When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I like the garden metaphor because
- The best SEO strategies are of the ‘plant the seeds in the soil, water regularly, and harvest the crop in a few months to a year.”
- You’ve got to be careful where you walk, so you don’t step into a pile of bullshit.
Today, an SEO reminder to make sure you’re running the right (free) tools on your site, so you have the vital information about your website and your most popular pages when you need it for your marketing.
Google Analytics (GA)
First, you should have Google Analytics (GA) running on your business site.
GA helps you by collecting data about your traffic, visitors, and pages. This information enables you to optimize existing content or write new content. (e.g., “Hmm, this post on how ‘how to get on podcasts as an indie consultant’ gets a lot of traffic, I should test publishing a few more posts on that topic.”)
Google Analytics only collects data for you once it’s added to your site. So if you don’t have it running now, you’ve missed out on what’s happened in the past. But if you install it today, you’ll capture what’s happening in the future.
Get started here: analytics.google.com (it’s free).
And then in 1 month look in Google Analytics at the
Behavior -> Site Content -> Landing Pages report. That tells you which pages people first land on when they find your site through any of the channels (e.g., social, referral, search, email).
I often look at that report to see which pages are getting a bunch of traffic. Then, I look at those pages to see if I can better optimize those pages (e.g., call to action, images, copy) for that traffic.
(If you’re opposed to Google Analytics, I recommend Fathom from the excellent Paul Jarvis).
Google Search Console (GSC)
Second, you should have Google Search Console (GSC) set up for your site.
GSC tells you about your site’s performance with reports on web search clicks, errors, issues with your coverage (Google saying “This is broken. Fix it.”), and some (not all) of the links pointing to your site.
GSC does look back in time, so if your site has been up since 2018 without Google Search Console when you add it to your website, you’ll see the relevant historical information.
Get started here: https://search.google.com/search-console (it’s free).
And then in 1 month look in Google Search Console at the following report:
Google Search Console -> Performance report. This report shows you the search queries that are bringing traffic to your site. I often look at that report for keyword ideas. (e.g., “Hey, we’re getting some traffic for
Podcast Outreach Email, let’s write another few posts around that topic.”)
Alright, here’s your homework:
- [ ] Add Google Analytics to your site ([analytics.google.com/])
- [ ] Add Google Search Console to your site ([https://search.google.com/search-console])