Posted 30 May 2013

Using Marketing Analytics to Prepare for the next Google Update

Why are keywords important for successful SEO?

The release of a new Google update often fills anyone involved in digital marketing with dread. The criteria that search engines use to determine how they rate a website is a coveted secret and whilst Google will often state that it is just to deter unethical SEO practices, the exact specifications are never given. Those carrying out SEO have to monitor changes in rankings and try and understand what has caused these changes, so there is often a period of adjustment after an update.

The recent introduction of Penguin 2.0 has predictably received a frosty reception and caused the usual SEO concerns. A Google Penguin Poll found that those with websites are studying their listings and SEO reports regularly to see if and how they have been affected by this update. If you are lucky you might find that it has affected you positively, but it will often be the case that your rankings have dropped down and need to recover as soon as possible. Penguin is said to only be targeting those using ‘Black Hat’ SEO practices and bad quality links, and rewarding sites offering genuine value. Yet 65% of people with websites surveyed after it’s initial introduction say that Penguin has affected them negatively.

Anyone with any knowledge of SEO will know that recovering from a Penguin update isn’t an overnight process; you can’t simply change aspects of your site and see immediate results. Although there are things you can do straight away that will help, such as removing irrelevant or bad quality links, you will often need to put some work in to regain your rightful place back at the top. A high listing can be essential to your business as, according to Optify, the top 3 organic listings on Google get nearly 60% of all clicks. For every minute you are out of those top three you are losing money, but how much you potentially lose can depend on how much you know about the level of sales and leads these organic listings generate.

If you monitor where your sales come from not just where your traffic comes from, you will be much better placed to recover with minimum damage when Pandas and Penguins next attack. Whilst a steady flow of traffic is reassuring, any business’s focus is always going to be generating revenue. By understanding which keywords are generating revenue using marketing analytic tools like web analytics and call tracking, you will know where to focus your SEO effort following a Google update.

Web analytics such as Google Analytics can tell you which keywords are leading to online sales, and call tracking will show you which keywords are driving phone calls and whether they are leading to sales. Most businesses use web analytics but using call tracking as well can add a whole new level of intelligence. By using both of these marketing analytic tools, you can determine the most profitable keywords for both types of conversion and prioritise these when working to improve your rankings. Any business will want to be top of the listings for the keywords and phrases that will make them money and be less worried about ones that aren’t, no matter how relevant they perceive them to be.

For anyone that has found themselves stung by Penguin 2.0, now is the time to prepare yourself for the next time Google strikes. Collecting data now about how your customers find you with call tracking integrated with web analytics means that you can ensure that they will be able to find you in the future, even when Penguins attack.

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