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Why your SEO strategy is failing

If you're responsible for driving traffic to a website, you likely know the game of choosing keywords and topics that you think will drive traffic to specific content. But it's often tough to predict ideal keyword targets until the content is live. What if you didn't have to do it that way and, in fact, what if it worked better in reverse?

Instead of "guessing" the keywords people will use to find your content, you can push your content live and then optimize. The perfect solution for publishers, agencies, and e-commerce sites with a lot of content that needs to go live quickly is to make the content live and then, based on search traffic to the page, discover and track the most valuable keywords and optimize from there.

Who should give this a try?


Publishers that aren't always able to predict ideal keyword targets until content is live would benefit. Managing keywords in reverse addresses this by allowing publishers to launch new content and then, based on search traffic to the site, discover and track the most valuable keywords automatically, optimizing as they go.


Agencies that are tasked with managing multiple client websites, making keyword prioritization on a large scale difficult, should try this solution. Managing your keywords after pushing content live allows you to find the right balance of keyword management for high priority keywords and to put the rest on "auto-pilot" while you grow clients' traffic.

E-commerce companies

E-commerce companies that manage large numbers of keywords while having to ensure they are not wasting valuable allocations in their SEO technology should try this solution. By optimizing for the keywords that are proven to drive traffic to your site, you're only spending time on topics contributing to your bottom line.

"But," you ask, "what if I know what keywords will drive traffic to my content?" I would challenge you to give it a try anyway -- worst case scenario is that you are a keyword-selecting wizard and I want to meet you; best case scenario is that you've found a new SEO and content marketing trick that saves you time and gets you better site optimization.

Here's how you can get started:

Using automated keyword management

If you're using an SEO tool currently, you should be able to "search in reverse" and see what keywords are currently driving traffic to each of your pages, whether you're currently optimizing for them or not. By using this view, you should be able to publish content and then view the keywords and topics that are driving traffic to individual pages.

Your SEO tool should also integrate with your existing website analytics provider such as Google Analytics, Omniture, Webtrends, or Coremetrics. Check back regularly to be sure you're optimizing for the keywords found in your "reverse search," and keep them in mind when generating new content for your website, social media posts, and advertising. 

Using Google Analytics

If you're not currently working with an SEO tool that does this, consider using Google Analytics as a starting point. By visiting your "Traffic Sources," then clicking "Search" within "Overview," and then viewing the "Organic" listings, you can view keywords driving organic traffic to your site.

You can also take that a step further by entering the words from a landing page into the search field, such as pricing, and you will then be able to view keywords driving traffic around that term.

Hopefully these tips will help you manage multiple keywords a bit better and faster!

Erin Robbins O'Brien is head of strategy at GinzaMetrics.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Erin Robbins O'Brien is the Head of Strategy for GinzaMetrics, an enterprise SEO platform. Erin has been working in strategy, business intelligence, and marketing for the past ten years for large organizations and startups. A fan of all things...

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to leave comments.

Commenter: Joel Dare

2013, May 15

I think this is good advice if you've already written content or know exactly what content you want to write, but there's a flip side here. It's a really good idea to do keyword research to see if the content you are about to write will gain any traffic. Especially if the whole point of writing it is to gain traffic.

On some of my sites, I write content just to help anyone who happens upon it. On others, I'm trying to build an audience. On the latter, I do keyword research before I even decide what to write. Interestingly enough, finding keywords helps me decide exactly what to write as well.

Commenter: Nick Stamoulis

2013, April 02

I think you get a general sense for the theme your content centers around while you're writing it, so it shouldn't be too hard to at least come up with a "starter" list of keywords that you can incorporate into your SEO. But no one says those keywords are set in stone so once your content is live you can tweak what keywords do and do not work well and evolve your SEO over time.