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Are You Searching for Search Terms in Google Analytics?
Kate Gingold
/ Categories: The Sprocket Report

Are You Searching for Search Terms in Google Analytics?

Here's where to find them:

Search Terms, also known as Keywords, are used by people to find your website. It’s important to choose the right ones, use them wisely, and check that they are working as expected. Here are some tips for completing these three tasks:

Finding good Search Terms

Google provides a Keyword Planner that is part of their Google Ads program. To access it, you do need a Google account, which will include a credit card number as if you are about to run a Google Ads campaign. If you don’t intend to run a campaign, you can “pause” it before paying for ads. 

In the Keyword Planner, you can type in terms you think your customer is using when searching for what you offer. Google then returns a report telling you how many people use those words during an average month. They also give you an idea of the amount of competition you face for each word.

Extremely popular terms may be perfect for hooking your website up with the right visitor, but if the competition is high, the chances of your site showing up at the top of the results page are slim. Running a Google Ad can increase your chances, but taking a look at the cost per click in this report may discourage you. Another strategy is looking at less popular terms with less competition. Searches of 10K-100K may be just what you need. 

Using your Search Terms

Once you have a list of terms that you think are a good fit, you need to use them correctly on your website. Back in the wild west days of the internet, people posted long lists of words in nonsensical ways, sometimes even invisibly, in order to trick the algorithms. Those days are, thankfully, over, but there are some best practices that will help. 

Even the algorithms keep track of whether your website it appealing to real humans, so try to use your best terms in a logical, natural fashion in your content. The best places to use them are the most obvious: In your headlines and in the first paragraphs of your body content. Other places you should use search terms include in your page’s title tag and description and in your graphics tags. 

Analyzing your Search Terms

After all this effort, you’ll want to know if these search terms are working as expected. If you have Google Analytics installed on your website – and you know you should! – click on the Acquisition tab. Under “Search Console” is another tab called “Queries” which provides search terms.

If you cannot see Queries, you may need to set up Google Search Console and link it to your Google Analytics account. Both Analytics and Console are free tools but require registration. Once you have a Search Console account, you can also find search terms under the “Performance” tab.

Both of these reports give you Impressions  -- how many times your URL appeared among others on a search results page – and Clicks – how many times someone clicked on your specific URL while from that search page. You want to show up, but of course, it’s much better to have someone click. Best of all is when they click and stay long enough to heed your Call To Action. 

Check your Analytics to see if people are finding you through your chosen search terms and if they are interested enough to click through to your website. Look also for how engaged they are once they arrive at your site, for instance, how long do they stay and how many pages did they visit. If you aren’t seeing the results you hope for, it’s time to tweak some things along the path. 

If all this sounds like a lot of work, well, it is. This is when you should decide whether it is time to outsource your search term tasks and put your unique talents to work elsewhere in your business. We already have the tools and the team at Sprocket Websites to carry out your website’s search term strategy. Give us a call today to learn more!

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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