3 Tricks on SEO & User Engagement

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Claudiu Murariu
Claudiu Murariu
3 Tricks on SEO & User Engagement

I rate search engine optimization on content accessibility, popularity, and usability. We can say that content is well optimized for search engines when it is accessed as soon as it published, generates links from trusted sources, and drives user engagement.

The safest road to sky rocket the performance of any SEO campaign is to create or generate quality content that generates user engagement. Why? The more engaged the users, the bigger the chance they will speak about you, link to you, follow you on social networks, and recommend you to others.

Search engines & user engagement

User engagement is not one of those metrics you can calculate with a standard formula. It is rather a mix of quality and quantity metrics, unique for each website. However, users that comment on your blog, subscribe to your newsletter or RSS feed, fill up a contact form, or buy something are users that engage.

How engaged are the users coming from search engines? The first trick is to start monitoring the performance of keywords when it comes to driving user engagement. Here is how you do that using Google Analytics:

  1. Start by setting goals for each action that you describe as engagement;
  2. Define a non-brand keywords visits segment: that is, visitors that land on your website when searching with keywords unrelated to your brand;
  3. Go to the keywords section and check out the winners and the losers.

If the above steps look to technical for you, check out the detailed tutorial on how to do it.

From these steps you will get a general idea on the performance of your SEO efforts from the user engagement point of view. You might notice that some keywords trigger a better conversion rate than others. Why is that? Looking into the next trick might offer some answers.

Landing pages & user engagement

What if the users that come from certain keywords are likely to engage but the landing pages they land on are not that helpful? In this case it’s good to look for non-engagement clues.

So, the second trick is to discover the leaks from your landing pages.

  1. Apply the non-brand keywords visits segment you have created earlier;
  2. Go to the Content > Top Landing Pages report;
  3. Look for big bounce rates. Hate them. It’s about time to take measures against them. :)

You could redesign the website or the landing pages but that is not the most efficient way to go about it. Check out the next trick.

Behavioral targeting & user engagement

Click on the top pages and look for the entrance keywords report (while still having applied the non-brand keywords visits segment). Now check out the bounces for each keyword. A high diversity between bounce rates proves nothing else but the fact that different users come with different intentions.

Here is where behavioral targeting comes into action.

The third trick is to offer customized content like headings, call to actions, or just some scent links based on the keywords your users searched for entering your website. You can ask your developers to implement such a feature for your website or you can just do it by using a simple JavaScript.

The following script does just that by adding it to your website after the Google Analytics tracking code:

<script type=”text/javascript”> 

function readCookie(name) { var nameEQ = name + “=”;

var ca = document.cookie.split(‘;’); for(var i=0;i < ca.length;i++) {

var c = ca[i]; while (c.charAt(0)==’ ‘) c = c.substring(1,c.length);

if (c.indexOf(nameEQ) == 0) return c.substring(nameEQ.length,c.length);

} return null;} function googleCookieReferrer()

{ var feed=readCookie(“__utmz”); feed=feed.split(“|”); feed=feed[3].split(‘=’);

return feed[1];} if (googleCookieReferrer() == “desired keyword”)

{ //any content you would like to write, be it heading, links or simple text document.getElementById(‘DESIRED-ELEMENT’).innerHTML = “Text for visitors who come from desired keyword”;

}else if (googleCookieReferrer() == “other desired keyword”){

//any content you would like to write, be it heading, links or simple text document.getElementById(‘DESIRED-ELEMENT’).innerHTML = “Text for visitors who come from other desired keyword”;

}else document.getElementById(‘DESIRED-ELEMENT’).innerHTML = “Text for other visitors”;


The script is going to offer your visitors the same customized content until they delete their cookies or get to your website through a different referrer.

The main benefit will be that you’ll be able to tackle the bounce rate metric you hate and increase the conversion rates for the goals you are monitoring. It can also be great to test different variations of keywords for seeing which drive more conversions, therefore getting free tips for future SEO developments or search engine advertising.

A little hack or 2 and you’ll be able to use the same script for landing pages on AdWords campaigns.

The bottom line is that not all your visitors are the same or want the same thing. Treat them accordingly.

Claudiu Murariu is a web analytics geek, co-founder of PadiCode – Behavioral Targeting Solutions. He believes in building tools that help visitors accomplish their goals. You can contact him through his site or follow him on twitter @cllaudiu.

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