There is a lot of talk about BIG DATA and its impact on the world. Probably like many people, the first time you hear the term you think it has something to do with government information or something like that.
The truth is that BIG DATA means any type of information that can be useful in making a business decision. You’ve already noticed long ago how ads appear on our phones after we’ve talked about a product or searched for that product on the web. Or how mobile phones continuously store information about our health and fitness. BIG DATA is everywhere and today, here, we will try to see how it influences SEO.
Before we start we need to understand a little better what BIG DATA means. As the name says, big data is a very large volume of information that someone receives in more or less structured formats. It is not very important how and in what quantity this data comes, but what is important is how it is used.
Marketing people think of SEO as something very hard, a kind of dark art. A practice that is on the one hand creative, but also very technology-centric, far too complicated for a marketer to achieve real long-term success.
Indeed, search engine optimization is quite complicated, but that’s why there are SEO specialists. An SEO specialist needs to know and be familiar with the important elements of SEO to be successful.
When there is access to important data, anything in SEO is possible. Let’s take a look at a few ways that SEO specialists start using data in their strategy.
Type of users
Most of the time, website specialists that understand very well the type of users that come to them are also successful. Because they know how to create websites or social media experiences that speak the language of their users and, more importantly, meet their needs.
Where do we find this data? It’s not difficult to find it. For a broader view we can use the tools provided by Google (Google Analytics) to extract audience demographics, to extract device habits (mobile or desktop) and, of course, consumer preferences (which pages they entered, moved on to other pages, converted etc.).
For a more detailed view, any site can ask users to fill out a survey (possibly in exchange for a customer benefit) where they can develop an overview of different types of customers.
Shortcut: Identify the demographics of your customers, from which device they enter the site (mobile, desktop) and, of course, the type of content they prefer (blog article, products etc.).
Even if we manage to understand the user’s exact intent, which is almost impossible because users’ interests are dynamic – they learn, adapt, lose interest and move on, users in the early stages of buying behave completely differently from those in the later stages (even if they have similar demographics).
Therefore, you need to do very thorough keyword research. You also need to consider how users search and whether these phrases change during their research. Do they use specific terminology or do they use generic phrases? Do they use search terms strictly to get information or do they use search terms focused on conversions?
Shortcut: Try to select keywords based on a buyer persona, identify gaps in the market and prioritize targets based on potential and continually expand as you get the expected results.
Behavior and Activity
Unfortunately, there is no substitute for demographic analysis and keyword research, as these two things are extremely important to any successful SEO strategy development initiative.
But to find out the activity and behavior of users on the site there are tools that can give us a lot of data. How long do certain users stay in a certain category? On the basis of which keywords did they enter there? What does search activity on the site suggest about the audience and where they are in the funnel?
If we can understand how users interact with a site it can provide great insights to help us bring more conversions to the site.
Shortcut: A thorough analysis of analytics tools should be done to identify customer behavior, activity and website usage.
The “secret” weapon in Data Driven SEO is perhaps the most obvious: take advantage of competitors. It’s very likely that competitors’ websites have already done all of the above, so it’s good to analyze them and see what they’ve learned from it. We can use the information gathered to optimize our own site.
Shortcut: Perhaps the most important part is the competition analysis so don’t hesitate to get started on it as soon as possible.
Nowadays, BIG DATA has become a very powerful SEO tool. All the efforts that combine local SEO, content marketing and mobile data help to generate quite accurate information about users.