Very recently, I showed you how to find which keywords were driving traffic to your site from search. While this can prove very important to understand where your site is providing value for searchers, it also assumes that all traffic is created equal. It’s not all equal.
Your site isn’t some amorphous blob (I hope) that somehow ranks as a whole? It’s made up of pages that are ranking individually for a myriad of keywords and key phrases. It does a disservice to your efforts to view your site’s top keywords and end your research there. Let’s go further.
While I speak to these examples in terms of completed and submitted contact forms, you can modify this to your own goal. If you’re a B2B company, you may want to use this information to find what keywords are driving leads. If you are a restaurant, you may want to learn what keywords are driving reservations. If you know the goal of your website, following these steps should help reveal what people are typing into search engines to get there.
Step 1: Make sure you have Google Analytics setup on your site.
This is essential for revealing this data. If you don’t have Google Analytics firing on every page of your site, go get that setup and then ask Siri to remind you to revisit this page in two months.
Step 2: Get as close to the conversion as you can.
What prompted me to write this piece was a company asking how I’d know where to start their PPC campaigns from. I tried to explain this multi-post series in a span of about 2 minutes. The client looked perplexed as to the words I’d just vomited out. I decided to take this step by step to help them (and you) better understand what was driving their conversions.
In their case, they wanted leads in the form of completed contacts, either by phone or from a contact email form on their site. For the sake of making this example easier to follow, we’ll focus on the contact email form. With that goal in mind, I’m considering any visitor who sees the “Thank you for contacting us” page after they hit submit on the contact form a conversion. Let’s pretend that the URL of that page is www.example.com/contact-thank-you/
I have another client who doesn’t sell directly to their customer. Instead, they provide links to local retailers, in their case, visits to the “Find a retailer” page or a button click to “Find a retailer near me” might be considered a conversion, since it’s the closest to a conversion we can get with website interactions (we can’t track the visitor once they leave the site.)
Step 3: Source the entrance page of your convertors
Now that we know the conversion URL (which, as an aside, should be set up as a Goal in Google Analytics), we want to visit Google Analytics, select Behavior on the left-hand menu, select Site Content, and then click All Pages to see visits to all page on the main portion of the page.
On the right hand side, below the graph of pageviews, you’ll see a search bar. Type in the page name of your conversion page. Using our example, I’ll type in “contact-thank-you”
If everything has gone correctly, you should now only see that page in your list of pages.
Below the graph, you should see a drop-down menu labeled Secondary Dimension. Click that drop down menu and type Landing Page in the search box.
Select Landing Page, and you should now see a new column below, just to the right of Page column. This new column shows you the entrance pages of visitors who ultimately landed on the URL in the Page column.
In case that wasn’t clear (it happens): The URL under the Page column is your goal page. The URL under the Landing Page column is the page they entered your site on that ultimately led those visitors to your goal page.
Memorize or write down the URL(s) of that page or pages that are driving the bulk of your traffic!
Step 4: Find the keywords that are driving your converting traffic
I hope by this point, you’re excited. I’ve done this a lot in my career and I still think having this kind of information is so cool and it energizes me to write about it. We know there’s a treasure, we’ve found the X on the ground, now it’s time to start digging!
Remember how I showed you how to find the keywords that were driving traffic to your site? Now we’re going to find the keywords that drive search traffic to the page that drive conversions on your site.
Go to Google Search Console and login.
Once you’re logged in, click Performance from the left-hand menu.
Once you’ve clicked Performance, click Pages on the right-hand pane below the graph.
With pages selected and a list of your most popular pages in search by volume of clicks in front of you, scroll down until you see the URL of the landing page of your converters that we found in the previous step. When that landing page URL is located, click on it. This will filter your view to only focus on that single page.
Now that that URL is isolated, click back onto Queries below the graph.
Voila! These are the main terms that are driving converting traffic to your site in search.
There’s a lot you can do with this information, including optimizing your page for key phrases that drive even more converting traffic. You could even set up a really well researched PPC campaign, couldn’t you?
Leave a comment below if you have any thoughts on this article and be sure to let us know if it helped you. We’d love to hear from you.