Enterprise SEO tools provide comprehensive site and competitor analysis. Services like seoClarity and BrightEdge provide incredible insight, but are also amazingly expensive. With a little manual effort and time you can create actionable reports at a fraction of the cost.
The power behind enterprise tools is the ability to combine the following:
- Site analytics
- Site information
- Links and social mentions
First think about the following scenario. When looking at analytics, you see a spike in traffic to a particular a page. Marked at the beginning of the upward trend you also see an annotation displaying the page title had been altered, resulting in the rise in traffic for that page.
Along with the trend of organic search traffic over time, enterprise tools annotate changes to a page, increases in links, and social mentions. These and other factors might contribute to the rise or fall of incoming traffic from search engines into an aesthetically pleasing and easy to use graphical interface. While it’s nice to be spoon fed, it becomes more expensive with age and paying for access to enterprise tools is no exception.
Most analytics packages have the ability to annotate graphs to mark significant events. By manually pulling necessary information and adding annotations, you can mimic this functionality of enterprise tools.
Mentioned earlier was the notion that the power behind enterprise tools is way they combine site analytics with site information, rankings, links and social mentions. Most SEOs are already running similar reports manually, but there are a few interesting components to keep in mind in order to facilitate comprehensive and timely actionable insights.
Site information refers to crawling a site for response codes and changes to elements of a page that are relevant to SEO. Page titles, descriptions, headings, canonicals, meta robots tags, etc.
Some enterprise SEO tools do this on a daily basis sending notifications of any major changes. By creating a spreadsheet of canonical URLs that are crawled consistently and combining those over time using something like VLOOKUP, this functionality can be mimicked.
While most SEOs say that rankings are not important, they are. Rankings can provide actionable insight into the assessment of a site’s content, but it can be hard when a client decides to focus on particular rankings rather than the big picture.
Enterprise tools have enormous amounts of ranking data. This can provide insight into areas of opportunity and can help answer the question, “Where does the taxonomy of your site lack in targeting certain relevant keywords compared to your competitors?”
There are two ways of going about mimicking this functionality. The easy way is to subscribe to a service who already has the data like SEMRush. A more manual way is to use Google AdWords keyword tool to pull as many relevant keywords as possible, then check rankings using a rank checker tool. Sort by search volume, ascending keywords, or maybe ascending URLs and identify patterns and new found opportunities!
Links & Social
Along with analytics programs, enterprise SEO tools integrate with several APIs. These are key when identifying new links and social mentions.
Not unlike using a third party service for ranking position information, services like MajesticSEO and Open Site Explorer are a must when researching large amounts of competitive linking data in an attempt to answer the question, “Where are my competitors getting links from? Can I get in on that?”. Open Site Explorer also pulls in social mentions at a URL level, which is convenient.
Tip: When using third party services for linking information, keep in mind that new data is subject to updates. For example, Open Site Explorer data updates every month or so. A great way to find links in real time is to keep track of new referring domains on a page by page basis.
Using third party services seems to be a necessary expense when attempting to look at multiple backlink profiles, unless you’re content with keeping track of new referring domains in analytics and manually checking for links.
Once the reports have been pulled and the analysis has been made, it’s time to get creative. The visualization of all the components is why companies spend the big bucks, but it’s possible to create something similar that works for you.
If there’s anything in particular you’d like to hear more about, let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to shout back.
Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!