How to use tools, such as Google Analytics, to improve your content’s search engine optimisation (SEO) and get data on how users are interacting with your content.

How to optimise your content for search

Use popular keywords to make the most of search engine optimisation (SEO).

Search engines are where most users start their search for information – 55% of users in 2017. If they can’t find your page, they won’t get to your content.

If you use their vocabulary, starting with your page title, summary and first paragraph, users will be more likely to find it.

Find popular keywords with search tools

Use search tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to find the keywords that people are searching for in Google. The words you use to describe your content may not be the words your users use to try and find it.

To use Keyword Planner:

The term ‘Volume’ means the number of searches per month.

The volume figures in search tools aren’t exact, so focus on trends and relative popularity rather than the numbers. Use multiple tools if you’re going to make a big content decision like changing a title.

Double-check with Google Trends

Google Trends allows you to compare alternative keywords, and shows seasonal trends.

Once you know the most popular keywords you can prioritise them in the:

  • title
  • introductory sentence/summary
  • headings
  • chapter/part titles
  • metadata descriptions

Searches on our website

Google Analytics

We also look at what people are searching for on our website with the Google Analytics Search Terms report. This is helpful to understand what people want specifically from government, not the whole internet.

Specify the term you want data on. You can ask to see how many people searched for this within a certain time period.

You can also find out what people are searching for on a particular page in a Google Analytics Search pages report. These terms often tell us what we’re missing in our content.

The PortalStudio directory

We also use the search record in the PortalStudio to see what people are searching for in the website.

This is also useful for identifying the search terms that are displaying ‘no results’.