What Is Data Analytics?
Data analytics is all about collecting, organizing, and analyzing data to gain valuable insights. It’s like digging through a mine of information to find hidden gems. This process involves gathering data, fishing out useful pieces of information, and then using them to make smarter decisions, come up with better strategies, or figure out how much money you’re making (or losing!).
You can apply data analysis in various files, with business, finance, and marketing being the most common areas. Basically, as long as there’s data available, it can be utilized anywhere!
There are a number of methods you can use for analyzing your SEO-related data. To get meaningful insights, you may try having a go at standard statistical methods, cool machine learning algorithms, or even artificial intelligence (AI).
Data Analytics in Business
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re interested in doing SEO analytics for businesses. And that’s good thinking because data analytics works wonders for all types of entrepreneurship.
When done correctly, SEO analytics helps business owners make smarter decisions based on hard data about customers (like their behavior and preferences), products, and services. Also, data analytics is a fantastic tool that allows for staying up-to-date with what is happening in your industry, and figuring out if your current strategies are doing their job.
Here is another awesome thing about data analytics – its factualness. This process is nothing like guesswork or gut feelings, but rather hard data and facts. And when you combine the very hard data with the analytical skills of your team – or yours if you’re a self-employed entrepreneur – you can achieve some impressive results.
As an SEO Specialist, I truly appreciate the possibilities of data analytics as it provides me with wide and comprehensive pieces of information. I use those insights to craft customized SEO strategies for my Clients. Data-driven SEO is the real deal – I have no doubt about it.
To help you realize how immensely important hard data is in search engine optimization, I’m going to share my personal experience in this field. I’ll also tell you how to do SEO analytics effectively. This means that by the time you finish reading this article, you will know how to analyze data and draw conclusions from the reports generated by SEO analytical tools.
SEO analytics depends on analyzing data related to organic traffic (yep, that’s the traffic from search engines), keyword rankings, and trends on your website. The goal? To optimize and improve your current SEO strategy.
It’s hard to do SEO without hard data, but that’s actually a good thing. Why? Because specific KPIs, metrics, and indicators give you a clear picture of whether all the effort you’re putting into optimizing your website is actually worth it. Obviously, the process of connecting the dots – I mean doing the actual SEO analytics – starts way earlier. It begins when you’re planning out your strategy, so when you’re gathering data on how your website performs in SERP, checking what your competitors are doing, and researching keywords.
SEO analytics involves two main aspects:
- the technical side, which focuses on data collection and processing (think of it as data engineering), and
- the analytical side, which involves drawing meaningful conclusions.
SEO analytics allows you to get insights from the following SEO elements:
- Content + keyword quality and positions
- Click-through rate
- Organic traffic
- Competitive analysis
- Website speed + other metrics related to Core Web Vitals
- Backlink profile
The insights give you a better idea of how users are interacting with a given website and whether the current strategy is working as intended. Also, SEO analysis is the key to enhancing and measuring the quality of web content. In general, without the information provided by SEO data analyses, it wouldn’t be possible to figure out what elements of your SEO strategy require some minor or major improvements.
Moreover, SEO Specialists and marketers would have a hard time creating relevant and value-adding content if they didn’t have the right set of analytical data on user behavior. The chances of increasing organic web traffic are pretty nonexistent if neither SEOs nor content creators know how the target audience formulates its query to find the product or service offered by a particular website owner.
How Much Time Does an SEO Specialist Spend on SEO Analytics?
Undoubtedly, carrying out thorough analysis is what an SEO Specialist devotes plenty of their working time to. A substantial portion of the SEO process requires a professional to constantly monitor a website’s performance to later draw logical conclusions and take the right steps.
How much actually is this “plenty of time?” Well, take a look:
As you can see from the image above, analytics and reporting are quite substantial parts of an SEO process. To be honest, those elements may occupy even more time if you don’t have the right SEO tools at your disposal. It can’t be denied, SEO analytical tools do a lot of the heavy lifting. The thing, however, is to set them up correctly. When the data is presented in a report, it’s up to the SEO Specialist to dig into that information, make sense of it, and take action accordingly.
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So, what exactly does an SEO Specialist analyze? Well, they keep a close eye on keyword rankings, page visibility, and organic traffic. When it comes to the latter, it’s more than just figuring out who and when visited the website. Correct website web traffic analyses also include looking into the metrics such as dwell time and user-website interaction.
Oh, and by the way, if you’re running an e-commerce business, you might want to check out How to Measure the Key Performance Indicators for Online Stores.
SEO analytics gives you the answers to some business-related questions, such as:
- Which of your marketing activities bring you the most web traffic?
- What traffic sources are the most valuable / promote conversions?
- What type of web content truly engages and captivates your users?
- Which elements of your strategy attract new users to your website?
- What’s the competitive landscape like?
- Are there any gaps in your strategy that are costing you time and money?
- What progress is being made in your SEO efforts, and where can you optimize further?
SEO Analytics Tools
Now that you’re familiar with the basics of data analytics, it’s time to introduce you to the tools we at Delante use on a daily basis and thus recommend for working with data.
- Google Search Console – This free tool from Google is a must-have for optimization and monitoring your website’s performance in SERPs. It offers valuable insights into among others how frequently your site appears in search results, the click-through rates, and the keyword positions. While it has its limitations, Google Search Console serves as an essential SEO analysis tool for website owners and SEO Specialists.
- Google Analytics – This is another essential tool from Google that plays a crucial role in optimizing your website. Google Analytics enables you to track and analyze website traffic, offering valuable insights into user behavior, conversion rates, and opportunities for improvement.
- Crawlers – These are tools that scan websites and provide information on their current state. Some popular examples include Screaming Frog, OnCrawl, and Lumar. Crawlers allow you to gather detailed data about the technical elements of your website, which can be later easily exported and analyzed outside the tool.
- Keyword rank trackers – These tools provide you with valuable insights into the performance of the keywords that matter most to you. Even though there are many options available, most of those tools are paid (unless you’re okay with monitoring a limited number of keywords in the demo version, but let’s be honest, it’s usually not sufficient unless you’re running a simple landing page). Some recommended tools are SERProbot, Senuto, and AccuRanker.
You have collected the analytical data, the next step is to make good use of it, right? Many tools offer the option to export the data to spreadsheets or other file formats, which I find incredibly useful. Now, the big question is: Where should you store this valuable data?
- Spreadsheets such as Excel and Google Sheets are brilliant software for organizing and managing smaller datasets. They allow you to filter through specific information, perform calculations, and even visualize data. A notable advantage of Google Sheets is its real-time collaboration feature, which enables the entire team to work simultaneously on a single project.
- Databases such as Google BigQuery, Amazon RDS, and MySQL may be found essential when you have to deal with a large volume of data that needs extra security. These popular databases offer secure data storage. They are generally well scalable, help you create backups, and at the same time protect the data from unauthorized access or hacker attacks.
You’ve got the data, you know where to store it… but what about actually understanding what those numbers mean? Don’t worry, there’s a solution: data visualization tools. These tools allow you to better and more quickly grasp the insights hidden within your collected data. Let me share some suggestions with you.
- Looker Studio, previously known as Google Data Studio, is a data visualization platform developed by Google. It offers a user-friendly interface for effortless data analysis. With Looker Studio, you can create interactive dashboards and easily share insights with your team. The platform also provides a collection of pre-built visualizations and templates, making it convenient to create customized dashboards in no time.
- Power BI is a data analysis and visualization tool developed by Microsoft. What makes it particularly useful is its ability to handle and combine data from diverse sources. With Power BI, you can create interactive dashboards and reports that present information in an accessible and easy-to-understand format.
- Tableau is a data visualization and analytics tool that follows a Data Discovery approach. It offers seamless integration with over 80 data sources, including popular options like ORACLE, ERP systems (such as SAP, AX, CDN, IMPULS), MS SQL SERVER, MySQL, DB2, Google Analytics, Hadoop, R, SAP HANA, and MS Excel. With Tableau, you can create visually appealing and user-friendly visualizations that even if you’re not a specialist in this field.
How to Do SEO Analytics to Draw Accurate Conclusions
Now that we’ve explored analytics tools, let’s shift our focus to the practical aspects of SEO data analytics. What should you keep in mind? First and foremost:
- Clarify your analysis goals: Why are you collecting data in the first place? What do you hope to achieve by comparing different traffic sources, time periods, or pages? Clearly defining your objectives will help guide your analysis effectively.
- Gather data from various sources for a comprehensive review. Different data sources offer unique insights and information. By bringing together data from multiple sources, you can gain a more complete understanding, identify patterns, and uncover valuable insights.
- Validate the data quality. Not all data is reliable or accurate. It’s important to ensure that the information you use for analysis is trustworthy and free from errors or biases. Verify the quality of the data, check for inconsistencies, and avoid making decisions based on incomplete or unreliable information.
- Identify the important questions you want to answer through data analysis. For example, “Which marketing channel brings me the most conversions?” or “Are my current strategies effective?” Having clear questions in mind will guide your analysis and help you find the answers you’re looking for.
- Remember, correlation doesn’t always mean causation. Just because two things are related doesn’t necessarily mean that one causes the other. Be cautious when interpreting data and avoid jumping to conclusions about cause and effect. Consider other factors that could influence the observed patterns.
- Respect the principles of statistical methods. Statistics and data science provide useful tools for accurate SEO analysis. Even if some methods may seem complex or time-consuming, trust in their validity. Data experts rely on these techniques to extract meaningful and reliable insights.
- Visualize your data. Visualization is a powerful way to present information effectively. By visualizing your data, you can communicate your findings in a compelling way, whether it’s identifying areas for improvement or showcasing exceptional results. Harness the power of data visualization to promote understanding and engage your audience.
Sometimes it might feel like reports are just about presenting data and summarizing what happened in the previous period, like a month or quarter. However, the truth is quite different: good SEO reports are more than just charts and tables – they present significant, often unexpected findings that can help you spark new clever ideas!
Let me tell you this: Using the same template for every report isn’t the best thing to do. Each person, whom you’re going to discuss the reports with, has unique needs and goals. That’s why, the reports should cover mainly the key areas the person is interested in.
To make SEO reporting even more effective, I advise you to make use of data visualization tools like Looker Studio, as mentioned earlier. Including screenshots, key insights, conclusions, and actionable recommendations in the report will provide a concise summary of the SEO analysis you conducted, rather than overwhelming the reader with raw numbers and graphs.
5 Takeaways from SEO Data Analytics
I hope that after reading this article, it’s easier for you to wrap your head around SEO analytics.
To summarize everything I’ve just said, I’m going to list five tips on SEO analytics:
- Personalize your approach. Avoid using a one-size-fits-all strategy. Tailor your efforts to suit your specific needs and goals.
- Find SEO analytics tools that work for you. Have a go at a couple of tools that collect data to find those you find easy to use.
- Simplify analytics. Make analytics easy to use and understand. Consider using platforms or solutions that simplify the process for you or your team.
- Go beyond data collection. Don’t just gather data; extract meaningful insights from it. Use data science to make informed decisions.
- Embrace the power of data. The more data you have, the more reliable your analysis will be. Focus on using data to grow your business and develop effective strategies.
Contact us to take your SEO analytics to the next level!