How to Use Traffic Flow in Your SEO
It is tempting to build your site to game rankings, but the real way to ‘game’ rankings onsite is to the pay attention to your users. Traffic matters to Google, and that means keeping and fully utilizing the current onsite traffic and expanding from that market will help growth onsite and can amplif off-site link building efforts.
Why Traffic Flow Matters To SEO
Since the Panda update way back in 2012, the way your users interact with your blog has increasingly mattered to your SEO campaign. Plus, even if they didn’t matter, all that bounced, non-converting traffic does not help the end results (getting people to the product page/to ‘buy’).
This means that as tempting as it is to ‘game’ rankings, deal only with direct match anchor text with high volume searches, or create landing pages that lead only to product pages, ignoring customer care will hurt your long term results.
What User-Friendly Customer Care Means For a Website
Finding out how user friendly your site is for SEO traffic means starting to track traffic direction for different user groups, figuring out what is working, why, and building off of the successful, productive users.
Start by looking at where people are coming from and where they are landing. This can be looked at on a base level with Google Analytics flow maps and sorting by audience, and valuing that traffic based around landing pages that rank high for larger volume keywords that heavily relate to your business.
Traffic direction is a great place to start because it addresses a variety of customer focused site improvements. Some things to focus on:
- Where is the referral traffic coming from, and where are they landing (are they staying on site)
- Who is your audience and are they who they should be (do you have a lot of Russian computers clicking through your site?)
- Where are people dropping off? And why?
Functionality And Ease of Use
Functionality and ease of use is the number one reason people leave a site. If you find a place where your users are bouncing from en masse, making sure things are functional and easy to use is the first starting point.
There should also be a clear direction for people to follow (maybe a read more here or other products you might like) that plays into functionality. There ought be a flow that takes your users from one page to the next, an orphaned page with only a homepage link could drop just as many users as a haphazard page.
Look for your orphaned users, and make them a page they’d like to stay on. You can do that with information, building a content funnel, attracting users who are interested in what you have to say by labelling your site properly, or just building some inbound links from authoritative, niche specific blogs.
If the site if fully functional, and people are still bolting, consider some other reasons. Maybe that page is too much work, maybe they have nowhere to go next, or maybe they are the wrong sort of users.
The Russian computers keep dropping off at the payment page, that’s probably a good thing, but if your bread and butter user refuses to leave the blog, an information funnel in the form of targeted ‘read more’ pages and links can help lead them to product pages organically.
Jarring the user can be helpful for users with a long screen idle users, but multiple pop-ups turn-off users. Instead think of your users as tiny bookworms who just want to learn everything about your product and why they need it in slow increments from their initial search, and lead them where they need to be, gently and through a well thought out system of pathways.
How People Find You Organically
Letting people find you organically by offering some information that they might be looking for is a superb way to gather organic traffic. If you don’t have a blog/resource center/ information base, get one.
Information centers are a way to gather those organic customers, redirect people on site from social media, and diversify the summary of your site. It’s how you start your content marketing, which is a rich and rewarding form of long-term marketing that builds on itself.
How You Can Change Your Content According to Your Niche
There are some general tips you can use to make your content more digestible for your audience, get them to share the content with other people and increase useful traffic, but you should create content according to your niche and brand voice. A mood carries continuity and through that, people stay onsite.
This means that for business blogs, a professional, to-the-point tone would attract users. A really great example of successful content is this checklist for starting a business. It’s clear, to the point, offers the reader valuable information, and offers a call to action to read more/stay onsite.
This article is very different than an informational post for a travel blog. People who look at travel are often looking to be immersed in an experience with lots of pictures and lovely adjectives that carry them off to the soft rocking breeze of a hammock and icy drink on the edge of some forgotten paradise in the South Seas.
Creating content that your readers want to look at can be hard, but looking at their other interests, and which posts they interact with the most can offer some very strong hints in revamping the rest of your content.
Creating a Funnel
While creating content is awesome, leading your readers through that content can be just as important. Once they get to your blog,and read you great article, are your users just bouncing? Offer them more information, let them explore deeper without shoving a product page in their face.
This means that the base of your blog should be really open informational articles, like this blog’s education page, which offers a huge amount of information, but as you click through, funnels people from informational pages towards option pages, and then onto product pages.
‘Consider pages’ are ones that offer a choice for consumers instead of general information. For example, an article that compares CBD-oil to prescription pills forces a comparison and encourages people who might be unhappy with their prescription pills to realise that there is another option.
Or if you sell boats, comparing two different boats forces the reader into the perspective that they are buying a boat and gets them to consider the two boats as options.
Onsite traffic matters, and taking control of it through creative content marketing and maintaining a user-friendly functional site is the starting point for building a long-term company that will continue to gain users.
Whether you are a beginning firm or a long term power house, your website could use some help, some information, and some traffic analysis. That’s the key to golden SEO. That and some offsite links (which can come organically through great shareable content).