Let’s face it, there are only 2 kinds of rankings for SEO, (1) the ones you meant to do on purpose and (2) the rankings that appeared unintentionally that still drive traffic to your website. For the second type, you can use SEMRush to find and monetize your visitors.
The correlation between the manifesting the preferred rankings for lucrative keywords that yield ROI vs. the keyword duds that drive traffic, but to less favorable pages that are not suited for conversion is a problem.
Timing and Conversion Funnels
This is where understanding which point of the conversion funnel a visitor is at, whether there is commercial intent for the keyword or phrases driving traffic or whether or not the page in question should even be indexed in Google in the first place (taking potential visitors away from your groomed landing pages) is the concern.
Fortunately for you, there are choices, such as:
2) Use 301 redirects (which allow you to harvest pages which have acquired rankings and redirect that organic traffic to pages more favorable for (a) affiliate marketing opportunities or (b) on site conversion from your own corresponding products or services.
How to Find High Performance Keywords
Now, all you have to do is determine what those keywords are that have traffic, then sort them out, give them a purpose, then make adjustments to the content, noindex, follow or use a 301 redirect.
One SEO tool that is great for identifying keyword / relevance thresholds is SEMRush. In just a few clicks (with the paid membership) you can enter your website and export all of the keywords driving traffic to your website and it uses a click through algorithms to estimate the percentage of traffic a website receives from certain keywords.
Naturally, you should always use more than one method to determine the accuracy of any metric (such as Google analytics) but in this case, the key metric to view is % of traffic in SEMRush.
Which SEMRush Metrics are Most Important
Export the CSV data so you can analyze it with emphasis on three critical metrics.
2. Search Volume
3. % of Traffic
While the first 2 may be evident, the third % of traffic is the one we are interested in initially. By why? The reason is simple, if we can take traffic with high click through rates and then funnel that traffic to a page that could make you money, then that is a blessing in disguise (rather than trying to target and acquire keywords).
Under this assumption, the keywords and pages with the highest % of traffic to your website are the first places to start when pruning the user experience. I will typically stop looking at keywords that fall below the 1% of total traffic mark (or keywords that have less than 1000 visitors per month). Anything below these metrics are essentially the low hanging fruit that yields marginal ROI and are better left on their own (unless they cross the tipping point).
I know the owner of the site used in the screen capture and I know they are trying to rank higher for “guitar lessons for beginners“, but the majority of their traffic comes from “stratocaster neck”, which is not as clearly defined as a key phrase with commercial intent. Remember the educational vs. commercial content quandary mentioned above. Using the redirect or re-purpose method, you can still have educational content, but segment the funnels, ads, links, etc. to other websites or pages in your site that make the most sense (from a business standpoint).
The next metric I may use in another sweep is the keywords that are on page 2 in the search engine result pages sorted by search volume. So, if there is a keyword with 5,000 or more searches per month and my site (or the site assessed) is at #14, then hypothetically getting that keyword from #14 to page 1 above the fold is not a difficult endeavor.
It only requires (a) more internal links (b) more content (c) more deep links from other sites or (d) all of the above blended well over time. This is only on example of SEMRush and how you can use it to benefit the bottom line.
There is no reason to waste click throughs, if you have traffic, then it is your decision on how you want to coral it within your website. Using the three simple tactics from above, finding out what they are and what to do with those extra clicks is a cinch.