I’ve been managing NerdSourced.com for almost a year and a half as of writing this blog and I’m very satisfied with where we are as a brand. We’ve gotten over 1,200 followers on our D&D Twitter account, over 300 subscribers on Pinterest, and quickly nearing 400 likes on Facebook.
Social media is great for getting spikes in web traffic for new articles and posts, but what I’m really excited about is the fact that our passive traffic so far in 2016 has doubled since the same time frame in 2015. This is traffic that comes from organic searches on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
And while it is gratifying to see our hard work pay off with the spikes in traffic from our latest content, I love seeing people find our blog on their own. To measure the performance of our passive web traffic, I use Google Analytics and I look at two metrics: landing pages and keywords.
Landing Pages are the pages of your website that people arrive at when they find your site in a search. To find your most popular landing pages in Google Analytics, first go to the “Reporting” tab and make sure your date ranges are defined. I define my research in 3 month increments, up to a year. Once you have your date range defined, look in the Reports sidebar on the left and click on “Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages”
Here you will see the landing pages of your site with the highest traffic in your defined date range. The longer the date range, the more indicative of the lasting value these landing pages have, because they are passively generating the most traffic to your site over time.
This is a good indication of the kind of content that is working for your site or blog. The most visited traffic pages tell you what topics people are searching for when they find your site. Knowing these topics is great information, but it is equally important to find out how viewers are finding you when searching for these topics.
That is where keywords come in. These are the terms or phrases that viewers are searching for when they find your landing pages. Each landing page may have multiple keywords that viewers use to find your site and some are more popular than others.
To find the keywords of your landing pages, click on one of the pages listed in your “Landing Pages” report that we looked at above. This will bring up a more detailed report of that landing page along with a few more options to drill deeper into, one of them being keywords.
Click on the “Keyword” link listed in the Primary Dimensions row, just above the landing page’s stats table.
Now you’ll see the keywords that people have searched for in Google, Bing, and Yahoo that landed them on your pages. If you see “(not provided)” or “(not set)”, these mean that they are views not associated with a search engine which usually means they were linked from social media or direct sharing.
Keywords will give you the exact thought processes that your visitors had when they found your site. The most popular keywords should be taken into consideration when you write new content. Try to word your content in a way that aligns with the keywords of your most popular content, because those are the terms potential viewers will search for in a search engine.
These keyword terms can also be used in the title or meta data of your pages and images. Landing pages and keywords will generate you passive traffic while you focus on generating new content. Use them!