Three Free Tools to Benchmark and Boost your Traffic

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1 Three Free Tools to Benchmark and Boost your Traffic Step-by-Step Guide to Using Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner and Google Analytics ClickInsight Corporation 1

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction 3 2. The Method 4 3. Google Trends 5 4. Google Keyword Planner Google Analytics Kick It Up A Notch At a Time It s Just a Tool 22 ClickInsight Corporation 2

3 1. INTRODUCTION Websites exist for a reason. For businesses, the most common objective of their Website is to get more leads and sales. To boost leads and sales, you need more traffic, wait - make that more quality traffic (or prospects). Where do you start? With search engines! People (prospects) use search engines every day. Searchers are often more ready to convert from a browser to a buyer. Search engine traffic can be paid or unpaid ( organic ). Which is the better investment? Growing unpaid/organic search traffic is, since this traffic will be there for the longterm. Paid search traffic stops once you stop bidding. Quick recap - Websites exist for a reason; most often, to generate leads and sales, which comes from more quality traffic, from focusing efforts on unpaid/organic search traffic. Seems straightforward right? Two main factors help your website gain top unpaid/organic search ranking and stay there: Inbound links to your website Relevant content that uses the words that searchers are using The best way to gain links and searches is great content. Great content is worth linking to because it is relevant, timely and useful. So where do you start? Google has provided lots of free information through Google Trends and the Google Keyword Planner. Together with free Google Analytics, you have the tools to focus your efforts on raising your unpaid/organic search traffic, and monitoring your progress and success. The only way to learn is by doing practice makes perfect! Follow the method and example in the sections to follow and practice with your own topic and keyword phrases. ClickInsight Corporation 3

4 2. THE METHOD Step 1: The Big Picture Invest the time to answer these questions for your area of interest: What s happening to search overall at a high level? Is there seasonality? Are there traffic spikes? Are searches increasing or decreasing over the years? Review and compare opportunities at a high level first before diving into the details. Use this free tool: Google Trends (GT) Step 2: Uncover Winning Keyword Phrases Once you have selected a niche to focus on, find the keyword phrases that have enough volume to matter. Use this free tool: Google Keyword Planner (GKWP) Step 3: Quantify Your Baseline Before you start to create your content or change your content, find out how your website is currently performing. Take a baseline measurement: For the keyword phrases you plan to create content for, how many visits currently arrive at your website? How did they get there direct, referred or by search? Where in the world are your most interested visitors? Did they convert? Use this free tool: Google Analytics (GA) ClickInsight Corporation 4

5 3. GOOGLE TRENDS Google Trends is an excellent tool for high-level research on search categories, segmented by geography or comparisons over time. Let s say you are interested in expanding your business to carry organic products. You are located in the United States and are wondering: What categories are searched for the most? Where in the United States is the highest interest? What categories within organic search are rising? Step 1: Explore Go to Google Trends ( and type organic into the search box. Click the blue search icon. On the left hand side navigation, under Limit to, narrow down your search to only the United States. ClickInsight Corporation 5

6 Google Trends (cont d) Next, at the top of the screen, check the Forecast box to show Google s forecast based on historical data. Step 2: Analyze your results If you have left the default date range as is, from 2004 to present, you ll see a historical monthly trend and, most interesting, Google s trend forecast for organic in the United States. Scroll down to see the states with the most interest in all things organic under Regional interest. You can view as a Map or List by clicking either of the icons shown below. Note - You can only view one format time, however it is easy to navigate between the two. ClickInsight Corporation 6

7 Google Trends (cont d) Directly to the right of the Regional Interests, is the Related Terms. From here, you can navigate between Top search phrases typed into Google s search engine and Rising search phrases. Note - You can only view one type of terms at a time, however it is easy to navigate between the two. What does this tell you? Organic food and baby products are the big categories People are looking for deals on organic products and wanting to learn what organic really means Let s say organic baby products are indeed something your business is interested in, but not food. What should you do next? ClickInsight Corporation 7

8 Google Trends (cont d) Step 3: Refine your analysis Go back to the Search terms box in the left side navigation and refine your search. Let s say you are not interested in organic food-related phrases. To include anything that includes organic baby products but excludes organic baby food, milk and formula phrases type in this: organic -food -foods -milk -formula. \ New trend and geographic interest results will appear, but more interesting are the Top and Rising searches shown on the next page. ClickInsight Corporation 8

9 Google Trends (cont d) Looking over the list, you decide that organic bedding and mattress are the categories you would like to explore in further detail. You will also keep an eye on how organic cotton relates to these products. Now is time for more detailed research, using the Google Keyword Planner.. ClickInsight Corporation 9

10 4. GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER Google Trends is great for high-level analysis. Once you select your niche, more granular detail is needed. The tool for that is the Google Keyword Planner (GKWP) found within the AdWords Platform. Step 1: Login to your AdWords account through this link: If you do not have an AdWords account, you can set one up for free at You can still use this free tool even if you re not running Paid Search campaigns. The Google Keyword Planner, released May 20 th, 2013, will eventually replace the Google Keyword Tool. (Date of retirement not disclosed by Google yet.) You can also access the Keyword Planner by logging in at and navigating through Tools and Analysis. Keyword Planner combines the functionality of Google Keyword Tool & Traffic Estimator to make planning search campaigns easier. ClickInsight Corporation 10

11 From the main Keyword Planner landing page under What would you like to do? click on Search for keyword and ad group ideas. This will help you brainstorm more keyword phrases to help you write relevant content that uses the words that searchers are using. What is Different? 1. Keyword Planner is not a stand-alone tool. A valid AdWords account is required to access this tool from within AdWords Platform. 2. Historical Search Volume Statistics are for exact match only. 3. There are changes in data columns. For complete details visit: words/answer/ ClickInsight Corporation 11

12 Google Keyword Planner (cont d) Starting with the niche phrases you selected from Google Trends, enter one to three of those keyword phrases under Your product or service : Under Targeting, use the pencil icon to edit the targeting to the United States and English. Click the blue Get Ideas button. ClickInsight Corporation 12

13 Google Keyword Planner (cont d) For the organic baby bedding and mattress phrases we entered, Google first returns results for Ad group ideas. To see ideas for keywords, click on the tab Keyword ideas. From the Keyword ideas tab, look at the column called Avg. monthly search. This shows there are indeed quite healthy average monthly search volumes for the organic baby bedding and mattress phrases we entered based on the targeting we selected in our example (United States, English). Rule of thumb: Look for keyword ideas with Avg. monthly search volumes >100. ClickInsight Corporation 13

14 Google Keyword Planner (cont d) The expanded list in the lower section titled Keyword (by relevance) will provide you with many content ideas. ClickInsight Corporation 14

15 Google Keyword Planner (cont d) Tip: If you hover over the graph icon, you will see the Monthly searches for the past 12 months graph. This is great for identifying seasonal trends! SEO Tip: When optimizing website content for search, specific keyword phrases are selected. You ideally want to use phrase or exact match types when researching and selecting these keyword phrases. Broad match phrases are, by definition, not specific and can cause you to optimize for phrases that will not deliver results. The new Keyword Planner does not distinguish between the three match types and gives you an average across all match types. Website content is what draws traffic. The longer list on page 14 provides many keyword ideas that Google suggests may be relevant to the initial organic baby bedding and mattress phrases we typed into Keyword Planner. Looking through the results listing, the following keyword ideas may be worth writing about as there are over 100 monthly searches per month in the United States ( Avg. monthly searches column). willow organic baby bedding organic baby bedding sets organic baby blankets organic baby toys Even though the tool does allow you to select a match type, you will note that there is no change in search volume reported. ClickInsight Corporation 15

16 Google Keyword Planner (cont d) Step 2: Focus your Analysis In the result listings, you see that Google suggests other keyword ideas. Some of these may be outside your area of interest. For example, let s say you are not interested in organic clothes. To prevent clothes and clothing from cluttering your results simply exclude these words as shown below: Scan through the entire list and continue to exclude terms that you do not want to see in your results. To continue to refine your analysis, you may want to go back to Step 1 and re-enter new phrases. Cycle through until you have a list of about a dozen phrases that appear to be relevant content topics that your audience will value, convert or link back to from their own websites or blogs. ClickInsight Corporation 16

17 Google Keyword Planner (cont d) Step 3: Narrow your Focus Further Let s say you decide to focus first on baby bedding. Click Modify Search and replace current phrases with willow organic baby bedding, organic baby bedding sets and organic baby blankets. Click Get ideas. Consider customizing the settings to only those phrases where the local monthly searches are greater than 100. Review the search results that follow for more ideas. ClickInsight Corporation 17

18 Google Keyword Planner (cont d) Advanced Tip A great way to keep track of all your ideas is by using the My Plan feature in Keyword Planner.. Google saves your plan throughout your session, making it easy to keep track of your keyword brainstorming session. You can download your list by clicking this icon: The monthly searches for the past 12 months data can also be downloaded in Excel CSV from Your plan by ticking off Segment by month. Consider the list ( Your plan ) and select topics for content creation! ClickInsight Corporation 18

19 5. GOOGLE ANALYTICS Before you implement changes to your website, take a baseline measurement of where you are. Step 1: Install Google Analytics If you don t have Google Analytics installed, download our quick start Google Analytics Checklist here: This checklist will help you: Track your progress through a basic Google Analytics setup Identify specialty and advanced set-up options, such as Ecommerce setup and integration with AdWords, AdSense & Google Webmaster tools Identify custom tracking that may be required to more completely track your website so that the data is complete enough, meaningful and useful Step 2: Review Current Traffic If you have Google Analytics installed, login at Go to your Unpaid Search keyword report, which Google calls the Organic Keywords report, to see how much traffic you have coming to your website for the keywords you will be optimizing for. The fastest way to find this report is to use the search box in the top left once you are looking in your Standard Reporting tab. Type organic and click on the Traffic Sources report path that is displayed. ClickInsight Corporation 19

20 Google Analytics (cont d) The default time frame in Google Analytics is the last 30 days. Look for a search box in the middle of the page. Type in the keyword phrase you are interested in. Continuing on our example, we type in organic baby. Ranking isn t everything! Quality traffic is what you want Prospects. Prospects are interested in what you have to offer and click on your website. Interested prospects will stay on your site. Look for keyword phrases with lower bounce rates and longer average visit duration. Since this is a new keyword phrase you are optimizing for, you might find that the traffic is very low, possibly zero. Whatever the number of visits, this number is your starting point, your own benchmark from which you will measure rising success as you add relevant content, optimize your website and attract more backlinks. Return to this report after you have added content or otherwise optimized your website. From this report, you will know you are successful when you see visits rising for your target keyword phrases. ClickInsight Corporation 20

21 6. KICK IT UP A NOTCH AT A TIME You ve now seen the three free Google Tools in action. Let s summarize how they work together: Google Trends helps you first review and compare opportunities at a high level before diving into the details. Google Keyword Planner helps you find high potential keyword phrases that have enough volume to matter once you ve selected a niche to focus on. Google Analytics helps you take a baseline measurement so you can see how much traffic you have coming to your website for the keywords you will be optimizing for. Simply reading this guide alone is not enough. You will learn to use these powerful three free tools by doing. Work through the example provided. Finally use your own topics and keyword phrases to boost your website s performance Watch your inbox for more tips and techniques on how you can further leverage these tools to grow your business. You can also get Common Sense Analytics tips from our enewsletter. Sign up today at ClickInsight Corporation 21

22 7. IT S JUST A TOOL You re excited about the new tools you ve just learned about. Before you head off and use them, a few words of caution. A tool without a thoughtful, responsible user can be dangerous. Take a car for example. It is a useful and fun tool, but also disastrous with an untrained driver at the wheel. Think about what you are doing. Think about how you are using the tool. Don t just trust in the tool. Always ask, "Does this make sense"? The tools are Google s. Google can change the way the tool works at any time of their choosing; it s in their terms of service. The onus is on you, as the user of these tools, to keep up to date by reading Google s blogs: o o AdWords blog - Google Analytics blog - o Google Webmaster Central blog - Enjoy the journey! ClickInsight Corporation 22

23 ClickInsight Corporation Bloor Street West Toronto, Ontario M8X 2Y8 Feedback is most welcome. your comments to Terms and Conditions of Use The content in this document may not be reproduced or used for any other purpose without our prior written permission. We do not assume responsibility or liability for loss to any parties as a result of the use of this document. Where we provide advice or recommendations to readers of this document, all decisions for the implementation of such advice or recommendations are the responsibility of the readers of this document. The information, advice, counsel, recommendations and conclusions in this document are current at the time of publication. Unless specifically stated, we are not responsible for the accuracy of information supplied by the third parties. We reserve the right to amend the conclusions or recommendations in this document in the light of any material omissions or misstatements which subsequently become known. This document provides links to external Web sites for the convenience to the readers of this document. We make every attempt to keep these links up-to-date. However, they are not under our control and may change or move over time. We are not responsible for the content provided at the referred Web sites. Google Trends tool, Google Keyword Planner, Google AdWords advertising service and Google Analytics web analytics service are trademarks of Google Inc., located at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States. ID: 3ft ClickInsight Corporation 23

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