How to Optimise Keyword Research

In this article we will use the Search tab to learn how to optimise keyword research. We will analyse Organic vs Paid search terms in order to determine the SEO and PPC strategies competitors take and measure the success of those strategies. Finally we will deep-dive into Search by focusing in on two competitors and evaluate who is gaining the most traffic share from different keywords. This will allow us to determine which domain developed the most successful keyword strategy.

Introduction

Barnes & Noble is an online book store. They had a spike in traffic on the day that the new Harry Potter book was released (July 31 2016), reaching over 1.2M visits:

Website Analysis > Website Audience > Overview > July - August 2016

Search traffic for “harry potter” increased by over 150% when comparing June to July:

Website Analysis > Traffic Sources > Search > June 2016

Website Analysis > Traffic Sources > Search > July 2016

A great insight into the keyword strategy of barnesandnoble.com can be gained by looking at the breakdown between Organic vs Paid on each Harry Potter search term. Organic traffic is is dark blue, Paid traffic is in light blue:

Website Analysis > Traffic Sources > Search > July 2016 > Search Term "Harry Potter"

Barnesandnoble.com paid for a portion of the traffic they received for each “harry potter” related keyword. We can validate the investment into the keywords, by searching for the #1 Harry Potter search term (“harry potter and the cursed child book”) on Google (in the US). Barnesandnoble.com appears 3 times on the 1st page, broadening their opportunity to gain the highest traffic share:

Amazon.com also received a surge in search traffic on the same day and wanted to see how they compared to barnesandnoble.com. In comparison, Amazon.com received a significantly higher amount of traffic via search than barnesandnoble:

Website Analysis > Comparison (barnesandnoble.com vs amazon.com > Traffic Sources > Search > July 2016

However, a focussed view of search terms shows that barnesandnoble.com "won the race" and received more traffic via the search of "Harry Potter" keywords. They also received a larger traffic share from paid keywords than amazon.com:

Website Analysis > Comparison (barnesandnoble.com vs amazon.com) > Traffic Sources > Search > Search Term "Harry Potter" > July 2016

It is also interesting to see that that although barnesandnoble.com received more traffic from keywords containing “harry potter” via Regular Search, amazon.com received more traffic via Image Search. This proves the importance of tagging and leveraging all Search channels when managing a Keyword campaign.

Website Analysis > Comparison (barnesandnoble.com vs amazon.com) > Traffic Sources > Search > Search Term "Harry Potter" > Search traffic by channels > July 2016

A further view of harry potter search terms shows where barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com gained a higher portion of the traffic share:

Website Analysis > Comparison (barnesandnoble.com vs amazon.com) > Traffic Sources > Search > Search Term "Harry Potter" > July 2016

Conclusion

This analysis shows that barnsandnoble.com ran a successful keyword strategy around the Harry Potter book launch, optimizing both their SEO and PPC efforts. Although the traffic share from amazon.com was higher, barnsandnoble.com gained more traffic from “harry potter” keywords.  

It is vital to optimise your keyword strategy. By using the Search tab you can run a thorough analysis to gain insights into trending keywords, traffic share on specific keywords and the breakdown between Paid and Organic search terms. You can deep dive into different Search Channels when managing a keyword campaign to make sure you are covering all tagging options. Benchmark yourself against your competitors in Search, in order to gain insights into who is receiving the most traffic share from each search term. It is important to remember that you can still 'win' on specific keywords, even if you receive far less traffic than your competitors.

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