Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, is a crucial aspect of any digital marketing plan. The SEO process involves making adjustments to a website, such as adding new content or optimising existing meta tags in order to improve its ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs). However, SEO can be a complex and constantly changing field, making it difficult to determine the effects of any changes made. This is where causal impact analysis comes in.
What is a causal impact analysis and why should you care?
Causal impact analysis is a statistical method that enables us to comprehend the impact of a particular change on a specific outcome. In the context of SEO, it can be used to understand the effects of changes made to a website on search engine visibility and traffic.
Causal impact analysis benefits
One of the main advantages of causal impact analysis is that it helps identify the cause-and-effect relationship between changes and the desired outcomes. This is significant as it allows for data-driven decisions to be made regarding SEO strategies, rather than relying on intuition or assumptions (very common among digital marketers).
Another benefit of this analysis is that it can provide insight into the underlying mechanisms that influence search engine rankings and traffic. For example, it may reveal that certain adjustments to a website increase the number of backlinks, leading to higher search engine visibility. This knowledge can aid in optimising SEO strategies to focus on areas with the greatest potential impact.
The CausalImpact R package, which is based on the Bayesian structural time-series model, is a commonly used tool for performing causal impact analysis. It allows for the specification of a control and treatment group and then uses statistical methods to estimate the causal effect of the treatment on the outcome of interest.
Causal impact analysis is not a one-size-fits-all solution
It is important to note that causal impact analysis is not a one-size-fits-all solution. On one side it can be a valuable tool for understanding the effects of SEO changes, but on the other side, it has its limitations. For example, it can be challenging to control all variables that may affect search engine rankings and traffic and interpreting the results can be difficult.
Furthermore, SEO is a complex and constantly developing field of digital marketing, with many factors that can affect search engine rankings and traffic. Therefore, it is essential to use a variety of tools and techniques to understand the impact of changes, including web analytics like Google Analytics 4, A/B testing, and user feedback.
In conclusion, causal impact analysis is a powerful statistical method that can assist in comprehending the effects of SEO changes on search engine rankings and traffic. By identifying cause-and-effect relationships, data-driven decisions can be made regarding SEO strategies, and efforts can be optimised for maximum impact. However, it should be used in conjunction with other methods to obtain a comprehensive understanding of SEO performance, as SEO is a complex and ever-changing field of digital marketing.
Who is Giulia Panozzo?
Giulia Panozzo is a Senior Manager of Search Marketing at StockX, where she focuses on technical SEO and international strategy. She previously worked on global organic growth for websites of the caliber of RS Components and Expedia. Giulia leveraged her background in Neuroscience research to guide SEO tests and drive customer acquisition informed by cognitive patterns and bias.