First things first, Analytics and data do matter. In fact, Analytics can help you make conclusions and analyses that you wouldn’t be able to have found otherwise, so it’s an important part of creating an advanced online marketing strategy. Whether you’re thinking about content, paid search, design and usability, etc., Analytics play a big role. However, you don’t need them in order to have great SEO. Analytics are step two, but it’s important you get step one right first before burying yourself in data.
Steps to Successful SEO Without Analytics (with HigherVisibility Resources to Help)
Again, thinking about SEO without being in the context of Analytics is important so that you understand the fundamentals. Oftentimes we see businesses come to us with all sorts of data and information, but this is actually confusing them in the end. They don’t have the initial groundwork in place and solid enough to even begin trying to read Analytics. This is why it’s so important to first master SEO without any Analytics at all. They shouldn’t run your strategy.
Below are a few different ways you can improve your SEO without touching your Analytics or getting overwhelmed by data, along with a few HigherVisibility articles that can help you take each tip one step further:
Find trends by talking with as many customers as you can.
This could include sending out surveys through email campaigns, talking face-to-face in store, or even the new Twitter poll feature. By simply talking with customers you can start to get a feel for the type of content they’re looking for, what they’re searching for online and how they found you, and what they think needs improvement.
Put time and energy into researching competitor content.
The number one key to great SEO is content. Now this is an area where Analytics can definitely come in handy in telling you what content is popular and which content is falling flat, but you don’t need those official numbers to research new and relevant content. Check out what your competitor’s are writing, check out where your visitors are commenting, and spend some time thinking outside the box when coming up with different content types (video, infographic, interview, etc.) and ideas.
Use tools to check for spammy backlinks.
So this one is cheating a little bit because it does involve some data, but looking at your backlinks doesn’t necessarily help you make any conclusions about trends or visitor behavior. All this data will do is give you a list of all the links pointing back to your website. It’s up to you to determine what to do with them. Hint: Disavow the spammy links and connect with the websites that have been giving you good publicity through natural links.
Social media activity is a huge contributor to SEO success.
While it’s true that Google does not use social signals to rank your websites, social media is the way to build a community and improve visibility and reputation of your brand. The more people that are connecting with you and interacting with you on social media; the better the chance of earning those natural links. When spending less time on Analytics, you can spend more time really promoting your articles and your business on social media. Spend that time getting creative with contests, trying out new platforms like Quora or Medium, and really research influencers and try and make connections that way.
Spend your time keeping up with industry news.
When you’re not worrying about Analytics you’ll have more time to read the popular blogs and publications about your niche. This will help you stay up-to-date on the latest changes so that you don’t miss a beat. This can help make sure you’re taking advantage of every cutting-edge opportunity that might be out there, it can help you learn more about your industry in general, and it can help give you more content ideas that are relevant to your audience.
Keep up with website maintenance and updates.
Last but not least, something that may seem obvious is the importance of updating your website and keeping it fresh. Believe it or not, we see a lot of companies with an excellent handle on the Analytics from their content and landing page data, but they’re missing basic user experience features including webpage load time, navigation, and overall design. Before you start bothering with Analytics, you need to make sure that users are able to see all of your pages and that your website architecture isn’t too confusing.
For even more information about SEO without Analytics, check out this article we wrote on Entrepreneur a few years ago that still rings true today.
What do you think about SEO without Analytics? Do you think this is an important framework to set before diving into different data points? Let us know your thoughts and what works for you in the comment section below.