My SEOMoz review is a little more than your average review and comes at reader request (Hi Christopher this one’s for you!).
I’m going to take you through the full suite of tools they offer with my own blog as a detailed case study over my shoulder.
SEOMoz provides a great suite of tools to monitor your SEO & social campaigns.
You can track rankings, monitor for onsite issues, improve your onsite SEO, monitor social growth, see exactly how traffic is performing, benchmark against your competitor, steal their best backlinks and much more!
What You Will Learn
- How to setup SEOMoz properly
- A full tour of the backend over my shoulder with my blog
- How to use the tools to improve the rankings of your websites
- How to identify SEO problems & watch me fix hundreds of them in seconds
- How to monitor a range of factors including links, social signals & rankings
- How to build, schedule & automate awesome reports
My SEOMoz Review
Hi guys Matthew Woodward here and welcome to my SEOMoz review and tutorial.
Today you are going to learn how to setup SEOMoz properly and get a full tour of the backend over my shoulder as I work to improve my own blog.
You’re going to learn how to use the various tools to improve the rankings of your websites. How to automatically identify SEO problems and fix them easily.
How to monitor a range of factors including links, social signals and rankings in multiple search engines and how to build, schedule and automate awesome reports.
So this is what the SEOMoz website looks like if you’ve not seen it before and it is a collection of SEO and social media tools.
It’s all web based so you don’t need to run or install any software and there is a completely free fully functional 30 day trial available so just click on the big yellow button to start your free trial and enter in your details and once I’ve done that I will resume the video.
So once you’ve signed up to the trial you can build your first campaign and if you enter your website URL here and a name for the campaign.
Up here you’ve got a couple of different options now subdomain will track purely www.matthewwoodward.co.uk but if I had a subdomains perhaps blog.matthewwoodward.co.uk I would want to choose root domain which would track all of the main domains and any subdomains.
But I just want to track www.matthewwoodward.co.uk which is what most people will want to do. So I can continue to the next step. We can select our target search engines.
In Google Analytics I know that most of my traffic comes from Google United States and Google UK, that makes up for about 85% of my traffic. Check your Google Analytics to see which ones you should be tracking, continue.
Now you can choose to track your competitors. Now I’m not going to track any but if you’re an ecommerce site perhaps you might want to see how your competitors are performing against you. You can add them here.
You can also connect your account to Google Analytics which pulls in more data and provides much more actionable reports. I recommend you do this so I’m just going to pause the video while I do that.
Ok I have now done that, continue. Now it allows you to add in a bunch of keywords as well as brand keywords. So you want to have a look in analytics and see which keywords are driving your top traffic and also to find any brand keywords that people might be using to search for you. So one moment while I do that.
Ok so I’ve added some keywords in here now you can add more you can actually track up to 300 keywords this is just to get you going. And I’ve defined my brand keywords as my URL, my last name and part of my first name because some people spell it like that, some people with Matthew and so on.
So let’s hit create my campaign, also SEOMoz review I don’t have a page for that yet – I’m making the tutorial for that right now so it will be interesting to see how that performs over time. So, create my campaign.
That will kick off the first crawl for your site, it can take a couple of days to complete. In the mean time you can see some other aspects of your campaign but really you need to wait for the first run of the starter crawl to complete and you’ll get an email when that’s ready.
So I will resume the tutorial when that’s done.
After the first scrape is complete this is what the dashboard will look like and here you can see the campaign we added before and you can actually add up to 5 campaigns here but let’s just drilldown into the campaign we setup earlier.
Now this brings us to the campaign overview screen and we’ll come back to this there is something you need to do quickly. If you come to the social area here you need to add your twitter and Facebook accounts because it takes a while for it to pull in that data.
I added my accounts here a few days ago and even still it hasn’t pulled in all of the data just yet. So come over and add your accounts here as soon as possible, when you come onto this tab for the first time it takes you through it step by step its really easy to do.
So let’s shoot back to the overview of the campaign quickly here. Now here are all of the different tools that you have got within the campaign and sometimes there are sub menus and other options but let’s just take a look at the overview quickly.
Now it has pulled in my data from Google Analytics here we can see the organic search visits have increased by 14% week on week which is pretty good and we can also see that my branded keywords which are the ones that include my name have increased 31% week on week.
Whereas the non-branded keywords only increased 13% so this shows me that my brand recognition is increasing quicker than the keyword growth for general terms which is a good thing.
Coming down we can see crawl diagnostics, now this goes through your entire site and checks it for a range of issues. As you can see here I’ve been a bit of a naughty boy with the missing meta description tag. I can take a guess that will be forum topics because I tried to integrate them, but couldn’t.
Keyword rankings here, now we only tracked 5 keywords in the initial setup. We can add more and I’m going to show you how to do that and you can see here it also tracks the ranking changes as well as traffic from the keywords your tracking in your campaign.
Competitive link analysis, this allows you to compare your link profile with your competitors directly. Now I didn’t add any competitors but later on in this tutorial I’m going to add a few to see how I stack up against some of the authorities in this niche and some of the people I’ve been following for many years.
So that is the campaign overview and let’s take a look first at adding keywords to our campaign so we can begin tracking all of those and which keywords that you should add as well.
Adding keywords to track is quite easy. Just come up to manage keywords and here you can just add the keywords you want to track in this box, click add keywords and it will begin to track them and you can track up to 300 in total.
Now finding which keywords you want to track, SEOMoz actually make this pretty easy for us. You can come to the find new keywords tab and this shows us the top 200 keywords currently sending you traffic from Google Analytics and you can see how many visits you’ve had in the last week, the last 4 weeks and where you currently rank for those keywords.
You can also filter for branded keywords like this or non-branded keywords, like this. And you can even analyse the keyword further to determine how difficult it is and what you could do to improve you rank.
So the last time it checked the rankings for SENuke XCR review I was rank number 3 and if we click here we can do a deeper analysis and we can see how difficult the keyword is as well as various signals here that look at how authorative each site is in the top 10.
Now you can actually see since it updated the ranks I have moved into the number 1 position for SENuke XCR review and just take a look at that. Have a look at how my page authority and domain authority stacks up against the rest.
It’s no way near the strongest but it’s not all about the links, that’s all I’m going to say.
So you can see here how easy it is to get a quick overview for keywords. You can also run more detailed reports if you want to look into it further and if we just come back to the keyword bit we can see a tickbox here and if you wanted to add that you can click on add keyword.
So you can just work through this list adding the keywords you want to track but you can also look in Google Analytics yourself for some additional keywords you might want to track.
So if you’re in analytics you can just hit traffic sources, search engine optimisation and queries. Now this interface is what used to be available via Google Webmaster Tools but its now available directly in Analytics. It’s always kind of a day or two behind but it does let you see a lot of data about keywords that you’re not currently seeing.
The problem is if you come to sources, search, organic and look at the keywords here we are getting a lot of this not provided data which is when people are searching with secure search enabled which is enabled by default now which is a problem because we don’t know much about all of these visits in this information.
But when you look at search engine optimisation & queries you can see here the terms, the popular terms are different and we can also see what sort of impressions we are getting and what your average position is.
So just Ahrefs on its own I’m getting average position of 4.4 – that’s probably a keyword worth tracking. It’s had a lot of impressions; I’ve had 35,000 impressions on that keyword in the last month. So have a look through here and see if there are any keywords you would like to add and track that aren’t available through the SEOMoz interface.
So I’m just going to compile my list of keywords now and add them to the keyword tracker.
I’ve added a total of 48 keywords to my campaign and you can see some of them down here. I didn’t go overboard just some of the ones I would like to keep an eye. And after doing that if you come across to campaign settings here you can change a few things up and you can also add tracking from other search engines here and countries if you want to as well as select which is the main one you want to track.
Don’t forget to add your Google Analytics profile and you can also add your competitors down here which I’m going to do now. Let’s see how I stack up against some of the people I’ve been following for many years.
Shoemoney the obvious one, let’s have a crack with John Chow see what he can do and Zac Johnson he is a pretty cool dude and save settings.
Now the rankings only update weekly, this is a good thing. I know a lot of people like to track rankings daily but there’s that much fluctuation and looking at things daily rarely gives you any actionable data it just makes things harder and more confusing for you.
Now for the keywords I have just added in its not going to fetch that data for us just yet but for the original 5 keywords we can see how we are performing here as well as any traffic increases those keywords have brought to us.
So this report will be much more handy once it’s gone out and pulled that data in for us. You can also do additional research on the keywords and look at history and ranking analysis and things like that.
As well as, you can actually export these reports into a variety of different formats but I’m going to explore the reports with you in much more detail because this is a really powerful part of SEOMoz.
So while it’s going to pull in all of those rankings let’s take a look at the crawl diagnostics. The crawl diagnostics summary is actually somewhere you should spend a lot of time. As you can see here I’ve got quite a lot of errors and warnings that I obviously need to go through and fix and you can see a breakdown of all of these errors and warnings as we scroll further down.
And if you want to dig into anything further you can just click on it, so title element to long we can click on that there and this graph will actually progress overtime and show you so if you fix all of these now the next time it crawls you should see this graph become a downward trend and you can see all of the URLs here.
How many characters they are and how many they are over by and you can work through and fix those for example. You can quickly navigate between the different errors here.
Now one of the ways that I had a big problem with was meta description tag, that was by far the biggest problem. Like 600 and odd pages that don’t have the meta description tag set and we can quickly see here. Ok none of my category pages have a meta description, that’s pretty naughty. The contact me page that’s pretty basic error for me not to have that there.
The forums, now the BBPress plugin itself doesn’t actually generate the meta descriptions but look at how many different forum topics there are here that don’t have the meta description.
So we need to fix that no doubt about it, now I have found the quickest way to work through the crawl diagnostics summary is to export it to a csv which produces a spread sheet that looks like this and then if you come up to data, filter – this adds a quick filter to everywhere.
So this lists all of the different URL’s and the errors that they have and you can just work through these. So if we find the missing meta description tag we can just change this to true and that filters out all the URLs that have that problem.
Once you have fixed all of them you can select all, move onto the next error. So duplicate page content, we can click on true and it will tell us the URL that it believes has the duplicate page content over here.
So it makes it very easy to work through all the errors when you export it as a csv. Let’s quickly take a look at how we can very very quickly fix a lot of these errors.
So let’s take a look at fixing these issues quickly. The missing meta description tag is one of the main offenders and it was mostly forum topics, replies and category pages that contributed to that. If we look at the source code here of a forum post it even says for us here-
Admin only notice this page doesn’t show a meta description because it doesn’t have one. Write one specifically or setup a template so I’m using the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin and if you come to SEO title & metas here and come to post types you can actually define the meta description templates for the various aspects including forums, topics & replies if you have BBpress installed.
Now the reason my forum doesn’t have meta descriptions is when I first set it up I wasn’t using this plugin and I tried to code it in and hack the meta descriptions but it just broke everything and eventually I gave up.
But since using this plugin I’ve obviously not thought about that and its actually very easy to fix hundreds of errors here. You can also setup meta description templates for your category pages & tag pages. So let’s take a look at doing that.
First of all if you come to the help tab there are a number of placeholders that you can use to make sure that each meta description is unique. The one I’m going to use to fix the forums is this excerpt tag which will replace, will auto generate a meta tag for you.
So if we come to post types here and find all the ones to do with forums. That one, that one, that one and this one and this one and hit save settings.
And if we come across to our source code and refresh it. There we go we can now see the meta description is present. So all of the missing meta descriptions for forums is now fixed which is probably 500 or 550 or so of the errors and we just need to do the same for our category pages.
So I quite like that we could just insert an excerpt here that will auto generate as well. Not perfect, you should probably go in and if you come into post > categories you can actually setup a description for each category here and use that as the meta description. That’s the best way to do it but if you’re short on time you can just add the excerpt into there.
So you know if you do see a lot of errors when you first login don’t be worried. They are quite easy to fix. Title element too long let’s take a look at what’s causing that see how quickly we can fix that.
Ok so its tagging my name onto the end which is like 17 or 18 characters and you can see a lot of these are under that kind of level so we can fix a lot of these errors by actually removing my name from the end of the title and that is done if you come to post types, you can see here this site name placed holder that’s getting tagged onto the end of everything.
In fact we can remove all of that and just have the title we I actually set for posts and pages and that should remove a lot of the title length issues and again save settings and a lot of those are fixed. So let’s move on to the next part of SEOMoz.
The on page optimisation tool will provide optimisation advice for all of the keywords that you track. Now these get updated weekly and because I’ve only just added a lot of keywords there’s only 3 reports available right now but next week they’ll be available for every keyword.
If you click into them down here you can see all of the different points that it checks for here and it doesn’t think I’ve used keywords appropriately and it tells you why it doesn’t and what the recommendation is and it does this for all of the various points here that you can see.
You can also export these reports as PDF, but if you want an on page report right now that hasn’t been generated yet what you can do is select any of your tracked keywords here, import any URL that you want there and click grade my on page optimisation and that will go out and fetch a fresh report for you.
Moving onto the link analysis section remember before we added my competitors as Shoemoney, John Chow and Zac Johnson just to see how I stack up against some of the people I’ve been reading for a number of years and as you can see I’m pretty far behind in the metrics here.
Don’t even win 1 of them, not even close. So if you want to learn a bit more about these metrics you can mouse over and click on learn more. You can also delve down and see which are the most powerful links for each of your competitors.
You can see John Chow has got Technorati links as has Zac Johnson so perhaps I need to get some links from there. Shoemoney he’s also got Technorati links that I don’t. I would love a link from the SEOBook glossary, maybe one day I’ll earn one.
You can also drill down and look at the top pages of getting links as well as the anchor text phrases used most. You can see the trend here is our name or domain name between all of us so it’s interesting to see that has happened in line with my competitors and that’s what I should be expecting to see.
You can also drilldown into backlinks even further; let’s have a nosey at some of John Chows. See more in open site explorer so here you can actually look at all of the inbound links that SEOMoz has found. Just for reference though Ahrefs will find a lot more links than open site explorer does but this gives you a nice indication you can download it all as a CSV. You can really drill down into the anchor text and everything like that and what’s really driving things.
You can compare link metrics with any other URLs that you want and there are some advanced reports here and open site explorer is an entire tool in itself which you get with SEOMoz and they’ve just launched this just discovered links as they discover links they are trying to get them into the database as quickly as possible where as previously database updates were done in batches.
They are trying to get this to be nearly real time which will be really really impressive if they manage to do that.
So you can see that drilling down all of the links here the actual link analysis gives you lots of actionable data and reveals your competitors strongest link sources that you can go and steal so that’s a nice nice feature to have.
The organic traffic data, all of this is pulled in from Google Analytics and provides a nice overview of how many organic visits you’ve had and the changes which were on the overview screen before.
You get some nice little graphs here so you can see how organic traffic has changed week on week and you can see a little bit of a spike here after a little bit of a decline and it’s also broken down by search engine here, pages per visit, average time.
So you can actually see Bing only produced 11 visits but those visits actually clicked through considerably more pages than a Google visitor and spent more time on the site and had a much less bounce rate. That’s an interesting set of statistics, similar Yahoo traffic visited more pages and had a much lower bounce rate than Google.
Interesting, anyway you can also take a look at URLs receiving entrances via search so which are the most popular URL’s people are landing on when they search and you can see here interesting I only published that post a few days ago and already it is one of the most popular URLs getting traffic from search.
And you can also look at the various keywords that are driving that and you can see a lot of my keywords are branded with my name. So although you would probably use analytics to drilldown into this data in much more detail it does provide a really nice overview and you can flick it to a monthly view here to see month and month changes and well that’s a much better looking growth isn’t it month on month.
The social dashboard also provides you with some pretty actionable data as you can see here it’s still pulling in the data and this will work much better when it has data from a certain time period so it can actually track how many new Twitter and Facebook interactions you’ve had in the last 30 days but it’s not actually pulled that data in for my account yet.
Unfortunately there’s no Google+ tracking which is kind of weird because the SEOMoz team have done all sorts of coverage on why Google+ is so important but there not currently providing it in the dashboard. I do believe they are going to start providing it in the next couple of months but that is a lacking feature at the moment so hopefully that will come to us very soon. They do add new features and tools all the time.
If you come and have a look here you can see an example report of social activity and things once its pulled it in as well as your likes growth and retweets growth and everything like that.
You can drilldown into further reports using the submenu here so if we jump into the Twitter reports we can see a little bit more data like we’ve got some follower growth here 942 jumped up to 952 and there’s various different graphs you can get here and additional metrics and exactly the same kind of reports are available for Facebook which looks something like this.
Obviously this will be much more useful once you’ve got a bit of historic data in here and you can see how the growths and how that has affected traffic and everything like that for your site directly.
So the last thing we need to cover is the reports section for your campaign and this is really powerful stuff. First of all you need to add a new report and you get a number of choices here such as the title, a description, do you want it weekly, monthly or quarterly and who to email the report to when its ready and you can completely customise exactly what is included in your report.
So for example you might build a report for a client that shows them their ranking summary, improvements and declines. You can view examples all of these here and what the will actually produce in the report and here’s the ranking improvements and declines.
So providing a top level summary is really easy, you tick what you want to include. You can give it a title and a description and choose which search engine it pulls the data from.
Now the default descriptions are pretty cool here it allows you to provide quite a professional and informative report really easily pretty much by ticking the boxes and using the default options here and you can see there’s all sorts of different metrics.
So the highest ranked keywords, you can provide this graph and show them which keywords are ranking highest. You might also include traffic in a report that you’re sending to a client. But to a developer for example you might choose to just send all of the crawl diagnostics and create a diagnostics report that only gets sent to members of the technical team so they are constantly informed of any issues that they need to fix.
You can see here all of these different types of reports or sections that you can include in the final reports. Creating that report, scheduling it out to send to whoever whenever you want. This makes it really easy to keep clients up to date with what’s going on, keep people up to date with changes that need to be made and so forth.
It’s one of the most powerful reporting tools I have come across. So that’s all of the different features and functions of the campaign section of SEOMoz and you can add campaigns for up to 5 websites in total. But they also have a bunch of other handy tools.
Now we’ve already touched on open site explorer and you can use this to get the backlinks for any competing URL that you want. Paste the URL in there, hit search and it will retrieve all of the backlinks pointing to it.
You also have free access to FollowerWonk Twitter analytics, this is actually a pretty cool tool let’s just jump into it quickly and I will show you what it does. So you can get an analysis on peoples followers, if I enter mine in here it will just quickly go and fetch all of this data so I can see that most of my followers reside in the UK and the east coast of the united states.
The social authority of the people that are following me. I have lots of people with not much authority and just a couple of people with a decent amount of authority. We can also see genders, follower counts of my followers, following counts, account ages, recencies of tweets, total tweets – all sorts of different statistics and you can get this.
Oh yes this is really cool as well, the most active hours for my followers so I can see at what time throughout the day that my follower base is the most active so I know when I will get the most reaction from my Tweets.
And there are a bunch of other little tools available throughout FollowerWonk but this is the one that I really quite liked having a look through.
We’ve also got the newly released fresh web mentions tool and this is an extension of open site explorers new sort of real-time attempt at adding links to the database so if enter my URL here let’s see where I have been mentioned recently and lets have a look across the last 4 weeks and we can see a few places I’ve been mentioned and I can jump in here and react to those people.
For example the forum post here, oh looking for an SEO tutorial thread containing 2+ hour long video tutorials well I know they are looking specifically for my tutorial so I could jump into that thread and point them in the right direction.
Now this is in beta it’s not returned that many results really, BuzzBundle would do a lot better for monitoring the web for terms. So I’m sure they’ll make a lot of improvements to this tool overtime it has only just been released as a beta so bear that in mind.
And then we just have some of the other tools we’ve already looked at. They have an SEO toolbar that you can install in your web browser, a web crawler to crawl any URL you want and check for issues and errors quickly and you also have access to the Q&A forum where there’s loads of people talking about various problems and there’s some fairly knowledgeable people in the forum here.
The community, YouMoz user blog, there’s various events and the learn SEO section is quite detailed there’s a huge amount of resources here to help, perfect really for anyone that is new and just getting into SEO. You can also read the beginners guide to SEO now you don’t need to be a member for this but it’s a really nice guide of the basics of SEO and how everything fits together.
As you can see it’s really nicely laid out and easy to follow and understand so if you are new to SEO be sure to check that out.
So that pretty much wraps up my SEOMoz review, I hope you have seen how handy it can be and it makes a lot of the reporting and tracking of issues quite easy to deal with for all of your campaigns.
Don’t forget there is a completely free fully functional 30 day trial available so make sure you sign up for that and add your site and see how it performs for you.
Resources In The Video
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