Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

SEO’s messy toolkit is no substitute for orderly data

By Manley, CEO of Corigan

When the era of search marketing dawned towards the end of the 20th Century, an SEO practitioner’s tools were primitive.

Yet there was a beauty and utility in this simplicity. Fast forward to the present day and the market is awash with software that should let you optimise to your heart’s content, but is a terribly jumbled toolkit in comparison to ‘SEO solutions 1.0’.

The problem with this plethora of platforms is that the bulk of them seem to be reporting tools, which rarely afford SEO experts a complete view of their own performance, let alone the secrets of their rivals’ success.

SEOs, market researchers and analysts agree with this summation, finding that no single SEO platform currently meets most of marketers’ needs.  Reports beseech providers to deliver strategic innovation and commence consolidation.

Despite this, more and more new tech is entering the market, with share shrinking across the board while eager, agile companies seek their own piece of the pie. At the other end of the spectrum, massive players such as Amazon plough their own furrow, seemingly growing in scale and power every day.

We call this The SEO Dilemma: a flood of available tools that come with bells and whistles; yet none are up to the task of truly driving performance.

Fix your data, fix the problem

There is an obvious, overarching problem with multiple teams, and even team members, using too many tools. We have identified at least 14 parts of a business and its external partners that could house data that is crucial to SEO strategies. Disparate departments and the systems they use, seldom speak to each other – meaning you will never get a true understanding of the data that should underpin SEO success.

And because data is the lifeblood of online marketing, the tool we need to deal with the search algorithm, that creates a huge challenge.

Most enterprises are using between three and five platforms, with data held all over the place, just to report on their current situation and offering little in the way of real accountability. Up until recently, there has not  been anything allowing them to bring all their tools together, powered by one set of primary source data – a single source of truth for the SEO, revealing visitor numbers, rankings, SERP analysis, site crawl data, competitor monitoring and other crucial insights.

This means a lack of reliable, consistent keyword data, because many SEO tools rely on third-party suppliers to source this information. The more go-betweens are involved, the further away you get from the truth. This creates a vicious circle with clients using multiple tools and conflicting datasets, detached from valuable first-party data.

Furthermore, the majority of SEO platforms have a limited focus. Many marketers crave the ability to expand beyond organic search. For that to happen, they need aggregated and enriched insights across search channels – a level of support that has been unavailable.

The SEO tools market has been treading water for more than a decade even as the need for better solutions becomes more pressing every time a new algorithm is issued.

But that is finally beginning to change.

One platform to rule them all

Put simply, most marketers need more robust keyword data and insights. To that end, cutting-edge platforms are now disrupting the market.

These tools take technologies that are proven to be powerful in ad and data research markets, and bring them to SEO, modernising optimisation and automation of everyday tasks:

  • providing an all-in-one, intuitive solution that solves The SEO Dilemma, and brings together SEO management, analysis, technology and copywriting in one shared platform
  • expanding beyond organic search, working just as well for paid as for SEO, with analysis tools to maximise visibility, choose the right content path, and highlight the most favourable keywords      
  • solving the data challenge     with reliable, clean first-party data in an assessment engine using crawler-collected Google data
  • keyword suggestions based on user intent; supported by powerful, proprietary AI – telling you what rivals are doing, why they change strategy, and how you can respond
  • Cross team, intelligent workflows to prioritise and deliver on the tool’s insights, taking your strategic data and applying it tactically.
  • flexible API layer – all data can be exported to and imported from existing systems

More efficiency, less wasted data, a step-change for SEO. It is an approach that will go some way towards bringing all the tools required into one place, answering the market’s rallying cry for more consolidation, an end to complexity, and a new era of strategic innovation.

Something those first SEO experts a generation ago would surely acknowledge as revolutionary in their profession, and the driver of successful search strategies that are fit for the future.