Data blending is more than just a buzzword. Used effectively, it can be an incredibly powerful tool for search engine optimization. Here are a few ways you can leverage it.
Search engine optimization is about more than keywords, traffic, and metrics. With the advent of social media – with new advertising streams, new content consumption mediums, and new device formats – it’s grown more complicated than ever. I don’t believe it would be inaccurate to say that we are, all of us, awash in a sea of endless data.
There are some valuable insights to be gained from it if you know how to organize, contextualize, and how to look for connections between all the facts, figures, and metrics. Or, in other words, how to blend it.
Data blending is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s the process of taking data from multiple sources and consolidating it into a single dataset. Although complicated and – in many cases – somewhat difficult to pull off, it allows you to gain a whole new perspective on your SEO efforts.
By bringing together data from multiple sources, you assign greater context to each data-point. You find correlations and connections you might otherwise miss, and gain a deeper understanding of your web presence and digital brand. You can even, to some extent, use data blending for better keyword research.
Okay, so data blending is pretty powerful. How exactly can you leverage it for your blog? And more importantly, how can you do so in a way that’s intelligible to someone who doesn’t view data science as a hobby?
Through Google, actually.
Believe it or not, data blending has actually been available via Google Data Studio for a little under a year now. Through a network of integrated tools, Data Studio allows a webmaster to pull information from across a massive ecosystem and visualize it in many unique ways. It’s not limited to the things Google has direct visibility of, either.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter generally allow you to export data related to your business/brand. While it takes a bit of manual work, this data can be fed into Google and combined to create reports that show precisely how your audience interacts with your brand. The process works as follows.
- The data is created due to the actions of a customer.
- That data is collected by your monitoring tools – for example, Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.
- That data is compiled in Google Data Studio. Automatically in the case of anything related to your website, manually where social media is concerned.
- Reports from Google Data Studio help you understand bottlenecks in your marketing, issues with your website, and details about your audience.
Rather than sit here talking at you, it might be best if I give you a concrete example of what I’ve described above. For the purposes of this example, we’ll assume you’ve created a digital storefront to sell some stuff online.
- A customer views a Facebook ad about your brand. Instead of clicking on it, however, they search your business on Google.
- After searching you on Google, they access your site on their smartphone and read a few posts on your blog.
- Eventually, they visit your site again – this time on a desktop – and add a few products to your cart through your storefront.
Without data blending, each of these visits might be treated as separate instances. By combining information from across your ecosystem into a single report, however, you gain insight on not only how this customer interacted with your site, but also on the fact that your ad made an impression on them, even if they didn’t click it.
As explained by Search Engine Land, there are a ton of SEO insights you can gain here.
- Adding conversion or revenue data to your SEO reports
- The links and domains that are generating the most traffic for your blog.
- Optimal content length on your blog – which posts receive the most engagement? Which posts are shared most frequently on Facebook or Twitter?
- Which blog topics generate the most discussion on social.
- Figuring out where and why you’re losing traffic.
- Determining how your social media efforts are impacting web traffic.
- Potential issues with URLs on your website.
- Keywords people are using to search for you on social media, and search data for those keywords on Google.
Mind you, this is a fairly basic explanation, and the insights above are only a few of those that you can achieve through data blending. By combining and contextualizing your information, you’ll be able to learn more about your audience, your blog, and your brand. You’ll be able to make better, more intelligent decisions.
In short, you’ll improve more than SEO. You’ll enhance your content, your marketing, and much, much more.
About the Author
Daniel Page is the Director of Business Development for ASEOHosting, a leading provider in SEO hosting and multiple IP hosting.