What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is an analytics-based, online strategy to increase the placement of where your website/content shows up in a search engine as well as increase traffic to your website. So as a Data Scientist…er…MechieDataist…. data is a big deal to me.
Why does this matter?
The next time you go to the store, take note of which products are on top, middle and bottom shelves. If your grocery store is anything like mine, you will notice that most often products are sold out in the eye-level shelves. That’s because “eye-level is buy level“. If you were a popular grocery store, your search result spot would be equivalent to which shelf your company’s product is placed on. For example, when you search for “cookie monster” in Google the “eye-level” shelf for our Cookie Monster search term appears to be Wikipedia and then spot #2 belongs to a YouTube video of him.
“The Spider” – Web-Crawling
SEO is not only about where our product is placed on any given search, it also involves how Google created those results in the first place. If you want to see more about how “Spidering” works on the internet, check out my post about it.
Web-crawling is important to understand when talking about SEO. Companies such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have developed online robots that access a website, read its words, store copies of pictures, categorize content topics and assign your website a “score”. SEO is the strategy related to increasing that score as created by the different search engine providers. Google’s PageRank algorithm is just one of 200 different factors considered when someone enters a query on their website.
Website Analytics and Why They Matter
There isn’t just one data-point that matters when it comes to SEO. Here is a list of top 10 items to look for:
- Traffic – number of sessions, how many new users, etc
- Bounce Rate – the people you lose after they come to your website
- Session Time – how long the average user stays at your webpage
- Pages per Session – how many pages the user clicks through on your website
- Conversion – usually related to revenue. (i.e. X clicks / $ revenue generated)
- Landing Pages – your blog’s most popular topic
- Search Visibility – Googlebot
- Ranking Spread – are searches stemming from organic growth
- Rankings and Keywords – the key words that generate the most clicks to your site
- Link Metrics – are other websites posting links to your website? This is important to increase PageRank
- Commentary – what about your website page increased views
- Trends – are users growing organically, do they like a specific topic of your blog posts?
SEO Expectations Relating to a Programming Blog
Any programmer will tell you that their best friends are Google and StackOverflow. These two websites help answer just about any question a programmer could have. Our consumer base is also the 7% of the community that will click through to page 2 of Google search results if they can’t find a satisfactory answer to their coding woes. The SEO focus of a programmer’s blog would be heavy on search visibility to start. Visibility could also increase if the blogger started posting links to their blog on Social Media websites to create organic growth.
Rankings and Keywords
Perhaps after we start generating some page-views we can buy some keywords from Google Ad-words. Google Ad-words is a service where you can sign your website up to be associated to certain search terms. Our blog is about Automation so keywords such as automate, how to automate, and python could be suitable. When any of our keywords are used, Google displays an ad at the top of the search results where people can click through to your website.
The best indicator of organic growth is whether or not other websites are posting links that point to your blog. The more websites that post a link to your blog increase the “canonical” value of your content. This is hard to do when you look at a programmer’s blog market. According to a quick Google search, there are 18.9 million software programmers out of 318.9 million people in the US. So we are looking for about 6% of the US populous on a good day.
So What Now?
Well, I’m going to try and find the niche by promoting myself. I will have to leverage Social Media to get my blog out there, post on other blog websites within my niche and possibly write some code to Automate that for me 🙂