Now that we covered the basics of how to understand SEO analytics data, it’s important to know what we want to do with that data.
This SEO Business Training discusses a few points you’ll want to consider to make sure your SEO strategy is really supporting your company or website objectives.
Getting the Most from Landing Pages
A landing page is the first page a user sees upon entering your site. If you’re running a marketing campaign and using paid techniques (eg: Adwords, Facebook Ads, etc) you usually get to choose which page is going to be the landing page for which set of users, and you have the opportunity to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward by designing and optimizing that page.
When it comes to affiliate sites, however, it is important to understand that any page on your site can be a landing page. This is especially true if your site is a blog, as any blog post is (or should be) as likely as any other to be shared or to crop up in long tail search results.
Optimize Your Site Layout, Not a Specific Page
If you have a small number of pages (less than 5) that account for the overwhelming majority of your landing page traffic, it makes sense to put your effort into optimizing those pages individually.
Most of the time, however, this is not the case, and for the average affiliate site, traffic is coming in from all directions, and it’s hard to justify a lot of time spent on making sure each page of your site is perfect.
If that’s the case, then you should focus instead on optimizing your site layout. If you’re using WordPress or another out-of-the-box solution, the process is fairly straightforward. You can play around with using different themes, or different layouts within a theme, and see which perform best.
You should also try moving the “extra” widgets around on your page. Try different versions of the social sharing toolbar, and reorganize where the site-search bar, recent posts widget, or click-ads display within your layout. Google provides an excellent on-page analysis tool to help you out.
Understanding Visitor Flow Data
You should also be using the visitor flow data from your Google Analytics suite to help understand how effective each of your landing pages are. This tool is especially important if you’re seeing an unusually high bounce rate for your site.
From your analytics homepage, find the right-navigation bar and go to Behavior-Behavior Flow. On this page you’ll find everything you need to know about the flow of users to your site.
From a business perspective, visitor flow data is pure gold.
Your goal as a site owner is to get a user from a landing page to your target page as quickly as possible. For many affiliates, you’ll have multiple target pages that are equally important, in which case you want to make sure the user is getting to at least one of these pages quickly.
Many times, these target pages are the pages that have the highest conversion rates for an affiliate link. That is, your real goal as an affiliate marketer is to get the user to click an affiliate link. By extension, the goal of your landing pages is to get a user to a page where he is more likely to click that link.
I encourage you to use the highlight feature to isolate common paths to each of your target pages. Your ultimate goal should be to get the number of clicks from landing page to target page under 3. Anything higher than this and you’re likely to ‘lose’ the user as a customer in the process.
Keep the User in Mind
Finally, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, your website is designed for your users, not search engines. “Over-optimizing” your site will usually only lead to short term benefits, as it is likely to lead to poor user conversion over time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this short SEO Business Training. Be sure to check out other SEO training and affiliate resources to learn more!