Are your online marketing efforts failing to yield actual leads or sales? Is your website traffic growing, but not your business? Your keyword strategy, amongst other things, may be the culprit.
In this article we are going to help you review and optimize your keyword strategy for more conversions.
Before we start pointing fingers at an existing keyword strategy it’s important to know where to locate the primary culprit.
To find the reasons for your poor conversion rates you’re going to need the following:
We’re going to assume that you have these tools setup and have been properly tracking your website’s conversions. If not, then you need to get some help setting that up as soon as possible as you cannot realistically make optimization decisions without this data. Contact us today for assistance setting that up.
The first, and easiest, place to start is your conversion rate information in Google Analytics. Again, assuming you have properly setup conversion goals and/or e-Commerce tracking, then you should have access to a snapshot of how your website is performing by looking at your site’s overall conversion rate. You can find this overview information in Google Analytics by going to Standard Reporting > Conversions > Overview. If you want to drill down more, then you can review your Goal Funnels by going to Standard Reporting > Conversions > Funnel Visualization.
The next thing you need to do is use this information to find out what your conversion rate is for the keywords driving traffic to your website. The information provided above is only going to show conversions by source / medium. What you want to see is conversion by keyword. The best way to get this data, and to make it easy to find for future analysis, is to setup a custom report. Here’s how:
Your end result should look something like this baseline report we took from a client before we did any conversion rate optimization work…
Although this is only one small sample of data to tell you how your keywords are performing (especially since Google is reporting less keyword specific information as you can see with “not set” and “not provided”) it is a great starting point. Using the example above we knew that the majority of the top keywords being used had to be analyzed and optimized to produce better conversion rates for this website.
Now that you know where your keyword deficiencies lie, in terms of producing conversions, you can start to plan and implement an optimization strategy.
The first thing to know is that, on average, long tail keywords are going to convert higher than short, general keywords. So, if your website is getting a lot of traffic for 1 or 2 word phrases, but no conversions, then it is very possible that the traffic you are attracting is just not qualified or relevant enough. Another explanation may be that this traffic is nowhere close to the end of the conversion cycle where they will purchase something or submit a form.
In these cases, your best approach is to optimize your keyword strategy for more conversions. This process involves the following:
Before changing, adding or removing any key phrases, you and your marketing team need to understand what your business objectives are. Ask yourself these questions:
You cannot develop a keyword strategy without knowing the answers to these questions for your business.
Although you may think you know exactly which phrases to use it is always important to validate these with some keyword research. No need to over complicate your research either, just follow these simple steps:
Common sense and intuition are great for keyword research, but don’t always rely completely on these as you may miss some fantastic opportunities.
One of the best ways to improve your keyword strategy is to simply add modifiers to your existing key phrases. Broad, general key phrases that may be bringing in lots of traffic, but no conversions, can be turned into well-performing phrases just by adding a few words (before and/or after) the words you’re already working with. Consider some of the following modifiers:
Using modifiers like these may drive less traffic, but the traffic that they will drive should produce much higher conversion rates.
Although this article is centered around optimizing keywords for more conversions it is impossible to ignore landing page optimization as the two go hand in hand. You can pinpoint the best key phrases to use (long tail or short tail), but if your landing pages are not setup to convert then you’re wasting your time. Follow these basic conversion optimization tips to improve your landing pages:
Read our article on Top 10 Ways to Improve a Website for more effective ways to get better conversion rates from your landing pages.
We have shown you how to determine if your keyword strategy is to blame for poor conversion rates. We have even shown you how to start improving your strategy to generate more leads / sales from your website.
What we can’t teach you in one article is how to do all of this faster, better or consistently as that comes with hands-on experience – something we have lots of. We would love to work with you and your website to get you better conversion rates from your keyword strategy. Let us know if and when you’re ready to get started.
Are you ready to speak with a professional team about optimizing your keyword strategy?