Dude, where’s my traffic ? Checklist to improve traffic and clicks

Here’s a checklist to improve the rankings, traffic and clicks to your web pages.


1. Website eyetest

The first part of this checklist is to give your web page the once over.

Here’s how.

  • Load up your page from your phone browser.
  • Count how many seconds the page took to load.
  • Page speed is both a ranking and usability factor.
  • Open up the stopwatch on your phone and press start.
  • Now read the page out loud from start to finish.
  • When you start to get bored stop the watch.
  • Note the time at which you got bored or disinterested.

When reading through the page did you see subheadings ?

Were the sentences and paragraphs easy to read?

This little exercise is how a reader will experience your page.

If you’re not happy with the experience neither will they be.

Ok now the juicy stuff.

2. Is your page getting ranked and impressions ?

Check Google Analytics or Search Console to see your page is getting impression and or clicks.

Go into Google Analytics and copy and paste the following into the search box.

Acquisition Search console Landing Pages.

This report will show your organic search performance.

Sort the impression column from highest to lowest and in the show rows box select 5000 so that all pages are shown.

Here’s 2 scenarios.

You will probably have 2 types of pages.

  • Lots of impressions, very few clicks.
  • Few impressions, very few clicks

Impressions are the number of times your page appeared in Google’s top 100 results.

Clicks are the number of times someone has clicked your page from your organic search result.

Click the page link in Google Analytics report to see most of the search queries your page appears or gets clicked.

I’m going to pick one my website copy pages, review it and improve it.

Click average position twice to see the search queries where you rank the highest.

  • For the query “Seo website copy” there are 66 impressions and I’m at position 23
  • For the search query “Website copy” there are 228 impressions and I’m at position 28.

Ideally I want to find a page to improve that has a handful of positions between 20 and 30.

It’s much easier to turn page 2 rankings into page 1 rankings than pages that rank nearer position 100.

3. Difficulty check

Then I like to analyse my page and the seed keywords with Ahrefs to check and see if I could break into the top 10.

I like to check the difficulty of ranking page 1.

  • Put your URL into Ahrefs Site Explorer
  • Click organic keywords
  • Pop your seed keyword into the search box.
  • Then click the SERPS results; like the screenshot below.

So in this example the keyword difficulty is 4; easy eh ?

I can see my page metrics compared with the metrics of the top 10 results.

I have a couple of links to my page; that’s a good sign because you can outrank top pages with more relevant links to your page.

Provided your content is relevant for the search query.

My only concern is that this is really small topic; the top pages only rank for 6 to 16 keywords.

So if I do improve my page content I will see minor increases in traffic because the topic is so small.

4. Check title, description and word count

Next thing I do is check to see I have written out a page title, description and I’ve got a decent word count.

I’ll use SEO Minion for this.

I check to see that the seed keyword (website copy) that I’m targeting is near the beginning of both meta tags.

Check you’re using the full length of the title and description tags.

Ideally you have written your page title like an advert aimed at a person.

The word count check is just an indication of page quality.

If you’ve 200 words and you’re not earning many clicks this is a tell tale sign to improve your page.

5. Look at page titles in SERPs

I then Google the seed keyword; website copy.

And I scan through the titles of the top pages.

  • 7 Ways to Write More Engaging, Compelling Website Copy
  • Web Content Vs. Web Copy – There Is A Difference | Relevance
  • How to write compelling website copy
  • How to write website copy that sells?
  • 6 Simple Steps to Writing Seductive Web Copy

Then I compare these headlines to mine.

How to write website copy for SEO, the search engines and user intent

6. Compare page titles

Now I am beginning to detect how these pages differ, and rank higher, than my page.

From what I can see, the top results are using specific words such as

  • engaging
  • compelling
  • persuasive
  • effective
  • seductive
  • sells

in the title of their pages.

My page includes “for SEO, search, user intent” in the title.

There’s definitely a difference but I can’t quite articulate this difference yet.

7. Read one of the top page results

Click one of the top results, read their copy and write down their sub headings.

Again you use SEO Minion to view the copy hierarchy and sub headlines on a page.

Now read the sub headers on your page.

The top ranked page mentions benefits, customer voice, brand voice, testing, statistics, quotes, data.

So it would appear I’m not ranking page one because I don’t serve the best results nor do I give Google or the user what they want.

Users want a way to write compelling, persuasive website content that sells !

They don’t want to write copy for seo and the search engines as I’d previously written.

And you know what, I know, deep down that I’m not an expert in the area of copywriting.

And Google seems to know I’m not the expert too !

Have a read of E-A-T – where Google will tend to rank relevant content this is :

  • Expert
  • Authoritative
  • Trusted

So I reckon I’ll have to re-write my page.

But first I could start by crafting a more persuasive page title to start the process with these 2 tools.

I’ve worked on improving the title for a couple of hours today.

I think I’ve settled with “How to write persuasive website copy that sells like David Ogilvy”

I’ve included “persuasive” and “sells” and “David Ogilvy”.

Since I’m not an expert in copywriting I’m going to borrow ideas from one of the great advertising copywriters.

I then spent the rest of this bank holiday afternoon brushing up on David Ogilvy’s guide to writing potent copy.

ps: Rewriting my page about writing persuasive website copy took me a full 2 days !

So let’s skip that part for now and continue with our checklist.

8. Check Internal Links

I regularly check the number of other pages on my website that link to a particular page.

If you use the WordPress CMS, this is really easy with the Yoast plugin.

Just click posts and search for your post.

Make sure you have Outgoing internal links and Received internal links options selected under the screen options drop down menu.

My page has 15 internal links from other pages.

In my advanced link building training module I outline a strategy to boost the rankings of your page and certain search queries.

Effectively what you do is find your 5 top linked pages.

Add a link on each of these pages to the page you want to boost; by varying the anchor text.

Results may vary.

Here’s my results.

Some search queries have improved, others haven’t.

But generally speaking internal links have helped the overall traffic by linking from top pages to the pages I wanted to boost.

Here are the positions as at 15 March of the pages I wanted to boost.

For the local advertising page

Query15 March27 May
local business advertising1235
how to advertise your business 5650
local advertising 388
best way to advertise your business3673

This page has increased organic traffic by 328% since 15th March

For the lead generation page

15 March27 May
lead generation website2235
increase lead generation8446
examples of lead generation websites 3437
why is my website not generating more enquiries1413
lead generating websites5967
why is my website not generating enough enquiries146
how can I increase website leads4028

The organic traffic to this page has increase by 35% since the 15th of March.

9. Check External links

I’ve outlined how external links can benefit SEO.

Here’s a summary of that article for this part of your checklist.

Add an authoritative external link to help Google understand your page subject matter.

Top pages tend to have more external links on their page than lower ranked pages.

10. Get some eyeballs on your page

You can promote your website and do some of the following:

  • Share the page on your social networks
  • Use it as a Google Post
  • Socially promote it
  • Send it out to your prospect and customer database.

Short summary

Improve pages that have a bunch of keywords in positions 20 to 30 and give Google and the user what they want.

improve traffic and clicks checklist image