“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina, former executive, president, and chair of Hewlett-Packard Co.
Data analysis is an essential part of all Digital Media Marketing strategies. As the quotation mentioned above by Carly Fiorina, data can be manipulated into information, which in turn will provide insight into the impact that your SEO campaign is having on driving traffic to your website as well as increasing your website’s ranking on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). If your ranking drops or the number of visitors to your website, you need to adjust your SEO campaign.
What is SEO data?
The answer to this question needs to be divided up into two parts:
- What is SEO?
Moz.com, an authority on all things SEO, defines Search engine optimization (SEO) as “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”
SEO methodologies include the adding of meta-descriptions and appropriate keywords to the individual web pages contained within your website as well as the utilisation of content marketing to establish your brand as the authority and most popular brand in your niche. In other words, your target audience will consider purchasing your brand before that of your competitors.
- What is data collection?
Margaret Rouse defines data collection is the “systematic approach to gathering and measuring information from a variety of sources to get a complete and accurate picture of an area of interest.” In other words, the purpose of data collections is to supply answers to “relevant questions, evaluate outcomes and make predictions about future probabilities and trends.”
Therefore, it can be concluded that SEO data is the information that is collected and measured pertaining to how successful your SEO campaign is. This information is then used to plan future strategies and predict the probable outcomes of the planned strategies.
Tools to analyse your data
There are many different software applications and proprietary tools available for you to use when looking at the results of your SEO campaign. Excel is a great tool to use to manipulate and analyse data. Not only is it part of the Microsoft Office Suite, so you do not need to go out and purchase specialised software, its analytical capabilities are often underestimated. It is powerful and has many built-in functions such as charts and graphs which will provide both a visual overview of the data collected as well as an in-depth view of a slice of the collected data. As an introduction to data analysis in Excel, read this article about analysing SEO data.
While data gathering, manipulation, and analysis is a vital part of all SEO campaigns, it is also important to note that the analytical phase of the SEO campaign is not a one-off exercise. This data needs to be gathered and analysed on a regular basis (such as daily, weekly, monthly, bi-annually, and annually) to ensure that your strategy is producing the desired results, and you are meeting your Return on Investment goals.