Mastering SEO Rankings with Analytics Data

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After reading this post you won’t be able to “Master Search Engine Rankings” … However, with some simple guidelines, you can create an effective plan to put your analytics data to work for you. Before I jump on my soapbox and start preaching the gospel of SEO, I want to state for the record that there isn’t one absolute way to plan out an SEO strategy.To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever taken the same exact approach for any web site I’ve worked on … and I’ve worked on quite a few over the years.

Analytics is to SEO as Grapes are to Wine

When I was in college I waited tables at a really exclusive restaurant because … well, I could make decent money if I could sell steak and wine. Every day we would have lessons from an in-house sommelier that would instruct us about all the different features of whatever wine they had to offer. I really didn’t know much about wine so I tried to get this guy to tell me everything he knew. So, I asked, “What do I need to know to sell the best wines?” and he said … “It’s grape juice … just tell the customers what’s it tastes like …” That made it ridiculously easy to look at wine as nothing more than … sour grapes … my wine sales soared after that … The point is … SEO Analytics are not mysterious, esoteric and complicated. People are though … and many SEO’s and web masters don’t really “get the point” to having analytics data.

SEO Analytics Data Looks So Good

Forbidden Girl

GrapesI hate to be a buzz kill but in my book there really isn’t anything exciting about … data. Maybe if some hot naked blonde was presenting it to me … I might be a bit more interested … but that doesn’t happen … everyday. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some great software applications that display visual depictions of rankings, conversions, click-patterns, visitor trending and heat maps, in uber cool Flash and Flex applications or snazzy charting and graphics, but the only thing these visuals are representing is data. That’s it.

Analysis Paralysis is Not Good

When I first started in SEO I was working for a company with a fairly large base of resources and tools at my disposal to research, review, study and learn all about the SEO field. That wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Though I have a voracious appetite for knowledge … I found that after a while I wasn’t being all that effective with all of this stuff I learned. ConfusedI had to keep what I could use everyday and leave the rest for later. So, that got me looking in to some GTD solutions … more stuff to learn … but, this time the learning was definitely worth it.

Research » Plan » Execute

That’s it. This is my big secret to mastering search engine rankings … It’s that simple. Please note that I said simple … not easy. If you want your analytics data to work for you … you need to know what metrics are important to you, and which one’s are not. Since I do SEO work mostly in the services sector, most of my clients are interested in generating business leads. Based on that, the most important metric for me to measure is the value of a new client for my clients. Once I have that figured, I move in to action by setting up goals and objectives. SEO Analytics data is simply the information required to create … A Plan. Once I know the key performance indicators for my campaigns, I set up a plan to either increase or maintain the positive aspects and reduce the threats and liabilities. As soon as I forge a solid plan of action … I execute. After I execute … I go back to the analytics data, do my research, come up with another plan and execute again. Guess what I do next.

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Edward J. Beckett is a passionate software engineer, web developer, server administrator and polyglot programmer with nearly a decade experience building desktop and web applications ranging from simple personal web sites to enterprise level applications on many technology stacks including Java, Java EE, Spring, Spring MVC, Spring Data, Hibernate, SQL, JPA, JMS, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, ColdFusion, PHP, Node.js and more...