How to empower your SEO and digital marketing strategy with data
Set up your dashboards. Run experiments. Improve your conversion rate. Monitor trends. Revamp and update your SEO strategy. Repeat.
At this stage, you should have optimized your website for a strong page experience, created lots of entity-driven content, and gained inbound links providing you with rankings and traffic.
Now, you’ll need to empower your team with the right data to help you continue to grow and shape your digital marketing strategy.
Setting up your dashboards
Fortunately, a myriad of tools can help organize the data you need to keep your traffic growing.
Here are some data points you can look at:
- Overall KPIs: Are your site’s sessions, impressions, clicks and conversions trending up or down?
- Keywords ranking: How many keywords are ranking in the top 1-3, 4-10, 11-20, or in the top 100 of Google? What keywords are gaining or losing traction? What is the estimated traffic cost of these keywords? What keywords are seeing the most volume and conversions?
- Pages trending up/down: What pages have a high volume of traffic? What pages are losing traffic? These pages can be optimized and expanded to add more optimized content and internal links.
- Striking distance keywords: What keywords are in the top 20? Once you identify these, consider adding internal and external links to those pages and perform on-page SEO to push those keywords higher in the SERPs.
- Content optimizations: What content can you add to pages trending up or down? Type the target keyword for the page, and use questions from Google’s People Also Ask box to enhance your content.
- Audience demographics: Google Analytics includes a plethora of audience reports, including age, gender, interests, geographical targeting, devices and more. Use this data to build your persona profiles and target keywords for each persona and buying stage.
- Attribution: This reflects the buyer’s journey. Understanding where consumers come from, what pages they visit, and where they go after leaving your site can help you improve the user experience.
It’s important to look at your data and develop actionable plans based on your findings.
Some ways to use your data:
- Optimize articles trending down by doing better on-page SEO or adding more semantically related content.
- Build internal and external links to pages and/or keywords that are trending up or down.
- Write more content for a specific target persona and buying stage.
- Focus your efforts on channels and partnerships that are yielding traffic and referrals.
Every time you update a page, create new content or add links, you should create an annotation to determine if the changes made resulted in positive growth.
If you continue producing content and building links without checking your analytics and data, you may waste valuable time and resources.
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Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
Now you have all this wonderful traffic coming to you, how do you improve your conversion rate and turn more visitors into customers?
The ideal way is to do A/B testing and conversion rate optimization.
You’ll need to set up software that will give users two variants of your site. You can then track to see which cohort had better conversions.
Various tools will help you conduct this research:
Ensure you continuously run tests and update your landing pages and articles. If users have a good experience on your site, this will have a positive impact on your SEO.
Just when you feel you have a grasp on your strategy, Google releases an algorithm update that creates upheaval in your traffic and rankings.
Monitoring trends will help you stay compliant and within Google’s best practice guidelines.
Some trends you can look out for:
- Focus on voice and question-based queries. As smart devices advance, such as watches, glasses, and wearables, interactions with the search engine may increasingly occur via voice. You should always be using questions as keywords and optimizing for voice search.
- Emphasis on quality over quantity. Based on crawl prioritization. Produce fewer pieces of content, but ensure those pieces provide the best possible user experience. Promote your articles to build links as often as you publish so that your link growth velocity is congruent with your content publishing ratio.
- Optimize for entities, not keywords. As Google’s understanding of natural language processing improves and their machine-learning algorithms become increasingly sophisticated, they can understand pages for meaning, not just keywords. The days of optimizing pages for a single query are over. Instead, we are seeing an emphasis on building pages around topics and including variants of the topic.
- Emphasis on user engagement signals, especially speed. Google introduced Core Web Vitals to break down the elements of site load speed, from “How Quickly a Page Loads” to “How quickly do users see the first thing on the page”? How Quickly is the page interactive? How quickly is the page fully functional?
- Indexing and crawling prioritization. The number of pages indexed grows exponentially and Google is moving away from indexing everything, to indexing quality content. They are prioritizing crawls to pages that are trusted and authoritative.
- Link building. Following their overall shift towards authority, it’ll become increasingly important to receive mentions from media and trusted sources. If your friends all say you’re the best chef, everyone knows this can be biased. However, if people that don’t know you say you’re the best chef, this has more weight and value. Focus especially on gaining authoritative links that your competitors don’t already have.
Tracking your site’s metrics, KPIs and trends in search will help you continuously revamp and update your SEO strategy.
It’s the only way to stay relevant and current.
Make sure you build dashboards that allow you to check the performance of your campaigns and react quickly to changes in your site’s performance.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.