Where is Your Search Traffic Really Landing?

Where is Your Search Traffic Really Landing?

SEOs frequently mention the fact that the vast majority of search queries are “long tail” searches. Most of the search traffic comes from queries that are rarely used, and a staggering number of them have never even been used before by any visitor, ever.

But today we’re going to talk about a different kind of long tail: the one that may already exist on your own site. So pull up faithful old Google Analytics, and let’s find out where most of your site’s traffic is really landing.

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We tend to focus most of our time looking at our ten best pages, since this is what we see by default when we pull up Analytics. It’s also difficult for us to wrap our minds around everything else. I’m going to show you how to cut through the noise.

1. Log into Google Analytics

2. (Optional) Go to the top right corner and expand your date range to get more data. This has the advantage of giving you more traffic data to work with, but it has the disadvantage of giving you less recent data, which will skew things in favor of old content. You may want to try doing it both ways for a more comprehensive understanding.

3. From the left sidebar, click Content, Site Content, Landing Pages.

4. Go to the top of the page and click Advanced Segments. Select Non-paid Search Traffic and then click Apply. This will remove all the traffic from outside the organic search results.

5. Go to the very bottom right of the page to Show rows: and select 500.

6. Now go all the way back up to the top of the page and and click Export. You can export it to CSV for Excel or choose Google Spreadsheets if you don’t have Excel (or would rather just work straight from your browser).

The next thing we’re going to do is look at the cumulative traffic. In other words, we’re going to add up the traffic so that when you look at the tenth page, it will tell you how many visitors landed on one of the top ten pages. Here’s how to set this up:

1. Title a new column in cell G2 by naming it Cumulative Visits.

2. Go to cell G3, just below the column title, and type =SUM($B$3:B3) and press Enter. If you’re unfamiliar with spreadsheets, this means you will be adding up all the cells between B3 and B3. Obviously, in this case, this is the same as copying over the value from cell B3, which is the number of visits on the first page. However, you’re going to copy this formula so that it adds up all the top pages.

3. Make sure cell G3 is highlighted, and click the little box in the bottom right corner of cell G3. Drag it down to the bottom of your pages.

Now if you look at any page, the Cumulative Visits column is going to tell you how many people landed on that page or any one of the pages above it. Next we want to calculate the percentage of total traffic in a similar manner.

1. Go to cell H2 and name it Cumulative Percentage.

2. In cell H3, type =G3/[enter your total number of visits here].

3. Drag this formula down to the bottom of your pages the same way you did for the cumulative visits.

Now the Cumulative Percentage column will tell you what percentage of visitors landed on that page or any of the pages above it.

Next, scroll through the data and find where the Cumulative Percentage column gives you 0.50, or something reasonably close. This is your halfway point. Half of the traffic is landing on one of the pages above this page, and half of it will be coming from pages below.

It’s not uncommon to discover that your top ten pages or so are responsible for half of your traffic. What we often fail to realize about this is that it means half of out traffic is landing on our pages with the “lowest” traffic! All these pages that we’ve forgotten about and let sit on our site are responsible for half of our visits.

We don’t usually think of these pages as important, but we would certainly notice if all this traffic disappeared one day.
The next question to ask ourselves is where we should be focusing our promotional efforts. Suppose we had 100 pages, the top ten were responsible for half the traffic, and the bottom 90 were responsible for the other half. Suppose we knew it would take 20 links per page to double traffic in any of the top 10 pages.

Also suppose we knew it would take only 1 link to double the traffic on any one of the bottom 90 pages, since the traffic to each one is already so small and they have so few links.

If that were true, we could increase our traffic 25% by obtaining 200 links to the top 10 pages. But we could accomplish this much easier by obtaining 90 links to the bottom 90 pages.

Obviously, this is a simplistic example, but it makes a good point. Would it be easier to increase traffic by focusing on the pages with the top 50% or the bottom 50% of your overall traffic? This is an important question to ask.

Original Source: https://www.localsurgemedia.com/analytics/search-traffic-landing/ ‎

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