Last month we published an article talking about the opportunity that funeral home owners and funeral directors have in attracting more local search traffic to their website by optimizing their sites with local keywords and keyword phrases. Local search is a hugely underused tactic by all businesses, but especially funeral homes. We provided some simple tips for updating your funeral home website in order to drive more local traffic, which can ultimately mean more customers for your funeral home services. That said, after doing the work to update your funeral home website with local search terms, you need an easy way to understand how your hard work is paying off. In my opinion, the best free tool on the market is Google Analytics. In this article we are going to discuss Google Analytics, provide you with some advice for tracking your website, and help you better understand how your local search terms are working in regards to sending high quality local traffic to your website.
Google Analytics offers a plethora of different reports. To try to get into it all you would need a Master’s Degree in Data Mining. We are going to keep this article focused on how you can track whether or not your local search terms are actually driving more local residents to your website. Once you’ve setup a Google Analytics account and you’ve added your funeral home’s website to the system Google will automatically start tracking the visitors to your website. Google Analytics will show you your top ranking keywords, hopefully some of which will be your local keywords. Google Analytics will also show you via a map just where your search traffic is coming from. For funeral homes, you are really only interested in generating visitors who reside in and around the area which your funeral home services, which makes optimizing your website with local keywords even more important.
Local Search Term Tracking with Google Analytics
In this section we are going to provide you with step-by-step instructions for using Google Analytics to track your local search terms. It’s a very easy process, but it’s definitely something that you need to take time to learn so that you can understand what the reports are saying, and more importantly, understand what (if any) changes that you need to make to your website based on what the reports are showing. Follow the steps below to find out which keywords are performing best for you. One thing to note, you should wait AT LEAST a month after optimizing your website with new local keywords before using Google Analytics to see how those keywords are performing, and really it won’t be until 3 months post keyword implementation that you’ll want to start making any changes. You need time for the search engines to pick up the new keywords and start associating your website with them.
- Click “Traffic Sources” on the left sidebar once you have logged into Google Analytics
- Under “Traffic Sources” you want to click “Sources” > “Search” > “Organic” to get a list of the top performing keywords for your website
- A list of your top 10 keywords should appear in the main viewing window. You can expand this list to see more than the top 10 by navigating to the bottom of the list and clicking the drop-down menu next to “Rows”. This will allow you to select as many keywords as you’d like to review.
- The data that you’ll for each keyword is as follows:
- Visits – How many people visited your site from a specific keyword
- Pages/Visit – How many pages (on average) were viewed by each person who visited your website from that keyword
- Average Visit Duration – How long did each person stay on your site
- % of New Visits – Of the people who visited your site from a specific keyword, this shows you the percentage of those people who were new to your website (ie. never visited your website previously)
- Bounce Rate – This tells you how many people landed on your website, but then left immediately (meaning that they thought they were going to a different website when they landed on yours – you want this number to be low)
As you can probably tell, all of this data can be extremely helpful in determining how your local keywords are performing.
Local Keyword Report Results
What you want to see in your top 10 keywords are those local keywords that you used throughout your funeral home website. If you optimized your website with the keyword phrase “funeral home in Philadelphia” and “funeral home services Bucks County, PA” then you want to see those keywords in the top 10 keywords in terms of driving traffic to your website. That said, simply being in the top 10 in regards to the number of visits that these keywords are generating is not enough. You also want the people who visited your website from those keywords to have visited multiple pages and stayed on the site for over a minute. If you can get your local keywords to produce a lot of visitors, and those visitors are navigating through the website to various pages & staying on the website for a while then you know that you are attracting quality visitors with your local keywords. That’s what you want, quality visitors.
As you monitor your keyword traffic via Google Analytics be sure to keep track of how your keywords are performing. Be sure to give them enough time to actually make an impact. Then simply tweak your keywords until you find the right combination. You’ll know when you found the right combination because all of the things mentioned above as far as driving a lot of traffic, that traffic visiting a lot of pages, and staying on the site for a while will all come into place.
Definitely take the time to get your funeral home website set up on Google Analytics. It’s a free tool and provides you with a ton of insight into how your website is performing.