We create gigantic amounts of online data every day.
For example, did you know that we publish 69 million photos, send 223 million emails, perform 5.5 billion Google searches, and view 5.9 billion videos?
Believe it or not, that’s 5,053,000,000 GB of internet traffic or 2.5 quintillion bytes created each day.
When put in this context, it’s not surprising that online data is expected to reach 163 zettabytes by 2025.
This is exactly what big data stands for. It’s an umbrella term for all those types of data created daily. However, the amount of data we create is not what really matters right now. What’s really important is how businesses are collecting, analyzing, and using this information to make more strategic decisions and understand customer behaviors.
Big data has already disrupted different industries, providing us with better insights into our markets and helping us make wiser business moves.
One of these fields is definitely SEO.
No matter if you’re an agency working with multiple clients or a small business with an in-house SEO team, here is how big data can give your SEO efforts a boost.
Online Content is Data
The content we publish can be defined as the information published online. However, as the greatest curator of big data, Google has changed the way we observe content. Namely, by looking at online content as quantifiable pieces of data, the search engine is able to analyze it easily, understand the context behind it, and deliver relevant results to its searchers.
Precisely because of that, search results have become more structured and logical. Today, Google doesn’t consider only keywords when ranking sites. It observes its context and semantic side of content, as well. This has further led to the development of rich snippets, local search packs, local knowledge panels, answer boxes, and similar elements in the SERPs that offer more value to online users.
And, as an SEO specialist, you need to keep pace with Google’s data analysis improvements.
Let’s take an example of keyword research, as it is the basis of your SEO strategy.
In the past, it was enough for you to use keyword research tools to find the most popular keywords with the largest search volume and optimize your content for them. Today, this is not enough. According to OMG Digital Marketing Company, to rank high and appear in front of the right users, you need to build your keyword research formula around search intent.
In other words, you need to use multiple sources of information, from Google’s answer boxes, autosuggest, and “People Also Search for” to Q&A sites and social networks to collect and analyze customer data. Your goal is to monitor their needs, problems, and behaviors in order to understand what kind of results they expect to see when googling something.
Keyword research also depends on the devices people use when conducting searches. For instance, we use sweet and short keywords to save time when conducting desktop searches. On the other hand, mobile searchers are turning to voice search, using entire sentences and even questions when interacting with search engines.
This has made keyword research more complex. Only by collecting massive user data from different resources will you be able to understand the correlation between the things they search and the results search engines show them.
More Precise Data Analysis and Deeper SEO Insights
One of the most beautiful things about SEO is that none of its aspects can be measured and observed in a vacuum.
For example, the technical issues or the quality of content on your site directly impact user satisfaction. Poor user experiences result in low engagement and conversion rates, telling Google that your site is not quality or relevant enough. Consequently, your rankings and overall online performance will suffer, too.
I’ve already mentioned that search engines are observing online content as quantifiable pieces of data. This makes it easier than ever for digital marketers to collect comprehensive insights into their online performance and customer behaviors. With the help of numerous analytics tools, you can now observe different aspects of your organic presence, from keyword rankings and backlinks to conversions, and use this information to fuel your SEO efforts and enhance user experiences.
Above all, you don’t have to use each SEO tool separately. Instead, you can use reporting software to combine the features from different tools and observe your online data from one, comprehensive dashboard.
This cross-channel approach to customer data and SEO lets you look at the big picture, identify the main problems in your strategy, and align your marketing, branding, and sales tactics to gain better results.
Social Networks Behave like Search Engines
Remember how the online sphere worked before Google? Back then, we used early search engines like Infoseek to find the desired information. Then, Google appeared, changing the digital marketing game forever.
However, with the rise of mobile searches and social networks, organic search has changed once again. Even though search engines are still the major source of organic traffic, they’re far from being the only one.
Today, searchers use different channels, such as social networks to perform search queries and find the desired information. In other words, every online platform with a search functionality behaves like an independent search engine.
If you look at the stats, you’ll learn that Facebook has over 2.32 billion users, followed by Instagram that stands at 1 billion active users. Twitter has more than 321 million daily users, while YouTube has 149 million active monthly viewers.
Given these figures, it’s obvious that the content people share on these platforms, as well as their conversations and searches, have become a true gold mine of big data. This is something Google cannot afford to ignore. As a result, social signals are becoming a significant ranking factor.
For you as an SEO marketer, this means investing more effort in building a solid social media presence, as well as collecting valuable customer information on these platforms. Listen to their conversations, track your and your competitors’ brand mentions, observe their searches on their platforms, monitor chat conversations to understand what their major pain points are. Only this way will you be able to tailor your SEO tactics to their needs and strengthen your organic rankings.
Big Data Offers Context to Online Marketers
Big data is revolutionizing online marketing once again, making it easier for search engines to analyze online content and provide their customers with relevant answers to their queries. For you as a digital marketer, this means more opportunities to understand your online performance, learn more about your customers, and build meaningful, cross-channel relationships with them.
And, with the continuous rise of digital marketing technologies, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, the role of big data will only become a fundamental part of your SEO strategy.