What is SEO Data & How to Use It

What is SEO Data?

SEO data refers to information about all search engine result pages, rankings, keywords and backlink profiles. Many years ago, when marketers realised the power of search engine optimisation they quickly learned how to use keywords to their advantage. Since then search engines have been developing their algorithms in order to keep providing their users with relevant search results of high quality.

While search engines aim to please their users, the quality of content online has been steadily increasing. Studying and understanding the leading search results for a given keyword can mean the world when you are entering the competition. SEO data enables you to study your competitors, make strategic decisions, and find technical pain points in your online presence.

How to use SEO Data and for what use cases?

SEO has become one of the most important marketing tools across industries worldwide. Marketers in millions of organisations are optimising their websites in the hope of getting ranked number one on Google’s search results. To be more specific, the use cases range from simple keyword research to strategic marketing decisions and competitor analysis.

Using SEO data in your keyword research will give you insights that help you identify the right keywords faster. Data can help you indicate the level of popularity or competition for a given keyword.

Getting the keywords out there is only a part of the work. When you focus on improving your rankings for a chosen keyword, SEO ranking API’s can help keep track of your progress and make adjustments accordingly.

Using data can help you understand your competition. Analysing your competition will help you identify gaps in keywords and backlink opportunities which you can use to keep along the competition.

Many SEO data providers offer complete services where they scrape your site for technical on page issues. All data collected on your page is then benchmarked against similar data points from your competitors. E.g you can compare metrics such as keyword density and content length.

You can use keyword data to find new keywords that you didn’t even think of. Data providers have built their intelligence based on information from millions of sources online. They see patterns and understand how words link to each other, even across topics. Some of them provide services which can suggest marketers new keywords ideas based on their previous content and competition.

We see articles pinpointing the importance of videos or Infographics this year. Use SEO data to validate these claims in your industry and for your product. Use SEO data to get granular in your research and make better strategic decisions.

What are the typical SEO Data attributes?

Typical attributes for this data type revolve around the major topics within the SEO space; SERP’s, Backlinks and Keywords.

SERP information
Insights on specific search result pages can include the current top ranking pages or even features (e.g snippets) a search engine is known to have for this set of keywords.

  • Top ranking pages
  • SERP Features

Backlink profile
As a part of your competitor analysis you can peek in to lists of backlinks your competitors have collected over time.

Keyword analytics
Analytics on keywords tell you whether a targeted keyword is likely to produce favourable ROI’s

  • Keyword Competition
  • Search volume
  • CPC (cost per click)
  • Impressions
  • CTR estimates

On page statistics
For a given keyword, insights about your page can be compared to competitors web presence.

  • Average number of characters, photos, videos, etc…
  • Keyword density
  • Title tag usage

How is SEO Data typically collected?

In order to feed their SEO API’s Data aggregators use different technologies to scrape raw data from various online sources. The aggregators are literally generating machine operated keyword research to extract raw data from the internet. This raw data is collected from other websites and the search engines themselves. Lastly, the datasets are then procured and matched against search engines’ newest algorithm updates to ensure the highest data quality.

How to assess the quality of SEO Data?

In order to evaluate data quality you will need to have some knowledge on your industry. Try to understand whether the data providers you are considering have the coverage of keywords that are relevant for your business.

Once you are sure they are able to cover your industry specific keywords, look into their API’s. How often do they offer updates on their databases? Faster update frequencies will provide you with data that is relevant today and make sure you don’t miss any opportunities once they occur.

The last, and essentially only way of getting absolute confirmation on dataset quality consists of testing the dataset with real use cases. You can try to ask your data provider to give you a free trial or a dataset to play around with before signing the deal.

How is SEO Data typically priced?

Due to the changing nature of online content, and the need for timely data that comes with it, most of the SEO data providers offer their services via license fee based API’s.

Other pricing models include:

  • Pay per usage (this gives more control over the spend and works better for smaller websites with fewer keywords to manage)
  • Customized - Many data providers offer also custom solutions based on their customers needs.

What are the common challenges when buying SEO Data?

There are two major issues we see often with SEO related datasets. Given the fact how dependent keywords often are on their industry, finding relevant and accurate data for a niche industry might turn out to be challenging to say the least.

The second issue has it origin in the ever-changing nature of the SEO space. Data buyers are having trouble making sure the datasets they buy are in line with the most recent algorithm updates search engines are pushing out multiple times a year.

What to ask SEO Data providers?

  • How can you promise a good coverage of keywords for my industry?
  • Do you offer a trial/testing period?
  • Can your API’s integrate with my current business technologies?
  • How do you stay on top of any search engine algorithm changes?
  • How often do you update your database?

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