Contrary to what you may have heard, SEO is not dead—but the one-size-fits-all approach probably is. This is because search engine behaviors themselves are changing, all as the advancement of machine learning and AI are making the search experience more personal. These changes enable more sophisticated search features such as voice search and visual search—all of which has completely upended the search arena.
Why Data is the Future
But what does all of this mean for the future of SEO? For one thing, it reiterates the importance of data. SEO professionals can no longer lean on tried-and-true strategies to generate across-the-board results. Instead, they have to tailor their approach, coming to each new campaign and project armed with specific data from which they can extrapolate, drawing meaningful conclusions.
The upshot? If you want to become a skilled SEO expert, it’s not enough to read blogs and go to conferences that promise the latest optimization “secrets.” Instead, I’d recommend becoming skilled in data collection and analysis—because these are really the skillsets that will mark the future of SEO.
The Best Tools for Data Collection
A good place to start is simply familiarizing yourself with some of the most effective data tools. There are a number of good ones out there, including both paid and free options. Some that I recommend include:
Google Webmaster Tools. Long the gold standard in free SEO tools, Google’s offering remains an essential avenue for assessing your website, interrogating traffic patterns, and more. Every SEO should become familiar with this tool!
SEMRush. Another tool that you can get for free, SEMRush has a number of SEO functions built in—and the one we can recommend most heartily is the keyword research tool.
HubSpot. HubSpot has a lot of tools you can try, but the one we want to highlight today is the Website Grader, which can help you to identify both strengths and vulnerabilities of your current website, all from an SEO point of view.
Moz Pro. When it comes to paid/subscription tools for website analysis, there’s none we recommend more fully than Moz.
DeepCrawl. We use DeepCrawl for a number of functions, including competitor analysis and backlink tracking. As a bonus, you can integrate this with Google Analytics as well as Google Search Console.
Data Enables Effective SEO
Here at Sefati Digital, we have long believed that data paves the way to a truly robust and custom approach to SEO—and as such, we’re on board with the industry’s increasingly data-centric direction.
If you’re looking for a search marketing agency that sees the big picture, and always takes a data- and analytic-driven approach, we invite you to reach out to us today. Contact Sefati Digital and ask us about our expertise in data-backed SEO!