Lee Odden

How to Choose the Right Content To Drive Online Sales

Lee Odden

Interview Screen Grab from the 2011 Vocus Users Conference

When I was at a client’s User Conference earlier this year, Steve Farnsworth caught up with me and asked a question about using analytics to refine content for increased sales. I’m a big fan of repurposing content and I’ve paraphrased the transcription and shared below.

When people look at analytics from their website while developing content plans, what kinds of things should they look for to help improve online sales?

To start with, a company can do some research to start developing personas that reflect the kinds of customer segments they’re after. That information can get things going in terms of an Editorial Plan and keywords used to optimize content and attract links, resulting in content that ranks well on search engines and drives traffic to product and services pages. As you attract that traffic from search engines, there’s some data to work with – to analyze and refine.

Through web analytics you can see which search terms are driving outcomes that you want, like conversions.  You might see really broad phrases, if you’re fortunate enough to rank highly for really broad phrases, driving traffic that results in behaviors that are more indicative of “tire kicking” during the initial phase of a buying cycle.

More specific phrases may be more characteristic of buyers that are further along in the search process. You can see that by looking at referring search queries for instances of pricing, specific nomenclature or model numbers. That kind of search can be more representative of someone who is ready  to buy.

So in terms of your editorial planning for content, you can take a look at this sort of cycle and anticipate what people want, optimize and promote. Observe how they visit and behave on the site. Then identify and refine subsequent content creation, optimization and promotion to make the content even more relevant and valuable.  The result is a shortening sales cycle, more revenue per sale and a better experience for customers.

Paid search marketers can refine their ads on the fly and see the effect on sales. What do you look for you in your web analytics to refined web site content to become more “findable” and more likely to convert visitors to buyers? Do you incorporate social CRM tools with web analytics? Any other tools?


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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Hey I’m very new to the SEO world and just wanted to know where I can find all these conventions your going to. 

  2. Avatar Serp consultancy says

    Hey Lee,

    used to look on the relevant keywords that invoked most visitors and their
    bounce rate using Google Analytics. I think this way you can tune your


  3. I think that content marketing is crucial as well, on top of all the keywords you search.  For me, long tail keywords that are specific to my customers work best.  Still, I dedicate more time engaging with people online, identifying their need and eventually… building relationships to target that need and provide the solution they’re looking for.  It’s really a mix of social and search for me.

    • I think that’s the right mix in most cases – search and social. Search and social are great for discovery and social continues to provide value for engagement.

  4. Thanks for the great post Lee. I enjoy reading your blogs

  5. Generally, I work on broad terms for long term goals, but my main focus is lower level category pages right above the product pages. Most folks don’t come in strictly to product pages they come in more refined category pages usually found in deeper levels of the website. Those coincide with long tail terms and are normally get traffic that converts. So I refine layouts, trust factors and make sure that those pages are well written to capture variances in search query types. These pages should if well done, push customer to product pages, the pages they are really looking for.

    • I agree it can be effective to manage content and optimization help products become more visible where customers are looking, especially those ready to buy right now. I also think it’s reasonable to go after broad and more competitive phrases with patience and smart execution. 

      The combination of high visibility for market category phrases as well as niche product/services pages is very powerful.

  6. I think content marketing is very useful for many companies who want be made his sites highly ranked sites on Google.They can also improve their business on Google by making right focus on the content marketing & they may be got more back link on them sites & easy to aware on many sites.

  7. It is important to embed key words into the website to bring in viewership.  However, this can be taken to an extreme with some medias.  There are many medias placed by unprofessionals on such sites such as YouTube that simply put as many key words in the same sentence as possible and separate the words with a comma.  It ultimately is affective, but it is definitely unprofessional.  

  8. Great post Lee.  I have always been a firm believer that providing relevant content is the key to success online.  Long gone are the days when you could simply create a website and expect the world to beat a path to your door.  Since starting my online business in 2002 I have learned that it takes a lot of hard work on a daily basis to keep up with the changes in marketing and promotion.