What are visualization tools?
Smart decision makers put an emphasis on making data visualization a part of their decision-making process.
Charts, infographics, heat maps, videos and even augmented reality presentations can all be incredibly effective at engaging viewers and making data easier to understand.
This article will break down the basics of business intelligence tools and data visualization. Then it will explain why it’s crucial in the modern business world and offer some of the best visualization tools to help you on your way.
The main purpose of data visualization programs is to make the presented information easy to understand, even for people who aren’t used to analyzing data or who are less tech-savvy in general.
- Unoptimized titles and meta descriptions
Page titles and meta descriptions are key influencers in helping searchers determine which result to click on.
This chart pulls through all the URLs on a site with title and description issues (duplicate, short, long, etc) and crosswalks with Google Search Console CTR data. The result is a visual priority of which pages you should focus on to rewrite page titles and meta descriptions.
The bigger boxes and lightest shades are the most problematic. They’re getting a lot of search impressions but very low CTR. The sizing of the boxes is traffic opportunity (impressions) and the coloring is by CTR (lightest are lowest, darkest are highest CTRs).
Follow the same format – Main Keyword = Secondary Keyword | Brand (except on home pages)
Main keyword = white shoelaces, secondary = flat white laces
Using the sizes lends a level of detail that specifically helps the searcher, which helps drive clicks
The numbers, ” and / draws the eye and distinguishes the results from other sites.
Data source: DeepCrawl (0r) SiteBulb (0r) Oncrawl + GSC CTR data
Viz tool: Google Sheets
Chart type: Tree map
- Crawl + ranking changes
Googlebot starts out by fetching a few web pages, and then follows the links on those webpages to find new URLs. By hopping along this path of links, the crawler is able to find new content and add it to their index called Caffeine — a massive database of discovered URLs — to later be retrieved when a searcher is seeking information that the content on that URL is a good match for.
One way to check your indexed pages is “site:yourdomain.com”, an advanced search operator. Head to Google and type “site:yourdomain.com” into the search bar. This will return results Google has in its index for the site specified:
Search engines work through three primary functions:
1. Crawling: Scour the Internet for content, looking over the code/content for each URL they find.
2. Indexing: Store and organize the content found during the crawling process. Once a page is in the index, it’s in the running to be displayed as a result to relevant queries.
Ranking: Provide the pieces of content that will best answer a searcher’s query, which means that results are ordered by most relevant to least relevant.
- Data source: Botify, SEMrush
- Viz tool: Botify, SEMrush
- Cost: Botify (Request only), SEMrush ($99/month)
- Competitor authority analysis
You’ll have the competitors you typically think of locally, but also those competing for the same search terms as you too. According to Study.com there are 3 main types of competitors:
“A direct competitor offers the same products and services aimed at the same target market and customer base, with the same goal of profit and market share growth. This means that your direct competitors are targeting the same audience as you, selling the same products as you, in a similar distribution model as you.”
“An indirect competitor is another company that offers the same products and services, much like direct competitors; however, the end goals are different.”
“Another company offering a product or service to your customers that you also provide.”
Once what sort of competitors you would like to be compared against has been considered, it is important to understand how you stand out. That’s the next part of the analysis.
- Data source: Ahrefs (or) SEMrush
- Viz tool: Google Sheets
- Cost: FREE
- SERP result type analysis
The quickest way to analyze the SERP might be to enter the keyword into Semrush’s Keyword Overview report and look for its Keyword Difficulty score.
This number tells you how hard it might be to break into this SERP via SEO.
0-14: Very easy
85-100: Very hard
You should run a SERP analysis to:
Understand the level of competition on a keyword’s results page
Look for unique opportunities, SERP features, and other rich results that you could target with SEO
Decide whether or not a keyword is a reasonable opportunity for your SEO or PPC strategy
Brainstorm the unique angle to take with your website’s content that would offer more value to searchers than what’s currently available.
- Data source: Serp Analysis on SEMRush
- Viz tool: Google Sheets
- Cost: FREE
- Keyword visibility over your campaign
Visibility can be defined as a metric showing how often your website is found on the Internet. Semrush has a metric called Visibility % seen in Position Tracking campaigns that we use to estimate a website’s trend of visibility for the set of target keywords currently being tracked in the campaign.
Visibility % is based on click-through rate (CTR) that shows a website’s progress in Google’s top 100 for keywords from the current tracking campaign. The Visibility metric represents how visible the domain is among searchers for keywords in your campaign. The higher the percentage, the more users will see the domain for the given keywords.
- Data source: Google Search Console, SEMRush
- Viz tool: Google Data Studio, SemRush
- Chart type: Position Tracking
- Cost: FREE (99$ per month)
- 301 redirects based on page equity
A 301 redirect indicates the permanent moving of a web page from one location to another.
The 301 part refers to the HTTP status code of the redirected page.
Example: blog.ahrefs.com redirects to ahrefs.com/blog
There are many ways to do 301 redirects, but the most common method is to edit your site’s .htaccess file.
You’ll find this in your site’s root folder:
Using WordPress? Remove the need to edit the .htaccess file with the free Redirection plugin.
It makes adding 301 redirects as simple as this:
This chart crosswalks URLs that have a 301 redirect in place with the PA (or UR) of that page. This helps understand the link equity of your redirected pages and make decisions about how to handle them easier.
- Data source: DeepCrawl, SiteBulb or Oncrawl + Moz PA / Ahrefs UR data
- Viz tool: Google Sheets
- Chart type: Scatter Plot
- Cost: FREE
- Organic keyword growth over time
There are a few key areas where your keywords need to appear to help you rank organically for relevant searches.
The first sentence or at least the first paragraph
Meta Data: Title Tag, Meta Descriptions and H1 tags
Image file names and alt text
Internal links to related content
In my experience, the vast majority of those who ask questions on Quora aren’t experts. They’re entrepreneurs and professionals seeking solutions. So Quora has a targeted audience that, in turn, you can use to drive organic traffic.
RivalFox used Quora to answer questions related to competitive intelligence. This brought the right kind of traffic to their site and resulted in a conversion rate that was over 15% from visitor to trial.
Google Keyword Planner is a free option that a lot of digital marketers swear by. But other platforms, like SEMrush, are also good alternatives.
Just be sure that there is a fair amount of traffic for each keyword you select and that any related terms are analyzed, too.
Organic Keywords vs PPC Keywords: What’s the Difference?
While similar to organic keywords, PPC ones are different because you’re using them as a trigger for when your paid ad shows up on Google.
That means you’re paying a specific amount of money each time your ad is shown (impressions) or when it is clicked.
In contrast, organic keywords are free. You’re not charged anything when your page shows up in the SERPs.
- Data source: Ahrefs
- Viz tool: Ahrefs
- Cost: Read breakdown
Linkscape relationship analysis
Getting started is really simple. Just enter your own site, plus up to 5 competitors and the tool will find pages on the web that point to two or more of those pages, then list those in descending order of importance.
The tool currently lives inside our SEOmoz Labs (which houses a ton of our best stuff) at https://moz.com/labs/link-intersect. We don’t have fancy graphics or great UI in Labs, but the functionality takes center stage:
The results look like this:
For each domain that’s mentioned, you can see a breakout list of the pages that point to those URLs, a checkmark next to the domains you’ve already earned a link from and data on the importance of the domains and pages (Domain mozRank and mozRank, respectively) listed.
Additionally, The most important features of BI data visualization tools that can help your business the most:
- Customizable Dashboards
In order to make the most out of graphical data, the dashboard of the software must be easy to customize to fit the needs of the situation or the individual that’s using it.
While the decision makers of the company might need a dashboard that provides a bigger picture of the entire business in order to make quick and accurate decisions, the sales department might need a more specialized dashboard visualization that displays the key metrics that are relevant to them.
In most leading business intelligence software solutions, dashboard customization is a very intuitive and simple process that doesn’t take up a lot of time. It’s very easy to arrange the data in a way that’s convenient
Microsoft Power BI offers interactive customizable dashboards
- Location Intelligence
Location intelligence makes it easy to visualize and map out data that requires geographical formats.
There are endless possibilities for displaying geospatial elements that allow companies to gain a deeper understanding of performance in a regional context via interactive maps.
Some of the most useful functionality of location intelligence is the option to layer sets of data spatially and chronologically, which enable businesses to draw insights about location-based metrics that would be difficult to obtain otherwise.One of the most notable benefits of location intelligence insights is the possibility to determine the most optimal locations for operating a business based on previous data. Advanced analytics strategies can also explore the general business ecosystem in certain areas based on influences such as cost of living, crime, economic climate, culture, education levels and many other factors.
- Data Mining
Data mining has completely changed the way businesses analyze information. If you’re not familiar, data mining is the process of discovering patterns and trends in Big Data sets with the help of self-service BI technology.
Before data mining, the sheer amount of data that larger companies had at their disposal made it impossible to analyze manually, which meant that it was basically unusable.
Today, with the help of data mining, companies can analyze large amounts of pre-existing data, extracting information quickly and efficiently. This allows you to make intelligent predictions about future trends that enable companies to understand the data behind their performance.
But as you can imagine, just analyzing the data with business intelligence tools isn’t enough. It’s just as important to be able to effectively summarize the data in an easy-to-understand format and identify the most important patterns that need to be understood in order to make the right adjustments.
This is where data visualizations can be helpful. They can distill all the findings of data
A geospatial visualization from Oracle BI mining into convenient chart- and graph-based reports. These can then be quickly analyzed, enabling decision makers to make any necessary changes before problems arise.
- Real-Time Access and Mobility
Today, BI visualization tools must not only be able to provide convenient ways to present relevant time-series and real-time data, but also display that data on any device.
A big part of the decision-making process now happens on the go. Therefore, in order to be effective, BI software solutions must come with data visualization options that can easily be displayed and understood on any device.
Checking your data on a laptop, tablet or even a phone should be just as easy as pressing a few buttons, ensuring that the decision makers of the company have all the necessary information, no matter where they are at that moment.
Luckily, most of the leading solutions available today offer mobile-friendly business intelligence data visualization tools that can be quickly accessed at any time from popular mobile devices.
Why Are Data Visualization Tools So Important?
Data visualization software is used by a growing number of companies. According to a recent study by Forbes, only 30.6 percent of companies across industries have a BI adoption or penetration rate of 41 percent or greater.
However, this number is only set to increase. In a study by Zion, the global BI market will be worth $26.5 billion by 2021. To get ahead of the curve, check out our recommendations for increasing BI adoption in your company.