Analytic programs are fun for the data-lovers, but there is a tendency for some SEOs to over analyze or become reactionary to that data. To keep yourself from going stats-crazy or just plain ole crazy, here are some tips to keep some semblance of discipline when reviewing your SEO performance and website analytics.
Give it Time
Looking at analytics in real time can actually make you very skittish and make you doubt your SEO decisions. Slow and steady wins the race and just remember that you are in this for the long haul. Before you make changes to your SEO strategy, you would be wise to wait until 1,000 unique visitors have come to your site (just as a general rule of thumb). This will give you a good representation of your content, navigation and how they found you.
Look at the keywords you have chosen and the keywords that people used to find you. The keyword research you did at the beginning could stand a second look.
(Just today, I noticed a keyword I was using has doubled in usage – so some tweaking is in order)
Freshen Up That Content
Have an article on your site showing a little “thought leadership?” Good! If you are not in the habit of blogging directly on your site, change out that old article and put another one in its place. Fresh content is key, but you don’t need to collapse under the weight of its demands. Write up some unique content that will be of great value to your audience.
Count Up Your Most Popular Pages
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my heart broken on a unique content page that I thought would “rock” with the visitors, too only get a fraction of the percentage of the “main” pages. Your most popular content pages are visited the most for a reason. Flesh out those pages with things you’d like to share, but don’t change what’s working.
Bounce Rate Analysis
With about a 1000 unique visits you can look at your bounce rate and see what you got going for you. If people are jumping ship right when they get there, consider the following points:
- Too long to load – People won’t wait forever. Lighten up your images, flash and java.
- Unprofessional looking – Bad design can have people doubt about your credibility. Improve your design and make sure to see how your site looks in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari
- Correct Content – Did people find you using terms that you are talking about? Make sure you’re reaching the right visitors with your keywords.
- Call to Action – Is your offer biting? Does your language address and solve a problem with you looking like a hero? If not, pump yourself up as the solution and make sure people can contact you easily.
So, let this be a simple guide for you to monitor your website’s analytics and SEO performance. Don’t get caught up in the “now” and make erratic, knee-jerk decisions. Take a measured approach to your analytics usage and you’ll find the right data to improve your SEO campaign for the long-haul!