Leveraging Data to optimize a Website’s Performance
While there are many great SEO tools that require a subscription and if used correctly will give you great, dynamic insights, some of the free ones out there can still offer value especially to smaller sized businesses and start-ups. The value of knowing and understanding basic traffic and audience reports can never be under estimated.
For starters Google Search Console and Google Analytics are relatively easy to grasp, with a ton of free tutorials available and provide some of the most valuable data on your website’s performance. With over 92% of all internet searches happening on Google one would be rather silly to totally ignore their recommendations, as it is their way of telling you why your website isn’t ranking highly.
The paid services offer a lot more in depth analysis of the bigger picture especially when it comes to technical SEO which is one of the biggest ranking factors in Google’s iterative algorithm, along with relevancy and uniqueness.
Why is this of any value ?
Well, you throw in competitor analysis and keyword research into the mix, it becomes a totally different story, your SEO efforts are complimented by knowing your competition.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.Sun Tzu. Chinese General, Philosopher ” The Theory of War”
Next, if are using a website builder like Squarespace or Wix for example they normally come with some integrated analytics although limited compared to the ones mentioned before, there is no reason to ignore the data they provide. If you’re on a CMS platform like WordPress for instance there are plenty of plugins that not only integrate with Google Analytics and Google Search Console but can also provide data streamlined to your business objectives.
When you mention website data most website owners be it a site promoting services or an e-commerce site, most people promptly assume Google Analytics, but there are tons of other great tools available that can work alongside Google Analytics to compliment the work you might be already doing on there.
Let us start with your website or e-commerce for example, they normally provide an integrated analytics platform at the back end which usually works slightly different to Google but can capture similar valuable information for example.
- Traffic : how many sessions, returning users compared to new users amongst many other parameters, but we use it as a benchmark to measure our SEO efforts in looking into the rise of organic traffic.
- Behaviour: how those visitors interacted with your site, what pages they visited and most importantly (to most) what actions they took on your site. What pages they landed on first, which ones had the least interaction, using this data we can easily see the areas that might need optimising so we can engage with website visitors more productively.
- Acquisition: how do your visitors find your website, is it through social media channels or paid ads if you’re running PPC , Google Search Console can show you the keywords visitors use to find your website
- Site Goals: how is the website’s performance measuring against business objectives, what are the KPI you have set to determine a successful campaign and what are the parameters that will determine how you scale your business
Plus, many more reports largely based on website visits.
Sometimes traffic and behaviour reports are not enough to understand why maybe with all the work you have done on SEO or the exceptional bit of Content Marketing you are still ranking no where near the first page on your keyword searches.
How do you fix start, well for start it could be something so simple but proving very costly as it is affecting your site and most probably your business KPI’s?
Unfortunately, it is and as well as other technical issues like how responsive your website is, meaning is the User Experience as positive on a mobile device as it is on a tablet or on a desktop. All these issues can be a factor in ranking lower in search engines.
Thankfully, there are tools available some free and some paid that can give you a complete diagnostic report on your website’s performance beyond visitor count and time spent on your site.
Such tools like SEMrush we at Carisbrook Digital have found to be invaluable as we can leverage a heck of a lot more useful data, that if applied correctly can sometimes be more cost effective than using paid advertising.
Google analytics and other similar traffic reporting tools are extremely useful and should always be used alongside all your marketing campaigns and social media because they do provide immediate feedback of what might be working or what might not be.
The four inter-linking methods of analysis
Should those reports be in conclusive somehow then using a 3rd party tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs can also give you valuable insights into competitors, industry and market performance which cannot be ignored in any marketing campaign.
Making sense of all this relevant and priceless data can sometimes seem too an awesome task when combined with your daily tasks of trying to run or perform in a successful business.
We at Carisbrook Digital have a proven track record of helping businesses with their marketing campaigns by providing a digital strategy that has been exhaustively researched using all resources available to us, to give you the data you require to keep your business ahead.