Product Features

The Beginner’s Guide To Botify

By The Botify Team

So you’re looking for an organic search platform that can help drive revenue, revolutionize your organic search strategy, and demonstrate unmatched ROI to stakeholders. Lucky for you, Botify has a track record of optimizing the websites of some of the world’s largest brands (including Expedia, Macy’s, L’Oréal, The New York Times, Groupon, and Marriott), generating hundreds of millions of visits and billions of dollars from organic search.

If you’re new to Botify, welcome! We wrote this article to introduce you to who Botify is as a company, what problems we’re solving across organic search, and how our platform works.

Click below to jump to a section, or read the summary for a quick overview.

Botify at a glance

Since its founding in 2011, Botify has helped 500+ industry-leading global companies revolutionize their organic search strategies. Our customers typically see double-digit increases in organic traffic within their first three years, resulting in some cases in a staggering 584 percent ROI (Forrester, 2020).

Botify delivers these results by deviating from the traditional SEO script in two critical ways. First, we take a full-funnel, URL-first approach to your website rather than a rankings-first approach. By focusing on metrics from crawlability all the way to revenue, Botify makes it easier to quantify the direct impact of organic search. 

Second, we leverage data more holistically. We’re not talking about just competitor and SERP data, but also your data, which has the benefit of being accurate, timely, and relevant to you. Using your proprietary data to inform a problem specific to you might sound like a no-brainer, but we’re the only enterprise SEO platform on the market taking this approach to first-party data. Botify’s unique unified data model centralizes the four types of information you need to turn your organic search into an efficient, measurable, and sustainable channel for both traffic and revenue growth.

A little about Botify the company

We at Botify believe in the power of SEO to drive growth and revenue when it’s properly prioritized and resourced. Sixty-five percent of mature SEO organizations cite increased sales as a top benefit of their careful attention to organic search, and Botify customers report even more impressive returns.

Founded in 2011 by Adrien Menard, Thomas Grange, and Stan Chauvin, the Botify team has been dedicated to anticipating what’s next in the SEO industry and creating a scalable, solutions-oriented platform to maximize organic search traffic and revenue for enterprise brands. As we’ve grown, we’ve been fortunate enough to do things like gain $55M in Series C Funding and expand into the Asia-Pacific region with offices in Singapore, Tokyo, and Sydney.

But nothing at Botify would have been possible without our groundbreaking, full-funnel approach to SEO. We look at every phase of the search process (crawling, rendering, indexing, ranking, conversions). The majority of SEO platforms focus primarily on the ranking phase, which certainly helps increase traffic but won’t have a profound impact on its own. A full-funnel approach gives you the comprehensive analysis you need to make dramatic, lasting improvements to your search performance – and, by extension, your business performance.

The Botify Methodology full-funnel approach to SEO
The Botify Methodology takes a full-funnel approach to SEO.

After all, search is a process with a clear beginning and end — if search engines don’t crawl your site, your pages can’t rank in the index where they can earn traffic and revenue for your business. We look at everything through that lens, and it’s the foundation upon which we built our platform. We call it the Botify Methodology.

With that foundation in mind, let’s take a look at the problems we’re solving.

What’s the main problem Botify solves for enterprise businesses?

The fact is, Google crawls less than half of an enterprise website’s pages – that’s significant!

Average percent of an enterprise website crawled (49.0%) versus not crawled (51.0%).
From the Botify study “How does Google crawl the web?

If search engines aren’t crawling your website, your pages can’t be indexed (and they definitely won’t rank). For enterprise websites, that means there’s a ton of potential to improve traffic and revenue simply by getting search engines to find your important content.

For enterprise websites, that means there’s a ton of potential to improve traffic and revenue simply by getting search engines to find your important content.

This is where Botify solves a huge problem for large enterprise websites.

Botify works with organizations that count on their website(s) for a substantial portion of their revenue. In many cases, that translates into working with e-commerce, publishers, classifieds, and travel organizations.

Whether you’re a technical SEO responsible for identifying indexing issues, an e-commerce manager responsible for optimizing the customer journey, or an executive who’s responsible for driving traffic to and revenue from your organization’s website, Botify can help.

Here’s a run-down of how Botify works

The Botify platform began as a comprehensive search analytics platform, and at its core was the fastest, most powerful cloud-based crawler on the market. While knowing every detail about your site is critical (from details on your redirected URLs to the average size and uniqueness of your content), we knew the most actionable SEO insights come when you unify your data.

That’s why, on top of our crawler, we layer on your log file data, your query data, and your website analytics data.

The components of Botify’s unified data model.

Botify allows you to see your website at every phase of the search process — from crawling to conversions — and how each part impacts another (ex: how crawl impacts ranking, how content quality impacts crawl frequency, etc.). You can layer 1,000+ data points for any URL on your website to identify exactly what’s impacting your pages.

With so much data at their disposal, our customers use Botify for things like analyzing their website architecture for SEO, finding and fixing indexing issues, identifying trending keywords, and more — the use cases really are endless!

Botify Intelligence & Botify Activation

But with great quantities of data comes great responsibility — you have to take the time to peruse your data to pull out the highest-priority insights. That’s why we’ve expanded the Botify product suite to include intelligent, prescriptive actions and automation. 

Botify Intelligence and Botify Activation take your search data to the next level by solving for pain points like “With all this data, I’m not sure where to start,” “Critical pages were blocked by robots.txt and I wasn’t aware until our traffic suffered,” and “I can never seem to get my SEO projects implemented because my dev team doesn’t have the resources.”

Take Botify Intelligence’s ActionBoard, for example. It provides a prioritized list of high-return to-dos so your SEOs always know what to work on next. AlertPanel, meanwhile, monitors your site 24/7 so you can mitigate issues before they snowball. 

But there’s only so much SEOs can do manually, and that’s why we built Botify Activation. SpeedWorkers, for instance, autonomously accelerates the page indexing process 10-40x by pre-rendering the JavaScript on your site. FastIndex, by contrast, eliminates the crawl phase entirely by enabling you to push URLs directly to participating search engines via the Bing API.

These intelligent alerts and automations are only possible because of the completeness and trustworthiness of the data that’s made possible through Botify Analytics, so let’s take a quick dive into what makes Botify Analytics tick.

Botify Analytics: What’s inside?

SiteCrawler

With Botify Analytics, it all starts with a crawl. The data we retrieve from each crawl helps our customers evaluate the structure and content of every page on their website — from mobile to desktop — just as a search engine would. Since all of your SEO data lives in Botify, you can easily keep track of changes in your crawl data over time.

Not only does Botify crawl HTML at a rate of 250 URLs per second, but it can also fully crawl and render your JavaScript (using the same rendering engine as Googlebot), at a rate of 100 URLs per second, critical for JavaScript SEO audits.

LogAnalyzer

The log file analysis component of Botify Analytics enables you to see how search engine bots are crawling your site. You can feed your server log files into a dashboard built specifically for SEOs to overlay them with your crawl data. This allows you to see which pages Google is ignoring and which pages they’re visiting, enabling you to detect crawl budget issues. This data is key to increasing bot access to your most critical pages — your top converters and top revenue generators.

Botify crawls venn diagram
Botify shows which of your pages Google is ignoring.

RealKeywords

Through the Google Search Console API on our platform, you’ll be able to see even more data than in the GSC performance dashboard and manage it more easily. Our customers generally use this feature to get all of their query data, such as what queries are driving impressions and clicks. The keywords dashboard also displays other keyword insights, such as where your audience is searching from, what devices they’re using, missed clicks (i.e. where you’re getting impressions but not clicks), and keywords that are trending up or down with your audience. Additionally, we don’t violate Google’s terms of service by scraping SERPs; we pull directly from GSC instead.

EngagementAnalytics

Botify Analytics works hand in hand with Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and also AT Internet. We can connect with your site’s analytics account to overlay valuable engagement and conversion data with your Botify Analytics data (crawl data, log file data, and keyword data). This centralizes your engagement metrics so you don’t have to toggle between platforms or manually merge data sources to get a complete picture of your organic traffic trends.

What are the benefits of unifying your SEO data?

When utilizing all of Botify together, you can uncover big insights that you’ve never been able to see before. Here are some examples:

  • Layering title tag data (from a crawl) with your click data (from keywords) can allow you to quickly see what might be contributing to higher or lower CTRs.
  • Layering Googlebot visit data (from your log files) with traffic data (from your engagement analytics) can help you better understand why your URLs are seeing higher or lower search traffic.
  • Layering crawl data with log file data allows you to see how many total pages your website has and which of them Google is/isn’t visiting.
  • Layering revenue and conversion data (from engagement) with keyword data can show you whether pages that rank for more keywords generate more revenue.

And with Botify Intelligence and Activation to boot, you’ll be able to make even better use of all that data, surfacing high-impact opportunities faster and automating actions to save you resources.

Diving deeper: What else does Botify have to offer?

Now that we’ve covered the main sections of the Botify platform, we think it’s worthwhile to dig a little deeper and talk about some of the features within the platform that make Botify unique.

Starting further back than keywords

One of the reasons why Botify stands out is because we take a URL-first approach to your SEO data rather than a keyword-first approach. We start by giving you a complete picture of every URL on your website – not just desktop, but also encompassing things like accelerated mobile page (AMP) versions, alternate language versions, mobile versions, etc. – and then layer onto that everything else you’d want to know about each individual URL, giving you a complete picture.

This makes it easy to identify what could be done at each stage of the search process to increase your SEO performance. Then, with Botify Intelligence’s ActionBoard and AlertPanel, your team can efficiently identify the highest-impact tasks to tackle first.

Data layering & segmentation

Data layering is key to uncovering the “why” behind your data. For example, when your top-performing URLs (a.k.a. pages that get the most organic search impressions and traffic and rank for the most queries), top strategic URLs (those that make your business the most money or support strategic initiatives), or other critical URLs aren’t ranking, it’s time to investigate.

To do so, you’ll need to drill into a given URL to see if and how Googlebot is crawling it. If the page isn’t getting crawled, you can layer the data from your Botify crawl (in Botify Analytics) to see if there’s a correlation between low crawl rate and low content uniqueness (for example).

You can also pair log file analysis data with traffic data, rank data with crawl data, and the list goes on.

Additionally, you can use segmentation to isolate parts of your site for analysis. These segments are automatically generated based on your site’s URL structure so you can begin using them right away. Look at pages by author, for example, or pages by topic, or all pages on the blog. Drilling into segments allows you to identify issues that might be affecting only those pages and to make adjustments accordingly.

Using segments and data layering opens up opportunities to see correlations you would have had difficulty seeing otherwise.

Custom reporting that shows your value & gets buy-in

With so many tools and resources available, it’s not uncommon for SEOs to spend much of their time exporting data and translating it into reports. But when your data lives in one place, everything gets a whole lot better!

With Botify, there’s no longer a need to export your data. You can pull data from Botify Analytics, Botify Keywords, and Botify Log Analyzer into Custom Reports, where you can view your report directly or download it if needed. We have APIs that tie into Google Sheets, Google Data Studio, or your CMS; and we have a Botify Chrome Extension that delivers SEO KPIs with a single click. Plus, if your business uses Looker as its business intelligence dashboard, our partnership with them allows you to view your SEO data alongside key business metrics through our custom Botify Looker Block®.

JavaScript rendering, structured data analysis, and so much more!

Because we build Botify directly in response to the problems our enterprise SEO customers are facing, Botify also offers solutions such as:

  • Render JavaScript at scale with our JavaScript Crawler. Track which resources are executed, and collect valuable user-centric performance metrics (time to first paint, time to interactive, and other performance metrics) to ensure your JS content is rendered and seen by search engines. You can render up to 100 URLs per second and conduct a 1 million page analysis in just three hours, instead of waiting days or weeks!
  • Additionally, pre-render your JavaScript and accelerate the page indexing process by 10-40x with SpeedWorkers, our latest cutting-edge automation tool. Dynamic JavaScript rendering allows bots to crawl more of your most important content, filling your traffic funnel like never before. 
  • Automatically extract 15+ different types of structured data without needing to set up custom extracts to pull information.
  • Evaluate content on your website for quality, parity, and more the same way a search engine would, and eliminate template content from your analysis.
  • Get direct support through our Customer Success Managers, who help our customers make the most of Botify, and our Professional Services team, who are available to answer technical questions and support custom projects.

What our customers love

Our customers have websites with millions (sometimes billions) of pages, which makes their SEO needs rather unique. Due to our fast-changing industry and appetite for satisfying our clients’ needs, we’re always releasing new updates. Whether this means developing backend improvements, like crawl speed or JavaScript rendering capabilities, or UI/UX improvements, we typically introduce new functionalities every 3-4 weeks.

Our customers can tell that we’ve designed everything for their needs (for scale, speed, data granularity, security, API features, and more), and we’re excited to bring them the best solutions for their unique challenges.

Right now, our customers are most excited about Botify Activation and its power to drive growth through automation. A number of top e-commerce brands in the country are already using it to overcome some of SEO’s most notorious obstacles, like JavaScript rendering, without the support of an engineering team. Botify’s continued investment in AI and ML capabilities will enable SEO teams to work more efficiently and autonomously than ever before.

If you’re curious to know more about how our customers find value in Botify, you can take a look at our customer reviews on G2!

So, what are you waiting for?

Using Botify will help you identify where that potential lies. Expect to be able to save a lot of time and energy uncovering opportunities you may not have seen previously — and fast! Ready to start a conversation? Get in touch.

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