keyword Planner Tool allows you to see specific search volumes, by region, country, language and a multitude of other variables.
All that’s needed now is to devise a creative content marketing strategy that makes you stand out from your competitors – which is a task in itself, but at least now you have a laser focus on your objective and what your need to concentrate on to achieve it.
Bundle search terms together, get prefix and suffix search suggestions
Google Keyword Planner tool makes it super-efficient and easy to get an overview of the search terms your business should be focusing on, whereas other tools e.g. answerthepublic, don’t reveal specific search volumes.
Google Keyword Planner tool will even offer suggestions for prefix and suffix terms (added words at the beginning and end of your root keyword). You can group related keywords together too, making it your one stop shop for devising a content strategy and site structure that attracts more relevant visitors.
Alter your website page and filter structure to cater for popular searches
Let’s say you run a fashion brand. Your site may be structured as follows:
Women’s Clothing–Dresses–Dinner Dresses.
That’s all well and good. What about the other data about that dress… all the other options someone looking for a dress might be searching for?
Use search data to design your website intelligently, incorporating as many popular filters as you can. Can visitors to your site search by colour, size, occasion, price? It’s almost certain you have those details on your site about your dresses, so it’s simply a case of organizing them to cater for relevant searches.
‘Tania’ is out there searching for ‘Black size 8 cocktail dress under £100 for a graduation party’. Are you ready to cater for her custom?
Use your own website’s search data to reveal areas for improvement
Having a search bar on your site is more than just a navigation aid for users. It’s a fantastic opportunity for data analysis – to find out exactly what visitors to your site are searching for.
To find out how many sessions on your site included people using your search bar, use the Site Search Usage Report. To delve into exactly what they were searching for, go to Behaviour – Site Search – Search Terms.
If, for example, users are regularly searching ‘black dress for cocktail party’ and you don’t have a filter on your site to search by ‘occasion/event’, then you’re missing a trick in improving your site’s user experience (and visibility in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages). If they’re searching in this way onsite, think about the amount of potential customers you’ve been missing out on because your site doesn’t rank highly for those terms – as Google thinks you don’t cater well enough for the search query.
Visit your competitors’ sites to make your own website better
Your competitors are a rich source against which to benchmark your own position.
A checklist of things to investigate, includes:
- Copy – do your competitors focus on particular keywords? Are they aiming locally or nationally? Remember to make your copy read naturally, only incorporating keywords where it makes sense and focusing on one tight group of keywords per page e.g. cocktail dresses, dresses for parties
- Page titles – which keywords is your competitor trying to rank for in its page titles. Are they using keywords you hadn’t considered?
- Meta descriptions – Search for your competitors in Google. The text directly under the link to their site is the meta description
- Filters and menus – do your competitors have product filters on their site that you’d never considered? Do they appear to make the user journey easier? Take note, test on your own site and see if it has an impact on conversion rates.
BONUS TIP: Monitor onsite behaviour (not search related, but a nice tip to consider!)
Login to Google Analytics and explore ‘User Flow’. This will allow you to see where visitors enter your site and at which point they leave (‘drop off’). You can even delve into page level, to track dwell time and more.
Are people regularly struggling on a particular page, do you have their attention until they go to a specific area of your site?
Use this data to improve user experience. Google takes visit duration into consideration in its ranking algorithm i.e. where it positions you in the search results, so tap into this data and treat your site an asset with huge potential for consistent improvement.
There’ll be more tips coming up throughout the Christmas period. Follow GOAT on Twitter and Facebook to get access to the latest content, fresh of the press!
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