Creating a problem-solving SEO strategy

15 July 2015

As search engine optimisers, we deal with a lot of data. The insights we get from the analytics and tests we carry out can make a significant difference to how a business manages its online presence, yet it’s easy to drown in the data and forget that others, outside of our specialism, do not know how to apply it to a brand’s ongoing activities.

Do you want to be the SEO who seems to speak in tongues to non-experts? Or the SEO who makes their specialist knowledge applicable to marketing, sales, content and management teams?

If your non-techy colleagues’ eyes glaze over when you are asked for your input, there is a simple way to make your speciality more accessible to others…

Interpret and filter

If someone asks you about visitor numbers, are they looking for an Excel spreadsheet full of bounce rates and unique hits, or do they want to be told that, last month, you beat the previous year’s site visitors by an additional 120,000?

The answer to that question depends on who asks it, but be prepared to filter through the masses of data you possess and analyse it for people who need a quick overview, or who simply want to know whether their latest advertising or social-media campaign made a noticeable impact.

While you probably create data-rich reports for all key stakeholders, don’t assume that they are all studied and fully understood. In addition, the reports you produce may not address all the questions that other teams want answers to.

Clear communication between departments will help everybody, so find out what the key concerns of other managers and teams are.

  • Does the marketing department want to know which of its blog posts got the most hits or social shares? Your data could help them to understand what is resonating with the audience, and produce more of it.
  • Do the sales teams need to know which products on the site are getting a lot of views and search-engine attention but aren’t making sales? Your stats could help them to focus on improving the sales copy for low-converting items.
  • Does your web-design team want to know the difference in bounce rates or conversions since a recent website update? Your knowledge could help them to perfect a site design that really performs.
  • Is your content team looking for information on which keywords, phrases and topics they should focus on? Your data can help you to establish which topics could benefit from extra attention.

SEOs may enjoy nothing more than getting into in-depth spreadsheets full of facts and figures, but many of their colleagues find these overwhelming and inaccessible. By considering this position as not only an optimiser and an analyst but also an interpreter of this data, the role of the SEO becomes less opaque, and the benefits to the business can be significant.