So Google removed most keyword data from your stats. Which means that you can't see what keyword phrases people are typing into Google that lead them to your website pages. You can see them from Yahoo and Bing, but most people use Google, so we're $*it out of luck. And must now work blindfolded.
Wondering WHY Google did this is pretty pointless, but my guess, different from others who think it monetary and it very well may be, is that the Google search pros are tired of playing whac-a-mole with spammy websites and an SEO industry that has created a commodity out of "keywords". People spend a lot of money to find keywords, use keywords, measure keywords, and a lot of the time, these "SEO Firms" are just jerking around, sending clients Excel spreadsheets of numbers that mean nothing to the common person, and I'm going to go with the belief that Google spam fighters are tired of it.
With that out of the way, it doesn't help those of us who know how to
- A.) Market content to those searching for it
- B.) Write content based on what people are looking for - giving them answers. Being the answer. Honestly and blessedly. You're looking for something, you don't see it in search results, so you click on page 7 of Google and you finally find it? Guess what my job is: seeing your search term, and tweaking a page on my existing website that better answers your question, and better ranks my page to maybe page 1 of Google, and thereby helping more people like you.
But. That's not going to happen anymore. Or not as easily So what do we do? As of this day, I'm currently pondering that. Here's what I'm thinking:
- Don't dive into Google Adwords. That industry is currently populated with several firms who can totally rob you blind, maybe charging you too much for clicks, or mis-advising you. It could get a lot more polluted very quickly as some SEO articles are concluding that keyword answers are in Google Keyword data.
- Still don't dive into Google Adwords as a Keyword Tool. The keyword search tool in Google Keywords has always been a little lame. Maybe it's great for businesses marketing generic products and services, but usually, the money is in the nitty gritty keyword terms. What I mean is, people search for something VERY specific. And hundreds of people may not be searching for that VERY specific phrase. If a page on your website happens to deliver the answer to this phrase, and if it's clear to your new reader how to buy what you sell, then BAM, you just got yourself a conversion. However, Google Keywords don't include these low hanging fruit type terms.
- Use Google Adwords Wisely. I'm not saying don't use Google Adwords. The digital search and recommendation industry is moving to a pay-for-play model (someone has to bring home the bacon, right?). But when you do it, do it right. Be very involved with the ads being written for you, and demand results - good and bad results. Google Adwords is something you will tweak on an ongoing basis.
- Write Authentically. As an SEO strategist, this has always been the game I played: creating authentic content that normal people want to read and get a great take-away from. Even though we'll be shooting in the dark about which phrases people are dying to know the answers to, keep on writing and producing good, unique, content.
- Don't Replicate Content. Always been a bad idea, and now, as people dive into more content marketing, if your article is picked up by 5 websites (because that's what's going on these days with content syndication and websites getting paid for your content), just be careful how or how often you use those guest articles to link back to your website.
- Squeeze Your Stats: If you sell content, Erika Miller of Independant Fashion Bloggers wrote a great article on how to squeeze out some measureable data from your Google Analytics.
So much to write about. This is just the start. At Tin Shingle, we created a platform that helps business owners with their pr, and also with creating an authentic content marketing platform. We've been using it for years, and it's a genuine way to tell your brand story. Look into it, and keep your browser bookmarked to Tin Shingle as we explore how to work blindfolded and still see conversions.