Spying on your competitors’ marketing efforts is one of the most efficient ways to come up with your our marketing campaigns, learn new tactics as well as predict the future of your niche.
The powerful driving source of any business is its competition. Competitors force us to move forward, implement changes and evolve.
I am not a big fan of competitive research unless you use the data right away to create your own marketing plan. Furthermore, I like plans that are pretty quickly turned into reality. I like action, so here are three competitive research tools that provide highly actionable insights:
1. Spy on your competitor’s traffic
Haven’t you wanted to know where exactly your competitors’ traffic and sales are coming from. Or how their landing pages convert? Or what are their best-performing keywords?
Nacho Analytics is a unique and innovative tool that will help you find answers to all the above questions and more. It uses its own database of “millions” of people who agreed to share their browsing history with the tool to help you spy on how they find and interact with your competitors’ pages.
Now, the most important part about the tool is that domain monitoring starts only when you add it to the tool. There’s no historical data available until you start monitoring any domain, so the earlier to add your competitors, the more data you’ll end up accumulating, with time.
Now, what sort of data is it?
Nacho Analytics looks exactly as Google Analytics, so you’ll see all the reports there. The difference is, there’s no tracking code to install and that’s not your site you are tracking, which sounds even too good to be true, only it’s both good and real. Some of the competitive insights you’ll be able to obtain include:
- Traffic sources (including conversions, page engagement metrics, etc. for each)
- Lead sources
- Conversion funnel analysis
You can also share any data with anyone for free, similarly to how it works inside Google Analytics.
Nacho Analytics cheapest package is $ 39 and it allows you to track one competitor. For $ 79 a month, you’ll be able to monitor five competitors of yours.
2. Spy on your competitor’s backlinks
Ok, this one isn’t new: Monitoring competitors’ backlink acquisition methods help you create your own link building strategy as well as learn what not to do and how to avoid penalties.
But until now that was a pretty expensive and time-consuming process. Unless it’s your own site you are investigating, you had to pay for link research tools. And if you were dealing with a successful competitor, you had to go through thousands of lines before realizing how to sort and filter them to make sense of the data.
Therefore, I was pretty excited to discover this new backlink checker tool by Neil Patel which is free, available for use without the need to register and extremely usable.
Simply copy-paste your competitor’s domain and the tool will generate the list of backlinks including:
- The referring page title and URL
- The target page URL
- The link anchor text and type (text and image)
Now, there’s also a domain and link scores available but since I am not a fan of any link scoring (to put it mildly), I ignore those for the most part. Yet, if you come to think of those, you can actually use these numbers for sorting purposes. So, unless you miss a good link because of that, they might turn useful.
The advanced filtering is where the tool really shines. They make it so much easier to filter backlinks by identified patterns, including/excluding:
- Keywords in the anchor text
- Words in the URL
Finally, you can easily export the whole list in a CSV file to keep playing with the data.
Again, this tool is absolutely free, with no registration required.
3. Spy on your own missed keyword opportunities
This, again, is not such an innovative tactic but it’s the format and the tool that can make all the difference.
The best way to improve and diversify your rankings is to expand the list of keywords you are targeting, and the easiest way to discover new keywords is to see what your competitors are ranking for.
“Keyword gap” tactic is about identifying queries one or more of your competitors’ domains is ranking fairly high, while yours is nowhere to be found.
This Domain vs Domain tool takes this tactic to a new level:
- It suggests competing domains for you to analyze
- It generates a handy venn diagram showing how close the selected competitors are and how many more opportunities you can explore. The venn graphic is clickable allowing you to instantly load the keyword lists based on the overlap:
The tool also shows current rankings of each domain for each query, as well as its recent movement. The latter should be a signal for you to go ahead and check what they possibly did recently to see the ranking change.
The chart also shows Google search volume for each query. However, sadly, you cannot sort results by it. You can export the whole chart to a CSV or Excel file to obtain more sorting and filtering flexibility.
You can also select a search engine for the analysis which is a pretty amazing feature. I find it absolutely invaluable when clients are trying to enter a new market, especially the same-language market, like Google.ca or Google.co.uk
Being able which queries your competitors are ranking for in various versions of Google makes international SEO much easier and more predictable. There’s some more info on how to make the most of the feature.
The tool currently costs $ 19 per month but they are giving up on the cheapest plan this summer.
Which tools are you using to explore your competition and, more importantly, make use of the data? Please share in the comments!
Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community Manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.
The post Three tools providing actionable competitive research insight appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
When starting out a digital marketing program, you might not yet have a lot of internal data that helps you understand your target consumer. You might also have smaller budgets that do not allow for a large amount of audience research.
So do you start throwing darts with your marketing? No way.
It is critical to understand your target consumer to expand your audiences and segment them intelligently to engage them with effective messaging and creatives. Even at a limited budget, you have a few tools that can help you understand your target audience and the audience that you want to reach. We will walk through a few of these tools in further detail below.
Five tools for audience research on a budget
Tool #1 – In-platform insights (LinkedIn)
If you already have a LinkedIn Ads account, you have a great place to gain insights on your target consumer, especially if you are a B2B lead generation business.
In order to pull data on your target market, you must place the LinkedIn insight tag on your site.
Once the tag has been placed, you will be able to start pulling audience data, which can be found on the website demographics tab. The insights provided include location, country, job function, job title, company, company industry, job seniority, and company size. You can look at the website as a whole or view specific pages on the site by creating website audiences. You can also compare the different audiences that you have created.
Tool #2 – In-platform insights (Facebook)
Facebook’s Audience Insights tool allows you to gain more information about the audience interacting with your page. It also shows you the people interested in your competitors’ pages.
You can see a range of information about people currently interacting with your page by selecting “People connected to your page.”
To find out information about the users interacting with competitor pages, select “Interests” and type the competitor page or pages. The information that you can view includes age and gender, relationship status, education level, job title, page likes, location (cities, countries, and languages), and device used.
Tool #3 – In-platform insights (Google Customer Match)
Google Customer Match is a great way to get insights on your customers if you have not yet run paid search or social campaigns.
You can load in a customer email list and see data on your customers to include details like gender, age, parental status, location, and relevant Google Audiences (in-market audiences and affinity audiences). These are great options to layer onto your campaigns to gain more data and potentially bid up on these users or to target and bid in a separate campaign to stay competitive on broader terms that might be too expensive.
Tool #4 – External insights (competitor research)
There are a few tools that help you conduct competitor research in paid search and paid social outside of the engines and internal data sources.
SEMrush and SpyFu are great for understanding what search queries you are showing up for organically. These tools also allow you to do some competitive research to see what keywords competitors are bidding for, their ad copy, and the search queries they are showing up for organically.
All of these will help you understand how your target consumer is interacting with your brand on the SERP.
MOAT and AdEspresso are great tools to gain insights into how your competition portrays their brand on the Google Display Network (GDN) and Facebook. These tools will show you the ads that are currently running on GDN and Facebook, allowing you to further understand messaging and offers that are being used.
Tool #5 – Internal data sources
There might not be a large amount of data in your CRM system, but you can still glean customer insights.
Consider breaking down your data into different segments, including top customers, disqualified leads, highest AOV customers, and highest lifetime value customers. Once you define those segments, you can identify your most-desirable and least-desirable customer groups and bid/target accordingly.
Whether you’re just starting a digital marketing program or want to take a step back to understand your target audience without the benefit of a big budget, you have options. Dig into the areas defined in this post, and make sure that however you’re segmenting your audiences, you’re creating ads and messaging that most precisely speak to those segments.
Lauren Crain is a Client Services Lead in 3Q Digital’s SMB division, 3Q Incubate.
The beginning of a new year is as good a reason as any other to try something new: a different lifestyle, a new hobby, a brand new marketing strategy.
And, of course, a new tool, since it’s both exciting and rewarding to discover awesome software that helps you deal with work and, sometimes, with life as well.
This is a list of social media monitoring/listening tools you should check out next year.
Some of them have existed for a while, some are new and fresh on the market.
But all of them are worth trying out and using in your marketing tool set (if social monitoring is in your marketing strategy at all, as it should be). So let’s start:
Which social media monitoring tools should you check out this year?
Awario collects mentions of your keywords from a large range of sources (that keeps getting larger).
It monitors all major social media platforms, Reddit and other forums, news sites and blogs, and the Web.
It works in real-time: whenever your keyword is mentioned, it will immediately appear in your mention feed, and you’ll be able to check it at any point and reply to the mention straight from the dashboard. All reviews, complaints, questions and comments can be dealt with as quickly as you like.
Awario also does its fair deal of analysis. It analyses the growth of mentions, their Reach (how many people do mentions reach), its sentiment (a percentage of positive, negative, and neutral mentions), mentions’ locations, languages, and sources.
You can also generate reports on mentions’ statistics, compare analytics with your competitors, and see your industry influencers.
One of the features that makes Awario stand out is Awario Leads – a recent addition made specifically for finding hot leads online. It brings surprisingly good results and can properly transform the way you sell!
Price: Starts with $ 29/mo. You can also sign up for a free 14-day trial.
Mention is one of the oldest and tried out social media monitoring tools. The French company had the time to mature, discover what the users need, and make sure it delivers the best possible results.
Its main goal is real-time search: you get the results from the past 24 hours after setting up an alert. Historical data is only available on request.
Mention is a good choice for large companies: it monitors all main sources, lets you tag and organize mentions, build your own custom reports and export them in PDF and CSV.
There’s even an automated reports feature: they update you on what’s happening with your alerts on a regular basis. The tool also finds influencers in your industry, reveals their interests, locations, and follower count, and makes it easy to jump into influencer marketing.
Mention is integrated with Slack and Zapier which makes marketing workflow smooth and simple.
Price: Starts with $ 29/mo. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial.
Brand24 is a solid social media monitoring tool for small and medium-sized businesses.
It has existed for a while on the Polish market, but focused on the English-speaking part of the world fairly recently. It monitors Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, YouTube, Instagram, the web and saves historical data for up to 12 months.
Similarly to Awario and Mention, Brand24 filters by countries and languages, provides mentions’ statistics, and Influencer reports. However, reports aren’t white-label and data export is only allowed in the Premium plan.
Brand24 allows multi-user access for up to 99 users, which is great for large social media marketing teams.
Moreover, they have Slack integration and a mobile app, making social media monitoring a process that anyone from the team can do at any point of their day.
Price: Starts with $ 49/mo. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial.
TweetDeck isn’t quite on the same level as the tools mentioned before, as it only just monitors Twitter.
But that’s fair, since it’s a tool By Twitter for Twitter. The tool doesn’t stop at monitoring: you can also schedule posts for Twitter and look at Twitter analytics.
Basically, it’s a handy tool if Twitter is your preferred marketing channel and the one you want to keep an eye on. After all, it often makes sense: most social media crises happen there, and most brands interact with customers on exactly this social media platform.
Price: Free. Sign up with your Twitter account.
Keyhole is a tool that combines a real TweetDeck and a hypothetical TweetDeck for Instagram.
Keyhole does social listening for these two platforms and analyzes the mentions found. It also does automated posting on Twitter and Instagram. Besides these two platforms, Keyhole monitors blogs and news sites.
What Keyhole does especially well is reports. Clear, customizable, and embeddable reports include growth rates, engagement metrics, historical data, social media influencers, and sentiment analysis. You’ve got access to all kinds of presentation forms: clouds, graphs, charts, maps, and so on. It’s a delight for both users and clients.
Price: Starts with $ 199/mo. Sign up for a free 7-day trial.
Brandwatch is a tool made for marketing departments and social media marketing teams that you might find in big corporations. It does social listening across all platforms, blogs, forums, and the web.
It mostly stands out due to its social media analytics and reporting features. Brandwatch collects not only its own social listening data, but also other kinds of data from Hootsuite, Buzzsumo, and Google Analytics.
As a result, you get demographic and psychographic data about your audience, their location and languages, trending topics in your niche, robust sentiment analysis, and all other information you might need to do comprehensive market research.
You also get dashboards that can be exported into customizable PowerPoint presentations.
Price: Starts with $ 500/mo. There’s no free trial, but you can book a demo here.
Talkwalker is another social media monitoring tool that’s made mostly for agencies.
It monitors even niche social media platforms, such as Flickr, Pinterest, Foursquare, SoundCloud, Twitch, and so on, in addition, of course, to all the main ones, such as blogs, forums, news sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. It stands out for the ability to analyze images (e.g., find all photos with your logo).
Talkwalker is integrated with Google Analytics and analyses age, gender, occupation, location, languages; identifies main content themes and mentions’ sentiment.
Just as Brandwatch, Talkwalker is meant to work with great amounts of data rather than with specific mentions, and its main uses are market research and reputation management.
Price: Freemium, paid plans start with $ 700/mo. Start for free here.
So here you go: you’ve got a sample of the best social media monitoring tools for every kind of budget and every kind of social listening goals: from customer service to lead generation and extensive market research. Go ahead and start the year with a new tool that is best for you and your business!
- How to scale your social media marketing to build traffic and leads
- Top social media trends for 2019
- What is social media listening (and how it can help your SEO)
- Experts agree: Social media is ineffective in local link building
The post 7 social media monitoring tools to check out in 2019 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
It’s that time of the year again: reflecting on the year that’s past as we prepare for 2019 lurking around the corner. In this article, we have a roundup of some of our fan favorite pieces from 2018 on SEO.
From how to’s to tips to tools, these were some of our highlights from the past year. SEW spark notes, if you will.
If you missed these pieces throughout the year, they’ll be worth a read. And if you’ve already read them, never hurts to refresh!
On Monday, we’ll have a roundup of our top articles on search industry news and trends.
If you have launched a new website, updated a single page on your existing domain, or altered many pages and/or the structure of your site, you will likely want Google to display your latest content in its SERPs.
While Google’s crawlers are obviously pretty good at their job — indexing countless new pages simply from natural traffic and links from around the web — it never hurts to give Googlebot a little assistance.
In this article, we look at a few ways to alert Google’s crawlers to new URLs on your site.
Because one can never have enough Google Analytics insight, right?
One of the most useful features in GA, event tracking lets you capture all kinds of information about how people behave on your site.
In this article, we go step by step through two different ways you can set up event tracking: first, by adding the code manually, and second, by using Google Tag Manager.
This is a great tutorial for anyone looking to familiarize themselves with the task.
Meta tags help search engines and website visitors determine what the content of your page is about.
They’re placed in the <head> section of a HTML document and need to be coded into your CMS. Depending on the platform you use, this can be quite less intense than it sounds.
Many “out of the box” solutions provide extremely user-friendly, labelled sections such as “meta description” calling your attention to exactly what goes where.
In this article, we take a look at why meta tags are important, along with the six main types of meta tags to focus on for SEO.
For anyone who’s ever had questions about what SEOs should do with Single Page Applications (SPAs), this article is for you. Long, thorough, entertaining, and full of resources.
This article is bit of a coming to terms with that reality, accepting SPAs as part of our SEO future, and even dipping our toes in, if you will.
We look at what developers like about JS, how it was never intended for web page content delivery, common SEO problems of SPAs, and a host of other questions you might be asking.
Finally, we end with eleven recommendations for further reading — really, this could become the whole rest of your holiday break — on how Google treats SPAs, core principles of SEO for JS and for SPAs, and more information than you could want.
Domain Authority (DA) serves as a handy heuristic in the SEO industry. It helps tell us how likely a site is to rank for specific keywords, based on the SEO authority it holds.
Many SEOs use Domain Authority to sense-check the quality of their inbound links and to understand how these are affecting their own’s site’s SEO health.
In this article, we round up some of the best ways to check out domain authority. We look at what factors go into DA, and how these tools go about calculating it.
‘Domain Authority’ was devised by Moz and they have naturally taken ownership of this name. Their suite of tools (some of which are discussed in this article) will reveal the authority of particular domains, but dozens of other free tools use Moz’s API to show these scores too.
This is another quite popular deep dive into SEO tips. We know “improving search rankings” gets a lot of fluff, but this is not that.
Here, we look closely at what makes RankBrain tick, and 15 ways to use that to your fancy.
Sections cover tips around optimizing keywords, optimizing title tags, optimizing descriptions, and reducing bounce rates and dwell times. Fun fact: research by HubSpot and Outbrain found that titles with brackets performed 33 percent better than titles without.
Questions about how to add LSI keywords? How long should long-form content really be? Benefits of long-tail vs medium size keywords? How much difference in clicks will a few characters too long in a headline actually make? All of that and much more (along with lots of screenshots) here.
This article is a roundup of exactly what it sounds like — 30 ways to market your online business for free. It covers everything from emails to social media, from Google Analytics to Search Console, from forums to guest posting, from metadata to Schema.org.
While a few of the ways could be updated — posting to Google+, for instance, might be less helpful anymore — the list still provides some hefty inspiration to anyone needing a little boost of ideas for what to do online.
This was a quite recent article that has soared. As we know, for SEO these days we need content that includes related concepts, satisfies intent, and provides value. The days of exact keyword matching are far behind us.
In this article, we have four great tools to use when optimizing for related keywords — and of course, how to use them.
For instance, the first tool in the list is TextOptimizer. It takes a term you give it, looks at the Google search results page, extracts snippets, and applies semantic analysis.
With that, it ouputs a list of all the related topics, terms, and concepts that form your topic cluster. From that cluster, it recommends you choose 15-25 of the words for a higher rank.
Lest we forget: local search.
For those looking to rank higher in searches tied to a user’s location — i.e. users that might be quite near your store and itching to buy something — a Google My Business listing is an essential first step.
This article gives a how to guide for first setting up your listing, claiming and verifying your business, filling out the information, and adding photos. From there, we go over gathering reviews, posting updates, monitoring your profile, and tracking data from Insights.
Of all the many, many things to do in SEO, optimizing a Google My Business listing is very straightforward. It can have a profoundly positive effect on your SEO — a whole wealth of ranking opportunity up for grabs.
This post is a follow up to our first episode of The PPC Newsflash, the new webinar series where we will bring you expert commentary on the newest updates in the PPC industry. See the video below, or if you’re multitasking and just want to listen, check out the podcast! Once upon a time, mobile […]
Read more at PPCHero.com
If you visited a Bulletin store, or bought products off its website, COO Ali Kriegsman said you might “pigeonhole” the company as a “feminist apparel brand” — a place to buy T-shirts and accessories with fun, provocative political slogans.
And yes, that is part of what draws consumers. But Kriegsman and her co-founder Alana Branston have also laid out their broader vision for a more flexible, WeWork-style approach to brick-and-mortar retail, one where brands essentially rent out shelf space in Bulletin stores.
So brands that may have only sold online can experiment with physical sales, while shoppers can purchase from a curated, constantly refreshed selection of brands and products.
“We’re building this more feminine retail company, but we are also part real estate company, and now, we are also part technology company,” Kriegsman said.
The “now” that she’s referring to is the launch of Bulletin Omni, a software platform that allows brands to apply to sell with Bulletin, manage their inventory and track their sales.
Bulletin has actually been working on something like this since I first talked to the team last year, but according to Maggie Braine, the company’s director of product and brand experience, Omni only just reached the point where the company is ready to roll it out to all of the 150 brands it works with. She said that without it, the company has mostly relied on “emails, phone calls, and a very, very large Google Doc” to manage the process.
Braine gave me a quick walk-through of Omni, showing me how a brand could, with just a few clicks, add a new product to its offerings in a given store, confirm once that product has actually arrived and then see how each product is selling in each store.
That’s “unheard of” in traditional retail, she said, where “there’s very little transparency” once goods are purchased by retailers. With Omni, Braine said the goal is to give brands the same kinds of data around physical purchases that they have access to when they promote and sell their products through online channels.
She also said the team plans to introduce ways for in-store staff to offer feedback to the brands — like whether a product isn’t selling because it’s too expensive.
Kriegsman said that if the software does well enough, she could imagine Bulletin becoming “a retail software destination,” where other companies buy the software to manage non-Bulletin stores.
Either way, she predicted that Omni will allow Bulletin itself to expand more quickly. The company currently has three New York City stores — one in SoHo, one in Williamsburg and a recently opened location near Union Square — with plans to open in additional cities later this year.
Keyword research is an integral part of any search engine optimization strategy – and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Keyword research takes up a significant chunk of time, and this is the case for many marketers, website owners and content creators. But it is something that has been expanding outward toward small and medium business owners as well, as having a fully optimized website is a necessity in running a company with any kind of online presence.
In the past, it was a matter of putting in the leg work – often for hours a day – to find the best keyword strategy. Today it is much simpler as more tools have been developed to make the job much faster and easier than ever before. Unfortunately, many of those tools are costly and over budget for anyone but enterprise level brands.
To keep things more affordable you can use alternative tools – often several to compensate – that are low cost, or even completely free. Here are some keyword research tools that you won’t believe don’t cost a cent.
Ubersuggest can be used for both content research (and to help surpass any idea blocks) and keyword research tool. By entering a phrase or keyword, choosing the medium (i.e. web, images, Yahoo) and language preference, the platform will give you a list of related searches, along with search volume, CPC, and rate of competition by percentage.
For example, searching for “content marketing” gives 913 results with an overall volume of 18,100, a CPC of $ 23.25, and a competition rate of 0.58. Scrolling down gives you a breakdown of all the variants and how that changes, such as “affiliate ads” having a volume of 140, CPC of $ 4.70, and a competition rate of 0.36.
The tool requires no login and, unlike Keyword Planner (which shows a range), it shows the actual search volume and competition level.
Everyone knows about Google Keyword Planner and probably uses it, as it is the most accurate keyword tool on the web if your aim is to target Google search.
However, you may not have heard about Google Correlate, which is a very helpful and effective tool that works by taking searches and correlating them with trends happening both on the web and out in the real world. It establishes patterns that you might have never realized existed, and even lets you compare based on time period – both long and short term.
Do you want to know what is popular on all major search engines, and not just Google? Keyword.Guru is a great tool that takes live searches and lets you know the moment you start typing what suggestions it has, so you can see what people are searching for at any given time.
There aren’t any real metrics, but not everyone likes to deal with numbers. This tool is less technical than some, but more accessible if you just want to see what searches are most common without all the associated information, which can be overwhelming to even seasoned keyword researchers.
Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, and YouTube: what do they have in common? Soovle covers all of them, which makes it easier to get a good grasp of what is going on through multiple channels.
Being able to search YouTube for video content, Wikipedia for educational articles, and Amazon for sales info is especially helpful for getting a broader glimpse of the current state of search on the web. Soovle doesn’t generate any numbers for each keyword, but lets you quickly get a general idea of what interests your audience across a range of channels.
Akin to Keyword.Guru, it does it on the same page and with live search updates.
Bulk Keyword Suggest Tool
Bulk Keyword Suggest Tool allows you to dig into auto-suggest results from Bing, Amazon and YouTube. It was created by SEOchat and uses core terms to build a wider circle of phrases for use.
It is simple to use, easy to read and very fast to search. You can run a second or third bulk suggest and compare, then export your results or only specific ones based on how you click.
Bonus: Awesome freemium tools
Serpstat is a growth-hacking tool, and an effective at that. It has paid versions starting at $ 19 per month, allowing you to graduate to new levels as your business grows. However, there is also a free version that works with different iterations of Google based on country.
Serpstat calculates keyword difficulty for each search query, shows “special elements” (which inform us on search intent) and social media domains ranking for each term, and offers advanced filters to dig deep into each keyword list. It is also one of the few tools that also works on Yandex.
The graphs that are generated are simple bar graphs that effectively break things down and make it easy to understand at a glance.
WordStream has a freemium model and its full featured tool is around $ 260 per month with a discount option to pay annually. However, it also has a free, limited version that I like to use because it allows you to specify industry if you wish.
That makes it a little bit easier if the key phrase you are working with it more general and could apply to unrelated fields. You can also specify based on country, which is great if you don’t want to automatically target a US audience (something that many tools do since it is the largest Google market).
Do you have a tool you feel deserves to be on this list? Let us know in the comments.
Explore how to use the Facebook Audience Insights tool to develop buyer personas, spy on your competitors and more!
Read more at PPCHero.com
Streamlined account management
With centralized account management, you can control user access and permissions across multiple products, like Analytics, Tag Manager, and Optimize.
The first step is to create an organization to represent your business. You then link this organization to all of the different accounts that belong to your business. You can also move accounts between the organizations you create.
Now you have a central location where administrators for your organization can:
- Create rules for which types of new users should be allowed access to your organization
- Audit existing users and decide which products and features they should have access to
- Remove users who have left your organization or no longer need access to the tools
- See the last time a user in your organization accessed Google Analytics data
- Allow users to discover who are your organization’s admins and contact them for help
New home page
Setting up an organization also gives you access to a new home page that provides an overview of your business. You’ll be able to manage accounts and settings across products and get insights and quick access to the products and features you use most. For example, you might see a large increase in visitors for a specific Analytics property, and then click through to Analytics to investigate where the visitors are coming from.
Finally, you’ll get a unified user experience across products. Common navigation and product headers make it easy to switch between products and access the data you need. You can view accounts by organization, or see everything you have access to in one place. We’ve also redesigned search, making it possible to search across all of your accounts in a single place.
These updates will be rolling out over the next few weeks, so please stay tuned if you don’t yet have access.
Note: If you’re using the enterprise versions of our products, like Analytics 360, you already have access to these features as part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite.
Posted by John Oberbeck, Product Manager Google Analytics
Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that serves as a handy heuristic in the SEO industry. Put simply, it provides insight into how likely a site is to rank for specific keywords, based on the SEO authority it holds. There are numerous tools that can help us arrive at these useful scores.
Below, we round up some of the most accurate and intuitive ways to see a site’s SEO equity.
In an often opaque industry, with few insights into how Google’s algorithms really work for organic search, the lure of a metric like Domain Authority is self-evident.
It provides a glimpse into the SEO “strength” of a website, in a similar fashion to the now obsolete PageRank toolbar. Google still makes use of some variation of the PR algorithm internally, but its scores are no longer visible to the public and were never particularly helpful.
If anything, they encouraged some negative attempts to “game” Google’s rankings through link acquisition.
However, many SEOs make use of Domain Authority to sense-check the quality of their inbound links and to understand how these are affecting their own’s site’s SEO health.
What is Domain Authority?
“Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.
Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating linking root domains, number of total links, MozRank, MozTrust, etc. — into a single DA score. This score can then be used when comparing websites or tracking the “ranking strength” of a website over time.” – Moz.
Ultimately, this is a representative model of how Google decides which pages should rank for each query, and in what order they should rank.
As is the case with the term ‘relevance’, authority covers a very broad area of assessment that is open to interpretation. Domain Authority aims to cut through that ambiguity by providing a metric that can compare the SEO strength of different websites based on a consistent methodology.
Although marketers are aware that DA has intrinsic limitations as a metric, it is at least a barometer of whether our SEO efforts are gaining traction or not. As such, it serves an important purpose.
When prospecting for new links, for example, it is helpful to check the DA of external sites before contacting the site about a potential partnership. Combined with a range of other metrics – both qualitative and quantitative – Domain Authority can therefore guide brands towards more effective SEO decisions.
‘Domain Authority’ was devised by Moz and they have naturally taken ownership of this name. Their suite of tools (some of which are discussed in this article) will reveal the authority of particular domains, but dozens of other free tools use Moz’s API to show these scores too.
However, a couple of other SEO software packages provide a slightly different view on a domain’s SEO strength.
Moz’s scores are based on the links contained within its own index, which is undoubtedly smaller than Google’s index of URLs.
Other SEO software companies, such as Majestic and Ahrefs, have their own index of URLs. These indexes will largely overlap with each other, but there are still questions to pose to your chosen provider:
- Index size: How many URLs are contained within the software’s index?
- Frequency of index crawling: How often is the index refreshed?
- Live links: Are there common instances of ‘false positives’, where inactive links are reported with 200 status codes?
- Correlation with actual rankings: Simply, does a higher domain score equate to better rankings?
The importance of these questions, and the resultant significance of their answers, will depend on a brand’s context. Nonetheless, these are points worth considering when assessing the scores your site receives.
Each of the main players in this space has subtle distinctions within its methodology, which will be important for most SEOs.
We will begin our round-up with the Moz tools (some of them free) that will show the Domain Authority for any site, before looking at a couple of alternatives that provide a valuable reference point.
Moz (MozBar, Open Site Explorer)
It should be clear that Moz is the major contender when it comes to checking a domain’s SEO authority. We included MozBar on our list of the best Google Chrome extensions for SEO and it deserves its place in this list, too.
MozBar will highlight the Domain Authority of any site a user is browsing, along with the Page Authority (PA) of that particular URL. As the name suggest, PA applies a similar methodology to DA, but localized to a particular URL rather than a domain.
This is also available in search results pages, making it possible to see whether a site’s Domain or Page Authority correlates with higher rankings for particular queries.
As such, these two metrics in combination are a great starting point for investigations into the quality and quantity of backlinks pointing to a domain.
Marketers should be aware, however, that these scores do fluctuate.
That should be viewed as a positive, as the scores are an increasingly accurate reflection of how Google is evaluating sites. Moz employs machine learning algorithms to re-calibrate the authority scores based on link activity across its index, but also the impact that certain types of link have.
We can consider this an attempt to peg the Moz index to that of Google, and we know the latter is tweaked thousands of times a year.
Therefore, we should be careful about the causal links we infer from DA scores.
When tracking Domain Authority, always benchmark against similar sites to avoid viewing this as an absolute indication of how well you are performing. By viewing it as a relative metric instead, we can gain a healthier insight into whether our strategy is working.
This is where another Moz-owned tool, Open Site Explorer, proves its worth. Open Site Explorer uses a range of proprietary Moz metrics to highlight the areas in which specific sites under- or over-perform. the side by side comparisons it creates are an intuitive way to spot strengths and weaknesses in a site’s link profile on a broader scale.
Moz’s Domain Authority is undoubtedly useful – especially when used as an entry point into deeper investigation. MozBar and Open Site Explorer provide access to this metric for all marketers, so they should be viewed as the go-to resources for anyone seeking a check on their site’s SEO ranking potential.
Ahrefs boasts an index of over 12 trillion links and data on 200 million root domains, making it an invaluable repository for SEOs wanting to understand their site’s SEO performance.
The two metrics that matter within the scope of this article are URL Rating (UR) and Domain Rating (DR).
We can consider these Ahrefs’ equivalents to Page Authority and Domain Authority, respectively, at least in terms of their purpose.
The latter is defined by Ahrefs as “a proprietary metric that shows the strength of a target website’s total backlink profile (in terms of its size and quality).”
It appears frequently within the software interface, in examples like the one in the screenshot below:
So, why would you use the Ahrefs DR score over Moz’s DA calculation? Their definitions do seem strikingly similar, after all.
As always, the detail is critical. If we refer back to our initial points for consideration, it becomes possible to compare Ahrefs with Moz:
- Index size
- Frequency of index crawling
- Live links
- Correlation with actual rankings
Both Moz and Ahrefs have invested significantly in improving the size, quality and freshness of their link data. Some SEOs have a preference for one over the other, and their scores do vary significantly on occasion.
Those that prefer Ahrefs typically do so for the freshness of its index and DR’s correlation with actual rankings.
The clarity of the Ahrefs methodology is also very welcome, right down to the number of links typically required to reach a specific DR score.
To put things simply, we calculate the DR of a given website the following way:
- Look at how many unique domains have at least 1 dofollow link to the target website;
- Take into account the DR values of those linking domains;
- Take into account how many unique domains each of those websites link to;
- Apply some math and coding magic to calculate “raw” DR scores;
- Plot these scores on a 0–100 scale (which is dynamic in nature and will “stretch” over time).
- DR 0–20: 20 ref.domains
- DR 20–40: 603 ref.domains
- DR 40–60: 4,212 ref.domains
- DR 60–80: 25,638 ref.domains
- DR 80–100: 335,717 ref.domains
Ahrefs requires a monthly licence to access its data; for those that do sign up, it provides a very useful sanity check for the domain strength scores seen elsewhere.
Majestic is marketed as “The planet’s largest link index database” and it remains a trusted component of any SEO toolbox for the thorough nature of its backlink data.
Offering two index options (Fresh and Historic), it also allows marketers to different views of how their domain is performing. As with Moz and Ahrefs, Majestic’s scores for site strength are calculated almost exclusively based on the quality and quantity of inbound links.
Opting for the Historic Index will see Majestic scour the billions of URLs it has crawled within the last 5 years, while the Fresh Index is updated multiple times per day.
This software takes a slightly different tack in relation to the labeling of its domain metrics, which are known as Trust Flow and Citation Flow.
These are interrelated metrics that combine to form the set of Majestic Flow Metrics. These are very insightful because of the immediate score they provide (ranging from a low of 0 to a high of 100), and also for the opportunities to dig further into the backlink data.
One favorite feature of Majestic is the ability to analyze historical backlink acquisition trends, both in terms of links gained and links lost. As such, Majestic’s domain strength metrics provide actionable insight that can be used to shape strategy immediately. For example, the loss of a lot of links on a particular date may provide an opportunity to reach out to webmasters and try to regain that equity.
Majestic also comes with a handy toolbar that overlays domain metrics on the site a user is browsing. Although an apples to apples comparison between Majestic and Moz or Majestic and Ahrefs, in relation to the efficacy of their domain authority rankings, would be difficult, this would also be to miss the point.
All of these tools are aiming to mimic the functioning of Google as accurately as they can; taken together they form a more rounded picture.
Given the ongoing significance not only of backlinks, but also the potential of unlinked mentions to boost performance, search marketers are quite rightly looking to Domain Authority to assess their SEO potential.
The core elements of a successful, customer-centric remain the same as they always were; higher scores, from whichever domain metrics one chooses to monitor, should be seen as a natural by-product of a strategy that fulfils the modern consumer’s needs.