Alt data lessons every Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialist should know

Alt data lessons every Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialist should know

This article helps you uncover the data sets that have been overlooked by mainstream marketers. When you begin making user-generated decisions, audience preferences and pressure points become more apparent.

In this article we will discuss:

Which alternative data sets should be collected in order to take your SEO strategy to the next level ?

Here are 3 of the top ways leading agencies are leveraging alt data to stay ahead of the game:

One: Search engine advertising data 

As many of you may know, not all search engine results are organic, in fact many search engine results especially at the top of a search are actually ‘paid’ or ‘sponsored’. By collecting data on these sponsored ‘search engine advertisements’ you will be able to see where your competition has identified an opportunity and is willing to pay to be promoted for these phrases. This may lead you to a copy-cat approach or actually help steer you away from what they are doing so that you can gain market share with different/unique audiences. 

Two: Location data 

Another alt data set which can be extremely useful is the location of people using search engines to search for information or products for sale. If for example you have a list of keywords, you may want to clearly identify the relevance of these keywords in terms of geolocation. You can then find a correlation between a certain KW and audience and decide to target said audience based on whether or not you provide services in that geography. This data set can be useful both for individual companies who are building an SEO strategy as well as backend SEO tools. 

Three: Finding competitive content gaps 

More often than not companies are overly focused on keyword research and ranking that they forget about the actual content. But search engines crawl a piece in its entirety. Yes, the header and subheaders are crawled and indexed based on a descending hierarchy but that is only one part of the puzzle. In this context you should consider trying to find content gaps so that you can compete for consumer attention in previously unrealized areas of interest. This may entail collecting alt data sets such as H1/h2/h3 titles and subtitles in the area you are trying to target so that you can get a clearer idea of what you need to create, something that may not be apparent from a keyword or H1 title alone. 

The alt data-SEO alliance

Many marketers are dead-focused on search engine algorithm behaviour, keyword trends, and other search engine-centric metrics. Alternative data helps marketers take a broader approach which takes into account things like social/consumer discourse, and competitor activity data. Marketers taking this approach, which recognizes how versatile search engine indexing crawlers truly are, will be able to achieve above average Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). They will be able to much more easily hone their messaging to consumer wants while simultaneously identifying new opportunities. 

Summing it up

Agency or in-house marketing specialist – whichever you are, alternative data can provide you with more user-centric customer profile identifiers. You can answer questions such as ‘where do my customers like to hang out in cyberspace?’, ‘What content is valuable enough to capture their interest, time, and imagination?’, and ‘What are my competitors doing now, and how can I react to that’.

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