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Organic Search Traffic & Keyword Performance: Data to Improve SEO Strategy


June 6, 2024


Improving your SEO strategy starts with analyzing organic search traffic and keyword performance—here’s how to get started.

Driving organic traffic and enhancing your website’s visibility hinges on understanding and leveraging key search engine optimization (SEO) metrics. An effective SEO strategy starts with the combination of two crucial elements: organic search traffic and keyword performance.

Organic search traffic measures the volume of visitors arriving through unpaid search while keyword performance assesses the effectiveness of your chosen search terms.

Together, organic search traffic and keyword performance guide your SEO efforts to attract a steady stream of visitors with domain authority. As a result, you’ll increase opportunities to convert more visitors—whether that means, for example, getting a prospect to schedule a demo or a retail customer to complete a purchase—and generate additional revenue through an unpaid channel.

Why You Need to Refine Your SEO Strategy

Search engine algorithms change constantly, so what worked yesterday might not be effective today.

A refined SEO strategy helps you respond to shifts in user behavior and search trends, enhances user experience, and boosts your site's credibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Continually refining your approach adapts SEO strategy to new opportunities, mitigates risks from pesky algorithm updates, and secures a competitive advantage in your industry.

Organic Search Traffic & Keyword Performance

Organic search traffic and keyword performance are far from the only SEO metrics to monitor. However, they’re among the most important and need to be watched if you’re serious about SEO. When organic search traffic and keyword performance improve, you’re retaining visitors and attracting more of your target audience.

Organic Search Traffic

Organic search traffic should be your primary source of site traffic. It measures the number of visitors directed to a website through unpaid search engine results, providing insights into your page’s visibility and ranking on SERPs. Analyzing organic traffic views helps assess the effectiveness of SEO efforts in attracting targeted audiences.

Keyword Performance

Keyword performance evaluates the ranking and effectiveness of specific keywords in driving organic traffic. The ranking positions of keywords on SERPs offer valuable insights into which terms resonate most with users and Google's algorithm, contributing significantly to website visibility.

Monitoring and optimizing both organic search traffic and keyword performance is essential for refining your SEO strategy, enhancing organic search visibility, and maximizing website traffic.

Steps to Improve SEO Strategy Through Organic Search Traffic & Keyword Performance

Ready to get started? Here are the steps to improve SEO strategy through organic search traffic and keyword performance.

Step 1: Conduct keyword research

Begin by establishing a group of keywords that you want your website to rank for, considering your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and their search intent. What keywords should be most strongly associated with your site? Use a keyword research tool, such as Ahrefs or Semrush, to find keywords that are both related and relevant to your website.

Organize your main and related keywords by popularity and difficulty. Understand which keywords are the most popular—having the most average monthly searches—and competitive—being the hardest to rank for. Popular keywords are often the most competitive, so focus on long-tail keywords, which are more specific and easier to rank for.

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific versions of your base keywords. For example, “SaaS platform for boutique wedding planners” as opposed to “event planning SaaS platform”. They’re the goldilocks of keywords: locate the right ones and they're not too competitive to rank for yet still have a substantial amount of monthly search traffic.

Step 2: Apply keyword strategy

Once you’ve conducted keyword research, you’re ready to develop and apply a keyword strategy to determine the content to create.

Brainstorm landing page and blog post ideas by looking for your keywords ‘in the wild:’

  1. Search a long-tail keyword: Google's People Also Ask (PAA), Related Searches, and auto-complete drop-down features are useful for understanding the type of information people are looking for.
  2. Mine non-search platforms: Platforms like Reddit, Quora, Facebook Groups, and more help identify what people are talking about within online communities.

Create landing pages and/or blog posts around the topics that stand out, ensuring strategic keyword placement in titles, meta descriptions, metatags, and headers. Add words commonly associated with your keyword to practice topic relevance. In addition, use tools like Yoast to evaluate your SEO implementation.

Optimize your website’s structure to make it easy for search engines to crawl and understand. Include relevant keywords in URLs and organize content logically within your site’s hierarchy.

Throughout this, it’s important to avoid ‘keyword stuffing,’ too. In Google’s spam policy, the company describes it as “the practice of filling a web page with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate rankings in Google Search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, unnaturally, or out of context.”

While it should be common sense, websites continue to fall from Google’s ranking graces by participating in keyword stuffing. Safeguard your site against this from the top by only using keywords where they make sense.

Step 3: Track keyword performance with analytics

Google Analytics provides insights into how visitors interact with your website. It tracks various metrics but the ones most pertinent to SEO are the number of visitors, the pages they visit, and how long they stay on your site. You’re able to identify which content resonates most with your audience and detect trends over time which will, in turn, serve to fuel your SEO strategy.

Semrush, meanwhile, monitors your website's keyword fluctuations. It does this by tracking your website’s keyword rankings on SERPs and providing detailed reports on metrics like keyword positions, trends, and overall visibility. By analyzing these fluctuations, you can adapt your SEO strategy to maintain and improve your rankings.

Ahrefs is another great tool for tracking keyword optimizations. It provides detailed reports on keyword rankings, traffic, and the overall health of your website’s SEO. Much like Semrush, you plug in specific URLs to monitor the performance of individual pages and their associated keywords. Ahrefs allows you to see which keywords drive traffic and how their positions fluctuate with time.

It’s highly unlikely you’ll need both Semrush and Ahrefs, so try booth and stick with whichever you feel more comfortable in.

Step 4: Iterate based on performance data

Update your content regularly to stay relevant to Google's algorithm, and continuously refine pages to maintain a competitive edge. Over time, this translates to better SERP rankings and a steady flow of organic traffic. If keyword performance falters, review trending webpages or content in SERPs and explore new related keywords using Semrush or Ahrefs.

Start Improving SEO Strategy

By using SEO analytics tools and understanding SEO metrics, you’re prepared to make informed decisions that improve your SEO strategy overall. This synergy ensures content stays relevant, aligned with search intent, and drives conversions. And given the dynamic nature of SEO trends and Google’s algorithm changes, you need to stay on top of SEO analytics data to earn and retain top spots on search engine results pages.

Get in touch with Right Side Up—we’ll connect you with all-star talent ready to build your SEO strategy from scratch or take your existing approach to a new level.

Meet Rachael, a seasoned marketer with over a decade of experience in driving revenue and user acquisition for both startups and large-scale SaaS companies. Her marketing philosophy is rooted in a deep understanding of users’ pain points and a commitment to rapid experimentation to identify the most effective solutions. Rachael has a proven track record of designing and executing successful marketing strategies that deliver measurable results. By leveraging her profound understanding of user behavior and data-driven decision-making, she consistently excels in growing user acquisition and driving business success.

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