Why find visitor’s keyword phrases?

In this section, you’ll learn how to find a visitor’s keywords. Keywords are the words they typed into the Google search bar. I’ll also show you how to find out which country they’re visiting from and how many pages they opened while on your site.

Keywords – the words that people use to find something in a search engine.

In a search for SEO tutorials in 2020, there were a number of free guidebooks. For example, Hubspot helps you create an SEO strategy, Neil Patel offers a variety of online marketing tutorials, and Moz has a beginner’s guide to SEO. These guides are aimed at commercial marketers, but artists can adapt their insights and practices.

By optimizing a web page around topics, then keywords within each topic, you can increase your expertise in the eyes of a search engine and rank well for long-tail keywords related to that topic.

Let’s think about what this quote means, as it may contain unfamiliar terms. Search engines recognize that a website contains content about specific topics. Within each topic or area of knowledge, a number of phrases (known as long-tail keywords) are commonly used by people who discuss that topic. If the phrases are used in context, you sound like an expert. When you try to stuff your page with keywords out of context, you no longer sound like an expert.

If visitors find what you say about a topic useful, they may link to your page or share it with their friends and colleagues on social media. These links increase the viability of that page and search engines will rank the page higher than one without incoming links. Incoming links are from someone else’s site or a social media that connect back to your site.

Searches for your site

Let’s start with my Digital Stories Canada site and the visitors’ organic searches. An organic search occurs when someone types in a keyword that sends them to, in my case, Digital Stories Canada (https://digitalstories.ca/). I know my site is ranking well for the search terms “digital stories” and “community digital stories” because I manually searched for those terms.



  1. What search terms do you think people have used to find your arts site?
  2. Do a quick search using those terms.
  3. Pick at least 3 terms and take notes on how your site ranks today.

What you’ll notice is that you are already using keyword phrases and people are using them to find your site.

I’ve started a list to track my keywords and keyword phrases. Digital stories and community digital stories go at the top of the list. What else have I got?

I’ve got three sources for visitor data set up on my site, ready to give me current stats: Google Search Console, Jetpack, and WordPress itself.

Google Search Console is a free service. If you have a WordPress site, access is free. There’s a free version of Jetpack (created by WordPress). 

In the next tutorial, let me show you how to track visitors to your site, learn the phrases they’ve used to arrive, and identify the countries they are searching from.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts

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