Fine-tuning where search engine traffic arrives

You know the pages on your site which are getting the most traffic from Google, right? Of course you do. You often look at the list in Google Analytics or Google Search Console. Do any of the pages strike you as being not what you’d have predicted?

For example, are there some obscure old products or even PDF documents showing? (You’ll only see PDF documents in Search Console). Are these really the first thing you want prospects to see on your site? Probably not. So we may need to do something about this.

The first thing to do is to investigate – through Search Console – what search terms are bringing people in to those unexpected pages. Try to replicate the search and see what’s going on. Now think about where you’d rather see visitors arrive for that search. If you’ve got a PDF document pulling in the traffic, I just hope you’ve got prominent links within it to get people through to the website. But you’d probably rather have a conventional product page showing in the results, so the next job is to make the product page better so that Google chooses it instead. Is it fully loaded to attack the relevant search terms? Has it got all of the important information from the PDF document?

What about if you’ve got an old, or obscure page showing, rather than the nice shiny page which you’d rather people saw first? Again, you need to work out what makes the old or obscure page attractive to the search engines, and give the same (or better) attributes to the preferred page. The old page should certainly have a link to the new one. Could the pages be merged, perhaps, or could the new one have some of the attractive content from the old one added?

Failing all that, can you just improve the old page so that it’s more like one where you would want people to arrive?