Friday, September 22, 2017

Cognitive SEO Keyword Tool & Content Assistant Review

Cognitive SEO tool Review cover

Before I start my review, I’d like to invite you to try out CognitiveSEO for yourself! You can check out the tool with this special link. Anyway, let’s get started!

I’m happy to be one of the first people to be able to write a thorough Cognitive SEO Review and with that in mind, it got me to thinking. CognitiveSEO has been around for quite a while now, and I have had the pleasure of using it during its beta phase. Through the years, it has continued to grow bigger and better – providing SEOs some much-needed help with their campaigns. As we all know, a successful and competent SEO campaign starts with having the best tools available.

Investing a lot of time, money, and effort into tools such as CognitiveSEO or Ahrefs to get our desired results can definitely make all of our jobs easier.

CognitiveSEOhas been a part of our toolbox for a while now and like I’ve said, it just keeps getting better. Now that a few years have gone by, they released a new feature that can catch the interest of any SEOexpert.

I’m talking about their new keyword tool and content assistant. Without further ado, here’s what I (and the rest of the SEO Hacker Team) think of CognitiveSEO’s newest feature.

 

Cognitive SEO tool Review homepage

Cognitive SEO Review

If you are not knowledgeable as to what cognitiveSEO is all about, here’s a short introduction: It is an SEO software that offers different kinds of tools that you can use. Through these sets of tools, CognitiveSEO can provide you with extensive analyses and insights that you can use to improve your SEOcampaign.

From backlink analysis to unnatural link detection, cognitiveSEO has helped out numerous SEOexperts from avoiding or recovering from Google’s Penguin update and other penalty-worthy objects in their website. However, now that they have released their newest tool, in my own honest opinion, CognitiveSEO has a bright future ahead of them.

Let’s dig deeper on their keyword tool & content assistant and find out what it has to offer.

 

Cognitive SEO tool Review keyword tool

Keyword Tool

Once you have signed in, just click on the icon that has the letter “K” on the leftmost part of the page to be directed to their keyword tool & content assistant. To get started, you just have to input the keyword or topic you want to rank for in the search bar in the middle of the page. It is also a great feature that they included a location filter on the right side of the search bar so that you can get a more detailed account of the keyword in a certain country.

Cognitive SEO tool Review keyword tool search bar

One of the things that I noticed is that the location filter is limited to only a number of countries. Although it is a given because this tool is still in its beta phase, it would be great if they can include more countries in the locationfilter for more accurate and location specific results for their users.

When you search for your desired keyword and in this case, I searched for the term “long tail keyword” while having the location filter set to the U.S. Now the reason I chose this topic/keywordis  because I’ve already written and publishedcontent about this which I will be inputting later on in their content assistant tool.

After clicking Analyze, I was immediately redirected to the results page.

Keyword Explorer

Let’s start by analyzing the results page from the top. The first thing you will see is the summary of what they found in their database regarding the keyword that you searched for. The summary is split into three categories:

  • Keyword Difficulty – They measure the inputted keyword’s difficulty on a scale of 0 – 100 depending on how difficult it is to rank for that specific keyword. In this case, the keyword I put has a difficulty score of 67 out of 100.
  • Average Content Performance – In this part, they show you the average content performance score of the top ranking websites for the keyword. They measure it using a scale of 0 – 100. This means that the lower the average performance score is, the easier it is for you to rank for the keyword using the content. The term “long tail keyword” has an average of 62 out of 100.
  • Monthly Volume – This shows you the details on how often this keyword is searched for in Google on a monthly basis. As you can see, the term I used scores fairly low on the monthly search queries for it which amounts to a hundred to five hundred searches a month.

Next, you will see the three tabs which contain the primary features of this tool. Currently, I am in the keyword explorer tab, and I’ll discuss the other features of this tool in the latter parts.

Below thetabsare the filters you can use to find the exact keyword that you are looking to rank for. The filters are:

  • Relevancy – You can use this filter to get the most relevant keyword for the topic you have searched for. The score for relevancy is depicted through stars – the more stars the keyword has, the more relevant it is for your inputted topic.
  • Number of Words – Simply put, you can use this filter to search for keywords that have the number of words that you want.
  • Containing – This filter is used to search for keywords that contain the word/s that you want them to have.
  • Excludes – Input the word that you don’t want your keyword to have this filter.
  • Volume of Search – Use this to filter out the number of times the keywords are searched for on a monthly basis.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC) – You can look for the average cost per click for the keyword that you want to use for an ad campaign.

Finally, you will see the keywords that are related to your topic in the rest of the page. Since I have over 600 keywordsuggestions, I can use the filters to look for the perfect keyword for my website.

If you are using this tool and don’t have any specific keyword in mind, you can sort the suggestions based on the highest to the lowest characteristic (relevance, no. of words, volume, and CPC). You just have to click on the up and down arrows beside the words on the top of the results.

Cognitive SEO tool Review keyword tool arrows

Additionally, there are also included keywords in the results that are totally unrelated to the topic I searched for. Although it has the terms “long tail”, it is still unrelated to the overall topic that I searched for. Here are some of them:

Cognitive SEO tool Review keyword tool unrelated results

They do have a relevancescore of only one star, however, I think that if it is totally unrelated to the topicsearched, it should not be included anymore to the results. It can’t be helped though but this just means that the tool is working properly if it can deprioritize terms that the tool deems “unrelated” to my targeted keywords.

 

Cognitive SEO tool Review Ranking Analysis

Ranking Analysis

I’ll start by saying that this is an aesthetically pleasing page. From the colors used to the organization of the results, it is definitely easy on the eyes. Since I’ve covered the summary part and the tabs, let’s focus on the results part.

The first thing any user will see is the Organic results for “….”  then the type of search query it is. In my case, it as an informational query and if you point your cursor to this small part of the page, it will show you a short description of the query. Here’s what it looks like:

Cognitive SEO tool Review informational query

Afterwards, youwillsee different details about the organic results, namely:

  • Search Results
  • Content Performance
  • Focus Keywords
  • Number of Words
  • Page Performance/Page Authority
  • Domain Performance/Domain Authority
  • Date Published

Most of them are self-explanatory, but for focus keywords, it basically means that these are the keywords that tend to be included in the content for the page to have a higher ranking.

When you want to see the exact keywords used in a page included in the results, just click on it and a snippet will show in the rightmost part of the page that contains that URL to the article, and some additional details. It looks like this:

Cognitive SEO tool Review ranking analysis snippet

The green circle beside the used keywords are indicators that those certain keywords are highly important, and is used throughout the content.

Cognitive SEO tool Review content assistant

Content Assistant

It’s time for the best part about thetool. You can start by clicking on the “Start Optimizing Content” button, then you will be directed to this page:

Cognitive SEO tool Review content assistant page

Afterwards, input your content or write a new one that is related to your keyword in the space provided. When you’re finished. It should look something a lot like this:

Cognitive SEO tool Review content assistant page content

I inserted my content into space, and this is what came up. A score of 60 on content performance, and the capability to rank in the top 3 of the Google search results. However, I noticed that it recommended me to use the keyword “tail keyword”, I think this is just a misunderstanding between the tool and my content because the term I used in the content was “long-tail keyword”. But when I change it to “longtailkeyword” I immediately noticed a rise in my content’s performance. Here’s what it looked like when I removed all the hyphens to separate “long” and “tail”:

Cognitive SEO tool Review content assistant edited page content

My content’s performance rose to 64 when I included ONE focus keyword. Now, I can only ask myself if what would happen if I optimize my content in accordance with the Content Assistant’s recommendation.

Also, it is important to note that this tool also shows if you are experiencing an instance of keyword stuffing. Just scroll down the snippet on the rightmost part, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

I also decided to try it out on a relatively new page that wasn’t performing. After running it through the tool and optimizing it in accordance with the given suggestions, I hit “update” and waited for the results.  

In the meantime, I’d did some (additional) minimal link building on it just to give it a little push. In the end, my efforts paid off immensely – what was once a near inactive page saw a rise in traffic that I could never have expected.

Cognitive SEO Review content page results

Cognitive SEO Verdict

CognitiveSEO’s keyword tool & content assistant has its points to improve on such as the lack of countries in the location filter, unrelated keyword results, and the minor changes (see the instance between “long tail” and “long-tail” above) you have to make if you want to follow the content assistant’s recommendation.

However, since I used CognitiveSEO for many years, I believe that they will be rolling out some updates that will tackle the issues I mentioned, and some other minor details in the near future.

Nonetheless, this is a great tool that you can use for content optimization. On the other hand, the keyword tool by itself is good, but it is not a definite replacement for other keyword research tools available in the market. Furthermore, it is important to remember that this is not a FREE tool. Although you can use for a few days, after your free trial you will have to pay for the tool, which I think is a worthwhile investment.

Key Takeaway

If you are an SEO expert that rely heavily on content, then this tool could have a huge positive impact on your SEO campaign and when it comes to the keywordresearch tool itself then I recommend that you keep using the tool that you’re most comfortable with.

I am not saying that their keyword research tool is bad per se as it is extensive (for the countries included in the location filter), complete with details, and aesthetically appealing. I still think it still needs improvements that could make it stand out from the rest.

I still think it still needs improvements that could make it stand out from the rest.

Overall, this is a great tool. It needs improvement but it retains its usefulness because of the content assistant. If you need a little help with optimizing your content, then by all means, use this tool.

 


Cognitive SEO Keyword Tool & Content Assistant Review was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Using Ngram Phrase Models to Generate Site Quality Scores

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Technical Audit Checklist for Human Beings: September 2017 Update

GET THE AUDIT CHECKLIST

Updated September 13, 2017. Changes include:

  • Made each line easier to understand
  • Added pointers for going straight to the relevant reports in each tool#
  • Changed which tool to use for some rows
  • Added more Google references
  • Removed a couple dubious lines (site speed, HTTP/2)
  • Removed superfluous timing column
  • Removed whole sections that made the audit less MECE
  • Fixed cases where some cells would say “Incomplete” and others wouldn’t

Thanks everyone who has provided feedback over the last year!

Technical audits are one of the activities that define SEO. We’ve all done them. But audits are only as valuable as their impact. Whether you’re a practitioner or an agency partner, your job really begins when you finish the audit. You must take your recommendations and make them a reality. Distilled thrives on this “effecting change” mindset.

Yet the (long, laborious) audit has still got to be done. We sift through crawls, consider best practices, analyze sitemaps—the list goes on.

But we’re committed to the technical audit. So if we’re going to audit a site, why not do the audit in a way that makes the fun part—making change happen—much easier?

The challenge

With that in mind, we asked “Can we design an audit that helps make real change happen?” The result is an aware technical audit checklist. It considers the underlying problems we’re tackling (or trying to prevent). It makes technical audits faster, more effective, and more impactful.

Read on for more about how to put the checklist to use. Many on our team find it self-explanatory, though, so if you want to get cracking have at it! And then let us know what you think.

Every great audit starts with a checklist!

There are lots of technical checklists out there. A good technical audit inspects many things in many places. Checklists are perfect for keeping track of this complexity. They’re simple tools with lots of benefits. Checklists are:

  • Comprehensive. Without a checklist, you may still discover the obvious technical problems with a site. Using a checklist ensures you remember to check all the relevant boxes.

  • Productive. Working without a checklist takes more effort. At each stage you have to decide what to do next. The checklist answers this question for you.

  • Understandable. Unfortunately an intern can’t osmose your intuition! Rigorously defining your work with a checklist lets you delegate audits.

This checklist is better

Technical SEO has one purpose: ensure site implementation won’t hurt search visibility. Everything we uncover leads back to that point. This defines the scope of the audit.

Beyond that, many folks break down technical to-dos by where they need to look or what tool they need to use. They might look at all on-page elements, then move on to all sitemap issues. That’s a valid way of approaching the problem. We’ve got an alternative.

We look ahead to the conversations we’ll have after we’ve done the audit. Consider this (realistic) statement: “We’re concerned that important content isn’t indexed because URLs aren’t discovered by crawlers. Submitting a sitemap to Search Console might help fix the problem.”

This is a coherent technical recommendation. It explains why to make a change. It has 3 parts:

  1. Outcome - important content isn’t indexed.

  2. Cause - URLs aren’t discoverable by crawlers.

  3. Issue -  we haven’t uploaded sitemaps to Search Console.

That’s the difference: you’ll see this is exactly how we’ve structured the checklist. Take a moment to jump over and inspect it with this model in mind. By now you’re probably getting the idea—this isn’t just a technical checklist. It’s a also a tool for communicating the value of your work.

The structure encourages completeness

Each row of the checklist represents a problem. By including the right problem at each level, we also make it as complete as possible, without adding redundancy. The principle of MECE (“Mutually Exclusive, Comprehensively Exhaustive”) is what makes it work. At each level of analysis, we:

  • include all possible problems, and

  • ensure problems don’t overlap.

Let’s illustrate, using the highest level of analysis. The checklist as a whole is investigating whether “we have a technical problem with our site that is reducing search visibility”. There are 3 reasons we could lose search traffic because of a technical issue:

  • there is a technical reason good content isn’t indexed, or

  • there is a technical reason indexed content doesn't rank for desired terms, or

  • there is a technical reason site content isn't well-presented in search.

These represent all the possible problems we could be dealing with (“comprehensively exhaustive”). They also don’t overlap (“mutually exclusive”).

By applying the same way of thinking recursively, we expose all sub-problems in these areas. Then we list all issues that could be causing these sub-problems. This makes the checklist as thorough as possible, without redundant checks that could slow us down.

A few pointers

Getting started

This checklist template is available to the public. When you open it, you’ll discover that you only have “view” permissions for the master document. To use it, you’ll first want to create a copy:

Marking status

Mark each issue with Pass, OK, or Fail:

  • Pass means you have no concerns.

  • OK means the issues doesn’t seem relevant currently.

  • Fail means something appears to be wrong.

When you update an Issue, the grade for the Cause and Outcome will also be updated. If any Issue’s score is Fail, the Cause and Outcome will also Fail.

Find what you’re looking for quickly

People new to search engine optimization can still start using this sheet. We’ve now added a “Start Here” column to make it faster than ever to get started.

For new users of some of these tools, it might not be clear where to find relevant information. The “Start Here” column points you to the exact place you can find the details you need.

Understand what’s at stake

If you’re the person analyzing the audit after it’s done, you want to get a high-level picture quickly. Use the structure of the sheet to simplify that view by filtering the Issues rows.

Filtering for Outcomes and Causes gives you a quick-and-dirty summary of a site’s strengths and weaknesses. This is the first thing I look at when I see a completed audit!

Filtering related tasks

If you’re the one doing the audit, you want to get it done as quickly as possible. Take advantage of the structure of the sheet to group things

Take advantage of the structure of the sheet by showing only the issues you’re inspecting right now. Try filtering by the “Where” column—for “Google Search Console”, for instance. This will let you grade all Issues for that tool at once.

We want to learn from you, too

This checklist is a living document. We appreciate any feedback you have. Feel free to jump in the comments section here or find me on Twitter: @BenjaminEstes.

Interested in working with us?

This audit is an example of the way Distilled approaches consulting. We aren’t limited to SEO—we also help our clients with marketing strategy, content design and production, paid search, and more. If our approach sounds interesting, please reach out!

GET THE AUDIT CHECKLIST


The Technical Audit Checklist for Human Beings: September 2017 Update was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

3 Link Building Tactics to Improve Your SEO

Easy Link Building Tactics

Along with an SEO professional’s link building campaign, there will always be a need for easy link building tactics to help get started. This is especially true for amateur SEOs that have their work cut out for them when a client wants their newly established website to rank on the first page of the search results.

The absence of a stable base of links means that a website will not – at the very least – be able to compete in SERPs (search engine results pages).  Even if you properly perform every other aspect of your SEO campaign, without having a stable foundation for your link profile, then everything that you have done will be for naught.

That’s why I took it upon myself to provide 3 easy link building tactics you can use to help improve your link building campaign – even your SEO campaign. Let’s start.

 Easy link building tactic -Names Related to Your Brand
#1. Names Related to Your Brand

The first strategy you can use is to look for links that are from your own brand name, the domain name, or the names of the company’s executives. Here’s what you should do:

Search in Quotes

This is really simple. Just search for any name that’s related to your brand, and enclose it with quotation marks. Here’s an example: If I was going to do it, I’d start by inputting “SEO Hacker.com” or “Sean Si” in quotes into the Google search bar.

Fortunately, there are only a handful of SEO Hacker.com’s or Sean Si’s in the world of search. This means that I do not have to use the plus sign (+) then an identifier. However, if there are other meanings for your domain name, or your company executives have a common name, you can do it like this: retain the quotation marks but add in the plus sign and the identifier. So, in my case, I would search for “Sean Si + SEO”. Afterward, your results will be filtered to only a Sean Si that’s related to the SEO industry.

Inspect the Top 50-100 Search Results

After searching in quotes, you should start inspecting the search results to make sure that they are:

  • Linking to the Correct Site – If there are mentions of SEO Hacker in the search results, and when I check the results, there’s no link back to seo-hacker.com, I should fix that. Fixing this will involve contacting the people that handle the websites I’ve found.
  • Updated – This is for the websites that you can actually edit the anchor text or where the link goes to. I usually do this for my social media channels. In LinkedIn, for example, I can update the company I’m working at, or if I changed SEO Hacker’s domain name, then I can edit the link in my profile.
  • There are no mistakes – Sometimes, when you inspect the pages in the search results, you’ll find out that the links are missing or they’re linking to the wrong site, then you should fix that immediately.

Make sure that every mention of your brand or executives has a link back to the website because having these will improve your backlink profile and your SEO campaign.

 Easy link building tactic - Websites That Include Your Competitors
#2. Websites That Include Your Competitors

This means that you have to do a little bit of competitor research and find out which websites link to those competitors. The typical types of websites that do this are comparison sites that focus on plural comparative intent, directories, listing websites. This is what you should do:

Find The Most Visible Competitors

To find out, you can just input queries that you would personally rank for. Then, when you see the results, find out which of them are typically shown in different queries that you want to rank for. Or, to do it in a simpler way, you can just read or watch news or articles in your niche.

Search in Groups

Let’s say, for example, the brand is all about gaming laptops, I’d be looking for my top competitors such as MSI, Razer, Alienware, and Asus. I might search for Razer and Alienware at the same time. Then, I’d search for MSI and Asus next. Basically, group them up, then search for varying combinations.

Look for Sites That List Your Competitors

This can be in any format such as the ones I’ve mentioned above (directories, lists, comparisons). What you should do is to contact or submit your brand to the people that run the websites. What you’ll tell them that is that your brand should belong in the lists because you basically sell the same thing as the ones included on the website. This won’t always work, but it’s better than not having any links back to your site. However, if you succeed, then it’s good news for your link profile.

Easy link building tactic - Listing Websites
#3. Websites That List Things in Your Niche, Location, and Elements

Do not limit these attributes to being separate from each other. There are websites that create lists by combining these things. So, using the example above, there might be websites that are making lists about Philippine-based gaming laptops under $500. And by chance, your company is everything that list is looking for. So, you should try to get included in the lists because there is a unique attribute that none of your competitors possess. This is a great time to acquire good quality links while being able to have something that your competitors do not have. You can do this by:

Make a List of…

Your Company’s Niche – You can be in manufacturing, software, services, finances, or whatever your company’s niche is. Just make sure that you are able to list your areas of expertise from the macro to the micro level.

Your Company’s Location – Similarly, start from the macro level all the way down to the micro level. So, start with the continent, then country, region, and city.

Unique Elements/Attributes – List down anything that might interesting or unique about your company. Maybe your founder was a woman, or your company is eco-friendly, or that you only use the latest components available in the market. Basically, list down all of the things that you think is unique to your company

Search for Others

After making your list, you can search for other brands, websites, or businesses that you share some similarities with. They could have some of your elements, or they’re located in the same region, or they are in the same niche as you are. Through searching in Google, you can find the lists that look for the attributes that you have. Then, when you find these types of websites, getting included in their lists is a matter of talking and persuading them.

Key Takeaway

The best thing about knowing these easy link building tactics is that you do not have to shell out large amounts of money to make them work. You don’t have to use tools, think about link metrics, focus on the process of link qualifications, or paying for links (which is a black hat strategy).

You only have to use Google. That’s the only “tool” you’ll need and it’s free. The link building tactics I’ve highlighted above can help amateur SEOs get that first link for their websites without having to put in too much effort.

If you know any other link building tactics, just comment it down below so we can start a much-needed discussion.


3 Link Building Tactics to Improve Your SEO was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ahrefs Review: An In-Depth Look

Ahrefs Review Comprehensive SEO Tool

Ahrefs is a well-known tool primarily used for checking backlinks, but what most SEOs forget to take into consideration is that it is capable of so much more. With their massive data index, Ahrefs is definitely one of the most sought-after SaaS tools out in the market. Tools such as this helped eradicate the days wherein Google gets played by unethical, black hat SEO tactics.  They helped the industry turn for the better, and SEO has never been simpler. With the tools such as Ahrefs being available in the market, it became simple for us to get better at what we do.

With SEO-Hacker’s ever-growing toolbox, it’s not a surprise that we try out different tools for our keyword research, competitor research, content writing and optimization, and site management. While tools may not write our content for us or do our work for us, it can help us in different ways:

  • Strategically choose content topics
  • Find the right people for our content
  • Know which people we should do an outreach to
  • Managing our website

So, without further ado, here’s my review of Ahrefs.

Ahrefs – A Comprehensive SaaS Tool

Once you enter Ahrefs’ website, you’ll immediately be taken to their homepage. It highlights everything Ahrefs has to offer, their data index, and some snippets of testimonials from SEO experts all around the world.

You Need to Know About Ahrefs Homepage

Before anything else, however, I promised you a free trial so here it is: Ahrefs Free Trial. Simply visit their homepage and click on “Start Free Trial” so you can start trying this tool out for yourself.

To get started, just sign in and you’ll be redirected to the dashboard where you can input new projects and monitor the old ones.

You Need to Know About Ahrefs Dashboard

As you can see, my team and I started numerous projects for most of our clients. The dashboard shows the users the overview of their projects (sites). Let’s break down the data displayed in the dashboard so you can better understand what they mean. The following are displayed:

  • Ahrefs Rank – This is the rank of your website based on the size and quality of your backlink profile. This changes constantly because websites regularly improve their backlink profile, and if you do not compete with your own backlink profile, then you will lose out on your Ahrefs rankings.
  • Domain Rating (DR) – This is a scale that shows your website’s total backlink profile strength. This is measured from 1 to 100, so the higher your DR is, the better
  • URL Rating – This is similar to the Domain Rating, but the only difference is that it measures a single URL’s backlink profile strength and its possibility to rank high in the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
  • Backlinks – It shows the total number of backlinks that are pointing to a specific website, and in this case, the client or our website.
  • Referring Domains – Similar to the backlinks data, it shows the number of domains that point to a specific website or URL
  • Organic Keywords – It shows a number of keywords the website ranks for in the top 100 search results – regardless of the location.
  • Targeted Keywords – This is the section that shows the performance of your targeted keywords over a specific timeframe.

This is just the simple overview of the website which will be expanded on the major sections of Ahrefs. The first major section, and probably the most important one is the Site Explorer section. This is what it looks like:

Site Explorer

Ahrefs site explorer overview

The overview section is the place where you can find everything you need to know about your website. It’s complete with numbers, graphs, and anything you need to see regarding the changes happening to your website. As an SEO professional, you need to be capable of adapting your SEO campaign on the spot. And with the data provided by Ahrefs, you’ll immediately know what to do to improve your site’s performance.

The best part about the overview – even Ahrefs as a whole – is that they constantly update the data that they display. The screenshot shown below was taken a few hours after the screenshot above, the differences are minimal, but could mean a lot for your campaign.

Ahrefs site explorer overview update

Backlink Profile

This is the feature where Ahrefs performs the best for link builders and SEOs alike. It shows you a comprehensive display of data regarding the backlink profile of your website. When I say comprehensive, I mean that they display everything you need to know about your site’s backlink profile.

Ahrefs backlinks

From new, lost, broken, dofollow, and nofollow links, Ahrefs’ site explorer can show you anything you want to know regarding all the links in your website.

When looking at your site’s backlink profile, there are numerous filters available for use so that you can have the best results possible. They are:

  • Group Similar Links
  • One Link Per Domain
  • All Links
  • Link Type
  • Platforms
  • Languages

Personally, I like the Group Similar Links filter due to efficiency purposes. Also, there’s a search bar you can use for finding specific links, anchors, or referring domains.

Another advantage of using Ahrefs is their “Fresh Index” “Live Index” switch that displays backlinks that Ahrefs’ crawler found. The main difference between the two is that the Live Index is updated every 15-30 minutes to show live links in your site. For Fresh Index, it is updated at a much longer timeframe, but it still displays dead links which give you the chance to reclaim or change the dead link.

These two has their own advantages, but I usually look at the Live Index much more than the Fresh Index just because I want to see the regular link updates that happen on my site.

Ahrefs backlink profile updated

Another function included in the backlink profile section is the data for Referring Domains. Basically speaking, it shows you the number of websites that are linking to the domain you’ve inputted in the search bar. So, in this instance, I’m using seo-hacker.com as the target website/URL, and the number of referring domains is shown with the corresponding details you will ever need:

Ahrefs referring domain

You can also view the new and lost referring domains you have through a calendar view which could save you time, effort, and energy.

Ahrefs referring domain calendar

When you click on the “New” button on the leftmost area of the page, then scroll down, all the new referring domains are listed. The same calendar view is displayed when you click the “Lost” button, however, the list below contains all the lost referring domains.

This feature can definitely help your SEO campaign, specifically, your link building campaign because you now have the capability to see all of the domains that removed your link from their content, and you can contact the webmaster to see if you can reclaim the lost link – this means that you now have the opportunity to either improve or continue your outreach and overall link building goals.

The other functions included in the Backlink Profile are:

  • Anchor – This basically shows all the anchor texts the referring domains used to link back to your target website. It displays all the details you need to know such as the domain that used the anchor and the snippet where the backlink is located. Also, it gives you the capability to filter the results to find a specific anchor.
  • Top Referring Content – This displays the most popular page that links to your target website. They determine the popularity of the page through the number of social shares it has. You can use this to help your SEO campaign by knowing which page/website has a decent social media following, and you can partner with them for more link opportunities to improve your backlink profile.
  • Referring IPs – This is similar to the Referring Domains part, however, this report shows you the IP of the referring domains and the network where they belong to. It also shows you how many backlinks that IP contains.

Organic Search

Ahrefs Organic Keywords

This is the section where keyword tracking and management is the focus. It shows you all the data you need to determine if the efforts you are doing for your targeted keywords is enough or you need to do something new.

Organic Keywords

Ahrefs Organic Keywords

Aside from competitor research, the Organic Search section also holds the keyword tracking function. You can check the movements of your targeted keywords through the “Movement” button. To check if there are keywords that have moved up into the top 50 results, just check the report through the “New” button.

One feature that I’m impressed with is that in the Movement section, not only do they show the movement of your keywords but they also display the links that were lost on a certain date.

Ahrefs Organic Keywords highlight

Competing Domains and Pages

This the report in which the tool shows a comparison between your targeted website’s unique keywords, a competitor’s unique keywords, and the common keywords you both have. The website/pages included in the list are the common keywords you share with your competitor that are in the top 10 of the search results.

You can use the data given so you can refocus your efforts and money to the keywords that really matter.

Content Gap

Ahrefs Content Gap

Another feature of Ahrefs that could potentially help you take your campaign to even better heights is their content gap feature. It gives you the option to check which keywords your competitors are ranking for so you can stay one step ahead at all times. Basically speaking, Ahrefs gives SEOs the ability to overtake their competitors through knowing which keywords to target and focus on.

Monitoring Features

The other features included in the Sites Explorer section primarily focuses on monitoring different aspects of your targeted website. Here’s everything that you can monitor with Ahrefs:

  • Top Pages – It shows you a ranking of your pages based on how much traffic they bring to the website.
  • “Best by” Pages – These are different reports that display a ranking of pages based on:
    • Number of Backlinks
    • Number of Backlinks Attracted
    • Number of Social Media Shares
  • Top Content – A list that details on the ranking of your content pages based on the number of their social media shares across the major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest).
  • Outgoing Links – Different reports that show a list of different aspects of your targeted website’s outgoing links. They are:
    • Linked Domains – Individual websites that your targeted website is commonly linking to.
    • Anchors – Shows a list of all the terms or phrases that are used as an anchor text for both the internal and external links to your targeted website.
    • Broken Links – A report on all the pages that contain broken links – which could help you repair or update the links of these specific pages.
  • Paid Search – It gives you the capability to monitor all the paid campaigns you are currently enacting. This includes PPC and Ads
  • Top Landing Pages – A list that reports the rankings of your targeted website’s landing pages.

Export

This is not a unique feature of Ahrefs, but what I liked about their export feature is that they include all the data that you have seen in the Site Explorer section, and you can choose to download a CSV or PDF file which is standard for most SaaS tools.

Content Explorer

Another feature of Ahrefs is their Content Explorer tool. This is primarily used for topic generation, skyscraping, and to be relevant in terms of content trends and topics. This is not the only content research tool, but it is definitely one of the most used.

The thing I liked with Ahrefs’ Content Explorer tool is that for every result, the details that you need about the results that they show is displayed immediately. And the results can be altered with different filters. Here’s a screenshot of the Content Explorer, and I search for “content marketing” as a topic.

Ahrefs Content explorer

You can also click the details drop-down button to see the details of the data that is displayed. This is what the details would look like:

Ahrefs Content explorer details

This is great for your content creation and marketing because the “details” drop-down button will show the backlinks of the specific results, the referring domain, the anchors that are used, and the organic keywords targeted in the resulting article.

Keyword Explorer

The next feature that I liked was Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer. There are tools out there that can be a substitute, but the way on how Ahrefs displays the results is structured, organized, and clean.

Ahrefs Keyword explorer

The screenshot above is just an overview of the keywords I inputted, but the gist of the details I need is already displayed after I clicked the search button. This may not mean a lot, but I definitely noticed a clear increase in efficiency because I already had what I was looking for after the click of a button.

Unlike other keyword research tools, Ahrefs’ Keyword explorer shows the “Top Countries By Volume” section which is another great thing because if you used other keyword research tools, you’ll have to go through numerous processes in order to filter the keywords by location.

Ahrefs Location filter

Rank Tracker

This is the newest tool in the Ahrefs database. It was released only recently, and I’ve had the pleasure of using it – even for a short while. And I could definitely say that it has a lot of potential in improving your SEOs campaign.

When you’re in the Rank Tracker section, you will need to input your keywords, and it will display the overview of your keyword rankings. The rank tracker also gives you 4 tabs which display different details, namely:

  • Competitors – This tab allows you to compare your progress with your competitors. This is really important because aside from keeping track of your rankings, you should also take into consideration how your competitors progress.
  • Pages – This is basically a report that groups your tracked keywords by their corresponding pages.
  • Metrics – Ahrefs outdid themselves with this one because they integrated all their keyword metrics into this feature. Everything you need to know about measuring your keyword is included in this tab.
  • Grossing – This is primarily focused on displaying how your keywords improved over 7, 30, and 90 days. This is also divided between their improvement on the desktop and mobile platform.

Other Features

Aside from the features I’ve highlighted above, Ahrefs also offers additional features, namely:

  • Ahrefs Rank
  • Domain Comparison
  • Batch Analysis
  • Link Intersect
  • SEO Toolbar
  • Ahrefs API
  • Apps

These features can also be helpful to our SEO campaign. However, I honestly think that using these features can be optional because they only offer a small amount of help.

Thoughts on Ahrefs

There are numerous SEO tools out in the market, however, if link building is the topic at hand, then I honestly think that using Ahrefs is enough. Starting with the dashboard – just input the details of your site and your keywords, then it will give your potential competitors. It’s easy to use and it also has one of the best features for finding broken links, curating skyscraper articles, and link reclamation.

The organic keywords and rank tracker feature offers immense help for any SEO professional to monitor rankings and pulling up relevant data.

The user interface is where Ahrefs performs best. It’s definitely simple yet, at the same time, informative. I have used different tools in my career as an SEO professional, and some of the tools I’ve tried are just confusing. Meanwhile, for Ahrefs, everything you need to see is right there in front of you.

However, even if it’s simple to use, SEO professional can get lost with the data that they see. Even though the data is presented in a way that a seasoned SEO professional will understand, some amateur SEOs can get confused, and will only waste your time trying to understand all the data that you see.

So, something that I could recommend is that when using Ahrefs, be sure to focus on one dataset at a time, do not take in everything at once because you’ll only be confusing yourself.

Overall, Ahrefs is a great tool – especially for link building. Whether it’s new, lost, or broken links, Ahrefs has the capacity to display the data that you need.

Key Takeaway

As I’ve mentioned, Ahrefs is a great tool – especially for link building. I and my team have saved us time and effort in our link building campaign because of Ahrefs. However, the data could really be confusing for some – which could get in the way of your link building, and even your SEO campaign.

Nevertheless, if you give the necessary time and effort to understand all the data, then Ahrefs could definitely help you take your SEO campaign to new heights. Even if the flaw I have noticed is minuscule, it is still a flaw.

What do you think about Ahrefs? Let’s talk in the comments section below.


Ahrefs Review: An In-Depth Look was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Google’s Project Jacquard: Textile-Based Device Controls

4 Steps To Increase Traffic When You Can’t Have Higher Rankings

001_cover_What Should You Do When You Can’t Rank Any Higher But Still Want More Traffic

When you first look at SEO and its corresponding process, it’s actually deceptively simple. We look for the right target audience, we create and optimize our website to match the audience’s intent, we ensure that Google can find, trust, and index our website, and we eventually strive to increase traffic while having higher rankings. However, what should you do if you can’t rank any higher, but still want to gain more traffic?

SEO is not as simple as people make it out to be. There are instances where an SEO professional follows the process and executes it properly only to find out that their website can’t rank any higher than it already is. Or it attained a position on the search engine first page, but still, receives an inadequate amount of traffic. Aside from these instances, there are still many others that most SEOs are not ready for.

That’s why for today, I’ll be detailing on ways in which you can increase the relevant organic traffic you receive while not trying to rank higher. Instead, you will focus on the market itself – none of which require you to change your pages or build links. Let’s get started.

 

002_Neighboring Territories1. Neighboring Territories

This might be a business strategy, but it can also perform well when incorporated into your SEO strategy. It would be wise for you to research and find uncompetitive businesses that are in the same niche as you. You can take advantage of this because you already have an established brand, an authoritative domain, and a great website as your foundation.

Start by brainstorming for related products. Let’s say, for example, you’re working in the real estate industry, so you might think of:

  • Home Insurance
  • Area Guides
  • Property Listings

Once you’re done creating a list, you can start on your keyword research, and find out which pages are ranking for the keywords. The difference between this and looking for keyword opportunities is that in this case, you’ll be focusing on the core landing pages of the businesses. Take a look at their domain authority, landing page quality, branded search volume, and the SEO strategies they’ve incorporated, then think about what you can do to be better.

One of the examples I’ve given is home insurance, so you might find out that most of the sites that rank for it are in the field of financial services or comparison websites. Then you notice that there are only low performing sites for area guides. That’s the time to act.

The best way to start is to create to not go full force. Start small – just one landing page or a white-labeled product will do. If it receives traction and gathers more followers, you can now extend your efforts because you know that it needs more in order to help your business grow to new heights.

Remember that you are already an established brand with constant engagement from your followers. If you have the capability to expand your services and be able to reach out to more people, then you can beat other, smaller brands in those areas.

 

003_Be Accommodating2. Be Accommodating

You’ll never know if there are untapped opportunities in your field that’s just waiting for you to act. One such untapped opportunity is the potential customers that have insufficient knowledge or are intimidated by the product.

For example, your business primarily revolves around selling gadgets such phones, laptops, or desktops. Many of your potential customers will be wary of buying this kind of objects online without professional advice. This might lead to them not buying from you, or to buy similar products for a cheaper price – for the sake of reducing the risk.

Some keywords you might use are “best affordable phones”, “best gaming laptops”, or “complete desktop packages” which could encourage your visitors to spend more than they originally planned, or opt to buy online rather than buying from a local store. Pages like these could be considered as comparative or semi-editorial, but the most important aspect of creating pages like these is to make your potential customers feel like you are not imposing the sale upon them.

Purchases that are more research intensive will only give more importance to what I just stated above. If you do own a gadget selling business, you can incorporate guarantees or give potential upgrades to your products, so that any user that is not well-versed in gadget terms will have more confidence in making a purchase from your site.

Another thing you can do is to incorporate guides on your website. If you own a clothing business, then you might want to do this. This will help your visitors know what they really want from your site and will encourage them to make a purchase.

By being more accommodating, you’ll have more people interested in buying from your site, and will help you increase your sales. If you can make your potential customers feel safe in buying things from your website, and you support them by providing guides, then you might eventually change their negative perspective of buying from websites.

 

004_Improve Your Outreach3. Improve Your Outreach

Conversely, if you have potential customers that are not well-versed in the objects or services you are providing, there will also be people that are enthusiasts or experts of that field. You will have to improve your outreach and be able to accommodate the needs of the enthusiasts.

The best example I could give is through websites that feature automobiles. The main feature of sites like these is selling used cars. So, we can immediately assume that there are innumerable enthusiasts all around the world that can access your site. So, here’s what you should do:

  • Contact automotive enthusiasts that have a decent following
  • Ask them to review or “hype-up” the cars that you are selling through videos or articles
  • Make sure that the video or article that they produce is shared through all your social media channels

If you can’t contact any automotive influencers, you can:

  • Make a list of all the “classic” or “rare” cars that are for sale
  • Make an article or sales page about the specific car
  • Share the page on your social media channels

If you’re doing it correctly and with enough effort, you will not only be building brand awareness but also increase the outreach of your website. This is not strictly an SEO strategy, but it is closely related because you’ll still be doing some things that SEOs do such as building awareness, link building, influencer outreach, increasing search volume, etc.

When you build an emotional connection between you and the enthusiasts, your site will most likely be the one that immediately comes to their mind when they look for used cars, or any other object that they could associate with your services.

 

005_Build Up Your Image4. Build Up Your Image

This may be the simplest one in the list because you’ve already done it before, and you’ll only need to do it again, but with more effort. Building up your image is important because if there are wary potential customers or enthusiasts, there will also be people that may have never heard of your brand.

The most important thing to consider here is you need to appear in their feed. So, start targeting their demographic and properly research editorial sections or branded content that they are engaging, and start your image building from there.

Key Takeaway

Basically, the key to increasing traffic when you can’t rank higher is to go into the market itself. Beat your competitors, be more accommodating, improve your outreach, and build up your image. That’s it. But, don’t be deceived because you’ll be needing to put in a lot of effort to make this work.

Remember that attaining rankings in the first page is not the end point of any SEO strategy. It’s to convert as many people as possible to be paying customers.

Can you now gain more traffic even if you’ve reached your desired rankings? Comment down below if you have any questions, and I’ll try to help.


4 Steps To Increase Traffic When You Can’t Have Higher Rankings was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing