Gathering SEO data is important, but what’s even more important is what you actually do with the data. Having access to SEO data is meaningless if you don’t know how to analyze it and turn it into actionable insights that inform your future marketing strategies.
An actionable insight is a finding that results from analyzing your SEO data that suggests taking a certain action. Here’s an example of raw data vs. an actionable insight:
Raw data: X keyword has a CTR of .8%
Actionable insight: A specific keyword/page combination is getting impressions, but people aren’t clicking on this SERP. Check that the keyword/page combination is relevant, and update your meta title and description to make the link more “clickable”.
Transforming raw data into actionable insights involves analyzing it, drawing conclusions from it, and using it to make informed decisions. Follow these steps to turn your SEO data into meaningful, actionable insights:
Monitor the Right Metrics
You can’t turn data into actionable insights if you aren’t monitoring the right SEO metrics. There are many different SEO metrics, including:
- Organic traffic
- Keyword ranking
- Click-through rate
- Bounce rate
- Conversion rate
- User sessions
- Average time per session
- Pages per session
If you aren’t monitoring all of these SEO metrics, your data might not tell the full story, which will make it difficult to come up with actionable insights.
For example, say you are only monitoring your impressions. The data may reveal that your impressions are increasing, which means more users are seeing your website link in their search results.
But this metric doesn’t paint the full picture. It does not tell you how many people are actually clicking on your link when they see it in the search results. You may not realize that your campaign is not actually driving people back to your website unless you look at other metrics such as traffic or click-through rate.
This is just one example of why monitoring the right metrics is so crucial to turning data into actionable insights.
Use Clear Visuals
The way in which you view your data will make a huge difference in your ability to interpret it. For example, it’s not easy to analyze and interpret raw data in a spreadsheet. However, it’s much easier to make sense of data presented in a colorful chart or table with clear headings.
Take the time to convert your raw data into graphs, charts, and tables before you dive in and start analyzing it.
Add Context to Data
Perhaps the most important step in transforming data into actionable insights is adding context, or in other words, giving meaning to the data. Here’s what to do:
- Connect the dots. Don’t look at each metric on its own–look at all of the metrics together. A high number of impressions on its own may seem like a good thing, but if your click-through rate is low, this means users aren’t choosing to click on your link in the search results.
- Think about what happened. Did something that was out of your control impact your SEO metrics? For example, a Google algorithm update may impact your website. Other events such as major news stories on your company may also impact your data. Figure out what was happening to add context to your data.
- Ask who, what, when, where, and why. Who does this data represent? What can you observe from this data? When did these actions occur? Where or on what pages did these actions take place? Why did this happen?
You should start to see the full picture once you add context to your data. The next step is creating hypotheses, which are potential solutions to the problems you’ve identified in your SEO data.
The three components of a hypothesis are observation, execution, and outcome. Here’s an example:
- Observation: Your impressions are increasing at a steady rate, but your click-through rate is shrinking. This tells you that a growing number of users are seeing your link in the search results, but not many are finding it relevant or interesting enough to click on. You realize that this could be because your page title and meta description are not effective.
- Execution: You decide to update your page title and meta description to add more details and appeal to a higher percentage of users.
- Outcome: This should make more users click on your link in the search results, which will lead to an increase in click-through rate and traffic.
The only way to find out if your hypothesis is correct is by testing it. To do this, you must follow through with your proposed action. In this example, the proposed action is updating the page title and meta description.
Then, continue to monitor your site’s SEO data. Compare pre-experiment and post-experiment SEO metrics to see how they changed. Did your click-through rate and traffic increase as expected? Did changing the meta description and title impact any other metrics?
If your click-through rate and traffic did increase, this means you were right to hypothesize that there was an issue with your page title and meta description. But if this change did not impact your click-through rate or traffic, you need to go back to the drawing board to come up with other possible solutions.
Use the Right Tools
Having the right tools can make it much easier to gather and analyze data, especially if you are monitoring SEO results for multiple sites or clients. The best tool for converting data into actionable insights is Gryffin.
This tool pulls data directly from Google Analytics and Google Search Console and presents it in easy-to-read dashboards, charts, and tables. You won’t have to spend hours digging for the data you need to create actionable insights. All of this data will be available to you at a glance.
After analyzing your data, use Gryffin to take action by assigning tasks to your team members. Check your dashboard to monitor the status of these tasks to ensure they are finished on time.
You can even use Gryffin to test your hypotheses by performing SEO experiments. This feature allows you to quickly compare SEO metrics before and after a specific change was made to a site. Looking at these results will tell you whether your hypothesis was correct.
Learn more about how Gryffin can help by starting your free 14-day trial today.