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The Line’s Gone Dead: Why You Should Be Watching Your Content

August 16th, 2013 by

 	The Line's Gone Dead: Why You Should Be Watching Your ContentTo paraphrase Mark Twain, there are two very dangerous things – having too little knowledge or too much of it. While amateur writers and designers might know a little about content, a simple mistake like using a keyword too many times can exile the site to a place several pages deep in search engine results. Worse yet, a series of these blunders can have an even more dire impact on placement and natural searches and the site owner might not find out until the damage is done. Content analytics, beyond being a tool for active marketing, actually acts as a passive protection tool, delivering hints on what steps to take with your business for maximum success.

A Warning System That You Need

When a business makes a habit of checking their search engine optimization rankings on a regular basis, issues such as Google “punishment” for overusing keywords become immediately apparent. Once the problems are recognized, they can be diagnosed and remedied quickly, keeping a site as high as possible in the rankings. Without this in-the-moment insight, even the most skilled marketer can find they’ve been having a long, creative conversation with a phone line that’s gone dead. As the old “canary in a coalmine” scenario goes, it’s far better for a business to discover that traffic is suffering by examining their rankings than looking dismally at a less-than-impressive profit statement.

Gauging On-Site Interest

While the majority of the discussion of analytics as an SEO tool focuses on inbound traffic, this powerful lens can also be turned further inward. Bonnie Stefanick of SearchEngineWatch.com emphasizes that on-site searches can reveal a lot about how successful your efforts really are. Your landing page copy is typically aimed at encouraging conversion, and in-sight searches will give you an excellent idea of what’s on your customer’s mind. If, for example, the search terms seem heavy on queries of opting out or cancelling memberships, you’ll be getting a heads-up that a restructuring of your business model or more transparency is needed. Lots of searches for coupons? Your price point may be too high. Even something as simple as searches for retailers of your product in a given state or town can give you valuable hints about where to try B2B marketing. Your customers are giving you free, actionable information with every visit, and with a little adjustment that info can be used to boost your search engine rankings.

Content and Tech Together

Once you have solid content on your site to draw visitors, tools such as Google Analytics will help you discover if you’ve hit the “sweet spot” with your customer base. StateofSearch.com’s Aleyda Solis notes that business owners are now able to partially automate watching their SEO trends, thanks to innovations like Organic Traffic Decrease Alerts, which will email you when your traffic reduces by or to a self-defined volume.

The relationship and reciprocity of analytics and search engine optimization rankings are not a flat, one way road. They make a wonderfully complex and efficient highway system, and with the right directions in hand, there’s no limit to how far you can go.

Delany M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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