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These days, marketers have access to powerful competitive research tools that reveal almost everything about competitors’ marketing tactics: what search keywords they focus on, how they build links, and even how much traffic they are able to generate.

The bad news is there’s an opposite side of that coin: your competitors have the same amount of insight.

In other words, you and your competitors are operating based on the publicly available data, which makes it even tougher to succeed.

As we all know, a smart approach to content marketing is a data-driven approach. Yet, the smartest approach to marketing is to prioritize your own data —something no one else has.

Instead of going after your competitors and trying to emulate their success, use your own data and let them follow your footsteps.

Here are five types of internal data that will help you create a unique, effective SEO and content marketing strategy that puts you ahead of your competition.

1. Create an effective dashboard to consolidate different data points

I am a self-proclaimed control freak, so the first step in setting up any strategy is always getting organized.

If you are a marketer dealing with large websites (or many large websites), as well as numerous paid and social channels for promoting your owned media assets and sales touchpoints, it is important to aggregate multiple data sources to capture unique patterns and insights.

However, the more data you have, the harder it is to make sense of it. This is where AI-enhanced business intelligence solutions like Sisense come into play, allowing marketers to consolidate, visualize, analyze and report on data from multiple sources.

Sisense dashbaord

Sonsolidate, visualize, analyze and report on data from multiple sources with solutions like Sisense.

In addition, Sisense allows you to create your own custom data reporting apps that you can embed as analytics dashboards and interactive reports for internal use — or even as part of the value you offer to external stakeholders.

Once you create your dashboard, decide what kind of data you should be monitoring in order to create a better performing content marketing strategy.

Here’s where you can start…

2. Update your best-converting content

In most cases, around 20%-30% of any website’s content is responsible for 70%-80% of its traffic.

And that is ok.

Generally speaking, it may be wiser to get your best-performing content perform to perform even better than fruitlessly trying to get your weaker content to start delivering results.

At the very least, optimizing your best-performing content is actually the the lower-hanging opportunity not to miss.

Finteza is a web analytics suite with a strong focus on conversion monitoring. You can set up multiple events you want to be tracked on your site to evaluate your content performance. Finteza helps you identify content that does the best job converting your readers into buyers or subscribers.

  • Select your primary event you want tracked on your page.
  • Click the “Pages” report, which will be sorted based on how well it converts your site visitors.
Finteza

With Finteza, you can see the page that do the best job converting your site visitors—these are the pages you want to focus on ranking higher.

3. Monitor your site internal search

While your Google rankings are publicly known (thanks to all the smart competitive intelligence tools out there), your internal site search is your own data source no one else has access to.

And yet, it is one of the most under-utilized data sources out there, with few publishers paying attention to what their readers are searching for.

Your internal site search is like a map of everything your target audience wants and whether your site satisfies their needs, especially if you are using the right tools.

Google Analytics offers a robust on-site search analytics option which also comes for free. There are also a variety of WordPress plugins that enhance your site search functionality as well as reporting on what is being searched and how the search results seem to satisfy the site users.

Internal Site Search: Google Analytics

Screenshot source: Internal Site Search Optimization: Best Practices for Your Site (which is also a great guide to bookmark)

4. Re-optimize for your most clicked keywords

Approximately half of Google’s search results are comprehensive and interactive enough for users never to click elsewhere. In other words, Google’s SERPs are sending fewer and fewer clicks to publishers.

Yet, Google remains the most effective traffic source out there. According to various case studies, organic search optimization can bring about a massive increase in ROI. ClickMatix, an Internet Marketing agency based in Melbourne, cites an average of 30% increase in revenue and up to 150% increase in conversions within about 6 months after implementing a SEO strategy.

Your SEO strategy should be all about targeting rankings that send clicks.

This means that not all rankings are worth fighting for.

But how do we know if a particular search query is going to generate traffic until we actually get our page to rank there?

The first step is to take publicly available data into account (search volume and more). The next step is to review SERPs prior to optimizing for them. In many cases, as a searcher, you can tell whether another user would feel compelled to scroll down and click organic listings. For example, in the case below, the need to scroll beyond the first image results is very slim.

clickable search results example

There’s no need to scroll beyond this view.

But your most reliable source of data is — again — yours.

Google’s Search Console allows you to identify search queries that send you clicks — even when your page isn’t normally ranking #1. These are rankings you want to rank higher for. If you are getting clicks when you rank #3 or lower, rest assured the traffic will be much better when you rank #1-#2.

Google Search Console example

Look at your keywords with the highest click-through rates in Google Search Console, and identify the search queries that send you clicks, even when your page isn’t at position #1.

5. Create content to address your branded search queries

Finally, check to see how your future and current customers are searching for your own brand — this will gives you a lot of insight into how they perceive it.

Are searchers having trouble navigating your site or finding some particular information? Do they search for reviews? Are there any negative terms (scam, bad, etc.) that happen to be searched alongside your brand?

Again, Google’s Search Console gives you access to that data. Make sure to use “Query” filter to narrow search queries to those including your brand name.

Branded Search Queries example

In Google Search Console, filter by query and review your branded search queries.

Conclusion

These days, content marketers have access to more data than they care to use, which is unfortunate because knowing which data to use and how to use may put you ahead of your competition. Hopefully, the tools and ideas above will get you started!



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