Website content optimization: Traffic metrics

January 20, 2021

In order to optimize a page for search, you need to know how it’s performing right now.

So you log in to Google Analytics and see all these charts and data fields. And maybe your eyes gloss over a little bit. (I’m writing from personal experience.)

There is a wealth of data for you on Google Analytics, but you only need a few key metrics in order to start optimizing your page.

In this blog we’ll look at search performance through the lens of traffic.

This blog will look at two pieces of data:

  • Organic Entrances
  • Total Pageviews

All you need to do this work is the Google Analytics login for your website.

Once you understand how each page is performing, you’ll know which ones need revision. (After you optimize the basics for each page, of course.)

Organic Entrances vs. Total Pageviews

These are two of the most basic metrics you can find in Google Analytics, but together they provide a lot of actionable insight.

Optimized-Content-OrganicEntrances.png

The organic entrance metric shows us how many users are finding your site through organic search. This is, of course, what we’re trying to influence with keyword strategy.

Total pageview metric refers to all users, coming from absolutely anywhere – referrals, internal links, ads, and also organic.

Why do we chart these metrics?

We want to see which pages are performing well in organic, and which ones could use some revisions to perform better.

By looking at the ratio of organic entrances to total pageviews, we get a snapshot for each page. Different scenarios include:

  • High ratio of organic to total pageviews Congrats! People are frequently finding this page through organic search.
  • A promising ratio of organic entrances to the total The page is decently aligned with keywords. Still, there’s room for improvement.
  • Relatively low ratio of organic to total pageviews This page needs help.
  • Extremely low ratio of organic This page might never perform well in organic, and that’s fine. Some pages will always be found through internal links on your site. The Pricing page is a great example.

What are we looking for?

There’s no universal target for these metrics. The goal is for a high ratio of organic entrances, but it’s all relative.

Your start-up company’s goal for organic performance is going to be different from an established company like Snowflake because your starting metrics are different from theirs.

What does it tell us for web content optimization?

The ratio of organic to total pageviews will tell us how much a page to revise. Here are some broad guidelines.

  • High ratio of organic to total pageviews Be cautious about making big changes. (If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.)
  • Relatively high rate of organic entrances to total pageviews The page is on the right track, so you might consider optimizing minor aspects of the page – elements like subhead language, page speed, or visual flow.
  • Relatively low rate of organic to total Consider optimizing all aspects of the page, from the UX basics to the copywriting.
  • Extremely low rate of organic to total Review the function of the page to see if there is actually any organic potential. There might not be, as in the case of Pricing pages. (People don’t really use Google to find your Pricing page, they find it through other pages on your site.) For a page like that, optimizing for organic might be a waste of time.

Conclusion

By comparing organic entrances against total pageviews, you’ll get a sense of how much organic traffic a page is actually seeing.

When you identify pages that need revision – and which ones will benefit the most from it – you can start optimizing pages. There’s almost always room for improvement for any page, but the amount that you’re willing to revise should be determined by what you find in these metrics.

Consider these metrics as a starting point for more data-driven content strategy. You might also study up on different traffic data in Google Analytics data.

And if you’re curious about the full potential for content performance, feel free to schedule a chat with us.