• How Keywords Affect Your Website Metrics

How Keywords Affect Your Website Metrics

Keywords are at the heart of SEO, and SEO is a core part of using your website to grow your business. You may have a basic understanding of keywords—that they’re the terms people use to perform searches on search engines like Google. You may also know that they’re the terms that you as a business owner can use to make your business more visible online and attract the right customers. In this post, we want to take things a step further and discuss keywords from a more analytic standpoint. Read on to gain some valuable insights as to how keywords affect your website traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rate.

Related: 6 Ways to Google’s First Page

How Keywords Affect Your Website Metrics

Analyze Your Keywords

While it’s important to use the right keywords for your website content, it’s also important to see what keywords your audience is using to find you. This is helpful in understanding who is coming to your website, what they’re looking for, and how they found you. There are many ways to find the keywords that users are searching to find your business.

One way to do this is through Google Analytics. Once you’re in your dashboard, go to  Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. Click on Organic Search and you will get a list of keywords that people searched that led them to your site.

keywords marketing insights

Another way to find out which keywords your website visitors are typing in is through Google’s Webmaster Tools. Once you’re in the Google Search Console, look to your left and click on Search Traffic > Search Analytics. This will bring you to a list of the words and phrases behind the clicks and impressions of your website.

keywords marketing


Take a look at the keywords that people are using to find you and analyze them subjectively. Are they mostly the name of your business? Are they single words or longer phrases? In the sections below we’ll take a look at different patterns you may see in your keyword data collection, what insights you can glean from them, and what action you can take as a result.

Keywords and Brand Awareness

If people are searching your business name, it is likely because means you have a good level of brand awareness (as people knew your name in the first place to type it into a Google search). If no one is typing in your business name, you may want to engage in some activities to increase brand awareness. For example, you can:

  • Participate in local events
  • Run a display advertising campaign
  • Work on maintaining consistent engagement on social media

Keywords and Search Engine Optimization

If your business name is the only term that is leading people to your website, this means you have great brand awareness but are not likely getting found by people who haven’t already heard of you.

To start getting discovered by people who don’t know the name of your business, start implementing search engine optimization (SEO). First come up with a list of keywords and phrases that you’d like your website to show up for in a Google search. Be sure to identify keywords that a potential customer would type in, not just any person. This will ensure that people discovering your business and arriving at your website as a result of your SEO efforts are those most likely to engage with your business or become a customer.
Now it’s time to strategically place those keywords into your website pages, such as in the:

  • Title
  • Meta description
  • Headers
  • Alt text in images
  • Main site navigation

To learn about where to place these keywords, check out this post on SEO basics.

Related eBook: SEO Pocket Guide

Keywords and Bounce Rate

Are people engaging with your website? The bounce rate of a website is defined as the percentage of visitors who leave your site without visiting a second page. It’s a strong indication of how well you are engaging your website visitors. The global average for websites is just under 50%.

If your website bounce rate is around 50% you don’t have anything to worry about. If your bounce rate is significantly above 50% this is a strong indication that you need to make your site more user-friendly or better suited for your target audience.

Keywords play a role in bounce rate because Google uses keywords on your pages to categorize them and retrieve them for search results. If you veer too far off with your keywords, such as with trying to be creative or catchy, you might confuse Google into displaying your page for an unrelated search. Users who click on your page will quickly see that it doesn’t contain the information they are looking for, and exit.

Another way in which keywords affect bounce rate involves page titles. Search engine results are basically just lists of page titles. If your page title contains keywords that aren’t related to the content of your page, you’re likely to draw in visitors who won’t actually benefit from your page, and who will bounce.

Make sure you stay close to the keywords you are trying to rank for, for each of your pages. This will ensure that Google places your website in front of the right people, and that the right people are arriving at your site. If you are having a problem here you might want to read our post on tips to reduce your website bounce rate.

Keywords and Conversion

Another aspect of your website analytics that is affected by keywords is conversion. While bounce rate is an indicator that visitors aren’t engaging with your website, conversion is just the opposite. Ultimately, you want your website visitors to be those who are interested in your products and services, and who eventually convert into leads or customers.

If you are getting a good amount website traffic, seeing a low bounce rate, but also low conversion rates, you might want to take a closer look at the keywords by which people are arriving at your site.  Make sure you’re not ranking for queries that aren’t relevant to your business. If the phrases that people use to find you aren’t a good fit for what you do then you should put together a good target keyword list and then do some search engine optimization on your website content. In addition to the proper insertion of appropriate keywords, you can also increase conversion by offering easy navigation, useful information, and clear calls to action.

Keywords play a major role in digital marketing. Looking at metrics such as website traffic, bounce rate, and conversions can help you to figure out the best keywords to use for marketing your business, that will attract the right customers.

Kristen McCormick
Kristen McCormick
Kristen is the Content Marketing Manager for ThriveHive, where she geeks out daily over SEO, organic traffic, and A/B testing. When she's not equipping business owners and marketers to get their name out there through effective content, she's out pedaling the streets of Boston on her beloved bike.

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