BLUEPRINT SEARCH ANALYTICS SOFTWARE SUITE TAKES THE GUESSWORK OUT OF THE ROI OF SEO INVESTMENTS WITH PREDICTIVE FORECASTING
June 12, 2013, SEATTLE- Digital and search marketing leader RKG today announced it has added new SEO impact forecasting capability to the Blueprint software suite. The enhancement marks the first technical innovation and collaboration since RKG acquired Nine By Blue, the software and consulting company behind Blueprint, last month.
Blueprint segments all queries from Google Webmaster Tools data into topic areas, then calculates the click through rate at each position for each topic area. Using this actual data, rather than the out of date and generic data much of the industry has had to rely on, Blueprint models the likely impact of traffic changes.
Blueprint Click Through Rates (For Each Topic Area By Position)
“As marketers, we have so much data available to us, but it can be overwhelming,” said Vanessa Fox, the new Chief Product Officer of RKG, and creator of Blueprint. “Our goal is to build insight on top of this data to help marketers make accurate decisions and better connect with key audiences.”
An ex-Googler, Fox created Google Webmaster Central and authored Marketing in the Age of Google. With an intimate knowledge of Google Webmaster Tools, she offers a unique perspective on what search data is available, and how to best extract, measure and act upon it. Blueprint takes thousands of queries that lead audiences to a site and segments the queries into topics, allowing both technical and non-technical members of an organization to quickly recognize what content is working, what needs to change, and now with the latest offering, what impact that change is likely to have.
Uncovering “Not Provided” Data
Also with the aim of making marketing data more accurate and useful, RKG has also
announced a pilot program in conjunction with their Blueprint Search Analytics software to uncover just what’s missing in “not provided” data in web analytics software.
Companies rely on web analytics reports that show what queries visitors type into search engines such as Google and Bing in order to better understand their audiences and ensure that their web sites have content that meets their audiences’ needs.
Without this data, you’re in the dark about who’s coming to your web site and why.
In late 2011, Google started encrypting searches done on its search engine. Rather than include the query that the searcher typed in with the referring data that web analytics programs use to create query reports, Google only reported that the visitor came from a search. Originally, less than 10 percent of searches were “not provided” but over time, Google has begun encrypting more and more searches.
RKG analyzed client data and found up to 89 percent of queries now are hidden as “not provided”. On average, RKG client sites have lost visibility into 33 percent of Google organic traffic. Sites have seen increases as much as 475 percent since Google first started encrypting searches.
Shining A Light On “Not Provided” Queries
Customers have already told RKG how helpful Blueprint trend visualizations have been in uncovering “not provided” data, since one of the Blueprint data sources is Google Webmaster Tools, which gets its data directly from query logs, and therefore bypasses the issues that cause queries to show up as “not provided” in web analytics software.
As RKG looked over the data, they found that they had all of the pieces to uncover just what is hiding in “not provided”. As a primary aim of RKG is to help evolve search marketing, they knew they couldn’t pass up this opportunity to help the industry get back what they had lost.
Companies interested in participating in the pilot program should contact RKG by filling out the form at rkgblueprint.com. RKG plans to make this analysis available as part of its Blueprint Search Analytics suite during the coming months.
Evolved Predictive Analysis of SEO Investments
Combining true traffic segmentation (including what’s hidden in “not provided”) with Blueprint’s models for forecasting SEO impact leads to powerful insights.
By applying Blueprint’s predictive models to the overall traffic for a topic area, Blueprint can forecast the impact of a ranking change to traffic, conversion, and revenue and can pinpoint what investments will result in the highest ROI.
“By using and building on real data from previous customer search behavior, we will be able to give organizations a crystal ball of sorts and show what results they can expect, allowing them to determine in advance if the SEO spend is worth it,” said Fox.
Measuring SEO Effectiveness
With the click of a button, Blueprint provides users with visual trends, identifying whether traffic is up or down, both by individual keywords and topic area, and category ranking. And because Blueprint is integrated with Google Webmaster Tools data, accurate data is pulled directly from Google query logs according to Google’s terms of service.
Unlike Google Webmaster Tools, which only allows search data to be tracked over the last 90 days, Blueprint allows organizations to monitor progress by week, month or year, and compare data ranges. A Weekly Snapshot is delivered via email, helping all users understand their site’s overall health with key metrics and changes.
“Search sometimes feels like a query by query game, and that can feel overwhelming without context,” said Jeff Birkeland, VP of Product Management for High Gear Media. “Blueprint has been extremely useful helping our team step and back and see broader categories of search and trends for each so you have a cleaner, clearer sense for the big picture and can take more concrete action.”
“Blueprint and its roadmap is one of the reasons we acquired Nine By Blue,” said George Gallate, CEO, RKG. “Search is about being discovered. To understand search you have to understand why you were discovered and then how you can improve on this. The ability to see what customers are searching for, including the “not provided” segment, whether search is up or down and why, and how to predict what impact SEO changes will have, is a homerun for any organization with a Web presence. Not only does it provide flexibility to test different campaigns, it helps marketers make smart decisions about how and where to spend their marketing dollars.”
RKG is a search and digital marketing agency that combines superior marketing talent with leading edge technology to create the industry’s most effective data-driven online marketing solutions. Founded in 2003, RKG specializes in working with clients in retail, travel, financial and B2B organizations ranging in size from small startups to Fortune 500 companies, including CareerBuilder, Drugstore.com, Express, Herman Miller, Jones New York and Urban Outfitters. In 2013, RKG acquired ex-Googler Vanessa Fox’s company, Nine By Blue – creating one of the most powerful search marketing offerings globally. In 2013, Advertising Age ranked RKG the fastest growing search agency. A privately held company, RKG is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA with offices in Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, Bend, OR and Boston, MA. For more information visit www.rimmkaufman.com or follow the company on Twitter @rimmkaufman.
About Blueprint Search Analytics
Blueprint Search Analytics shows marketers what their audience cares about, what content areas of their site are doing well, and pinpoints what’s causing traffic changes – surfacing ‘not-provided’ data and providing unparalleled forecasting ability. Blueprint’s clear charts and graphs isolate ranking problems and drops in click-through rate (that may signify problems with the search results display) from simply changes in search volume – allowing marketers to invest time fixing problems, not trying to locate them. Blueprint also surfaces the exact issues search engines are having crawling and indexing the site and just how vital these issues are to fix. Blueprint is used by companies such as Microsoft, University of Phoenix, BankRate, AllRecipes, and IGN.
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