SEO Data You Can't Live Without, SEOmoz [REVIEW]

by Kristy Bolsinger on Mar 01, 2012
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SEO and Social Media are like (completely legal, totally innocent) partners in crime.

Two peas in a pod.

Or…in the case of Google an old married couple.

Which brings me to the point.

Search and social are so closely related they’re nearly indecipherable at times. They need each other, they rely on each other and most importantly – they can help each other.

That said – there isn’t likely one amongst us who couldn’t use a great search and social tool to amplify our efforts, increase the ease of our tasks and arm us with the knowledge to kick some serious butt!

With that in mind, I bring you: A review of one of the industry’s leading SEO tool set: SEOmoz Pro.

First let me start by saying that I have been a member of the SEOmoz community for years now. I’ve been glued to their blog and its amazing content since before I could spell S-E-O.

The community there is full of incredibly generous people always willing to help people learn and discuss tactics. The user forums are something that I’ve recently fallen in love with as well.

It’s a great place to participate and get answers to your SEO, PPC and Social related questions. Whether you need SEO tools or not – the community and Q&A forums are worth their weight in gold….err…bytes. Whatever. Priceless.

Getting Started On SEOmoz

Set up your site by inputting the url (domain, sub-domain or index) you are tracking, your target keywords and even up to three of your competitors you’re off and running. SEOmoz begins their work behind the curtain doing a crawl of your site. After a short wait you’ll have access to a wealth of magical information ranging from ranking information, crawl diagnostics (throwing too many 404’s? They’ll let you know!) and even some pretty in-depth competitive analysis.

The information is stuff you really can’t live without. The interface is incredibly user friendly and offers helpful tips along the way to explain what it is exactly that you’re doing – and more importantly, what it means.

SEOmoz’s Tools

The basics cover a lot of your ongoing reporting and maintenance needs. Their SEO tools section really takes it to the next level.

Open Site Explorer

Here you’ll find Open Site Explorer (OSE)

Example of Open Site Explorer from SEOmoz

Open Site Explorer provides you with tons of great information such as page and domain authority, linking root domains and even social (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ shares). You can dive pretty deep into each of these elements to uncover link-building opportunities, opportunities for engagement, competitive analysis and industry evaluations.

Research Tools

There is so much to cover here I’m tempted to tell you to just sign up for the free trial and play around yourself. I’ll do my best to shine some light on it, but I think my first instinct may be the best route ;)

Link Research & Analysis:
A wealth of great data that covers backlinks, helps to find top pages, content based hubs of social activity and competitive insight.

This potential of this data, like most all data, is limited only by your creativity to utilize it for your benefit. (This is really a part of OSE, but because I consider it a research tool I called this functionality out here.)

Keyword Analysis:
Keyword research is, quite honestly, a PIA. Any tool that can make the process a little bit easier and straight forward in my book gets a gold star. This tool not only helps you determine your keywords but helps you assess their competitive difficulty.

You’ll get extra points when you show up to your meetings with an incredibly insightful look at your competitors to boot *cough*Term Extractor*cough*.

Rank Tracking:
Simplicity is sexy too. This tool does just what it implies. Tracks your sites ranking for keywords you’ve input over time. Makes reporting on progress and opportunities incredibly easy and clear.

On-Page Optimization:
This tool is awesome. But, I’m a sucker for easy to understand, clear and meaningful insight. Sue me. It looks at your site and assigns a grade based on keyword and site performance.

Social Media Monitoring:
The social media monitoring is a recent addition to the moz family. While they are not going to replace your current social media monitoring tools just yet – I’d keep an eye on this corner of the world.

You can hook up your Facebook and Twitter accounts and it will monitor activity, traffic and shares. Coordinate this with the data you’re getting from your SEO tools and you’re on your way to a winning Search and Social strategic campaign monitoring platform!

SEO Web Crawler:
Running a crawl test is a great place to start with a new site. The output includes the url of every page cralwed, all of the title tags, meta descriptions and status codes along with link-count a and referrer information.
SEO Toolbar:
This one is awesome cause it’s so portable. Travels easily with you all over the web. The mozbar works with both Firefox and Chrome. Sorry IE users – you’re going to have to get a real browser for this one.

You’ll get some really great info on every SERP you’re exploring, the ability to find followed links quickly, compare different data points across the different search engine’s and a host of other tools.

Even without a paid membership – this is something that is pretty helpful (although the free version doesn’t give you access to every data point so be aware!).
Linkscape API:
Okay, so this might be the coolest piece of the mozSuite that I have no idea how to utilize. Admittedly I am not a technically minded individual, but I have never-ending respect and admiration for those that do.

SEOmoz has given you access to their Linkscape data via the API and invited you to go crazy. I have seen some pretty amazing things that people have done with that, but I would invite you to have a look-see. Perhaps you or someone on your team could build something awesome for yourselves with it.

New SEOmoz Features

You wouldn’t be much of a tools provider if you didn’t do releases on your product regularly. Moz is no exception to this. You can actually track their updates via their Pro change log if you’re really interested. That said, recently they made some pretty remarkable updates to their tool set that are especially interesting. Including my favorite – historical link data!

You’re only as awesome as your ability to showcase your efforts. Thankfully SEOmoz also recently introduced custom automated reports. Baaaaasically these are just what it sounds like they are. But…better. You can set up very customized reports and have them sent out on your behalf based on a timeline you set-up. Easy. Peasy.

They also recently introduced branded keyword rules and metrics. As we all know, brands are increasingly relevant to your SEO efforts. This new feature allows you to account for and track the weigh and performance of your brand in the SERP’s. Can I get a woot! woot!?

Having been one of my favorite tools for years now, they recently got better. In the last couple months of the year they gave me X more reasons to love them.

Roger the Mozbot

Bottom Line

The data is invaluable.

The usability of the tool is unparalleled.

The knowledge and engagement in the community is enviable.

The mascot adorable.

The service is unrivaled.

The social tools are still lacking a bit, but they were just released  – so I’m personally witholding judgement there, and rather, waiting with anticipation to see how they evolve.

How amazing would it be if we had a comprehensive tool set that looked at all of our SEO and social efforts all in one place??? #omgsoexcited

What’s the catch you might ask?

Well, nothing as far as I can tell.

Even their pricing is incredibly reasonable. For someone with under 300 keywords and 5 or fewer campaigns the crazy awesome tool will only set you back $99/month.

You can sign up here for your free 30 day trial and check it out yourself. That price point is incredibly reasonable for what you get. There are obviously larger plans as well for those that need greater bandwidth.

Go forth – check it out – and feel to leave a comment here and let me know what you thought. Or better yet – tell them! I know their team is consistently driving to improve based on user feedback and would love to hear from you!


Post Author

Kristy Bolsinger is currently employed as a Social Business Consultant with Ant's Eye View in Seattle, WA. Previously she was with RealNetworks. Prior to her time at RealNetworks Kristy was working as a Social Media Marketing Consultant and completing...

  • milkmen

    Spot on post Kristy. Long time Mozer. I Love the product, my clients love the product. RAND tweeted your post. Yay. More site traffic.

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  • I too am an SEOMoz Pro member.  I actually find it a little expensive for what they offer.  Perhaps it’s a better value for larger enterprise clients.  I find their Site Explorer shows considerably less links than Alexa or Webmaster tools.  Their rankings report in their campaign settings only updates once per week and if you go to the adhoc Rankings Checker it’s good for about 3 or 4 ranking runs then freezes.  That said I still continue to be a member as their community boards and Q&A, Whiteboard discussions…etc make up for some of these deficiencies.  I’m not trying to be a downer on your post but thought I would add a little perspective.

    Chris Gregory

  • Kristy – So glad you brought up the point about  “a comprehensive tool set that looked at all of our SEO and social efforts all in one place.” With all the talk about share of voice and sentiment, it would be so cool to see the SEO impact of social mentions. One thing I’ve noticed recently is that a business’ facebook page sometimes comes up among the search results and seems to rank on SERPs according to its number of fans, which is really interesting to me in the context of the whole debate regarding the $ value of a Facebook fan, which is silly on some level but interesting from an SEO perspective. I’d love to see a social media monitoring tool like @radian6:twitter show not only share of voice and sentiment metrics but SEO-related metrics as well.