Google Launches First
If you blog and you watch your Google Analytics at all, you are probably aware that in September Google encrypted most search data “for privacy reasons.”
- Google stills shows this data to advertisers, so your “privacy reasons” are probably more likely “ad revenue” reasons. And believe me, I get it. If I built Google, I’d say, “Hey! I worked hard to build this thing. I’ve been giving you these awesome analytics free for long enough.” or I might say “Hey, it’s time to pay for your analytics crack fix you fiend.” Either way.
- Guess what?! This whole time we’ve still been able to see the same-ish data in Google Webmaster Tools, and now that data is extremely easy to access, thanks to Google’s very first WordPress plugin. What’s the cheaper version of crack? Is it meth? I think Google is getting us hooked on search query meth now. Just be aware they could turn into a mean pimp one day and make you pay, but for now… DATA!!!
The app also simplifies AdWords. I don’t use AdWords here, so you’re on your own, but if you’re curious how I use the search query data in Webmaster Tools, I’m glad to tell you. I could spend days staring at the data, but I’m a little bit of a dork. I hate to bore everyone, so if you want to know more, let me know in the comments.
Here’s a good overview and walk-through post about the Google Publisher plugin.
Why care about search data?
- Get a clear picture of how readers are finding you
- Understand what Google thinks your site is about
- Spot trends
- Tweak your SEO (search engine optimization) to drive more relevant traffic
BONUS: The best-in-class SEO plugin you should be using is WordPress SEO by Yoast
When thinking about SEO, you actually want to think small. What? Wait.
Okay, let me explain.
Say your site or blog has a Google PageRank of 2 (that’s out of 10, y’all) and a Domain Authority of 28. You are a craft blogger and you write a post about the incredibly adorable antique picture frame you just spray painted and turned into a family communication board.
Sounds totally Pinterest worthy!
But if you SEO your post for “DIY” you will likely show up roughly on google SERP (search engine results page) 576 for “DIY.”
What about “DIY Frame”? Well, that’s a touch better, but you’re probably still on page 315 because Google thinks your site isn’t quite as strong as Martha’s or the eleven billion other DIY craft sites.
Did you know that 80% of all clicks happen in the first three results of the first page of SERP for a keyword search? That’s pretty much all of the traffic.
So, even if there are 3,000,000 monthly searches for “DIY” and you rank on page 576, you are going to drive precisely 0 visits.
However, if you SEO your post for “DIY Spray Paint Picture Frame Communication Board” and there are only 20 searches per month, but you rank #1, you could drive 15-ish visits to your site.
So, which is better? “DIY” or “DIY Spray Paint Picture Frame Communication Board”? Which one drove traffic to your site? The latter. Someday, when you are famous, you can try for “DIY”, but not yet, friend. It’s okay, I still have to rank for the long-tail search terms, too.
Does all of that make sense?