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Data Snacks | Aug 27
John Bonini on May 2, 2018 • 5 minute read
And while this is the standard for pretty much any content-driven company, or at least any company that isn’t relying on massive advertising budgets and/or affiliate programs, we’ve heavily relied on organic traffic growth to grow and sustain our business in the early days.
When it comes to increasing organic traffic, there are typically two ways that marketers think about doing so.
First, there’s the long tail. The content that we create today is going to compound over the coming weeks and months and drive even more traffic and leads for us. However, this content might not necessarily set the world on fire in the short term, which brings me to the next point–the short tail.
If we have significant traffic goals to hit this month, we need to look for ways to grow traffic outside of just creating more blog posts and relying on distribution channels like social media and email.
However, most marketers approach growing traffic in the short term by doing just that–increasing their new content output, publishing more on social media, sending more emails, etc.. Those things are all solid traffic drivers, however, they’re also very time-consuming and see diminishing returns.
Side note: We recently surveyed 28 marketing pros that have a more sophisticated approach for increasing organic traffic. Check it out.
If you’re a small team creating lots of new content, increasing your posting frequency on social media, and sending more email, will that really move the needle on your short-term traffic goals?
Sure, that all depends on what your traffic goals are, however when you’re looking for significant growth, usually, relying only on these activities will have you falling short of your goal.
For our marketing team at Databox, we knew that we needed to also focus on areas where we had already amassed an audience through the content we’ve published.
That’s the focus of this week’s episode of Data Snacks.
Want a template to track your progress? Try this one.
So what I’ve done here is I’ve used the Google Search Console integration, which is a free tool, and what I’ve done is I’ve built an advanced table here on the left that shows me the impressions by pages. These are the pages that show up in search engines that get the most impressions.
I also have the click-through-rate. What this shows me is pages that are getting a lot of impressions in search, but maybe aren’t getting a ton of clicks.
For example, the top one here is a help article about our Google Play developer console integration. As you can see, last month that article generated 240,000 impressions with only a .05% click-through-rate. When I go and search for Google play console, we’re not showing up on page one. When you click over to page two, we’re also not showing up here either, but this just shows you the overall demand for this keyword that we’re getting that many impressions and we’re all the way on page three.
So here we are, “Google Play Developer Console Integration.” The title tag is OK. It’s descriptive. But the meta-description leaves a little to be desired.
When I look at some of the search results that are ranking above us, there seems to be a lot of interest around things like how to set it up, but then also how to track and measure statistics of my Android application. We’re not really addressing either of those in the title tag or in the Meta description. So a small change that we can make is to go back and add things to the meta-description, which is actually something that we’ve just done, to say things like “Track the performance of your Android application with reports on installs, ratings, and more” and work in the things that you obviously see people are interested in because they’re showing up in the search results that rank above yours.
If we scroll down the list here, another one is the “Popular SEO Tools” post. It has 2000 impressions but only a .06% click-through-rate. This is actually a post that’s ranking number one for “digital marketing software”, but as you can see, our meta-description isn’t really optimized. It’s pulling in random content from the post so people might just glance over that. We actually get a ton of traffic from this post anyways, however, with only a .06% click-through-rate, there’s a lot of room for improvement.
Now, what’s a good click-through-rate? Well, this is going to vary by industry and content type, but I typically look for CTRs between 3-5%.
I’ve set my table to show 50 items, so I’ll just go search through here and look at all the pages that have a high number of impressions and really low click-through rates and try to understand why. I’ll look at the SERP, see what the title and meta tags look like, and determine what improvements can be made.
These are really small changes that can drive significant organic traffic growth that requires less effort than creating five new blog posts or even increasing your publishing schedule on social media.
While content creation and promotion should be a priority in your overall marketing strategy, when you’re looking to significantly increase traffic growth in the short term, you need to focus on areas where there’s already an audience.
Find the pages on your website that are already ranking, but for some reason aren’t driving clicks, and start your growth efforts here.
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