Big Data SEO and UX Research

July 19, 2014

12 years ago, when we started Web Usability, so much in the digital world was new; digital marketing, analytics, UX, SEO to name just a few. However, in the last few years the growth of this digital tool kit has slowed down, with very few recent additions of major significance – a sign of the market maturing. It is refreshing to come across a tool that seems genuinely novel and different.

We have been working with the guys at Taxonomics for 10 years or so now. Recently, they have created a great new product that, as far as we can see, is unique: “Big Data Taxonomics”. This tool is highly relevant to owners of e-commerce sites with large product ranges, like some of our own clients e.g. Waitrose, Dixons, Freemans etc.

There are millions of similar search expressions delivering traffic to these sites and their competitors. For example, ladies’ red shoes, women’s red shoes, red women’s shoes and red shoes for women all mean the same thing in terms of what people are looking for. Taxonomics collects this data, clusters it together, values it, and highlights what clients’ sites don’t mention. This helps a number of different stakeholders: it shows online merchandisers how customers categorise their products and the words they use when searching for certain items, allowing sites to offer a better user experience overall; it shows buyers what people want, how many of them want it and what they are missing out on, putting a value on this; finally, it offers users an easier time finding what they are looking for. To put this into context, Taxonomics have helped Screwfix deliver double digit percentage growth in organic search traffic.

Tools like this are great at identifying what pages sites should produce. However, this is only half the story. Users still need to be able to use the pages they land on to get to what they want, and this is where good old traditional user research comes in. By usability testing the new landing pages we can work out how to make them as effective as possible to boost conversion rates on transactional sites, and ensure users get to the content they want on information sites. Analytics can tell you when these pages convert satisfactorily but can’t tell you why or, perhaps more importantly, why they don’t. That’s the role UX research plays.

It is nice to know a decade old service like UX research can still rub shoulders with the up and coming products of today!

If you want to know more about Taxonomics Big Data SEO service have a look at the Taxonomics’ site or give them a ring on 01373 813 414.