Are you not hitting your marketing targets? Want to do a better job of converting visitors into customers? Feel like you can do more to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and expand your brand’s digital presence? The key is to use search engine optimization (SEO) to make better marketing decisions.
The stats are telling. Over 67% of all clicks go to only the first five results on Google SERPs. However, 91% of all pages never get any organic traffic. Despite this, 70% of marketers agree that SEO is more critical than paid-for promotions.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by these questions and not know where to begin. In this article, we’ll introduce you to a data-driven approach to SEO and digital marketing. You’ll make more informed and better marketing decisions that will boost your business.
Before you begin: what SEO data is necessary to make better marketing decisions?
Of course, you can’t make any data-driven decisions without, well, data!
So, before you do anything, you need to know what data you should start paying attention to, collecting, and analyzing as part of your marketing decision-making process. Luckily, there are already well-defined SEO metrics that experts use to make better marketing decisions:
- Organic traffic: This is the number of search engine visitors to your site that were not directed there by paid ads. Google uses it as an indicator to determine whether or not your website/content provides answers to users’ search queries.
- Impressions: This is the number of times your content appears to the user on SERPs, social media platforms, or other websites. It can be divided into paid and organic impressions. You should also measure your “reach,” which is the number of unique internet users that have seen your content. Combined, this gives you an idea of how far and wide your content reaches online audiences.
- Organic rankings: It’s all about that ranking. Earning prime real estate on Google SERPs is (and should be) the main objective of any digital marketer today. The higher your ranking, the more likely you are to generate more organic traffic. Your change in ranking should be continuously noted to gauge the success of your SEO campaigns.
- Monthly search volume for targeted keywords: The number of times a specific keyword is searched for using a search engine is a good indicator of its popularity and relevance. It also gives you an indication of how competitive you can expect specific keywords to be. By analyzing volume across different regions, you can apply more localized keyword strategies.
- Backlinks: Backlinks to your website or content is one of the top two ranking factors considered by Google. It’s the internet’s version of “word-of-mouth” advertising that conveys trust and relevance to your pages. The authority, relevance, diversity, and number of referring domains are all crucial factors that contribute to the value of the links to your domain. Backlinking services like those provided herecan be immensely beneficial for promoting your content.
- User-centric performance metrics: While not that widely known, Google has taken performance-related metrics into consideration for rankings for some time. This is to help ensure they provide users with the content that offers the best overall experience and is relevant. While the overall speed of your pages is essential, you need to pay special attention to specific metrics, such as LCP, FID, and CLS, as measured by PageSpeed Insights. This means that performance is now actually an SEO concern and not just that of user experience.
How to use this data to make better marketing decisions
Now that you know what SEO data is vital for your brand, it’s time to look at how you can utilize it to improve your marketing efforts:
1. Let keywords guide your naming and branding activities
We’ve all been there. One of the most challenging parts of any brand, product, or service launch always seems to be the easiest – finding the perfect name.
Not only can keywords help you inspire you to overcome your writers’ (marketers’?) block, but they can also help you come up with names that are more likely to generate attention and convert.
Using keyword search volume will even help you prioritize your products and services according to product interest.
This can quickly be done by determining the search volume of various keywords containing the names or descriptions of products/services in your niche. You can also use this data to pick the optimal keywords. For example, the phrase “pet training leash” or “dog training leash” is more widely used when looking for this type of product.
2. Create a customer journey around specific keyword phrases
Longtail keywords are beneficial at helping SEO experts gauge the interests and intent of search engine users.
Using various keywords for a specific topic, product, service, etc., can help you capture consumers at different stages of their buying journey and according to their level of interest.
For example, someone that Googles “what is a pet training leash” is obviously right at the start of their journey. Far from being ready to buy a pet training leash, they are still unsure exactly what it is or whether they need it.
You can leverage this keyword variant to direct users to content that explains the use and benefits of a pet training leash, potentially nurturing a visitor into a customer.
On the other hand, someone further down their journey might search “best dog training leash” or “buy dog training leash.” In this case, you can use the keyword to lead users to content that either suggests different types of leashes, a buyer’s guide, or even directly to commercial pages.
Targeted, longtail keyword optimization can pay off nicely when used correctly. Longtail keyword searches lead to 3-5% more clicks than generic ones. Nearly 70% of search queries contain four or more words.
3. Use organic rankings to analyze the competition
If you’re struggling to get ahead of the competition or just not meeting your SEO-related goals, you can potentially learn a lot from your successful competitors.
You don’t need corporate espionage. All you need is a bit of time to scour publicly accessible content anyone can see.
Do a quick Google search for keywords that you are trying to optimize for. Then, take a look at the top results. What are they doing differently than you? Which of their pages/content is ranking so highly? What do the top performers have in common?
If you dig even deeper, you can determine how many backlinks they generate to their pages (and from which sources), what their social marketing strategies are, and their distinguishing factors as a brand.
All of this information can help inform your digital marketing strategy and grow your digital presence.
4. Leverage backlinks to build your brand
Link-building is one of the most valuable things you can do for your digital presence today. A successful link-building campaign can do way more than increase your organic search rankings.
It can help you build your domain authority, increase your reach, and uncover valuable networking opportunities in your industry when approached in the right way.
As mentioned, you can find potential leads for backlinks by doing a competitor analysis. You can also find bloggers, publishing platforms, etc., that aren’t direct competitors but operate within your niche. Along the way, you might build mutually beneficial partnerships for your long-term marketing success.
Guest posting is a great way to build backlinks while providing valuable information to consumers and expanding your reach. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz can help you find these types of opportunities and help you make better marketing decisions.
This guest blog post was written by Sujana Marie, an outreach manager at Uprankly.com.