How Can Data Improve Your SEO
May 17, 202010 mins read
Have you ever wondered how certain websites appear first on the search page? What can be the reason behind these websites being listed first after a search result? That is something we call either “paid or organic search elements”. The organic element of search is where your website is listed in search engines naturally according to its relevance to the search query. However, the paid search is where you bid to get your website listed at the top of the result pages and you pay for each click that the website gets.
Improving Google listing is called Search Engine Optimization, SEO. In simple words, SEO is the process of refining your website using technical, on page, and off-page techniques so that it will be indexed and ranked by search engines organically.
Nowadays, companies have a growing interest regarding SEO as it is accompanied with their exposure to more customers, enhances their competitive position in the industry and eventually increased sales thus more revenues. Basically, and according to Duane Forrester, a Former Senior Product Manager at Bing, “_SEO is becoming a normalized marketing tactic, the same way TV, radio, and print are traditionally thought of as marketing tactics._”
Throughout this blog post, we will tackle the role of data in improving your search engine optimization in all its aspects (technical, on-page and off-page optimization).
The first step in SEO is understanding how your audiences think and interact with search engines. The key to this is relevance. The searcher is looking for something specific, they want to find the relevant information they can use. If you’re website is designed to provide searchers with relevant information, it will be navigated more and thus it’s organic ranking will be boosted and you will manage to secure a higher ranking at google engines. After this has been done, the website owner should hold the technical, on-page and off-page optimization.
Technical Optimization makes sure that your website is technically compliant, follows technical SEO best practices and is optimized for efficient indexing. Basically, this means that SE robots can access your website easily, read information that they need in order to process and give the search result. Technical element includes:
Robots.txt file: a file for search engines which indicates which pages to include or exclude from crawling. It is actually one of the first pages that a crawler looks for when it comes to your website.
Crawl errors: errors received by search engines when crawling websites which can impact how successfully it crawls and indexes.
Technical duplication: where technical set-up may suggest to search engines that pages are duplicates of each other. This is where different pages on your website may appear to be the same.
Website Structure: a website’s structure is important to help search ender spiders crawl effectively. In order to facilitate the robots and SE crawlers to navigate around your website and also make sense of how different pages relate to each other are fir in within different areas. So, having hierarchical set up is more positive than flat structure.
Utilizing browser caching: This is where people who have been to your website before can kind of store a screenshot on their server, on their device of that page and when you want to visit the site again, it’s going to load much quicker.
Maximizing server response times: when your website is functioning efficiently and is able to send your page information across the web to different devices.
Companies are spending thousands of dollars to technically qualify their websites. Not because they enjoy spending money, but because having a structured website is highly related to improving their SEO ranking.
Now, what is the role of data in this case? Data helps you track your website visitor’s behavior through monitoring the bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page), the conversion rate (the number of visitors to a certain website that end up completing the action of purchasing a product, donating,…etc), whether you have any duplicated pages, the information that you want to be public in your Robot.txt file even your visitors’ behavior moving between your pages and links.
This gives companies the chance to assess whether their website is functioning effectively and efficiently for human user, in addition to it being ready to be crawled and indexed by search engines’ spiders. If your data analysis results showed that your website is not “technically” compliant to your user behavior, then you should re-structure the way your website functions.
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On-page, also referred to as on-site, optimization is the optimization techniques that take place directly on the website – to the tags and content – in order to improve natural search rankings. It is vitally important since it assures relevance of the website to the users and ensures maximum visibility and high rankings.
On-page optimization include several elements:
Keywords: On-page optimization is based around a series of keywords and phrases. Users’ search terms usually represent commonly used keywords that are typed into a search engine. These terms can either be short tailed or long tailed. Short tail keywords will often have quite high search volume but they’ll also be really competitive. However, long tail keywords (5 or more words in the actual search) is a lot more specific, relevant to your content and there is usually less competitors around these keywords.
Content optimization: Your page needs to contain written copy which should be optimized with the relevant keywords.
Written content: Text should be written for humans (not search engines) and be peppered with selected keywords.
Synonyms: Copy should include synonyms and keyword variations.
On-page elements: Page headings, title tags, paragraph headings and bold text can enhance on-page optimization.
Internal links: Text should contain internal links to other relevant pages
Optimize images: Your website should be built for human users and not spiders, but this doesn’t mean that it should be prepared for spidering by search engines. Now, crawlers sent by search engines are really bad with reading your images, so you can add a file name that is really descriptive of the image and relates it to the information present on your website. In this way, you will not only increase your image ranking but also your overall website ranking.
Again, what is the role of data in all of what’s been mentioned?
Companies want to build their websites to be completely proactive with the visitors’ expectations and desires. How are you going to be able to present well-written content and increase your website traffic if you don’t have information about the users and what they’re searching for? Well, here comes the role of data.
Data provides companies with the raw insights regarding the current trends, most searched words, products, services and applications, etc. It also provides companies with the ability to monitor the behavior flow of the users through the information gathered over the websites they are most interested in.
In addition, and since companies eventually aspire to hold their operations on a global level, data provides the insights that will allow them to present more relevant content that can be incorporated into their global marketing strategy. This means that, since they have the data required to know what different users from different parts of the world are searching for, they can start to better target these users and eventually make them customers and clients.
Off page optimization refers to optimization techniques that take place outside of the actual website – such as building links – which increase the authority of a website and enhance natural search ranking.
Off-page optimization elements include:
- Photo sharing
- Social Networking
- Press releases
- Blog posting
- Backlinks connect
Data allows you to form a more authorized website through providing you with the insights to the proper methods to follow, approaches to take and networks to form (with other application providers like LinkedIn, Facebook, or with companies that provide similar services) in order to better your website.
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