How Big Data Affects SEO Strategy

Angela Conn - Monday, December, 17, 2018

By Amanda Peterson, Enlightened Digital

Big data has a major influence on the way the world operates. For many businesses, big data has become a crucial technological tool, granting those who utilize it, access to patterns, trends and data-driven insights. Such a wide scope of data can be extremely useful across a range of industries, which is why many businesses are finding ways to take advantage of it.

As technology has opened up new ways for businesses to reach, understand, and communicate with their target audience, SEO marketing has changed significantly. Because big data has created a flood of information that is now is available to marketers, companies can assess their strategy in new and exciting ways. Marketing teams working in SEO now work closely with technical professionals to integrate big data into the online marketing mix.

It’s evident that SEO and big data will forever be intertwined, if for no other reason that Google is the original and largest big data organization in the world.  As SEO expert Jiyan Wei explains, “They have become the institution they are today by analyzing enormous sets of data, making automated inferences, and providing intelligence back to consumers. By studying Google’s methodology and applying their findings, search professionals have been intimately involved with big data for quite some time.”

With SEO professionals continuously combating for the top spot in search engine results pages, big data will prove to be a critical component in SEO strategy. If you’ve yet to realize big data’s impact on your business— keep reading.

What is Big Data?

Data in itself isn’t new, but the amount of data created since the beginning of the digital age has transformed the way we utilize it. In fact, studies have predicted that the vast majority of data today was created in just the past two years.

“Big Data” refers to this rapidly expanding and often unstructured sets of information that’s compiled daily from online activity like checking social media, streaming music and television, and shopping online. It’s what makes the growing amount of content on the internet decipherable. Though the internet is nothing more than a confusing collection of code, big data allows it to become neatly organized in a systematic fashion. Today’s advances in data storage and analytics mean that businesses can capture, store and assess many types of data, including photos, videos, audio recordings, written text and sensor data.

The greatest benefit of big data doesn’t rely on how much data you have, but what you can do with it. Decisions supported by massive amounts of data enable businesses to anticipate needs, mitigate risk, deliver more relevant products and personalized services. From beginning to end of the decision-making process, big data ensures that all decisions are well-informed.

How Big Data Can Influence Your SEO Strategy

If you’re looking to improve your SEO strategy, you must first look at big data and how it interacts with search engine algorithms and optimization. Here are some of the ways big data and SEO can work together and produce significant business results.

Improve Competitive Analysis

Thanks to a number of tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and SEMRush, SEO professionals can determine which keywords perform best, how competitors are ranking, and where there’s room for improvement. These tools, which supply trends and rankings powered by big data, allow marketing teams to tackle SEO with objective data.

With these tools, SEO professionals can filter by particular themes, estimate search volumes and level of competition for specific phrases. Understanding the intent of a user’s search query helps interpret large volumes of data and deliver meaningful insight which can be applied to marketing strategy.

More Precise Analytics

While many businesses rely on metrics such as page views, likes and sessions to determine the value of their online content, this isn’t always the most reliable and insightful source of data. In addition, these “vanity metrics” don’t accurately measure the needs of an audience or customers, nor gauge the relevance of a specific piece of content.

As companies gather more information about how, when, where, and what their customers are engaging with SEO marketers can determine why content is valuable to specific demographics. The more tailored content is for a particular audience, the more likely it will be to engage and convert customers.

Better User Experience

Big data enables marketers to make better decisions and align their campaigns with the needs of their audience. Marketers can use trend graphs or other data visualizations to help identify pain points, exit traps and buyer preferences in content.

Catering to the needs of users allows SEO professionals to create content that ranks at the top of the search results page because of relevancy and uniqueness, rather than just following a set of formulas. Creating content that best serves user need is a much more sustainable approach to SEO than previous methods.

Big data is proving to be a driving force behind tactics used by marketers to find new and innovative ways to reach their target audience. Not only can it improve efficiency and provide data-fueled insights, but is essential in building an effective SEO strategy.

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