Google Insights

There’s more to Google Analytics than meets the eye!

In my last article I mentioned the cool FREE tools Google has on offer to help small business owners become more visible on the internet.
Amongst the free tools is Google Analytics which, as you probably know if you own a website, is great for analyzing statistics on visitors and the keywords they used to get there.

But did you know that you can now find out what the World is searching?

Underneath the Analytics report for your keywords your visitors used, there is a link to “Google Insights” where you can find out how many searches for those same keywords have been made around the world during a given period. But more than that, “Google Insights” is another free tool, which in Google’s words, you can use to “compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties.”
How is this useful? you’re probably wondering.

Well, let’s say you’re a coach in Waterloo, Ontario offering services to both individuals and corporations. You check your stats and discover that in the last month you had only five visitors to your website who found you using the keywords “business coaching” and only two were from Waterloo while 20 found you using “personal coaching” and again only two were from Waterloo.
You check “Google Insights” for “business coaching” and find that 1000 people in the world have been searching the same two keywords in the past month. That may not seem like a huge number, it’s a huge world after all.
But Google Insights enables you to narrow down the geographical area, so you can see how many people in your target market used those same two keywords.
So you narrow it down to Waterloo, Ontario, your target market area, and  discover that 20 people searched for “business coaching”.
How is this knowledge useful?
Well, remember, you only had two visitors from Waterloo to your website using these keywords. So you’ve now learned that you lost 18 other potential customers because they didn’t find your website.
Next you check Google Insights for the keywords “personal coaching” and see that there were 500 searches across the world, half the number than for “business coaching” yet you had slightly more visitors.
When you narrow it down to Waterloo again you see that there were only three searches made in Waterloo for “personal coaching”. Two out of three, you think, these keywords are working for you.
However, you offer both business and personal coaching in Waterloo. Not only do you make more money from corporate clients, you’ve now determined by using Google Insights that there was in fact a comparatively greater number of searches for business coaching in Waterloo than for personal coaching yet very few visits to your website as a result.
You remind yourself, it’s a huge world after all, perhaps your target market is using “Waterloo Ontario” in their keyword search. So you check your stats again but see only five visitors included these two keywords in their search for a business coach. Surely more than five companies in Waterloo need a business coach.
You repeat the Google Insights process adding “Waterloo, Ontario” to your search words and discover that, only 10 searches for “personal coaching Waterloo Ontario” were made in your target market, while 80 searches for “business coaching Waterloo Ontario” were made. Confirming that there is a larger need for business coaching than for personal coaching in your market area.
You continue on, trying different combinations of keywords visitors used to find your site with similar results; lots of searches in your market area but not many visiting your site.

Why are they not visiting?

Armed with the knowledge gained through Google Insights you can now find out why your target market are not visiting and what can be done about it.

  • Test the main keywords your target market are using. Do several Google searches using different combinations of the keywords. In all probability your website is not appearing in the first 5 pages of Google’s SERP (search engine results page). Beyond page five, potential visitors have already found help from a competitor or have lost interest.
  • Check your page content. It is very likely you have very little text or your content is not keyword rich. Check the word count for each page. How many words do you have on each page? There should be a minimum of 400 so that Google has something to read.
  • Check to see how many times the keywords used by your target market are repeated in the home page text. Do they appear on other pages of your website? Your keywords should be repeated throughout your content in different combinations to improve your page ranking.
  • Check to see if the keywords are in your browser titles and page heading. These are the first two places Google looks for keywords and are very important for search engine optimization. If your keywords are not in your browser title and page title your page ranking will be lower.
  • Check your meta descriptions, meta keywords, and link titles. Are your keywords included in all three? Although not as important as the browser title, page heading and content, as long as they are relevant they also aid SEO.
  • Do you have links in your content to click through to other pages? Your page ranking is improved if you have links for Google’s spiders to follow.
  • Check page and image file names as well as alternative text for images. Are your keywords there? These also improve SEO.

If you are a new business planning the content for your new website, Google Insights is also useful. Before writing your content, you can test keywords you think potential visitors in your target market may use and then incorporate the most popular keywords in all the places mentioned above.

Need help with your content?

Repeating keywords in your content without over doing and making your content sound boring, may sound like a chore. If you need help, here are few companies in my networking circle you can call on to help with writing or editing your content:
Reeds Writing Block
Emily Youers
Fine Tune Editing
CDA Communications