Little SEO Wins in Tough Times

How small wins make the most impact

As Sydney, Australia and the world bunkers down preparing for COVID-19 “The Coronavirus!” The business community looks to Working From Home models to maintain business continuity in unprecedented times.

As I sit in my home (now my full-time office), I began searching for little SEO wins I can locate within my customers sites. In my now decade of Search Engine Optimisation experience, I’ve seen SEO companies promise the world to consumers, only to deliver a globe. Phrases such as “You’ll be number one on Google in three months” or “I Googled your business name and I couldn’t see you!” These actions were directed to drive radical actions to frighten consumers into a large SEO investment, when the truth is that it’s the little wins that have the greatest impact.

So SEO basics… the source of truth is Google Analytics (GA)? Not correct, although GA is a wonderful insight into how your site is performing organically without truly understanding the Google Search Console (GSC) the source of your traffic might remain a mystery. As a Marketing Manager or Senior Manager in your organisation, a great first step is to see if you have access to your GSC and check if it is connected to GA. With these two softwares affiliated, the blend of organic traffic and the keywords in which were entered in Google to cause a visit can be determined. If you’re unsure of how to do this please see Google’s documentation on how to configure Search Console in Google Analytics.

Screnshot of Google Analytics search query dashboard

For a long time, one of the key metrics for a healthy Google ranking in ‘Average Time on Site’ as it is a direct measurement of relevance. A customer that dwells on your site and navigates numerous pages is far more likely to purchase, submit a lead or recall your business in the future than someone who bounces.

Therefore another metric which is not automatically turned on in GA is the ‘in site search’ feature. As the name suggests it allows an analyst to view what users are searching for on their site.

The most powerful feature of this tool is the ability to overlay these search terms with dimensions such as Geo and Demographics. By doing this the analyst can view the keywords that brought a user to the site, what they searched for whilst there and their characteristics–a very powerful asset to have.

You can find instructions on how to setup site search here.

Screenshot of Google Data Studio example dashboard

The final piece of the small SEO wins is linking everything together. Google Data Studio in my opinion is one of the best free offerings of the Google suite. With GSC and GA both being exceptional at providing an in-depth insight to your business’ SEO, in the most part an analyst is still required to jump between tabs in order to study the data and any correlations.

By taking the blending exercise I highlighted above and further blending that with more GSC metrics such as keyword rankings and click through ratio, the insights become extremely succinct. With this data you and your team will be able to highlight the keywords that are trending and the ones that are losing traction. Then it is then simply a task of generating some content to support the keywords in the chosen demographic to start seeing results.

Although these suggestions may seem simple, it is the little changes that can often have the biggest impact. If your business has not yet implemented what has been outlined above, it’s not too late to begin gathering data and searching for more wins to improve your Google ranking and drive more organic traffic to your site.

— Harry Hillis

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