Following on from our last post about Moz’s Domain Authority, I thought it would be good do a review of both ‘Moz PRO’ and some of Moz’s free tools that I have been using recently. Moz (formally SEOmoz) has built up quite a nice set of tools and resources that you can use to help you analyse and improve your site.
So let’s take a look…
What Is Moz PRO?
Moz PRO is Moz’s premium product that they offer to people that will help them to analyse their site and find areas that they can improve upon. It consists of a whole bunch of useful tools that you can use (of which ‘Moz Analytics’ is to be added soon) that will tell you SOOOO much about your site that you didn’t already know.
You can sign up for a free 30-Day trial, which is then $99/month after that.
Moz has a number of different tools and resources for you to use, both free and paid tools. The free tools that you can use are; GetListed, Followerwonk, Open Site Explorer, MozBar and MozCast (though some of these only have limited functionality in the free version).
You also can set up weekly crawls of your site and track your rankings in the search engines, view On-Page recommendations to help make tweaks to your site, look at competitive analysis so that you can see how you measure up against the competition AND there is social media monitoring to track the performance of your social media accounts. That is a LOT of information at your fingertips to delve through, which is why so many webmasters like Moz PRO.
Let’s take a look at some of the Moz PRO features in a bit more detail.
Setting Up Your Campaign
When you first login to your Moz PRO account, you will be asked to set up your first campaign. This basically entails of entering in all your site details so that Moz can start gathering all the information for you.
Now, I won’t go into detail about how to set up your first campaign as there is a fantastic guide and tutorial video on their Campaign Setup page that you can follow. It’s pretty straight forward though. Once all set-up, it will take a few days for your site to be fully crawled before you can take an in-depth look at your site.
Looking At Your Campaign
Fast-forward a week and your statistics will begin to filter through (of which you will be informed via email). You will now be able to see things like;
- Traffic Data
- Crawl Diagnostics (Errors, Warnings and Notices)
- Keyword Rankings (including Ranking Changes)
- On-Page Optimization Reports
- Competitive Domain Analysis (compare your site to others)
- Social Reports
- And more…
I could talk about each of these in great detail, but frankly this post would end up being about twice the size as it is (and it’s already pretty big), so I will pick out some of the features that I found particularly useful. The ones that I don’t mention are still very useful, but are quite self-explanatory (e.g. Traffic Data).
The first place I ended up going was the ‘Crawl Diagnostics Summary’ page. Here I could get clear information on what (if any) errors I had on my site, as well as warnings and notices that I needed to look at. Surprisingly, these hadn’t shown up in my Google Webmaster Tools page, so I was glad to see these.
You should try to fix as many of these as you can, as search engines will be seeing the same errors on your site. If you have too many, it could have a negative effect on your ranking.
In my case, the errors that I had were broken links to pages that I had removed at a later date. That was easy to fix as I just removed those links. The warnings however were telling me that I had pages that were ‘missing meta description tag’, however when I looked they tended to be my category pages (page 2, page 3, page 4, etc.) which wasn’t that big of a deal. There were a couple though that I had genuinely forgotten to add, so it was easy to go back and add them in.
Make sure you check out your crawl diagnostics to see if you have any major issues you need to sort out. The good thing is that Moz PRO gives you advice and recommendations for each issue that you have to help you out.
On-Page Report Card
Another great feature is the on-page report section that looks at your posts/pages and your keywords (that you can add manually) and grades them to see how well you are optimizing them.
In the above example I hadn’t added too many keywords at that point, which is why I didn’t have too many reports to look at, but I could clearly see that 2 of my pages graded well and 1 had room for improvement. Since then I have added a lot more keywords and have been able to make quite a few on-page SEO improvements to my site.
The great thing about this is that Moz PRO goes through each SEO factor for your individual posts/pages and shows you what you have and haven’t done. This makes it pretty easy to go back and optimize your posts further to maximise your ranking potential.
It even explains each point in further detail for you.
I found this feature to be HUGELY beneficial and have used it extensively to improve a number of my posts. In fact, this used in conjunction with the ‘WordPress SEO by Yoast’ plugin will drastically help you to manage, monitor and improve your On-Page SEO strategy.
Competitive Domain Analysis
Again, this was another feature that I found very useful. Here you can compare your site against up to 3 other competitor sites to see how well you are doing (though you can compare against others on Open Site Explorer). This is great as it is impossible to compare sites just by looking at them alone, so being able to see and compare different stats is great.
In the above example, I picked 3 sites that are much bigger and more established than mine (though I wouldn’t like to say which) to try and assess just how far off I am to getting to their level. You may prefer to do an analysis against sites that are more matched to you.
In my case, I was happy to see that I wasn’t as far off as I thought I may be. Despite the fact that my stats are lower than the other 3 (as they should be), there are a few areas where I am a lot closer than I would have imagined (such as MozTrust). So at least it shows that I am heading in the right direction.
Competitive Link Comparison
As well as comparing stats, you can compare links and see things like;
- Followed Backlinks (including; linking page title/URL, Anchor text, Domain Authority and Page Authority)
- Linking Root Domains (including; site domain and Domain Authority)
- Top Pages (including; HTTP Status, number of linking root domains and Page Authority)
- Anchor Text Phrases (including; linking root domains containing anchor text and links containing anchor text)
This is great for seeing exactly where sites are getting their link juice from and what their most popular content is. Sites want links from websites with a good Domain and Page Authority as that indicates that it is coming from a quality source. The more links like this you can get from good sites, the better it is for your blog.
By looking at your competitors and seeing where they are getting their links from, you can look to find similar sources. For example, I found a number of sites that my competitors were using that I didn’t even know existed. I can now approach them for a guest posting opportunity or set up my own profile on the site.
This isn’t about copying another site’s blueprint, as that would be bad. It is however a good way to see how other sites have built up their online presence and learn about how you can do a similar thing.
We have looked at Moz PRO, but what about the other free Moz Tools that you can use for your site?
Well again, let’s take a look…
Open Site Explorer & MozBar
We talked about MozBar and Open Site Explorer in detail in our ‘Beginners Guide to Domain Authority’ post, so I won’t repeat the same information here.
These two tools however are extremely useful for researching sites whilst browsing the net. Whilst the MozBar is completely free, Open Site Explorer is only fully available to Moz PRO members. There is a free limited version that you can use, but the PRO version will give you much more detailed information.
Followerwonk is another free app from Moz that can help you look at and analyse your Twitter account. You have the option to link your Moz PRO account for some added functionality, but for the whole you can use it for free.
Here you can;
- Compare Twitter accounts
- Search Twitter bios
- Analyse followers (your own or others)
- Sort Followers
- Track Followers
Personally, I loved the feature where you can analyse followers of your own or someone else’s. It will show you where in the world those Twitter followers are from, as well as things like social authority scores of others.
It’s also great to be able to sort through your own followers and see who your most influential followers are (based on Social Authority).
Finally I wanted to talk about MozCast, another great free tool by Moz that helps you to gauge how the Google algorithm has been performing over the last few days. They do this in a very unique way by presenting it like a weather forecast. The hotter and stormier it is, the more Google’s rankings have changed.
Google makes little changes to their algorithm all the time (not just the Penguin and Panda updates), so Moz is trying to find a way of showing that on a daily basis.
This is great for any website owner or SEO analyst as it can explain why your site may fluctuate in the rankings from time to time. Perhaps your rankings (as shown in Moz PRO or Google Analytics) have dropped from the previous day, well maybe that was caused by Google tinkering with their algorithm – perhaps not. Either way, it’s good to keep an eye on what is happening just in case.
What Do You Think?
There we have it! These are just the tip of the iceberg of features that these tools have to offer, like I say, this post could have been twice as big if I’d covered them all. I have found all of these incredibly useful for my site and have used them to great effect over the last few weeks.
I’m pretty impressed that Moz has managed to build up such a great set of tools to use AND they have yet to release their new ‘Moz Analytics’. Think I am going to be using them for quite a while now as they offer so many ways to monitor and improve a site.
What do you think? Do you use any of Moz’s Tools, or are you a Moz PRO member? How have you been able to improve your site using these? Please let us know by leaving a comment below!