On any given day, hundreds of blog posts will tell you what the latest and greatest in SEO advice is. From accelerated mobile pages to Tensorflow-powered topic models, there are new innovations in SEO all the time.
Fix the Basics First
However, all the newfangled innovations in SEO are rendered largely ineffective when the basics aren’t done. When pages don’t have focus keywords, sites render slowly, and broken links are everywhere, no amount of new paint will fix a crumbling foundation.
So, let’s look at how to identify the most broken pages and how to fix them with one straightforward Google Analytics™ report using Google Data Studio™. Both products are free and available to everyone.
What’s in the report? On the first page is a look at both sessions to the website (the blue line) and the number of organic searches (the red bars). If the blue line and the red bars aren’t increasing at roughly the same rate, then our organic searches are out of alignment with our overall website’s traffic.
If the red bars are increasing more steeply than the blue line, great - organic searches are on the rise. We should see commensurate increases in traffic later on.
If the red bars are increasing less steeply than the blue line, that could be a problem. Our organic search strategy might be faltering.
If the latter is the case, then we flip to page 2 in the report:
This report looks at website sessions and organic searches. What we’re looking for in this report are the red arrows next to the numbers for organic searches. These are pages that are showing year-over-year organic search declines - once-great pages that are slowly sliding into obscurity. People search for and find these pages less this year than they did during the same time period last year.
What Should We Do?
From this report, we assess the problem pages. Are they pages we care about? If so, then we need to go to each of those pages and re-optimize them:
- Fix any technical issues
- Identify adjacent keywords and include in page copy
- Fix on-site content to conform to latest best practices
- Develop inbound links to the page
- Re-promote/recycle the pages
Following this methodology will help us identify the pages that have lost the most juice and restore those pages to greatness. In addition to developing brand new content, identifying declining pages helps us reinforce the positive search reputation we already have.
Where to Get The Report
I built this report in Google Data Studio™ as a way to easily find problems on my site. Subscribers to my newsletter will receive a link to this report to make a copy for themselves in this week’s newsletter, so if you’re not a subscriber, subscribe now for free.
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