Search BarGoogle Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the visits to your website. It’s also the most widely used website statistics service! The product is aimed at marketers so they can make informed marketing decisions for their business.
More specifically, some of the data provided assists marketers with optimizing website content, like search terms. Search term data can be found in Google Analytics by clicking on Behavior, then Site Search and finally Search Terms. But the question remains: what do these search terms tell me? 

Search Terms

Search terms refer to the words people plug into search engines, like Google, Bing or Yahoo, when looking for something online.

If you don’t have Google Analytics synced up with your website, check out Alexa. It’s a pretty nifty website that allows you to enter your website URL and then automatically gives you feedback about your site, including a list of the top five keywords from search engines.

The search terms you see on your Google Analytics report outline the top words or phrases people type in before navigating to your website. What you need to determine is if visitors are finding your website for the right reasons. To do this, start by separating the search terms into three categories: 1) business name, 2) what you do, and 3) things you don’t do.

The search terms you see are likely to fall into one of these three categories and each category indicates different directions for you to follow.

Category 1: Business Name

When you are found by your business name it means the rest of your marketing efforts are working. It means your company is well-known if people type your company name directly into search engines to navigate to your website; this is great search term feedback. As you can see from our search term report, 6 of our top 10 search terms include “mayecreate” in them.

MayeCreate Search Terms

If people are NOT finding your business based on your name, that may be a sign for your company to work on increasing your brand awareness. If you haven’t been in business for very long, it would make sense for people not to know about your company. However, if your business is well established and people still don’t know your name, you may want to alter your marketing efforts to focus on awareness for your company in general.

Category 2: What You Do

The next category of search terms you’ll want to look for in your Google Analytics report are words that relate to what your company does or the products and services your company offers. If people are finding your site based on what you do, that’s a very good sign. It means your website content is optimized well. As you can see in the image above, search terms 5 and 10 include the words “web design.” Considering MayeCreate is a company that primarily offers website design services in Columbia, Missouri, these results are great!

If you are NOT being found for what you do then your page content needs improvement. Start off by altering the language used on your website to reflect exactly what it is your company does. If you’re a construction company, make sure “construction” appears in the text. If you’re in the cleaning business, the phrase “cleaning services” should be on your homepage and other places throughout your website. Next you’ll want to optimize the photos on your website with keywords related to your products or services and location.

Category 3: What You Don’t Do

Eblast Search Terms Example

Upon typing “eblast” into Google and scrolling past the ads, the first article that comes up is our E-blast, Don’t E-bomb blog post.

This category can go one of two ways. On the one hand you may discover that you are frequently found for things you don’t do. If you’re a construction company that is being found with the search term “cleaning services” there is clearly a problem with your page content. As we just mentioned, optimizing your text and photos for keywords is one way to improve your content.

On a more positive note, being found for things you don’t necessarily do can be a good thing if the search terms are leading people to you because you have content that answers their questions. For example, one of the top search terms that guide people to the MayeCreate website is “eblast.” While this term doesn’t necessarily describe our company name or what we do, it does refer to one of our top performing blog posts about email marketing. We love to see this because it means our blogging activities do bring in traffic to our website. When you have more content on your website you better your chances of being found through search engines.

Think Like the Searcher

The key to optimizing your website to improve your search terms is thinking like the searcher. Think about the exact wording people would use to search for a business like yours. Make a list and then be sure to include those keywords on your website. A few months after making some changes, check back in on your Google Analytics search terms report to see if they’ve helped direct traffic to your website.

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