I like Linkdex, I do, although from the number of questions I ask Collette Easton on a regular basis she might disagree.
Is Linkdex the best SEO tool? No, but that is what all the APIs are for, right? Is Linkdex the best tool that is currently available? Arguable, but I am not going to get into an argument about which is the best SEO tool. Having used or seen demos of all the current SEO tools available, I can see the pro’s and con’s of using all of them.
At SEOptimise we use Linkdex to analyse large data sets, identify gaps in the market and have begun to use the new social media aspects of the software. Combine this with all the other data we analyse from the remaining toolset available, and some internal tools it can provide lots of valuable information.
With all this great information, there are a few things that irritate me. Some things that I think are relatively basic that are being missed, for the bigger more advanced features. To me, and this is a personal opinion, ensuring that the basic features are in place, and working well is key. Others will disagree, and I would love to hear from those in the comments below, but I feel that making some small tweaks can make a real difference to the product.
Below are just a few features that I think will improve the current Linkdex product, and I do have quiet a few ideas. But let me know what you think.
As someone that looks after multiple projects, having a single view of metrics across multiple projects quickly is hugely beneficial, and would help save a lot of time.
Having the ability to see how many tasks have been completed, and by whom. What has changed, who has done what across multiple products would allow quick analysis. This would be great for those that are managing teams of people to understand exactly what is being worked on, what has been achieved and what is still be completed.
How many of you work with websites that cross multiple verticals? Sell products across multiple geographical regions? I bet quite a few of you.
If you wanted to put each region/vertical into Linkdex, you would need to setup a new account for each. That means that every new account would eat up a lot of credits, and duplicate a lot of work. This could be solved if you were able to create an account that has separate profiles associated to it, similar to Google Analytics.
Linkdex Account: – www.example.com
Linkdex Profile: – www.examples.com/uk
Linkdex Profile: – www.examples.com/usa
Linkdex Profile: – www.examples.com/fr
Based on the examples given above, you could specify that you only want a crawl to happen in the main account. This would crawl the entire website, and allow you to filter down as far as you need to go. The main account would hold all the top level data, links, rankings that you would expect including analytics data.
The profiles however, would concentrate solely on the region/vertical that was added. This wouldn’t include the data that is shown at account level, so items such as Content, and other technical aspects that you would expect to cover the entire website. Instead it would allow you to add and analyse competitors and keywords that are relevant to your region/vertical, look at influencers specific to your target audience, and other metrics that you would want to have a more granular look at including Google Analytics.
With the addition of multiple profiles per account, it then brings in the possibility of including multiple Google Analytics profiles. The majority of GA accounts that I work with are broken into separate profiles, targeting specific categories, verticals or geographical regions. To me this makes a lot of sense and allows you a lot of flexibility, by only giving access to those ares to people that need it. Dan Barker or Anna Lewis might disagree with me here, but I prefer it setup that way.
With the ability to include analytics to each profile, you will be able to analyse traffic, conversions and goals from that specific areas, rather than being limited to global Analytics data. Looking at analytics data at a more granular level will make the information much more actionable, and allow you to see the work that has been carried out through Linkdex, make an impact on the target area, rather than a site as a whole.
Reporting for a separate profile, I see as more of a geographical requirement, but it could be used to report on specific categories or verticals.
I currently manage a client that sells across multiple geographical regions, all of whom require a report. Creating a report direct from Linkdex, currently doesn’t allow me to be specific on each region. If Linkdex were to introduce the suggestions above, reporting at this level would be relatively easy. Analytics, rankings, links, influencers would all be available at a regional (category/vertical) level and make them much more actionable for those receiving them.
I think reporting has a much wider issue in Linkdex, but that is the case with the majority of SEO software on the market, but I will get into that next.
As I mentioned earlier, I think this is something that is a problem that the majority of SEO tools have. Before I talk about some of the issues that I feel the tool has with reporting, it is only right that I say some of the reporting is very good, especially around the link data, content and social. The area that I believe needs work is mainly around the Google Analytics API is limited.
At the time of writing this post, the Linkdex suite only has three widgets related to Analytics, ‘Actual Traffic’, ‘Traffic by Search Engines’ and ‘Keyword Phrases’. Improving the number of widgets that Linkdex has around analytics will allow us to provide much greater and granular detail.
Having very basic knowledge of the Google AP means that I am unable to accurately say what can and can’t be done, but having the ability to choose the type of information that you can utilise from your analytics package would be a great asset.
Currently Linkdex doesn’t allow you to automate the running of pre-created reports on set dates. This feature is extremely useful, especially for those that have multiple accounts, as well as internal teams who need to supply their superiors with regular reports.
This is a feature that I really hope that Linkdex will include in upcoming releases, as it would be truly beneficial to my clients, and those that use the tool regularly.
One thing that I like about some other SEO tools, is the format that download is produced. If the data is provided in an easy format it allows for easy manipulation, and the ability to create subsequent tools that help with that data manipulation. The way that the data currently is exported from Linkdex. it makes it difficult manipulate. I’m not sure how possible it is to change the format of downloads, but I think this would be huge improvement.
Another very small thing, is the ability to customise the look and feel of the reports. Every agency or business for that matter has their own brand template that they need to use. Having the ability to change table, graph and text colours would be a great addition. Combine that with the ability to upload your own template document (PDF, PPT), that would then be used when reporting would make the whole process a bit smoother.
- Integration of Other Analytic Packages – Omniture/NedStat/WebTrends, etc. This would open up the tool to so many more companies that don’t use Google Analytics.
- Keyword Categories & Sub-categories – Tags are a great way of organising keywords, but it can be difficult to identify all the keywords quickly. If you put keywords within categories and then sub-categories they will be easier to find.
Some of the suggestions that I have made above could well be in process already, I’m not privvy to that kind of information. I also understand that there is development costs involved, and they may not bring the best ROI. Linkdex, obviously have a roadmap of what they are looking to achieve and how they are going to get there. I hope that some of these features are apart of that roadmap, but if they are not then this post might give them food for thought.
Those are just my thoughts on features that I would like to see in Linkdex, what do you think? Would my suggested improvements help you? I’d be interested to see what features you would like to add Linkdex if any, in the comments below.
Disclaimer: These are my own personal thoughts, and are not those of my employer.
Update 1st March 2013: I had a call from Collette Easton to talk through some of the updates in the pipeline for Linkdex. It seems that a few of my ideas are already being implemented. Collette also suggested that she would take some of the ideas that weren’t currently on the radar and speak to the powers above. Lets wait and see what happens.
Update 6th March 2013: Another Idea has come to mind today. Since Linkdex target both Agency and In-house teams, it will be common practice to have access to more than one account, whether to be client accounts or the agency hub. Currently you are unable to use the same email address to access all those accounts, instead you need to have a separate address per account. I know I have stolen a lot of ideas from Google in this post, but it seems easier if you could use the same email address to login to all your accounts. This would then bring all the accounts into a central place and make it much easier to work and switch between projects.