Using Predictive Analytics For Long Tail Search
If you are working at building your blog traffic you have to have a solid understanding of how people are finding you. You can use that information to develop content, generate more traffic and make more money. There are many tools that try and take the pain out of analytics for you. One tool is HitTail which not only reports your top search terms goes one step further and predicts what terms people will use to find you.
Analytics are fantastic for coming up with ideas. When I am stuck for blog post idea and realize then playing Peggle endlessly is just avoidance I will often do is turn to my analytics. When you look at your stats using analytics program like like Google Analytics, webstats or MyBlogLog ( I use Clicktracks ) you will start to see patterns. You can use those patterns build a better site.
If you are blogging for money then you will find that a handful of your posts make you the most money. With a closer look at your revenue you find that while some post make you a lot of money they do not make up ALL of your income stream.
It is also true when you look at your stats that you may have a handful of keywords that are always at the top. These are your prime keywords- you rank well in search engines and you may even think they are the bread and butter of your site. You could be wrong.
Look at your earnings. If you have you are an Adsense publisher you probably have a page or post or blog that does really really well. The shining star of your blog revenue. I suspect the amount still only accounts for less than half of your total blog income. I have a blog that outpaces all my other sites- however my other blogs combined still make more money than that one blog.
The same will be true with your keywords. You will have terms that bring about 20% of your traffic. You may focus a lot of time and energy on those terms. If you run an AdWords campaign you may be dumping all your money into those terms – however- its the other 80 percent you should be looking at. You will get more traffic for less effort and/or less money.
Do not bend over backwards chasing after the hard keywords- go after the ones that are easy. If you write blog posts using keywords that are based on user behavior and current content and you may get more traffic and make more money.
I have been using HitTail from Connors Communications for about a year on all my blogs. They have both a free version and a pro version. For most users the free version is more than adequate. You get search results for your site in real time and find out which keywords people use to find your website. Based on the keywords people are using right now to find your site- it will suggest what other keywords you could be using. I found this to be extremely useful.
How To Use HitTail
You need to put a script in your pages. You can add manually in your body tags or use plugin to do it for you.
When you login you can look at multiple blogs and various windows. At a glance I can see my top performing keywords in graph form. It will tell you what percentage of searches come from your top 10 keywords and what come from long tail search. All of my blogs have a split of about 20/80. Interestingly my worst blog is 10/90 split and my best is a 25/75.
It will also show you search hits from major search engines and what keywords strings were used and most valuable information for me has been suggestions which give suggested keywords based on current search results. Admittedly some of the string are odd , however often there is a little gem of an idea or a combination that works very well.
The best ideas for your blog posts I believe still come from instinct- watching news or seeing trends and writing about what you know or what your are working on. The best advice I ever heard about writing a blog came from Greg Jarboe– he talked about a blog in terms of a news source. That you need to brand yourself as an expert in your field and become the “news hub” for that niche. Wonderful advice. Using your expertise along with stat tools can be a powerful combination.
Writing for search engines is a a slippery slope and getting tangled in keywords can cause more problems than it solves. NOT looking at your keywords and seeing what keywords are performing is a huge mistake. You must use the information you have stored in your logs to build your traffic and to make your blog more profitable.