For today’s post, I’d like to introduce James Morell – a well known UK SEO working in Bristol. Next time you see him – buy him a beer. I’m personally delighted to have him (working alongside Sam George) on the Builtvisible blog and you are simply going to love the fruits of their labour!
Losing visitors to search?
A few assumptions to get out of the way first. We all know, or at least suspect, that people on our sites are highlighting text, right clicking on it and selecting “Search Google For…” If they’re not doing that, they’re highlighting the text, copying it and pasting it into Google. Often you’ll have content on your site that people could be looking at instead of going off elsewhere, possibly to one of your competitors, and finding out more about.
We also know about services like Tynt, which is really useful for publishers wanting to know where content is being copied to, and adding in links for you.
Tynt recently added a service that shows you the most copied short pieces of text on your site – what they call ‘search copies’ – which is an incredibly useful service. I however wanted to take it a step further. If I know the text that is being highlighted, I want to know which page it is on, so I can look at my internal linking strategy, and I want to see pages that are getting a lot of text copied from them.
In a fortunate coincidence, Sam was working with
So how do you do this? Easy. Get the highlighted word tracking script and follow the instructions there.
Place the code above or below (doesn’t really matter) your Google analytics as follows:
Once this has been running for a few days you’ll see results like this:
So far this is no different to what you’d see with Tynt, however, by using Google Analytics to do the heavy lifting for us we can add ‘page’ as a dimension so we can see which pages those pieces of text are being highlighted on. Obviously you can change the secondary dimension again, so you could see which words and phrases UK visitors are interested in, you could use another analytics profile to see the pages that UK visitors are interested in, or you could apply a user defined dimension, the possibilities are if not limitless, pretty damn big!
An example of which pages have had phrases copied from for starters looks like this:
One of my personal favourites is to export the data to Excel and look at page based information and see which pages are having which pieces of text highlighted on them – do you need to internally link to a large chunk of text, or will a small piece do? Once you’ve got the information in Excel you can also use the concatenate function – every SEO’s favorite – to run a site:http://www.yoursite.com keyphrase search to discover which piece of content you should be linking to internally.
For those that don’t know, export the data from analytics, and in column k, add:
Copy this down your row and you’ll be able to copy and paste the results out to Google to see which pages it sees as most important on your site for the terms being highlighted and you can then either reinforce these by internally linking to them from the pages where highlighting is happening, or you could try and boost the importance of another page on site for the term – your choice. Either way you’re helping your site visitors to find the content on your site, or you’ve got a great idea of affiliate links you should be placing.
I hope that this code will prove useful – I really look forward to seeing how people use it and what other ideas people come up with based on the segmentation that you can perform in Google analytics, and let us know in the comments any other ideas you might have!
Author bio: James Morell is a Bristol based SEO and works for one of the UKs largest publishing companies as Digital Marketing Manager.
You can follow him on Twitter as @jmorell