You know that healthy traffic to your website is good for your business, and you know that a well developed SEO strategy increases traffic to your website. But how do you know if your SEO strategy is good or bad?
Base your SEO strategy on data, not on tips and tricks that you see randomly on the web.
SEO tips and tricks
Basing your SEO strategy on random tips and tricks you discover on the internet isn’t a wise decision. Tricks can get you in trouble and generic tips might not actually benefit your website.
Tricks are things that sound good, but are actually bad. That’s because tricks can get your website in some serious trouble. Gaming the system will bite you, often in the form of penalties that cause a massive plummet in traffic to your site. If you hear someone talking about SEO hacks or tricks to improve your SEO, you should start backing away slowly.
Tips aren’t bad in the same way that tricks are, but they’re not always good either. There are some good general practice tips that should be implemented in most SEO strategies, but your entire strategy shouldn’t be based on useful tidbits of advice.
Most tips you find online offer general information, and that information doesn’t necessarily apply to your business or website. For example, we’ve recently heard that every page on your website needs 3,000 words and that drop down menus are no good. These are random tips that might be good advice for someone, but they’re not statements that are true for all websites. You could implement dozens of these random tips and still have no useful strategy. In other words, be critical of SEO tips and make sure that they make sense for your website.
The main reason that you shouldn’t base your SEO strategy on tips and tricks is because you’ll be missing a key part of a well developed SEO plan. You’re missing the data.
Data driven SEO is the best strategy
Data gives you something tangible to work with. You’re not guessing and assuming, or simply parroting a strategy that worked for a firm that sells upscale apartments to millennials when your business sells chicken feed to rural farmers.
A data driven SEO strategy allows you to make decisions based on real results that actually relate to your website.
That’s not to say that 100% of your decision making has to be based on data-supported evidence. If you have a gut feeling about something, it’s OK to try it out. Just make sure that you have a method in place to collect the results. Use the information to shape your strategy and make decisions in the future.
Be sure to use first, second, and third party data when that information is useful for your website.
First party data is your own information, like that collected from Google analytics. Second party data is shared direct data, and third party data is aggregated data.
There are many different data points that could be useful for your data driven SEO strategy.
- User demographics such as age, gender, or profession.
- What other interests do your users have?
- Are they in the same town or city? Are they in a different country?
- How do users engage with your website? What brings them to your site, and what pages do they visit?
- What languages visit your site, and do you accommodate those languages?
- Do users visit your site through mobile devices or desktop?
- Which pages are most popular?
Implementing your strategy
Enjoy Rebecca’s WordCamp presentation for more details and lots of answers to questions from website owners like you.
SEO is an on-going process. You can’t just put the pieces in place and forget about them — even if they’re good pieces supported by data. You have to keep up with the data and make changes and adjustments based on the facts. We can help. Contact Haden Interactive for SEO services.