We’ve talked a lot recently about the importance of writing a “best posts of the year post.” Last week we talked about using Google Analytics to find your most viewed content. This week we’ll put a little SEO twist to it. When you talk about SEO many marketers focus on the wrong thing. Those misguided marketers focus on rankings. They say things like, “I want to rank number one for this keyword or this phrase.” Instead these marketers should be focused on creating great content around these keywords and phrases. Then they should be looking at how those pages are performing when visitors find that content via search. Let’s start finding your best organic content with Google Analytics.
Applying Segments to Google Analytics
Before we get into applying segments remember that if you want to look at data for the whole year, you will have to change your date range. When you log into Google Analytics, by default, you are seeing statistics for all visitors. In this case we want to see visitors who have found your site through non-paid organic search. To do this you simply alter your advanced segments by adding a new one for Organic Traffic and deleting the one for All Users.
1) Add Segment
2) Select Organic Traffic and click Apply
3) Remove All Users Segment
As you can see there are many advanced segments that you can apply. You can also apply more than one advanced segment to compare different sets of data.
Looking at the Landing Pages
Think about what happens when you perform a search. You type in your query and the search engines respond with relevant information. The goal of the search engine is to get you one click away from the information you are looking for. In our case we want to find the content that has performed the best in organic search. So now that we are viewing non-paid search traffic we will now want to view the landing page report.
Landing pages are pages that users land on when they enter your site. As we discussed above when someone searches the search engines try to get the searcher one click away from the relevant information. So it makes sense to assume that non-paid search traffic lands on landing pages that are relevant to their searches.
You can find the landing page report by following these steps.
Sort Your Report
Here you will see a list of your most popular landing pages from organic search. Pick the posts that have the highest total visits, or maybe the one that has the lowest bounce rate. Use whatever criteria you would like to determine which posts are your best for the year.
Prepare for Next Year
When you’re done with this exercise you should notice a few things. You might see some posts that far outpaced the rest. Ask yourself why that is? Think about your target audience, are you reaching the right audience? Did you find some super old content that you can re-purpose and re-use in the coming year? Are you engaging your audience with these posts or do they have a high bounce rate? These are all questions that you can ask yourself as a marketer that will put you miles ahead of your peers that are still talking about keyword rank.