Explore how to use the Facebook Audience Insights tool to develop buyer personas, spy on your competitors and more!
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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.
Facebook says that one of its success stories in recent years involves a relatively small group of engineers. Originally it was just one engineer, Vastal Mehta, who serves as Facebook’s director of solutions engineering and now leads a team of more than 100 people that works with advertisers to build the technology and infrastructure needed to run more effective campaigns on Facebook. Read More
Social – TechCrunch
The complexity of an organic search campaign necessitates some technological assistance. There are plenty of tools on the market, but they vary in price, functionality, and effectiveness.
Once you have all the basics in place, which SEO tools should you invest in to take your strategy to the next level?
The SEO landscape is highly competitive, with every company battling for precious real estate at the top of page one. The points of differentiation between competitors fall into the following, intertwined categories: people and technology. Assuming you already have your SEO team or agency partner in place, you will need to enable them with the best technology on the market.
The Google-owned products (Keyword Planner, Search Console, Google Analytics) are essential to cover the basics, but an advanced SEO strategy usually requires some investment in third-party technology. That need has created a crowded market – one that can be difficult to navigate without guidance.
Moreover, there is overlap to contend with, as so many tools appear to do so many similar things.
In truth, every tool tends to excel in one or two areas. Many will promise to be an all-in-one solution, but the task is too gargantuan to be tackled convincingly. Instead, a combination of tools is required to cover all the bases.
Any large-scale SEO campaign will encompass the following areas:
At each juncture, we are met by a lengthy list of technology solutions that can reveal new insights, automate the drudgery, and tell us whether our strategy is working.
Marketers should prioritize these categories, as budgets are rarely limitless and many of the best SEO tools do require investment.
Previously, we have covered the best free SEO tools and the best tools for a mobile SEO strategy. In this article, we will review the best tools to invest in for each of the core areas of an advanced SEO strategy.
Research: Moz Pro
A Moz Pro licence provides access to an impressive suite of SEO tools. Customers can utilize a site crawl, a keyword tracker, and an on-page grader, among many others.
That gives Moz Pro mass appeal, but it is essential to take note of where it excels, and where it is surpassed by other solutions.
The Keyword Explorer tool is particularly valuable for research, going far beyond what Google’s Keyword Planner can offer. Moz’s keyword research tool provides a range of suggestions for keywords to target and groups these together by their degree of lexical similarity.
At a time when sophisticated SEO professionals have moved beyond keyword matching to a more nuanced targeting approach, this capability is indispensable.
Open Site Explorer (OSE) is a long-time member of the standard SEO toolbox and it retains its usefulness for competitor backlink analyses.
Proprietary Moz metrics like Domain Authority, Page Authority, and Spam Score add extra depth to OSE and, while it is not comprehensive enough to suffice as the only backlink checker in an SEO’s armoury, it forms a natural complement to the likes of Ahrefs and Majestic.
The Moz toolbar also made our list of the best Chrome extensions for SEO, providing access to all the Moz Pro features as you visit websites.
Cost: Ranges from $ 99/month for the basic package to $ 599/month for the premium offering.
Honorable mentions: Similarweb.
Technical SEO: Botify
Technical SEO is a complex field, characterized (perhaps even caricatured) by never-ending spreadsheets and impenetrable code.
The gap between technical SEO experts and business leaders has therefore always been significant. Tools like Screaming Frog, which are highly valuable but difficult to decipher for the novice, have not helped to bridge this gap.
And yet, the importance of technical SEO for performance means that its messages need to be communicated to non-technical audiences.
Botify manages to dive deep enough to the data to provide meaningful analysis, but also display this in a compelling manner that gets the message across.
Core to its effectiveness is the Botify Log Analyzer, which collects and analyzes data at the server level. This provides an accurate record of Googlebot’s visits to the site and highlights any crawling issues.
The significance of this data was highlighted just last week, with Google’s John Mueller suggesting log file analysis as the ideal resource for site owners that want to see if they have been switched over to the mobile-first index:
I think you would probably recognize it in the log files. If you look now, probably something like 80% of the crawling is with the Googlebot desktop and maybe 20% is with mobile with the smartphone Googlebot.
And probably that will shift over and that most of the crawling will be done with the smartphone Googlebot and less crawling with the desktop Googlebot.
So if you like really watch out for your log files probably you can notice that fairly obviously.
Another albatross around the neck of technical SEO has been that its improvements are hard to tie to performance. Aside from serious issues that are causing URLs to be left out of Google’s index altogether, for example, many technical recommendations can end up gathering dust while the more glamorous changes are put into effect.
Botify Keywords is a handy feature in this sense, as it pulls in Search Console rankings data that can be tied back to any technical changes made on the site. This brings an extra element of accountability to technical SEO, all of which is tracked in the user’s dashboard automatically.
Cost: Varies, depending on site.
Honorable mention: Deepcrawl.
Keyword tracking: BrightEdge
Modern-day keyword tracking is something of a thankless task. With the twin advances of personalization and localization, there is really no such thing as a ‘true’ ranking position for each keyword. Google’s rankings differ based on so many factors that they can no longer be considered a static resource, but we can’t simply ignore rankings.
As a result, SEOs will typically use a combination of tools, including Google’s Search Console, to get a handle on how well their site is performing.
BrightEdge is the choice of many large corporations for SEO performance tracking, due to its user-friendly interface, customizable reports, and analytics integrations. It also provides the ability to track rankings down to a specific metropolitan area, which proves invaluable for brands with a presence across a range of territories.
Though the platform has evolved to encompass these new products, at its core BrightEdge is still a reliable rank tracker that provides at-a-glance performance insights for stakeholders from the SEO specialist to the CMO.
Cost: Dependent on number of keywords, domains, and territories required.
Honorable mentions: STAT Search Analytics, SearchMetrics, SEMrush.
Backlink analysis: Ahrefs
When assessing a backlink analysis tool, there are some essential fields to consider.
Firstly, the size of the technology’s index of URLs should be assessed to discern how accurate its findings will be.
None will exactly match the scope of Google’s index, which of course is significantly larger than any SEO tool could muster. However, it is important to bear in mind that each tool crawls and creates its own index, so the results you see in your dashboard on each may be different.
Next, check to see how frequently the index is updated. Given the importance of links for SEO rankings, most practitioners will want to see the quantity and quality of backlinks directed to their site on at least a weekly basis.
Ahrefs’ index contains 3 trillion URLs and is updated daily, which gives it the edge over its competitors.
It provides a comprehensive overview of historical backlink performance and helps SEOs to pinpoint any issues that may be hampering performance. Ahrefs is also a great resource for competitor analysis and can be used to find new websites to target through outreach activities.
All in all, Ahrefs provides the best package for advanced backlink analysis.
Cost: From $ 99/month to $ 999/month.
Honorable mention: Majestic SEO.
Content marketing: Buzzsumo
Backlinks are a vital factor in how Google crawls the web and ranks websites, but social shares and mentions are the next stage of evolution for a content marketing strategy.
Essentially, a site with content that attracts a lot of relevant, authoritative links and large quantities of social media interactions may be looked upon favorably when it comes to ranking websites for a specific query.
That is easier said than done, of course.
Buzzsumo has become an important tool for SEOs precisely because it aids us in this difficult task. Marketers can enter a domain name or just a keyword to see which pieces of content are performing best in terms of backlinks and social media shares.
The intuitive interface allows for a lot of customization, so it is possible to hone in on particular social networks, dates, or topics.
This makes it a helpful resource for influencer research too, as it also identifies the individuals that have helped certain content assets to ‘go viral’.
Buzzsumo can’t write the content for you, but it does a great job of at least telling you what to write about. It also provides almost instantaneous feedback on how your content is performing, making it an infinitely valuable tool for an advanced SEO strategy.
Cost: $ 79/month to $ 499+/month.
In this new live webinar, Kristin Vick from Hanapin Marketing and Jeff Sauer from Jeffalytics discuss how marketers can ensure they have the budget they need to be effective with online advertising and get the right tools to make that argument.
Read more at PPCHero.com
Centralized user management
Administrators can now centrally manage users across all Google Analytics accounts linked to your organization. If you have many accounts, and need to add users across them, you’ll see huge time savings. For example, if you need to give a new teammate access to 25 accounts, you previously had to visit every account to get them setup. Now you can complete this task from one place.
You can also:
- View rich cross product and cross account details for your users
- Manage a user’s access across many Analytics accounts in one console
- See new details about how a user inherits their permissions
- Get clear in-product explanations of different access levels and privileges
If you’re just using Google Analytics, and don’t need to manage users across accounts, you’ll see many of these same improvements inside of Google Analytics. All of the navigation and documentation improvements are present in both places.
User Groups in Google Analytics
Organization administrators often need to manage access for hundreds of users. This process can be tedious, especially when dealing with multiple Analytics accounts. Now you can more easily manage large teams of users by creating a group, placing the appropriate people inside it, and granting the groups access to the appropriate Analytics accounts. You can even place a group inside a group if you need to manage a hierarchy of teams. To get started, you’ll need to create an organization. Check out this help center article for more information.
Combined with existing features like the ability to centrally audit and set policies for users, these new features bring enterprise grade controls to your organization. They also pave the way for future enhancements, such as bringing centralized user management and user groups to more products.
Posted by Matt Matyas, Product Manager Google Analytics
MioTech, a financial tech startup with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, has raised $ 7 million in Series A funding to develop artificial intelligence based software for investment managers. The round was led by Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of Hong Kong business tycoon Li Ka-shing, with participation from returning investor Zhenfund. Read More
Startups – TechCrunch
Spiro aims to sell CRM software to businesses that have been avoiding traditional CRM products. CEO Adam Honig told me that he and his co-founders originally set out to build artificial intelligence products that could assist with CRM. But then they started hearing from companies that weren’t using any CRM at all. So the team ended up broadening its approach. Read More
Enterprise – TechCrunch
Brands with many distributor locations across the country use dealer locator tools to provide consumers information on how to find their products at local stores.
But more often than not, these dealer locator mappers are missing the necessary local SEO optimizations that make their distributor locations appear prominently on search results pages. These brands are missing out on a huge opportunity to drive more visitors to their website, generate more retail traffic at these physical locations, and capture additional revenue as a result.
Here are a few simple ways to optimize your dealer locator for local search, to capitalize on this opportunity and quit leaving local money on the table.
Create dealer pages with search-friendly navigation
Why do you need to worry about targeting individual dealer location when you’re a big brand?
- Local branding – Consumers prefer to patronize brands the old-fashioned way: by choosing local locations and stores they know and trust.
- Effective, geo-targeted content – In order for Google to index and deliver your content to your intended audience, you need to make it locally relevant.
- No penalties involved – If executed correctly, local SEO for companies with multiple store locations will help you avoid link networking penalties.
Create location landing pages for each of your dealer locations with an organized linking hierarchy based on city, region, or state. It’s best practice to have less than 100 links on a single page, but you’ll probably want to reduce the internal linking structure even more to improve your user experience on these location pages.
If you have more than 100 distributor locations, start out at the state level. The state will link to participating cities, which then provide links to each individual location within that city. Make sure that the links in your navigation structure are search engine crawler-friendly; the shorter, the better.
Example of See’s Candies Locator Breadcrumb Structure:
Give consumers meaty local info: NAP & map
For each of these location pages, provide relevant information about the dealer’s store or service location, including address, phone number and hours of operation. Make sure you include a map!
Make each store’s profile page as unique as possible. For example, you can mention nearby landmarks, which helps the search engines understand your relevance to the local area. Include photos of each location, if possible.
Optimize your dealer location page titles for people & crawlers
Draw from your search query data within Search Console to better understand how users search for your business, and use that insight to craft your dealer location page titles.
Use your brand name, the city, and business type within the title. For instance, “Dad’s Tools Hardware Store in San Diego, CA.”
Help Google associate your dealer locations in maps to your landing pages
Finally, using Google’s Business Location Bulk Upload tool, you can deliver your dealer locator information directly to Google Maps. This allows Google Maps to directly associate each of your locations to a unique landing page.
Use speciality pages for visibility across more relevant queries
How do you reach people who don’t already know your brand? Good local SEO takes advantage of unbranded keywords and demonstrates your relevance for queries related to certain products and services at the local level.
For example, imagine you’re a pet retailer trying to reach pet owners actively seeking out services and items tailored to their pet’s needs, but not specifically for your store. These people might be searching for “dog grooming,” or “pet vaccinations near me.”
Creating and optimizing speciality pages for services within each of your brand’s locations allows you to reach those potential customers while they’re actively looking for local services.
Just how important are speciality pages? A national pet retailer and service provider used hyperlocal speciality pages to promote their dog training, grooming, vaccinations and aquatics services. These pages drove an additional 1.4 million site visits and helped the retailer achieve a 42% lift in search volume year-over-year.
Optimizing all of your store locations can be time consuming, but has major benefits. Using a store location tool automates the process of creating these local listings to save you time, reduce errors, and help each location rank prominently when searchers are looking for businesses like yours.