What to Base SEO Content Decisions On

Content is generally the first thing that comes in mind when thinking about SEO. There is a process in an order on how to create and optimize strong content.

The process involves four subparts which are data analysis, content creation, programmatic optimization and manual optimization. These are performed by three teams in the work force, SEO, IT and marketing.

This article will talk about the first in this stage that is data analysis. Data may not be sexy to most people, but strong data is the basis of every good SEO plan. Do not skip the first part in the content creation step even though you may want to move fast. Poor data eventually leads to poor execution.

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Keyword Research

Keyword data research shows the potential demand for each keyword based on the number of searches which are being performed by the user every month. Demand is a strong consideration. It is separate from the performance. Demand shows how quickly you could be moving organic traffic and leads to your website from on demand keywords. Performance identifies how you have done so far.

The difference between the two is your missed opportunity, which organic search competitors are capitalizing on.

Search Engine Ranking Data

This data is a little trickier to get without the help of search engine platforms like SearchMetrics or Brightedge or a dedicated search ranking tools. If you cannot afford some of these tools then it would be best to do it manually by either opening an incognito window. This isn’t a foolproof technique but it’s better than nothing.

When collecting rankings data in the U.S., it makes the most sense to use Google as the engine to target based on the large percentage of traffic it drives. In Google, not only collect the individual keywords that’s ranking for, but also the URL that rank for that keyword.

Sadly, the search console’s keyword reports will rank only 200 search queries, but it’s the only reliable source of keyword data for Google searches. Everything else is just inaccurate or estimated based on the keyword “not provided” challenge that SEO professionals have faced since the search engines began stripping search query information from referral strings based on default in October 2011.

As a note, do not use web analytics keyword research data as a substitute for this as they are not accurate and have not been for years.

Google Search Console provides average rankings for each keyword. It is important that you keep all the data of a report, but it is even more important that you keep the ranking data from the report as they are the accurate indicator of Google’s true average ranking for your site.

While keyword reports of all 2000 search queries will allow for more accurate results will also allow you to click deeper and see the average natural search impressions and traffic for that keyword, unfortunately there’s no way to download that information.

SEO Keyword Data Mash up

Using VLOOKUP for Excel, create a worksheet that contains a row for every keyword with columns showing the values from keyword research, rankings, and Google Search Console search query result. This next step is to save it, update it regularly, and consult it whenever such decisions need to be taken.

Web Analytics Sessions and Revenue

While not exactly the results which you would want to see, these include the number of visits, sessions and session times, and order and revenues, by natural search page or URL are another important source of content optimization information.

Whether you search platform is Google analytics, Adobe Analytics, Coremetrics, or something else, your natural search landing page report is critical to find out how your content is working in the current day to how well it will work tomorrow.

If you have access to the data analytics teams, it would be tempting to pull up all the data on your own for analysis, but resist the temptation.

To be sure, consult with your analytics person, to create and understand which analytics reports to use in which profiles to get to the correct data that you need: visits or sessions, and orders and revenue. But data analytics contain answers which can be answered only through additional data.