Data Solutions: Much More Than Just SEO
By Austin LaRoche, ATAK Interactive CEO
There are many ways to bring traffic into your website when you’re working with a digital marketing agency. Within marketing, we call these channels. To clients, they look more like services. The primary channels for bringing in digital marketing traffic are:
- Social Media
- Pay-Per-Click and Remarketing
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Affiliate Marketing
- 3rd Party Links (i.e. – press coverage, interviews)
It’s very uncommon that any of these channels will perform on its own. This is almost always a blend of tactics, integrated into one campaign. The better your campaign target and messaging, the more likely it is to resonate with prospects. This is where a data solutions department can be particularly useful.
What Does a Data Solutions Department Do?
Using analytics data for the basis of digital marketing decisions allows organizations to make decisions informed by the activity of users, and a data-focused team can look at customer behavior across channels, in order to bring better value from each of these channels.
With the introduction of SSL increasing the share of not provided keywords, search traffic analysis needs to rely on visitor interactions and landing page performance in addition to keyword performance – making a blend of data analysis even more important.
Philosophy aside, what an SEO and Data Solutions department actually does for a client will include:
Implementing and Tracking Site Traffic and Visitor Behavior
This includes using Google Analytics, search database tools, heat mapping, and form tracking to understand where visitors are clicking and where they aren’t, allowing marketing departments to make more precise campaign decisions.
Targeting Site Optimization
An extension of reporting, a data solutions team watches actual traffic behavior in order to spend time optimizing pages that are earning visitors, using search query data to understand whether the landing page fits visitor intent, and adjusting copy to earn more traffic and properly target the visitors landing there.
Proposing New Content
Regular content creation is a surefire SEO booster. An SEO and Data team will be able to suggest new content based on keyword performance, industry trends, and landing page performance. This content can also be reviewed with heatmaps and targeted traffic reporting.
Content is where your data solutions department goes beyond SEO. The right content can be reconfigured and presented for social media, Pay-Per-Click, and strategic email campaigns. Over time, content engagement and conversion data creates a sophisticated understanding of product interest across channels.
Competitor SEO data, especially for an organization with a new or underperforming website, Is incredibly valuable. Competitor data like keyword positions, popular landing pages, and pay-per-click keywords offers direction for new content or SEO priorities.
If a marketing client is a new entrant in a competitive space, a full SEO and marketing competitor analysis may be advantageous for developing a smart and strategic SEO and digital marketing campaign.
Technical Site Performance and SEO
A top-level conversion focus powers online marketing growth, but only if it is on a solid technical and user experience foundation. An SEO department has access to tools and expertise in auditing websites for technical, security, or user experience issues that are impacting search appearance. There are aslo some SEO mistakes you want to avoid.
Regular site audits for SEO and security are critical for growing search traffic – all of the keyword data in the world is powerless if your technical foundation is shaky. Our SEO and data department conducts regular site audit scans and stays on the forefront of search ranking factors in order to keep client sites performing.
This means that, when starting SEO, the first phase of the plan may look more similar to a web development project than a traditional search engine optimization roadmap. Getting a website up-to-date with technical specifications early helps future content rank faster when it’s published. Charging straight to keyword optimization while leaving technical optimizations on the backburner will hamper your search traffic performance.
Goal-Oriented SEO Strategy
Your SEO reports should include conversion data! Conversions can have a variety of definitions – ecommerce sales, B2B quote inquiries, product sample requests, etc. Your SEO team should understand what your business goals are, and track them within Google Analytics.
Google Tag Manager makes these goals easier and more comprehensive to track, easily marketing events, and turning select events into goals.
Goal implementation and goal-oriented reporting means our SEO and Data Solutions department is able to provide conversion information for keywords, traffic sources, and landing pages by digital marketing channel. Reviewing this reporting reveals opportunities to optimize landing pages for conversions, improving marketing value over time.
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