by Juan Robin II
Working with SEO data can be a hard task if you’re not a trained analyst.
But the truth is that you don’t need a ton of schooling to make effective use of what you have.
Even the basics like Google Analytics can be leveraged to create a comprehensive strategy based on hard data rather than your gut feelings.
So, if you’re looking for some easy tips to handle that data, read on and we’ll show you how to propel your marketing forward with facts instead of feelings.
1. Focus On the Important Stuff
There are three main pieces of data that will make up the bulk of your analytic efforts.
The first important metric is your traffic volume. You’ll need to be able to separate this into different sources but it’s pretty much a required metric for calculating anything else that will end up being important.
The second is the conversion rate. You need to know how many of your viewers are actually turning into buyers to be able to make adjustments as time goes on.
The last extremely important metric for your SEO data purposes is your average dwell time. This is how long people spend on your page when they don’t bounce immediately. High dwell time is desirable for one big reason: it’s actually taken into account as an SEO metric.
2. Don’t Sweat Bounce Rate
Many people find themselves caught in a cycle of trying to trace out their bounce rate compared to average.
While an exceptionally high, think 90%+, bounce rate indicates something is wrong with the page, for the most part, it varies in wide ranges across niches.
It’s not something to obsess over unless it’s exceptionally high or exceptionally low. The lower end, say less than 10%, usually indicates something wonky is going on with your page that’s causing users to unknowingly go somewhere else on the site.
It can be used as an important metric by seasoned analysts. For the amateur, it’s not something to really worry about.
3. Keep an Eye on Traffic Sources
Traffic can come from various places and knowing where your visitors are coming from is a game-changer.
Organic results are the most important metric to gauge your SEO efforts since they indicate people coming in from search engines.
Direct traffic, which is people hitting the page directly from the URL bar of their browser, often indicates that a brand is beginning to take hold. For smaller businesses, it can also mean that offline marketing efforts like business cards or flyers are taking effect as well.
And, of course, you’ll want to see how much of the traffic is coming in from your social media efforts.
Each traffic source is important and knowing where they’re coming from will help you decide where to focus your efforts. If organic traffic is low, for instance, it may be time to bump up your SEO efforts.
4. Check Individual Posts and Pages
There’s a tendency for amateur site owners to only analyze their home page when it comes to traffic volume and other features.
A lot of knowledge on how to proceed can be pulled from the individual posts and pages that make up your SEO content. If a post is massively outperforming others when it comes to conversion rate, for instance, you should dive in and see how it differs from the others.
On the same note, pages that are underperforming also bear a look. You can always change the content to make it more in line with the better performing pieces on your site.
5. Calculate Cost-per-Conversion
If you’re paying for SEO content on your website, then you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting a positive ROI.
There’s a reason SEO is more popular than most paid advertising solutions: you generally only pay once. Once the content is there, you’ll only need to make minor modifications in the future.
Using your gathered data break down how many conversions you’ve received and how much money you’ve made off the individual post or page. Then divide it by the content’s cost. If you’re dedicated you should eventually more than break even.
It’s a quick and dirty calculation but you can use it to guide future efforts or know when it’s time to switch to another content provider.
6. Use the Data to Make Modifications
Many people will go through the data gathering process and then just lay the numbers out.
This post performs well, this one poorly, and the traffic volume is steadily rising over the entire page. That’s not enough.
Instead, you need to actively use the data which you’ve gathered, and the insight made from the data, to actively make modifications to your site as a whole. You can try split-testing, just modifying poorly performing SEO content to be more in line with the stuff that does well or even to alter the overall design of the web page.
If you’re not actively modifying your page on a constant basis then you’re just putting numbers together, not actively using data to make your website perform better.
7. Consider Using Visual Tools
Google Analytics is great, but the visualization capabilities are pretty low. Hard numbers are awesome for those who have a lot of knowledge a ton of insight can be gleaned just from taking a look.
Not all of us are inclined to check out numbers like that, however, and there are programs out there that will help to make the analytics process easier to understand.
Deeper insight into your numbers is an essential component of SEO data analysis, so consider using something like MongoDB tools to make the process easier to understand.
Make SEO Data Work for You
SEO data is an essential part of the process of creating a well-performing website. It allows you to do much more than just hope you’re able to climb in rankings: it can be used actively to make more money from your site.
You don’t need a degree to make it work for you.
Why not start running the numbers and see how you can make your website perform better than ever before?