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It’s no secret that Google searches are a gold mine for anyone who can successfully achieve those coveted top positions in Google’s results.
But the reality is, Google processes over 40,000 search queries per second, so you won’t be able to get to the top without a good strategy. What’s more, since most internet users don’t venture beyond the first page of the SERPs, you need every SEO tool at your disposal to compete for those valuable slots.
Ultimately, your success with search engine marketing depends on the quality of the SEO software you use. SEO tools can help enhance the overall performance of a given website – from blogs to e-commerce stores – in the search engine results.
Some of these tools can work together for even better performance, forming what we in the industry call an SEO toolkit. I’ve reviewed some SEO tools before in previous blog posts, but today, I’m going to focus on an excellent SEO tool called SEOmonitor.
Ready to try SEOmonitor? If you’re interested in giving SEOmonitor a go, the guys there have allowed me to offer you a special extended 30-day trial, rather than the standard 14 days. All you have to do is use this promo code: tRWlHJ
SEO software review: SEOmonitor
SEOmonitor aims to help marketers get a better glimpse at the overall landscape of organic reach and traffic for their industry. That’s why it covers quite a lot of ground in just one tool, with several groundbreaking features:
- Organic Traffic
- SEO Campaign
- Keyword Research
- Competition Insights
- Content Performance
- Search Reputation
- Business Case Builder
One of the greatest things I’ve found about SEOmonitor is that it can be integrated with Adobe Sitecatalyst, Google SearchConsole, SEMrush, Majestic, and of course, Google Analytics.
With these native integrations, SEOmonitor is able to gather all of your website’s organic data, manage the Not Provided solution, provide insights on keyword data, and competitors!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about what kind of tool SEOmonitor is.
What is SEOmonitor?
SEOmonitor is primarily a reporting tool, providing a full set of data on organic keywords – which can also be used to research keywords and topics. It gives you a full breakdown of the keywords providing traffic to a website, complete with metrics such as:
- Search volume
- Clickthrough rate
- Average position
- Number of search visits from each keyword
- Bounce rate
- Conversion rate
I’ll go over a lot of the best features in SEOmonitor in more detail, but first, I want to highlight a top feature in SEOmonitor: the Topic Explorer. SEOmonitor’s Topic Explorer focuses more on “topics” as opposed to individual keywords, which is a big deal in today’s search environment, because Google has been moving away from simplistic individual keyword ranking in favor of latent semantic indexing (LSI).
The Topic Explorer tool links different keywords to a topic to find semantically-related keywords, so if you input a topic as broad as “car insurance,” for example, you’ll get a huge list of keywords associated with that topic – not just keywords with “car” or “insurance” in them.
The team at SEOmonitor have also developed their own metric known as Visibility Score, which is a more intuitive way to assess keywords rather than the arbitrary “Keyword Difficulty” metrics provided by most other tools. Visibility Score blends rankings and search volumes in a way that makes it more relevant, insightful, and easier to understand than other SEO performance tracking approaches.
Pretty helpful, right?
The Origin Story of SEOmonitor
The team behind SEOmonitor were originally part of an SEO agency – they were marketers providing SEO work for clients. Then, in 2013, they were hit with the same problem that pretty much every single SEO agency and professional had to deal with: Google’s encrypted organic searches. Suddenly, there was much less information available for predicting or measuring SEO performance.
To solve the problem, these business-minded marketing pros created a tool and delivered it to a market full of SEO brands and agencies that needed it. SEOmonitor was officially launched in 2014 as a tool to measure and predict SEO performance.
Today, the company supplies over 2,000 brands with its services and continues to grow. In fact, SEOmonitor even won the EU Search Awards in 2016!
Winning the EU Search Awards is obviously a big deal, but SEOmonitor didn’t get there by accident.
So, what is it about SEOmonitor that has won over professionals all over the continent? Let’s take a look at the tool’s main features!
Automatic Keyword Research
In order to earn top results for your keywords, you have to start by understanding their competitiveness and relevance.
SEOmonitor helps by sifting through thousands of keywords that are relevant to you, revealing how challenging it would be to rank in the top 10 on the SERPs, and suggesting the value you can expect if you successfully rank in one of those top 10 spots!
It’s particularly helpful to have all of this keyword data concentrated in a single tool.
What good does it do you to rank first in Google for the keyword “dancing shoes” if you sell gluten-free pizza doughs? You may be highly ranked, but it’s a waste of an opportunity to rank for irrelevant keywords – and if you run an ecommerce or content website, it’s a waste to rank for too many keywords that lack buyer-intent.
Fortunately, SEOmonitor provides a feature called the Opportunity Indicator. By measuring the search volume, the difficulty, and the rank of each tracked keyword, SEOmonitor is able to prioritise the keywords that are likely to have the biggest impact on visits in the shortest amount of time. This is the kind of data that’s worth every penny, especially when you have limited bandwidth or resources to put toward content creation, because it lets you focus your attention on the activities that will make the biggest impact.
A professional SEO tool isn’t complete without the famous “Visibility Score Metric.” The Visibility Score is a core SEO performance metric, allowing you to see an accurate measurement of the overall visibility of a group of keywords in Google at a single glance. The score is expressed as a percentage, representing your impression share in the organic results: how many times a user saw your website in the results page, from the total number of searches on your keywords.
SEOmonitor does the trick by giving you an overview of the overall performance in Google. It helps you to identify changes and anomalies in your SEO performance, compares them with non-brand traffic, and shows which keywords (or keyword groups) influenced overall visibility the most.
Every agency insider today is aware that most people want you to forecast future results based on the work that you have suggested. This is a universal trend, although the accuracy of these predictions is really a whole other conversation.
SEOmonitor, on the other hand, is able to provide solid insights on potential future results. All you have to do is understand the shown data and choose from some of your keywords groups, select the average position that you expect to achieve at the time, and then just hit the forecast button. SEOmonitor then produces a graph like the image above.
This Business Forecast feature makes it easier to build SEO proposals based around projected results, such as the number of non-brand organic visits the client will have on a monthly basis and how many conversions this new traffic will generate. An excellent addition to this tool is that it takes into account the seasonality of the industry and the current rankings and traffic values. It’s a pretty comprehensive approach!
For the price of the tool and the features that are available, SEOmonitor really can be used for companies of all sizes, including both on the agency and client side.
Content Performance Review
The Content Performance Review provides an analysis of external content pointing to your site, giving you a fantastic overview of how your outreach campaigns are working. And yes, you’ll see all the normal metrics of any backlink analysis, such as:
- Domain rating
- Social media shares
- Visits and conversions to your website
- Link status
- Anchor text
But the beauty of SEOmonitor is that it goes above and beyond, showing the effect on the Visibility Score for any particular landing page.
And to make sure you don’t miss anything in the daily routine, this analysis is updated every day, so that you have all the current information and are up-to-date on any significant changes, anomalies, and particularities.
I have found that SEOmonitor allows you to connect your website profile to Google Analytics and Adobe SiteCatalyst, which broadens the potential uses of this already fantastic tool to even more people. The majority of SEO software suites will only allow you link together a single analytics software, most likely Google Analytics.
But we’re not talking about just any SEO tool, are we?
SEOmonitor allows you to hook different analytics tools up to your website without charging extra for it. And once you have connected your analytics package to SEOmonitor, you’ll get more than just organic traffic metrics, including:
- Organic conversion rate
- Organic conversions
- Organic revenue
All this data wrapped around your campaign tracking makes for more precise, informed decisions. Integrating Google Search Console query data, you will start to get a feel for which keywords are actually generating traffic, as well as pinpointing topics for you to optimise.
Another cool thing about this, is that in your setup process you will have it added in your brand terms. The terms allow SEOmonitor to split out the brand and non-branded traffic!
Would you like to know how? Well, a magician tends not to reveal his secrets, but here it is: With the integration of Google Search Console, some clever algorithms running in the background are able to match up your organic traffic to landing pages – plus the keywords from both your currently active campaign and Google Search Console – to bring a good indication of the split.
It’s not always 100% accurate, but it provides you with valuable insights that would’ve remained unknown otherwise. This could be the competitive advantage you’re looking for!
Want to see exactly how you compare to the competition?
On the Competition Insights page, you’ll be able to compare the Visibility Score trend of your top competitors, as well as their current Visibility Score for desktop and mobile. You’ll also see their top keywords, how many keywords you have in common and their domain score.
Below, you’ll see a list of all the keywords that your competitors rank for. Detailed metrics show you exactly how these competitors rank, what kind of changes they’ve seen, and more! You can hover over each element for even more details of what kind of content is working for the competition.
SEO Timeline: Events Correlated to Rank Fluctuations
When looking at the keywords in your SEO campaign, you can click on the little calendar icon to see a complete timeline for that particular keyword. This timeline shows you events such as landing page changes, HTTPS migrations, new backlinks, Google algorithm updates, and more. It then shows you exactly how your rank for that keyword changed as a result of those events.
This fantastic timeline tool gives you a special insight into how your actions affect your ranking. Want to pass along what you’ve discovered to your client or teammates? Just click the “Share Insight” button at the top of the event timeline. This creates a special link to a dedicated page that shows this timeline, and allows for comments and discussion at the bottom.
In an effort to make the pricing policy a bit more fair and accessible, SEOmonitor uses a different pricing system from most tools: The price that you pay for SEOmonitor depends on the number of websites and keywords that you track.
One website and up to 300 keywords – the cheapest option – is €49 per month. With every website that you add, while keeping the same number of keywords, the price increases 10 euros. For every 100 or 1000 keywords that you add extra, the price increase varies.
If you’re running a larger business or agency and tracking more than 100,000 keywords, a custom price is designed exclusively for you. The cool thing is, whichever pricing plan you decide on, you will always have unlimited access to all the features, so it’s not one of those pay-to-win kinds of tools that we see in almost every corner these days.
When paying more than €300 per month for the tool, you will also have unrestricted access to pitching resources, which comes in handy for any agency or professional looking to escalate.
Who is SEOmonitor for?
At this point, it’s fair to say that SEOmonitor offers an incredible number of features. We’ve already seen a number of them!
But the truth is, the list above hardly even scratches the surface of this comprehensive tool.
Take a look:
So, with so many features, it’s a fair question to ask who would benefit most from using this tool. Is it for small business owners, marketing professionals, agencies, or somewhere in between?
Well, let’s consider what a reasonably fair cost-to-benefit ratio might be.
Because of the price is customisable, it can easily scale for small or large teams, whether in-house or agencies. But if you are a freelancer and have quite a lot on your plate right now, SEOmonitor might be a way to clear up your time and start delivering even better results, which may greatly benefit your career.
In more general terms, everyone can benefit greatly from this tool if they do a little twist and turn. To take full advantage of all the features that SEOmonitor offers, though, it’s probably best suited to agencies who handle SEO for many different clients.
That being said, any SEO content marketing experts or teams will have a blast exploring and using the technology within SEOmonitor. This tool will absolutely bring new life and excitement to your search campaigns.
Pros & Cons
I’ve been working with SEOmonitor for quite some time now, and one great way I’ve found to communicate the value of a product is with a quick list summarising its pros and cons. There are some fantastic features here in SEOmonitor, but there are also some things that could use some improvement. Let’s see what they are!
Daily search engine updates
Before SEOmonitor, I had to use other ranking tools with weekly and/or bi-weekly update features. If you consider that SEO is a long term process and organic changes need some time to be tracked, it’s understandable that daily search engine updates wouldn’t be so necessary.
However, when I work with larger websites, their contents change frequently, so I soon realised how useful a daily update feature could be in uncovering SEO issues quickly. With SEOmonitor, I am now able to diagnose important SEO problems as soon as they crop up!
Easy to group and smart-group keywords into folders
Working as a digital marketer, you know that our daily marketing tasks take a lot of time. This has a direct impact on how much you can bill and how efficient you are with your work. SEOmonitor helps with its keyword smart-grouping feature, where the system suggests keyword groups based on the keywords you are tracking. Anything that can save your expensive, precious time is worthwhile in my book!
Keyword cannibalisation warnings
Keyword cannibalisation is something to take seriously, as it can potentially damage your rankings for multiple reasons. Keyword cannibalisation happens when a website’s information architecture relies on a single keyword or phrase on multiple parts of the website. While this can occur unintentionally, having a bunch of pages that target the same keyword can cause real problems.
SEOmonitor has a filter that shows how many times Google has changed your landing pages in the SERPs, targeting the same keywords. If too much change is found by SEOmonitor, it means that Google can’t decide which keywords relate to which page. By looking into your cannibalisation list, you’ll be able to create new pages or update the content on those pages.
I know I mentioned Forecasting before, as it is a really helpful feature for setting up goals in your SEO campaigns, but the tool is just so fantastic it deserves its own spot as a pro of SEOmonitor.
When focusing on a set of keyword groups, SEOmonitor will forecast the amount of traffic and PPC costs, and predict a what-if scenario. The forecasted data is based on your Google Analytics data that the account is linked to. For this, SEOmonitor has developed an algorithm predicts the revenue you are generating from your organic traffic and the grouped keywords you are tracking.
This feature is quite handy as a way to estimate the monetary value of your SEO efforts. In practical terms, you can share these numbers with a client or your executive team – or anyone who doesn’t understand the SEO process in detail, but always cares about the bottom line.
As I mentioned before, forecasting isn’t always accurate, but it gives you a sizeable advantage to have some real-world numbers at your disposal.
Arguably one of the most interesting features in SEOmonitor is the Opportunity Indicator. This is nothing but a basic calculation of how much revenue you would earn when you nab the top result. By looking at these indicators, you can adjust your keyword strategy to capture more revenue with less effort. It’s very helpful when you can set revenue and sales goals for your SEO efforts by defining position-based KPI’s.
Easy way to learn competitor keywords
Admit it: you’ve always wanted to take a quick peek in the competitor’s backyard to see how they handle their stuff? The good news is, SEOmonitor lets you easily investigate your competitor’s keywords and see which ones are frequently used. This step will help you find new opportunities, while thinking of strategies to outrank your competitors on the search results page.
Yes, many other SEO tools have similar functions, but SEOmonitor shows competitor insights for specific keywords or keyword groups that you are focusing on as well. Plus, you can see which keywords are generating clicks for the landing pages of your competitors. This is a handy way to try and reverse engineer your competitor’s success!
Download desktop and mobile SERP snapshots as HTML page
Remember what I just said about saving time all the time? Well, this feature gives you an idea of how your pages are indexed in the real world. Once again, you’ll save time by not needing to switch back and forth to Google to check SERPs and meta-tags. This is as practical as it gets!
Confusing user interface
SEOmonitor is a tool that provides a bunch of useful information and insights across many features. That may be why its interface is so crowded and occasionally confusing. There are a lot of icons and buttons you can click on within the tool, but they are not exactly marked or named in any way. Unless you get in the habit of hovering your mouse pointer over every element on the page, you may miss out on valuable features!
It’s also worth mentioning that when working with a lot of keywords at once, the UI refreshes and computes the data, which slows down the browser window, slowing down the overall speed of your work.
Although I included forecasting as a pro for SEOmonitor, it’s still not a perfect feature. The forecast number that SEOmonitor gives you is very broad. My bottom line here is, if you rely TOO much on the traffic or revenue number provided, you might compromise your business. Remember, these numbers aren’t set in stone, so be cautious about basing your company’s future on these kinds of forecasts.
Steep learning curve
There is good documentation with SEOmonitor, but getting used to the tool and finding the best workflow can be challenging.
It’s also somewhat expensive because of its daily search engine updates. But as mentioned before, if you have websites with lots of pages that are frequently changed, daily updates can be useful, which makes the price worth it.
How many languages does SEOmonitor cater to?
Currently, SEOmonitor supports 20 languages, including: English, French, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, Brazilian, Chinese, and Romanian.
Does SEOmonitor work on WordPress.com as well?
Yes. Users will just have to disable the default SEO options in their WordPress.com accounts.
What does SEOmonitor integrate with?
Here are just a few of SEOmonitor’s popular integrations:
Honestly, there is just so much to appreciate about SEOmonitor. One of the tool’s key strengths is its effortless keyword tracking across desktop and mobile.
Adding hundreds of high-value keywords is child’s play – within minutes, you have the ability to review performance, monitor competitors, and uncover the most promising keyword opportunities available for your website.
Whether you’re monitoring 100 keywords or 5,000, it’s always easy to understand how an SEO project is going via SEOmonitor’s Visibility Score metric. The score measures the actual impact of ranking changes, taking into account the various features that each query can trigger in the search results. Combined with the app’s ability to connect keywords to conversions and revenue, it makes it easy for both you and your clients to monitor and understand your SEO efforts and results.
SEOmonitor also makes it easy to access the data you need to make recommendations, confirm insights, and pull together reports. The ability to separate branded traffic provides for a greater level of transparency. Meanwhile, the team is ALWAYS open to improvement – iterating constantly and not only listening to feedback, but implementing it.
The interface can be challenging at times and powerful features are often hidden away. Luckily, the in-app live chat is always available if you need help. Another thing I’ve noticed is that, whenever new features are being added to the app, this can result in some functionality/usability issues. While the support team are awesome at responding right away, it does sometimes take up to a day or two for those issues to get fixed, which is something to be aware of.
Ultimately, SEOmonitor takes care of everything when it comes to creating and monitoring an SEO campaign. If you don’t have such a tool, or you have one but aren’t satisfied, give this one a try.
If you aren’t a current customer and would be interested in testing SEOmonitor for yourself, just know they are very helpful. They also offer a migration service to assist in any migrations away from other software. But if you don’t want to put your money on it yet, then consider signing up for a free trial and request a demo with the team.
Again, the guys at SEOmonitor have allowed me to offer you an extended 30 day trial instead of the standard 14 days. Just use the following promo code: tRWlHJ
So, are you interested in giving it a try, or are you already an SEOmonitor user? What are your impressions about the tool? Share your opinion in a comment below. I would love to hear it!
People have been saying that ‘the year of the mobile’ has been here for a while, it now seems as if Google are forcing that issue.
On February the 26th 2015, Google announced on their webmaster central blog that they will be adapting their algorithm to reflect the changing behaviour of their users. This change will see those websites that are mobile-optimised receive a small boost, versus those websites that do not provide a mobile-optimised experience.
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Over the past year I have been involved in the interviewing and hiring of a number of experienced SEOs and newcomers to the SEO industry. One of the key things that I ask in those interviews is: how do you keep up to date with the industry, and what are the techniques required to succeed? As you would expect, you get a lot of stock answers from those with experience, but those who are new to the industry don’t really have an understanding of what they need to be doing to succeed.
To help those who are new to SEO, I wanted to provide five tips that I would have loved to have been told when I was starting out.
1. Read, Read, Read and Read!
We work in an industry that is thriving in content, and as a noob to the industry that’s great. Start to read the basics rather than jumping straight in with the advanced. You need to have a good grounding.
- Google Website Optimisation Guide
- Moz Learn SEO
- Beginner’s Guide to SEO
- The Beginner’s Guide for Learning SEO
- The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet
- Perfecting Keyword Targeting & On-page Optimisation
- The Beginner’s Checklist for Small Business SEO
- Search Engine Ranking Factors
- DistilledU – Modular learning programme
This post was originally published on White.net
You have just spent the last week knee-deep in data and technical issues whilst crawling through a website. You have identified a large number of technical issues, and a major blocker that will drastically help improve search engine rankings. You have put together the document, talked the client through it, who thanked you for putting it together and said that it looks great, and can’t wait to see the results of the changes.
A couple of days later, you get the call. Oh don’t you hate it when you get THE call! We can do the implementations no problem, but! Oh no, not the dreaded but. It’s going to take some time, the IT team have said they need to spec out the requirements, work out how to do half of it, and it’s probably going to take six months to implement the basic recommendations. Head, smack!, desk!
How many times have you heard that story? But whose fault is it? Is it the IT team, who didn’t inform you of what is required for each change, or is it yours because you didn’t ask about the process to get website changes made, no matter how simple they may be?
Below I have provided five key questions to ask before you start your technical audit.
This post was originally published on White.net
We hear so much about great SEO tools that we should be using, but we rarely see much written about tools to help you with your Google Analytics data. Over the past year I have been using more and more tools to help with Google Analytics data, from API extraction to data visualisation, and I wanted to share them with you. Below are just 8 tools that I used for Google Analytics on a regular basis that save me a lot of time.
Who has come across GA traffic disappearing and it being down to some GA code being removed? How long has that taken you to find the pages that no longer has the GA code on?
Over the past few years I have been using ScreamingFrog to check websites for any pages that have missing Google Analytics code, and comparing it against those that have. Once I have a list of URLs with missing GA code, I supply this to the internal team to have them look at it and implement. Once implemented, I then re-run the crawl to ensure the missing pages now have the GA code.
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