The Pitfall of Content SEO Data Analysis for Local Canadian Businesses

Category: SEO/SEM

I was analyzing search traffic and conversions generated by blog posts as part of a sales and marketing performance review. Then I noticed the extremely low conversion rate of the search traffic on the blog.

[Clarification: By conversion, I mean inquiries, excluding newsletter subscriptions and white paper downloads.]

I’m cognizant that traffic through blog content is usually less likely to convert because blog content attracts a wide range of people, including ones looking for information. Even with that in mind, it was too low.

On top of that, it didn’t get as much conversion growth as the traffic growth:


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Did we create blog content that attracted the visitors who may have any interest in what we offer? Yes we did.

After I ran through several possibilities, I finally came to my conclusion. Most of the search traffic through blog posts were from outside Canada; almost 82% of the blog traffic comes from beyond the Canadian borders.


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This leaves me with a question: why is there so much organic search traffic from outside Canada, despite the fact there’s Google.ca? I dived a bit deeper and broke down all the blog posts by two categories: Location Specific Content and Generic Content.

Location Specific Content is any content targeting keywords tied to a specific location in Canada, such as ”marketing vancouver” or ”branding vancouver”. The Generic Content is the opposite, meaning any content not tied to a specific location such as “branding statistics”, or “higher education marketing”.

Generic Content Generates Traffic From Outside Canada

Here’s the traffic ratio between Canada vs. Outside Canada for two categories:

Location Specific Content

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Of course, most of the traffic is Canadian, though I expected more Canadian traffic than 81%.

Generic Content

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Here it is. What raises traffic from outside of Canada is generic content.

Does It Matter Having Traffic Outside Canada?

For local Canadian businesses, traffic from outside Canada won’t help grow their business directly in terms of revenue because they are less likely to convert.

With that in mind, the two graphs above indicate that you should focus on location specific content before working on Generic Content. And It might not be worth it for local Canadian businesses to create Generic Content for SEO since you would end up attracting traffic that isn’t stemming from your prospective customers. You might as well place your efforts somewhere else.

Another thing, traffic from outside of Canada prevents you from analyzing your blog performance properly. When you detect a low conversion rate, you might work on conversion rate optimization by editing website content, internal linking, a contact form, and so on. But like anything else, you can’t improve the conversion rate based off of traffic which won’t be converted no matter how hard you try.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Pitfall

Let’s take a look at the traffic breakdown from Canada vs. Outside Canada.

Here is the trend for overall organic search traffic:


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It looks like traffic is steadily increasing. But when you look at the traffic breakdown, it might show up like the following graph.


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The Canadian traffic shows potential customers aren’t going up.

In this case, the priority isn’t conversion optimization, but increasing Canadian traffic since you haven’t got good enough traffic to start conversion optimization yet.

Wrap It Up

When you work on content creation, you’re likely to see the traffic increase anyway.

If your priority is just lead / revenue generation for the short term, you should care about the location where your traffic comes from.

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SEO Strategist
Akihiro Nomura

Akihiro Nomura is the SEM/Digital Marketing Specialist at My Loud Speaker Marketing who enjoys Excel formulas just as much as he loves beer. Akihiro has been thoroughly planning, researching, executing, and analyzing SEM strategies for businesses for the past 6 years, and believes in the importance of educating his clients to create strong and effective partnerships.

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