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Botify Analytics & The Search Funnel

By Nate Sullivan

The easiest way to understand your organic search performance is now the center of Botify Analytics. 

There are lots of reasons for SEO professionals to use Botify, from crawling, to keywords, to conversion. But there’s only one overarching reason to truly invest your time and energy in the Botify platform — and that’s to maximize your organic search performance. And at Botify, organic search performance means getting people to your site through search. Other measurements (how many URLs get indexed, how many terms you rank for, or where you fall on different SERPs) can be interesting, but those are metrics, not eyeballs. 

So what does this approach mean for you? In short, if you care about driving eyeballs to your content through search, you have to consider how search works. And search — like a surprising number of things — is basically a funnel. Here’s what we mean by that. 

How organic search works.

In short, no matter what anyone tells you, SEO (especially SEO on large or technically complex sites) is not a series of disconnected tasks and best practices you perform that all equally affect your traffic. If content can’t be found by engines, it can’t be read by engines, and if it can’t be read by engines, it’s not going to get indexed and it’s certainly not going to show up on SERPs. The problems aren’t just connected; they’re sequential, which means every piece of content that fails one step automatically fails all the subsequent steps. In other words, no matter what you do, you can’t improve your rankings for a page that isn’t successfully crawled, rendered, and indexed. 

This is where SO much of the real opportunity is in search engine optimization, and we’ve built Botify around finding it. However, we haven’t done a very good job of making this especially obvious inside Botify itself — instead, we revealed this opportunity through lots of individual different charts, graphs, and reports. If you didn’t already understand the funnel and know where to find the necessary pieces of data and analysis in Botify, you might never realize how much hidden potential was sitting there in front of you.

Meet the Analytics Overview

The Analytics Overview is a new addition to the Botify Analytics UI that assembles all of this data, cross-indexes it as necessary, and plugs it in to the search funnel for you. That means that you can always jump right into Botify and see exactly where the biggest opportunities on your site are. If huge portions of your pages are making it all the way to Rank, you’re in good shape. If big chunks of URLs are dropping off the funnel at an earlier stage, you can click on that stage to assess the problem.

On the area below the chart, you’ll see an unpacking of that funnel stage’s data, as well as some relevant best practices and improvements you can make that are specifically related to that stage. Those suggestions also link directly to specific reports in Botify so you don’t have to navigate through the thousands of metrics in the platform. Instead, you start with overall organic search performance and naturally explore relevant analysis and insights that explain the current situation. 

Botify already offers the strongest, most technically comprehensive analytics platform in search. The Analytics Overview is a big step towards making all of that data a lot more insightful to people who may not have the time or the expertise to build their own reporting and problem solving routines, but still want to take advantage of analysis you won’t find in any other application.

What else is new in Botify Analytics?

In addition to the Analytics Overview (which is available to all new customers and any Botify clients who have migrated to an Essential, Pro, or Enterprise plan), we’ve rolled out a variety of smaller improvements across the Analytics suite. Here’s what’s new.

URL Explorer Bookmarks in SiteCrawler

The URL Explorer is an incredibly valuable part of Botify that lets you use all of that data to ultimately generate the most important thing — a list of affected URLs, which you’ll usually need to actually implement fixes and improvements. The most successful Botify users spend a lot of time generating lists of URLs like this for obvious reasons, and as a result, we’ve had a bookmark feature inside of RealKeywords for a while that allows you to save and recall these list parameters. 

This has proven to be such a useful part of a healthy Botify workflow that we’ve now added it to SiteCrawler, which means you can create and re-access URL Explorer bookmarks from there as well. They’re a great way to monitor recurring, known challenges on your site, and immediately see what content is affected by those issues on any given day.

Anonymized Queries in RealKeywords

RealKeywords is now an even more accurate representation of your traffic behavior thanks to the addition of anonymized query data. In the past, we haven’t included the searches that Google Search Console (GSC) has categorized as overly specific and removed specific data from (GSC does this to protect user privacy, as specific-enough searches can give away who’s doing the searching). However, removing these raw numbers gives you a slightly less accurate picture of your audience — what if lots of people are coming to your site through highly specific queries? — so we’ve figured out how to include those searches in your overall numbers. 

(Note, of course, that you’re likely to see an uptick in those overall numbers when you compare to historical periods when we weren’t able to include this data.)

Crawl Scope Filtering

We’ve added a new “Crawl Scope” filtering option to make it easier for multi-domain Botify users to accurately find relevant orphan URLs. It’s not uncommon for Botify clients to restrict crawls to certain relevant domains, so we’ve added a toggle that will restrict this reporting to the domains specified in the crawl. Less noise, more relevance. 

The End of “Compliant” Pages

Finally, we’ve made a pretty simple language change in the platform that has a surprisingly wide-ranging impact. We’re no longer referring to pages as “compliant” (or “non-compliant”), and instead labeling them as “indexable”. Sure, it’s just a language change, but it’s also similar to the (admittedly much cooler) Analytics Overview feature in that it’s a subtle shift that brings the Botify application experience closer to the actual value of Botify. After all, we’re not helping you “comply” with anything — we’re trying to get your content indexed, and ultimately discovered.

So that’s what’s new in Botify Analytics. We’ll have lots more to come as we move further into 2021, but there’s no time like the present to start assessing your organic search performance holistically.

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