This is a review of the SEO monitoring service SEO Moz Pro.
Introduction – SEO Moz Pro
If you have no idea what SEO is read my SEO Primer article. Every website owner needs to understand what SEO is and how it’s affecting your position in the search engine and your free traffic. SEO Moz Pro simply helps you to monitor your SEO performance, and the performance of your competitors. It’s not necessarily an SEO consultant, but it does help you identify areas of improvement and help you to monitor how your SEO work is affecting both SERP position and natural search traffic.
SEO Moz Pro is made up of a bunch of reports, much like Google Analytics (GA) is. SEO Moz Pro has 6 useful tools for anyone doing SEO. These tools are Traffic Data, Crawl Diagnostics, Keyword Rankings, Competitive Domain Analysis, On-Page Optimization, and Social.
The Traffic Data report monitors performance and changes of your natural search result traffic. SEO Moz Pro can sync with your GA account in order to provide you with reports specific to SEO. You can view your organic search visit data, much like you would in GA, but you can also view “branded search traffic.” For example, let’s say we’re monitoring MemberMob.com (crowdsourced marketing) and we see that we have an increase in natural search visitors for the previous week. We can look further and see how much of this traffic is from branded searches, “MemberMob”, versus keyword searches, like “Crowdsourced Marketing.” This report shows you a graph of natural search keywords delivering traffic and also provides a data table of these keywords, much like in GA.
The Crawl Diagnostics report provides you with essential information on any errors found while crawling your website. This report is much like the Google Webmaster reports but with a different viewpoint. This report is broken into Errors, Warnings, and Notices. Notices are things like 301 redirects and things that you might just want to be aware of, but aren’t necessarily “bad.” Warnings are things like Long URL, Overly-Dynamic URL, Missing Meta Tags, etc. Errors are problems like Duplicate Page Content, Missing Title Elements, and Server Errors. This report, although necessary to revisit over time, is mostly useful the first time SEO Moz crawls your website. One you’ve decided if the Errors, Warnings, and Notices are something that need to be fixed or ignored there is little value in this report on a week-to-week basis. Obviously if you have major changes to your website on a weekly or monthly basis the value of this tool increases.
The Keyword Rankings report is a pretty standard SEO report that shows your SERP position for each of your keywords across whichever search engines you wish you monitor (Google and Bing, duh). The report shows your position as well as the delta since the last search. A nice feature of this report is that it also shows your search traffic visits and delta next to each keyword. This way you can relate any traffic increases or decreases to your keyword position changes. In the past I would simply check my keywords in Google via search link bookmarks I had saved, but this is proving to be less reliable over time. With Google getting more “local” and with the introduction of tools like Google+ each user’s SERPs are less and less like their neighbors. The Keyword Rankings reports gives you a report that is not geo-localized and not affected by any outside factors.
Competitor Domain Analysis
The Competitive Domain Analysis report is probably the most informative report in SEO Moz as it shows exactly how to rank against your competitors. Of course the data is only as good as what variables you provide it. If you do not have any clear competitors this report becomes less informative. Through this report you can see both an overall ranking of your domain, SEO-wise, versus your competitors as well as the individual characteristics that make up the domain ranking, or “domain authority.” This report tracks many factors some of which are External Followed Links, Total External Links, No Follow vs Follow Link Ratio, etc. This can give you an idea of why you might be performing better or worse than your competitors in the SERPs. Having the highest number of total links but the lowest number of “followed” links might lead you to realize that your competitors are better at getting high-valued links than you are.
The On-Page Optimization report is where you can find some actual action items for improving your SEO. This report shows where you’ve “made the grade” on implementing your on-page SEO and where you’ve failed, based on the keywords that you’ve included for your campaign. You not only get a grade for each keyword, you also can see each characteristic that makes up the grade. Even better, SEO Moz will tell you what it takes to “fix” any item that didn’t go towards a grade of “A.”
The Social report provides you with information on your Twitter and Facebook interactions. You can stay updated on your follower/fan increases and decreases, traffic from your social profiles, and even your Facebook shares and Twitter retweets.
At the time of this blog post the price of the SEO Moz Pro subscription is $99/month. I know for my business this price is worth every penny to be on top of my SEO efforts. I might not find something every month to improve on but I definitely have to be on top of my website SEO work to make sure I’m staying ahead of my competitors.