Just like numbers, your stats never lie. It doesn’t really matter how you feel about it on a subjective level 4+4=8 and that’s all there is to it.
If you’re not one to study your Web Analytics & Website User Interaction, here are a few reasons why you may wish to reconsider…
Web analytics statistics provide the ability to reveal trends – by looking for patterns in user engagement you can find out why some pages are stickier than others. With most analytics programs you have the ability to delve deeper into how traffic arrived, how much time they spent on a page and if they ventured further into other related topics of the site or quite frankly got bored and moved on.
As a result, you have a virtual gold mind that you can use to analyze the website user interaction and behaviors of visitors once they interact with your content and what you can do (with future content) to appease and corral the desired response which is higher user engagement per session to encourage visitors to act on your value proposition.
Stats tell us things like:
Where our greatest referrers come from – right there you have the ability to repeat and scale the formula. If you know for example that your highest source of traffic comes from stumbleupon for example, you can find 10 more sites that can compound that type of traffic (if it benefits you).
Web Analytics can indicate where the hot spots are:
Or, if you have a higher conversion of leads or sales (if that is your focus) from search engines then you can also extract which keywords had the highest retention rate for people that acted on your offer.
The implications are endless and are essentially limited to the scope of how you wish to sculpt your content to fill a void (based on what your objectives are) and reach a broader cross-segment of visitors actively seeking products or services you offer.
Stats can reveal hidden niches
For example, if I wanted to generate leads in the SEO industry our target may be anyone in a competitive market who is on page 5 (any industry will do) who has a yearning to be on page one. Based on responses to related posts on positioning, I could use that information to target a specific niche.
Sounds fair enough, after setting the sights on an industry, it’s all about establishing authority in that niche and leading by example (from page one) how with custom content, the proper on page and off page optimization how stepping over the less optimized sites and companies who are clueless about putting the entire package together (is just part the basic strategy).
The way you cater to that, is through looking at which key elements have the highest engagement rate (which titles pulled traffic, how long they stayed, what did they click, from which link, what percentage of the traffic bounced, etc.).
From just paying attention to this detailed information, you can put together a ranking strategy to replicate what works and avoid the pitfalls of vanity plate SEO and having key words for key words sake as opposed to having key words that convert (if that is your focus).
One example of using statistical data from Website User Interaction
One exercise you can take away from this post is using analytics tools to determine compelling titles for popular blog posts. By applying a few minutes of research prior to posting, you can gain more traffic on accident, than most people do on purpose. It’s about finding keywords that already have traction, not forcing others to adapt outside of their comfort zone that can create a traffic landslide.
If you really want to see how effective a title can be, incorporate search friendly modifiers along with proven 2 or 3 word traffic-bearing key words (just use your favorite keyword research tool) look for pre-established key phrases (like web optimization vs. optimize your website) which according to one tool has 18488 anticipated clicks per month and the other has 4672. Which do you think you should make as your first 3 words in your title?, get the point.
In conclusion, remember that, you can determine somethings path by it’s nature and you can determine somethings nature by it’s path. Click behavior is tied to this very simple premise. Savvy types look for savvy titles, functional types look for utilitarian titles to entice them to click.
If your catchy headline has more curb appeal than the other 9 on the page, then your conversion rate for click through traffic from search engines will escalate for that type of consumer.
Create a Profile of Traffic for Targeting your Niche
Based on who your target is, you should be able to assemble a profile for the things which they like and dislike to encourage a higher degree of user engagement. Here is a generalization gained from studying user behavior, Social media traffic (on our site for example) has a 2 minute window, which means that based on the content consumption rate of 200 words per minute, if a post is more than 400 words there out of here, unless there are visual aids to anchor their attention or a truly useful pitch that keeps the traffic riveted for a particular conclusion.
So, if the end result we wanted was to appease that audience alone, we would use catchy headlines, in conjunction with a picture or video to reinforce our value proposition and keep the text to 400 words tops.
However, our target audience has indicated that they enjoy more than brief posts, so it is a combination of valuable content (that search engines assign authority to) as well as the ability to create spikes in traffic that have their place in the grand scheme of things.