11 Dec 2018

Why You Should Hire an SEO Agency?

San Diego SEO Company

Web Hosting Logic is a leading San Diego SEO company. We are full-service marketing agency capable of working within any business size and niche to deliver results. To get started, call (866) 945-4678.

SEO San DiegoShould You Use an SEO Agency for Your Business?

8 Benefits of Engaging SEO Agencies to Boost Your Online Presence!

Advertising has transformed to one of the most demanding and crucial aspects of having to run a business. This ultimately means that the overall success of your business is going to depend mainly on the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.

Nowadays, online is where everyone’s at, which is also the reason why most businesses look to promote their products or services online. To do that, one needs to have a business website which will run their internet marketing campaign. With an abundance of spam links and countless other websites floating around in cyberspace, it’s easy for a business website to get lost or rank so low in the SERPs, that the chances of searchers to find the website are seriously diminished.

Since, paying a search engine to place your business website at the top of its list doesn’t come cheap, the next best thing one can do is to use search engine optimization or SEO techniques to increase the clicks to the website and help it work its way up the search engine’s results page.

Why You Should Hire a SEO Agency?

Optimizing a website for a search engine can be not only a tough, but also costly process, mainly because there is just too many business websites competing for the coveted number one spot on the page rank, by using the exact same keywords.

While businesses can opt to do their own SEO, hiring a SEO agency that has experienced search engine specialist will no doubt, help businesses reap ROI in the long run. One of the best ways in which businesses can do that is by outsourcing their SEO needs to qualified SEO agencies.

The growing demand for SEO services has lead to a mushrooming of many a great number of SEO agencies fulfilling their business objective, which has lead many businesses seeking SEO services asking the question, “how do we find the best SEO service provider?”

Obviously, all those searching for SEO agencies will have to make their selection by passing SEO companies through careful and meticulous scrutiny, in order for them to get the best in search engine optimization for their business website.

Benefits of Using SEO

One of the most obvious advantages of using the services of SEO agencies is their ability to enhance the visibility of a business website, but that being said, business owners also raise concerns on affordability, which can only be analyzed when businesses know the benefits of using the services of SEO agencies. In more ways than one, the following are some of the benefits of using search engine optimization services, especially the right ones, which can allow businesses to enjoy the following advantages.

Target Traffic

While businesses embark on an SEO marketing campaign, they should realize that an entire marketing campaign can fall flat on its face if a business is unable to reach the masses, that is, their target audience. It doesn’t really matter whether your business website is attracting hundreds of clicks per day, if those visits are not from your intended target demographic, you will only be seeing them spending time on your website without actually buying anything, which is really the opposite of your marketing intentions.

Get a Well-Made Business Website

Even though, search engine optimization is necessary for businesses to compete with one another online, the importance of the website design cannot be undermined. While hiring the services of a good SEO agency can get you good marketing copy for your website and an effective use of the related keywords, having a brilliantly designed website will help a lot when it comes to attracting people and even the search engines to your website. This is true because search engines always take into account different aspects of usability and the overall layout of the business website.

Cost Effectiveness

The fact of the matter remains that while using radio and TV advertisements can be an effective means of marketing a business’s product or service, it still is very expensive, especially for start-up businesses. By taking their marketing needs online and hiring the services of an experienced SEO agency, a business is able to reach thousands, or even millions of people which they would have not been able to otherwise.

Using SEO Best Practices

Hiring an experienced SEO agency will allow you to get information on the various techniques they have adopted in their SEO tactics. Hiring a SEO agency that has been in the game for a while will also provide you with the added advantage of not having to worry about them using any SEO techniques while working on your business website.

Hiring experienced SEO experts will ensure that your website climbs the search engine ranks without using any illegal practices or short cuts that could produce short term spikes in the website’s ranking, but eventually lead to your website having to pay penalties.

Access to Latest SEO Techniques

Needless to say the field of SEO is constantly evolving, which means that it is important for businesses to stay abreast on all the latest SEO techniques that can help them stay in the game. That being said, businesses usually have little or no time to keep up with the latest developments in SEO techniques. However, an agency providing SEO services is all about being proactive in keeping up-to-date with the latest search engine news and changes in SEO techniques.

Cutting-Edge Tools

Keeping in mind the last point, SEO companies are fluent in navigating through a wide range of online marketing tools that helps increase the value of your marketing strategy. Whether it’s using web analytics for carrying out research or conversion tools that monitor and report the usage of important keywords, SEO agencies know how and where to get the information they need to save time and reduce your in-house cost.

Comprehensive SEO Knowledge

As mentioned earlier, SEO agencies are usually the most qualified in dealing with various verticals of online marketing, mainly due to the nature of their work. Therefore, an SEO agency is able to solve a multitude of problems which a business simply cannot handle by itself. An SEO company can work together with a business to provide an added perspective, when it comes to understanding and developing marketing strategies for different sectors and various types of business websites.

Bottom Line

Lastly, search engines like Google realize all too well that websites that don’t add value to a searcher’s experience on the internet are not worth a mention in their index. Furthermore, in some cases Google might also decide to drop your website from the SERPs altogether if you’ve used spam to get a higher page ranking.

The two main goals of SEO agencies who develop marketing strategies to push your product or service online, is to make sure online content is interesting and no techniques have been used for obtaining your goals. So, are SEO agencies worth it? Absolutely!

Looking for SEO specialist in San Diego? Contact Web Hosting Logic, a reputable SEO company based in San Diego, CA. To get started, call us at (866) 945-4678. Or Send us an Email.

SEO San Diego

Disclaimer: This article is written by Shane Elrock. Should You Use an SEO Agency for Your Business? SEO Company in London. Article Source: EzineArticles.com

 

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07 Dec 2018

15 Local SEO tools to Improve Your Ranking

San Diego SEO Company

Looking for Local SEO specialist in San Diego, CA? Web Hosting Logic is a leading San Diego SEO company. We design, build, manage and provide SEO for your WordPress Site. To get started, call us today (866) 945-4678.

Local SEO San DiegoThe Most Outstanding 15 Local SEO Tools To Improve Your Ranking

The Importance Of Local SEO

Local SEO is an essential part of your SEO strategy, especially if you’re a smaller to mid-sized company that relies on the business of local customers. There are many different strategies that you can implement, from optimizing your content using keywords to submitting your NAP (name, address and phone number) to various local directories. To help organize, streamline and track all of your local SEO efforts, you should make use of these local SEO tools.

The following are 15 different local SEO tools that you might find extremely useful, some of which are available at a small cost and some of which are free also.

1. Google AdWords Keyword Planner

This tool works for strengthening your local SEO keywords. During the keyword research phase, you can identify the traffic for specific keywords as well as find new local keywords based on local searches. The Keyword Planner tool even lets you conduct research based on geographic regions. Not only it is a useful tool to have for your local SEO keyword efforts, it’s free to boot, and arguably one of the most useful free SEO tools available as well.

2. SEOProfiler

The most powerful local SEO tools that you can put in SEOProfiler, as it includes features such as a website audit tool, website page optimization, a link disinfection tool that identifies bad backlinks, the ability to identify strong local keywords and even customizable PDF reports.

3. Moz Local

Moz Local is a basic local listing management tool that allows users to manage local listings as well as claim and verify listing submissions. The tool also works with data aggregators to help push listings, making sure that your business is visible. Additionally, the tool will scan through your citations and notify you of any errors that it finds which could be hurting your local SEO. Moz Local will give you a rundown on what kind of categories you’re listed under and what type of media is used for your citation.

4. BuzzStream

BuzzStream is a tool for earning local backlinks as it can help you identify and build relationships with local influencers to help drive word-of-mouth traffic as well as boost local awareness of your brand. The tool is also effective for content promotion and digital PR.

5. SEOPressor

SEOPressor is a tool that scores your site’s overall SEO strength and provides guidance and recommendations for how you can improve it, which will in turn help with your local SEO even if it’s not specifically built for that. Particularly useful is its audit feature that will notify you of any pages that need to be optimized in certain ways, it’s a feature that has earned SEOPressor as one of the best SEO tools for small business.

6. Whitespark Local Citation Finder

The most full-fledged local listing management tool that you can invest is Whitespark Local Citation Finder. In addition to basic local listing management, the tool finds where you should list your business to improve local SEO rankings. It also boasts a number of additional features, including the ability to collect customer feedback and online reviews, monitor local search rankings by a city, discover create link opportunities and more.

7. Synup

Synup is useful for submitting your NAP to local directories. It’s a tool that allows you to easily manage your local listings as well as review and analyze your listings and NAP data. It’s one of the most comprehensive directory lists that you can have and it will allow you to check listings to see if you have existing credentials on them, to add your NAP to listings and fix incorrect data on existing listings.

8. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog helps to audit and index the website’s HTML and Meta Data in addition to helping you find any broken links to avoid hurting your local SEO rankings. There are advanced features available as well, but for a price.

9. Serplify

Serplify is web software that will help you to achieve a page one ranking on Google’s results pages by adding domains and locations you want to rank for and automatically adding thousands of optimized unique pages of content for every keyword, as well as automatically mass indexing, optimizing and syndicating your content.

10. Local SEO Checklist

This tool will ensure that you can boost your local SEO rankings. As this tool offers 40 different options that detail specific tasks to help you optimize your site and increase your ranking by developing your blog, your on-page SEO, your social media and more.

11. Upcity Free Website Analyzer

UpCity is basically an SEO report card. All you have to submit your website as it will analyze every aspect of the page, giving you an overall score out of 100 that compares your page to your competitors.

12. ReviewTrackers

ReviewTrackers is a tool that tracks the customer reviews of your business. It plays a big part in your local SEO strategy, not to mention your reputation, which makes this tool very useful. Basically, it collects online reviews and feedback from over 70 review sites that you can use to determine your brand’s reputation as well as awareness.

13. Copyscape

Nothing will hurt your site more than copied content. Duplicate content is a way to damage your ranking, for regular SEO and local SEO. Put your content through Copyscape to make sure it’s completely original and it avoid plagiarism, whether it’s content duplicated from your own site or content duplicated from another source outside of your site.

14. PageSpeed Insights

The rate at which your web pages load will have a huge impact on your local SEO rankings. The slower your pages load, will less likely visitors are to remain on your page. This can have a big impact on your bounce rate, which could hurt your rankings. PageSpeed Insights will not only review the load times of your site but also make suggestions on how to improve it.

15. Ahrefs

Ahrefs can help with your local SEO strategy by providing a detailed backlink profile for any website you want. This allows you to see who is linking to your site, what anchor text they’re using for backlinks and how strong your backlinks are. It also allows you to check the strength of your competitor’s backlinks. The tool is used by thousands of users throughout the world.

SEO is incredibly important to the success of your online marketing efforts, because of this, a lot of marketers implement various SEO tools including local SEO tools, some of which can be found for free, in order to track, measure and analyze their SEO efforts. You may already even be using some of the more common SEO tools, such as Google Analytics. However, it’s important that you don’t forget about your local SEO efforts as well.

Local SEO Services in San Diego

Looking for Local SEO specialist in San Diego, CA? Contact Web Hosting Logic, a reputable Local SEO company based in San Diego. To get started, call us at (866) 945-4678. Or Send us an Email.

SEO San Diego

Disclaimer: This article is written by Gananath Shenoy. By using these local SEO tools it will make you easier to implement local SEO strategies as well as to track them and measure the performance, thereby helping to ensure that your local SEO efforts are as strongest as they can be. Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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06 Dec 2018

10 Secrets to Hiring the Right SEO Company

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Are you looking for an experienced SEO company in San Diego? You are at the right place! Web Hosting Logic is a leading San Diego SEO company. We are full-service marketing agency capable of working within any business size and niche to deliver results. To get started, call us today (866) 945-4678.

San Diego SEO CompanyHiring the Right SEO Company

Even if you are armed with an abundance of knowledge in SEO, you may still need the services of a professional SEO company. Having strong knowledge of SEO is hardly sufficient in some cases. Even if you are doing your best to attempt to obtain a good ranking for your website, you might still wind up wondering why your website is simply not doing well. For starters, you must understand that your website will have to be fully optimized in all elements. Not just that, but your website has to be maintained on a regular basis. SEO is a continuous process that includes a great deal of time and effort. To make things simpler, you will be better off utilizing the services of a competent SEO company to do the work for your website.

There are numerous SEO companies today, and there are a lot of trustworthy companies as well as unreliable ones. Thus, it is crucial that you select the perfect SEO Company. Here are 10 important points that you must keep in mind when selecting SEO services:

Site Evaluation Guide

Does the SEO firm offer you a site evaluation guide? A reliable Search Engine Optimization firm should have the ability to provide you with an extensive analysis of your site, regarding ranking and design structure. This can be done by performing a website audit. The result of this website audit will allow the SEO firm to offer you a proposal of how much work needs to be done to bring you to a certain level of ranking. They must be able to advise and troubleshoot all aspects related to performance, content, and design that might hinder the reading or indexing of your pages.

Tools in Figuring out Keywords

What tools does the SEO Agency use to look for keywords? Do they offer competitive analysis based on your chosen keywords? Understanding what methodology the SEO Agency utilizes for keyword evaluation or research is very important. It will be a great help if you perform your own due diligence using basic tools, such as conducting keyword research and analysis through the use of keyword planner in Google AdWords.

Backlinks to Website

Where will the SEO Company return links from? Backlinks are just as, if not more, vital in SEO than onsite optimization. The Search Engine Optimization Company should be able to obtain high-quality backlinks from reputable websites that are highly related to your niche. Ask your SEO Company what techniques they employ for gathering backlinks.

Cost Structure

A dependable SEO Company will not just give you a quote once they figure out how much work has to be included. Charging you high costs will not necessarily ensure you receive high quality services. It also doesn’t ensure that the rate being quoted is proportional and consistent with the services you anticipate the SEO Company will provide. A good SEO Agency should be able to give you a rundown of services to which the performance and price contract will be based upon.

The Timeline

Does your SEO Company provide you with a timeline? It is through hard work and correct planning that results can be attained on time. Some SEO Firms offer SEO plans that claim to put you in the very first page of search results in just a matter of 10 days. Realistically, however, no SEO Company can guarantee you the number 1 position in Google in as short as 10 days.

An SEO campaign will take 6-18 months to deliver the top outcomes you expect. Make sure you don’t give in to false pledges. Conversely, avoid SEO services that provide you with a time limit. A good SEO company knows that optimization is an ongoing process and they should be able to offer you regular maintenance, customer support and proper upgrading.

SEO Technique

What SEO strategy will your SEO Company use to raise your ranking? You should look out for companies that will utilize spam advertising methods to rank you on top in no time. If the strategy includes any form of dishonest practice, such as spamming or deceiving online search engines, then you should instantly turn away.

An excellent SEO company will certainly see to it that you will not be subjected to spam or misleading services. Keep in mind that if it is based on using deceitful strategies, your site might be taken out of Google’s indexing, which will certainly lead your site to being blacklisted. Knowing your SEO Company and doing your own research on how proper SEO is done is extremely vital in choosing the ideal firm.

Providing Targeted Traffic

Do they understand the distinction between plain traffic and targeted traffic? You will hire the services of an SEO Company mainly due to the fact that you need to attract traffic into your website. However, what you need is targeted traffic that gets you visitors who might be genuinely interested in purchasing your products or services. This is based on your desired keywords in order to generate leads.

You don’t want irrelevant traffic that comes to your website because of irrelevant keywords. Unqualified traffic only enhances your bounce rate (surfers that arrive on your page and immediately leave) and not your sales. The right SEO Company will create relevant content for your website and distribute it to relevant channels, social media and Press Releases (PR). This will potentially lead to natural backlinks that will enhance your overall ranking in the search engine.

Transparent Deliverables

A professional SEO Company should have a clear course of action to attain the desired results in a given time frame. They should be able to show the client what’s being completed for the first month and subsequent months. With this, you will be able to determine how much work is being done in relation to your costs, allowing you to determine your ROI. A clear outline of work in the proposal should be available at any time to show the extent of the campaign. This includes how much fresh and high quality relevant content they are going to publish on your website every week. How many distribution channels? What social media, article directories and websites are they going to use to distribute your content? How many PR submissions? And how many backlinks have been generated? These are the qualifying questions that need to be answered by a good SEO firm.

Reporting

A comprehensive report system should be provided to show the progress of the SEO campaign, as well as ranking status of the site. This reporting could be monthly or quarterly. The report should be clear and concise, using the right combination of graphics and texts. This will be the bench mark of how the firm is progressing towards your desired ranking status.

Performance Guarantee

Does the SEO Company offer some kind of guarantee, such as a percentage increase in traffic? Although there are a lot of factors involved in an SEO campaign, a professional SEO company will be able to give performance guarantees based on their years of experience and proven methodology.

These are the major considerations you need to look at when hiring an SEO Agency to make sure that you don’t pour your money down the drain. SEO is a vital marketing strategy to make your brand highly visible online to your target market and to grow your business. It is a time-consuming effort, but it has greater ROI in the long run when compared to other marketing options.

Search Engine Optimization Services in San Diego

Looking for SEO specialist in San Diego? Contact Web Hosting Logic, a reputable SEO company based in San Diego, CA. To get started, call us at (866) 945-4678. Or Send us an Email.

SEO San Diego

Disclaimer: This article is written by Newman Ramirez, a Digital Marketing Consultant at Sakal Marketing Solutions, LLC. At Sakal Marketing Solutions, we offer the best internet marketing and mobile marketing services to make your business grow by acting and deciding diligently and intelligently. We do the hard work to prosper your business because we love what we do and we care for you. Get your competitive analysis now at http://sakalinternetmarketing.com/.It is free and no obligation at all. Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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29 Aug 2016

What You Should Know About Accessibility + SEO, Part I: An Intro

Posted by Laura.Lippay

[Estimated read time: 4 minutes]

Do you know anyone who is visually impaired? Maybe they have low vision or color blindness, or are fully blind. Think about how they use the Internet. Close your eyes, or at least squint really hard, and try to find today’s news or interact with your friends on Facebook. It’s a challenge many of us don’t think about every day, but some of what we do in SEO can affect the experience that people with visual impairments have when visiting a page.

Accessibility and the Internet

SEO and accessibility

Visually impaired Internet users are able to navigate and use the web using screen readers like VoiceOver or Jaws. Screen readers, much like search engine crawlers, rely on signals in the code to determine the structure and the context of what they’re crawling. The overlap in what search crawlers look for and interpret versus what screen readers look for and interpret is small, but the idea is the same: Where are the elements of this page and how do I understand them?

The SEO overlap

While it’s important to understand where SEO and accessibility (a11y) overlap in order to optimize correctly for both, it’s also important to note that optimizing for one is not necessarily akin to optimizing for the other. In other words, if you’ve optimized a page for search engines, it doesn’t mean you’ve necessarily made it accessible — and vice versa.

Recently, web accessibility expert Karl Groves wrote a post called The Accessibility & SEO Myth. Mr. Groves knows the world of accessibility inside and out, and knows that optimizing for accessibility, which goes far beyond optimizing for the visually-impaired, is very different overall, and much more complex (strictly from a technical standpoint) than optimizing for search engines. He’s right — that despite the ways SEO and a11y overlap, a11y is a whole different ballgame. But if you understand the overlap, you can successfully optimize for both.

Here are just some examples of where SEO and accessibility can overlap:

  • Video transcription
  • Image captioning
  • Image alt attributes
  • Title tags
  • Header tags (H1, H2, etc)
  • Link anchor text
  • On-site sitemaps, table of contents, and/or breadcrumbs
  • Content ordering
  • Size and color contrast of text
  • Semantic HTML

If you’re developing the page yourself, I would challenge you to learn more about the many things you can do for accessibility beyond where it overlaps with SEO, like getting to know ARIA attributes. Take a look at the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and you’ll see there are far more complex considerations for accessibility than what we typically consider for technical SEO. If you think technical SEO is fun, just wait until you get a load of this.

Optimizing for accessibility or SEO?

Chances are, if you’re optimizing for accessibility, you’re probably covering your bases for those technical optimizations where accessibility and SEO overlap. BUT, this doesn’t always work the other way around, depending on the SEO tactics you take.

SEO and accessibility

Thankfully, the Converse site has a pretty descriptive alt attribute in place!

Consider a screen reader reaching an image of a pair of women’s black Chuck Taylor All-Star shoes and reading its alt attribute as “Women’s black Chuck Taylor All-Stars buy Chucks online women’s chuck taylors all-stars for sale.” Annoying, isn’t it? Or compare these page titles with SEO and accessibility in mind: “Calculate Your Tax Return” versus “Online Tax Calculator | Tax Return Estimator | Tax Refund/Rebate.” Imagine you just encountered this page without being able to see the content. Which one more crisply and clearly describes what you can expect of this page?

While it’s nice to know that proper technical search engine optimization will affect how someone using a screen reader can contextualize your site, it’s also important to understand (1) that these two optimization industries are, on a bigger level, quite different, and (2) that what you do for SEO where SEO and a11y overlap will affect how some visitors can (or can’t) understand your site.

For Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 19, I’ll be collaborating with some experts in a11y on a post that will go into more details on what aspects of SEO + a11y to be keenly aware of and how to optimize for both. I’ll be sure to find as many examples as I can — if you’ve got any good ones, please feel free to share in the comments (and thanks in advance).

Educational resources & tools

In the meantime, to learn more about accessibility, check out a couple of great resources:

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Source: MOZ

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29 Aug 2016

Here’s How to Supercharge Your Competitive Research Using a URL Profiler and Fusion Tables

Posted by Craig_Bradshaw

[Estimated read time: 19 minutes]

As digital marketers, the amount of data that we have to collect, process, and analyze is overwhelming. This is never more true than when we’re looking into what competitors are doing from a link building perspective.

Thankfully, there are a few things we can do to make this job a little bit easier. In this post, I want to share with you the processes I use to supercharge my analysis of competitor backlinks. In this post, you’ll learn:

  • How to use URL Profiler for bulk data collection
  • How to use fusion graphs to create powerful data visualizations
  • How to build an SEO profile of the competition using URL Profiler and fusion tables

Use URL Profiler for bulk data collection

Working agency-side, one of the first things I do for every new client is build a profile of their main competitors, including those who have a shared trading profile, as well as those in their top target categories.

The reason we do this is that it provides a top-level overview of the industry and how competitive it actually is. This allows us to pick our battles and prioritize the strategies that will help move the right needles. Most importantly, it’s a scalable, repeatable process for building links.

This isn’t just useful for agencies. If you work in-house, you more than likely want to watch your competitors like a hawk in order to see what they’re doing over the course of months and years.

In order to do this, you’re inevitably going to need to pull together a lot of data. You’ll probably have to use a range of many different tools and data points.

As it turns out, this sort of activity is where URL Profiler becomes very handy.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with URL Profiler is, it’s a bulk data tool that allows you to collect link and domain data from thousands of URLs all at once. As you can probably imagine, this makes it an extremely powerful tool for link prospecting and research.

URL Profiler is a brilliant tool built for SEOs, by SEOs. Since every SEO I know seems to love working with Excel, the output you get from URL Profiler is, inevitably, most handy in spreadsheet format.

Once you have all this amazing bulk data, you still need to be able to interpret it and drive actionable insights for yourself and your clients.

To paraphrase the great philosopher Ben Parker: with great data power comes great tedium. I’ll be the first to admit that data can be extremely boring at times. Don’t get me wrong: I love a good spreadsheet as much as I love good coffee (more on that later); but wherever possible, I’d much rather just have something give me the actionable insights I need.

This is where the power of data visualization comes into play.

Use fusion tables for powerful data visualization

Have you ever manually analyzed one million articles to see what the impact of content format and length has on shares on links? Have you ever manually checked the backlink profile of a domain that has over half a million links? Have you ever manually investigated the breakdown of clicks and impressions your site gets across devices? Didn’t think so.

Thanks to Buzzsumo & Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs, and the Google Search Console, we don’t have to; we just use the information they give us to drive our strategy and decision-making.

The reason these tools are so popular is they allow you to input your data and discern actionable insights. Unfortunately, as already mentioned, we can’t easily get any actionable insights from URL Profiler. This is where fusion tables become invaluable.

If you aren’t already familiar with fusion tables, then the time has come for you to get acquainted with them.

Back in 2012, Google rolled out an “experimental” version of their fusion tables web application. They did this to help you get more from your data and tell the story of what’s going on in your niche with less effort. It’s best to think of fusion tables as Google’s answer to big data.

There are plenty of examples of how people are using fusion tables to tell their stories with data. However, for the purpose of brevity, I only want to focus on one incredibly awesome feature of fusion tables — the network graph.

URL Profiler for bulk data collection

 

If fusion tables are Google’s answer to big data, then the network graph feature is definitely Google’s answer to Cerebro from X-Men.

I won’t go into too many details about what network graphs are (you can read more about them here), as I would much rather talk about their practical applications for competitive analysis.

Note: There is a fascinating post on The Moz Blog by Kelsey Libert about effective influencer marketing that uses network graphs to illustrate relationships. You should definitely check that post out.

I’d been using URL Profiler and fusion tables tools in isolation of each other for quite a while — and they each worked very well — before I figured out how to combine their strengths. The result is a process that combines the pure data collection power of URL Profiler with the actionable insights that fusion graphs provide.

I’ve outlined my process below. Hopefully, it will allow you to do something similar yourself.

Build a competitive SEO profile with URL Profiler and fusion tables

To make this process easier to follow, we’ll pretend we’re entering the caffeinated, yet delicious space of online coffee subscriptions. (I’ve chosen to use this particular niche in our example for no reason other than the fact that I love coffee.) Let’s call our hypothetical online coffee subscription company “Grindhaus.”

Step 1: Assess your competition

We’ll start by looking at the single keyword “buy coffee online.” A Google search (UK) gives us the top 10 that we’ll need to crack if we want to see any kind of organic progress. The first few results look like this: buy coffee online

Step 2: Gather your data

However, we’ve already said that we want to scale up our analysis, and we want to see a large cross-section of the key competitors in our industry. Thankfully, there’s another free tool that comes in handy for this. The folks over at URL Profiler offer a number of free tools for Internet marketers, one of which is called the SERP Scraper. No prizes for guessing what it does: add in all the main categories and keywords you want to target and hit scrape.

SERP Scraper

As you can see from the image above, you can do this for a specific keyword or set of keywords. You can also select which country-specific results you want to pull, as well as the total number of results you want for each query.

It should only take a minute or so to get the results of the scrape in a spreadsheet that looks something like this:

get the results of the scrape in a spreadsheet

In theory, these are the competitors we’ll need to benchmark against in order for Grindhaus to see any sort of organic progress.

From here, we’ll need to gather the backlink profiles for the companies listed in the spreadsheet one at a time. I prefer to use Majestic, but you can use any backlink crawling tool you like. You’ll also need to do the same for your own domain, which will make it easier to see the domains you already have links from when it’s time to perform your analysis.

After this is done, you will have a file for your own domain, as well as a file for each one of the competitors you want to investigate. I recommend investigating a minimum of five competitors in order to obtain a data set large enough to obtain useful insights from.

Next, what we need to do is clean up the data so that we have all the competitor link data in one big CSV file. I organize my data using a simple two-column format, as follows:

  • The first column contains the competitor being linked to. I’ve given this column the imaginative heading “Competitor.”
  • The second column contains the domains that are linking to your competitors. I’ve labeled this column “URL” because this is the column header the URL Profiler tool recognizes as the column to pull metrics from.

Once you have done this, you should have a huge list of the referring domains for your competitors that looks something like this:

list of the referring domains for your competitors

This is where the fun begins.

Step 3: Gather even more data

Next, let’s take each domain that is linking to one, some, or all of your competitors and run it through URL Profiler one at a time. Doing this will pull back all the metrics we want to see.

It’s worth noting that you don’t need any additional paid tools or APIs to use URL Profiler, but you will have to set up a couple of API keys. I won’t go into detail here on how to do this, as there are already plenty of resources explaining this readily available, including here and here. APIs to use URL Profiler

One of the added benefits of doing this through URL Profiler is that you can use its “Import and Merge” feature to append metrics to an existing CSV. Otherwise, you would have to do this by using some real Excel wizardry or by tediously copying and pasting extreme amounts of data to and from your clipboard.

As I’ve already mentioned, URL Profiler allows me to extract both page-level and domain-level data. However, in this case, the domain metrics are what I’m really interested in, so we’ll only examine these in detail here.

 

Majestic, Moz, and Ahrefs metrics

Typically, SEOs will pledge allegiance to one of these three big tools of the trade: Majestic, Moz, or Ahrefs. Thankfully, with URL Profiler, you can collect data from any or all of these tools. All you need to do is tick the corresponding boxes in the Domain Level Data selection area, as shown below. Majestic, Moz, or Ahrefs

In most cases, the basic metrics for each of the tools will suffice. However, we also want to be able to assess the relevance of a potential link, so we’ll also need Topical Trust Flow data from Majestic. To turn this on, go to Settings > Link Metrics using the top navigation and tick the “Include Topical Trust Flow metrics” box under the Majestic SEO option.
Majestic SEO

Doing this will allow us to see the three main topics of the links back to a particular domain. The first topic and its corresponding score will give us the clearest indication of what type of links are pointing back to the domain we’re looking at.

In the case of our Grindhaus example, we’ll most likely be looking for sites that scored highly in the “Recreation/Food” category. The reason we want to do this is because relevance is a key factor in link quality. If we’re selling coffee, then links from health and fitness sites would be useful, relevant, and (more likely to be) natural. Links from engineering sites, on the other hand, would be pretty irrelevant, and would probably look unnatural if assessed by a Google quality rater.

 

Social data

Although the importance of social signals in SEO is heavily disputed, it’s commonly agreed that social signals can give you a good idea of how popular a site is. Collecting this sort of information will help us to identify sites with a large social presence, which in theory will help to increase the reach of our brand and our content. In contrast, we can also use this information to filter out sites with a lack of social presence, as they’re likely to be of low quality. Social data

Social Shares

Ticking “Social Shares” will bring back social share counts for the site’s homepage. Specifically, it will give you the number of Facebook likes, Facebook shares, Facebook comments, Google plus-ones, LinkedIn shares, and Pinterest pins.

Social Accounts

Selecting “Social Accounts” will return the social profile URLs of any accounts that are linked via the domain. This will return data across the following social networks: Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.

 

Traffic

In the same way that sites with strong social signals give us an indication of their relative popularity, the same can also be said for sites that have strong levels of organic traffic. Unfortunately, without having direct access to a domain’s actual traffic figures, the best we can do is use estimated traffic.

This is where the “SEMrush Rank” option comes into play, as this will give us SEMrush’s estimation of organic traffic to any given domain, as well as a number of organic ranking keywords. It also gives us AdWords data, but that isn’t particularly useful for this exercise. SEMrush Rank

It’s worth mentioning once more time that this is an estimate of organic traffic, not an actual figure. But it can give you a rough sense of relative traffic between the sites included in your research. Rand conducted an empirical study on traffic prediction accuracy back in June — well worth a read, in my opinion.

 

Indexation

One final thing we may want to look at is whether or not a domain is indexed by Google. If it hasn’t been indexed, then it’s likely that Google has deindexed the site, suggesting that they don’t trust that particular domain. The use of proxies for this feature is recommended, as it automatically queries Google in bulk, and Google is not particularly thrilled when you do this! domain is indexed by Google

After you’ve selected all the metrics you want to collect for your list of URLs, hit “Run Profiler” and go make yourself a coffee while it runs. (I’d personally go with a nice flat white or a cortado.)

For particularly large list of URLs, it can sometimes take a while, so it would probably be best to collect the data a day or two in advance of when you plan to do the analysis. For the example in this post, it took around three hours to pull back data for over 10,000 URLs. But I could have it running in the background while working on other things.

Step 4: Clean up your data

One of the downsides of collecting all of this delicious data is that there are invariably going to be columns we won’t need. Therefore, once you have your data, it’s best to clean it up, as there’s a limit on the number of columns you can have in a fusion table. Clean up your data

You’ll only need the combined results tab from your URL Profiler output. So you can delete the results tab, which will allow you to re-save your file in CSV format.

Step 5: Create your new fusion table

Head on over to Google Drive, and then click New > More > Google Fusion Tables. URL Profiler output

If you can’t see the “Google Fusion Tables” option, you’ll have to select the “Connect More Apps” option and install Fusion Tables from there: Google Fusion Tables

From here, it’s pretty straightforward. Simply upload your CSV file and you’ll then be given a preview of what your table will look like.

Click “Next” and all your data should be imported into a new table faster than you can say “caffeine.”
URL Profiler for bulk data collection

URL Profiler for bulk data collection

Step 6: Create a network graph

Once you have your massive table of data, you can create your network graph by clicking on the small red “+” sign next to the “Cards” tab at the top of your table. Choose “Add Chart” and you’ll be presented with a range of chart options. The one we’re interested is the network graph option: URL Profiler for bulk data collection

Once you’ve selected this option, you’ll then be asked to configure your network graph. We’re primarily interested in the link between our competition and their referring domains.

However, the relationship only goes in one direction: I, the referring website, give you, the retailer, a link. Thus the connection. Therefore, we should tick the “Link is directional” and “Color by columns” options to make it easier to distinguish between the two.

By default, the network graph is weighted by whatever is in the third column — in this case, it’s Majestic CitationFlow, so our blue nodes are sized by how high the CitationFlow is for a referring domain. Almost instantly, you can spot the sites that are the most influential based on how many sites link to them.

This is where the real fun begins.

One interesting thing to do with this visualization that will save you a lot of time is to reduce the number of visible nodes. However, there’s no science to this, so be careful you’re not missing something. URL Profiler for bulk data collection

As you increase the number of nodes shown, more and more blue links begin to appear. At around 2,000 nodes, it’ll start to become unresponsive. This is where the filter feature comes in handy, as you can filter out the sites that don’t meet your chosen quality thresholds, such as low Page Authority or a large number of outbound links.

So what does this tell us — other than there appears to be a relatively level playing field, which means there is a low barrier to entry for Grindhaus?

This visualization gives me a very clear picture of where my competition is getting their links from. URL Profiler for bulk data collection

In the example above, I’ve used a filter to only show referring domains that have more than 100,000 social shares. This leaves me with 137 domains that I know have a strong social following that would definitely help me increase the reach of my content.

You can check out the complete fusion table and network graph here.

Step 7: Find your mutant characteristics

Remember how I compared network graphs to Google’s answer to Cerebro from X-Men? Well, this is where I actually explain what I meant.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the X-Men universe, Cerebro is a device that amplifies the brainwaves of humans. Most notably, it allows telepaths to distinguish between humans and mutants by finding the presence of the X-gene in a mutant’s body.

Using network graphs, we can specify our own X-gene and use it to quickly find high-quality and relevant link opportunities. For example, we could include sites that have a Domain Authority greater than or equal to 50:

Using network graphs

For Grindhaus, this filter finds 242 relevant nodes (from a total of 10,740 total nodes). In theory, these are domains Google would potentially see as being more trustworthy and authoritative. Therefore, they should definitely be considered as potential link-building opportunities.

You should be able to see that there are some false positives in here, including Blogspot, Feedburner, and Google. However, these are outweighed by an abundance of extremely authoritative and relevant domains, including Men’s Health, GQ Magazine, and Vogue.co.uk.

 

Sites that have “Recreation/Food” as their primary Topical Trust Flow Topic:

 

URL Profiler for bulk data collection

This filter finds 361 relevant nodes out of a total of 10,740 nodes, which all have “Recreation/Food” as their primary Topical Trust Flow Topic.

Looking at this example in more detail, we see that another cool feature of network graphs is that the nodes that have the most connections are always in the center of the graph. This means you can quickly identify the domains that link to more than one of your competitors, as indicated by the multiple yellow lines. This works in a similar way to Majestic’s “Click Hunter” feature and Moz’s “Link Intersect” tool.

However, you can do this on a much bigger scale, having a wider range of metrics at your fingertips.

URL Profiler for bulk data collection

In this case, toomuchcoffee.com, coffeegeek.com, and beanhunter.com would be three domains I would definitely investigate further in order to see how I could get a link from them for my own company.

 

Sites that are estimated to get over 100,000 organic visits, weighted by social shares:

 

URL Profiler for bulk data collection

For our Grindhaus, this filter finds 174 relevant nodes out of 10,740, which are all estimated to receive more than 100,000 organic visits per month. However, I have also weighted these nodes by “Homepage Total Shares.” This allows me to see the sites that have strong social followings and have also been estimated to receive considerable amounts of organic traffic (i.e., “estimorganic” traffic).

By quickly looking at this network graph, we can immediately see some authoritative news sites such as The Guardian, the BBC, and the Wall Street Journal near the center, as well as quite a few university sites (as denoted by the .ac.uk TLD).

Using this data, I would potentially look into reaching out to relevant editors and journalists to see if they’re planning on covering National Coffee Week and whether they’d be interested in a quote from Grindhaus on, say, coffee consumption trends.

For the university sites, I’d look at reaching out with a discount code to undergraduate students, or perhaps take it a bit more niche by offering samples to coffee societies on campus like this one.

This is barely scratching the surface of what you can do with competitor SEO data in a fusion table. SEOs and link builders will all have their own quality and relevance thresholds, and will also place a particular emphasis on certain variables, such as Domain Authority or total referring domains. This process lets you collect, process, and analyze your data however you see fit, allowing you to quickly find your most relevant sites to target for links.

Step 8: Publish and share your amazing visualization

Now that you have an amazing network graph, you can embed it in a webpage or blog post. You can also send a link by email or IM, which is perfect for sharing with other people in your team, or even for sharing with your clients so you can communicate the story of the work you’re undertaking more easily.

Note: Typically, I recommend repeating this process every three months.

Summary and caveats

Who said that competitive backlink research can’t be fun? Aside from being able to collect huge amounts of data using URL Profiler, with network graphs you can also visualize the connections between your data in a simple, interactive map.

Hopefully, I’ve inspired you to go out and replicate this process for your own company or clients. Nothing would fill me with more joy than hearing tales of how this process has added an extra level of depth and scale to your competitive analysis, as well as given you favorable results.

However, I wouldn’t be worth my salt as a strategist if I didn’t end this post with a few caveats:

Caveat 1: Fusion tables are still classed as “experimental,” so things won’t always run smoothly. The feature could also disappear altogether overnight, although my fingers (and toes) are crossed that it doesn’t.

Caveat 2: Hundreds of factors go into Google’s ranking algorithm, and this type of link analysis alone does not tell the full story. However, links are still seen as an incredibly important signal, which means that this type of analysis can give you a great foundation to build on.

Caveat 3: To shoehorn one last X-Men analogy in… using Cerebro can be extremely dangerous, and telepaths without well-trained, disciplined minds put themselves at great risk when attempting to use it. The same is true for competitive researchers. However, poor-quality link building won’t result in insanity, coma, permanent brain damage, or even death. The side effects are actually much worse!

In this age of penguins and penalties, links are all too often still treated as a commodity. I’m not saying you should go out and try to get every single link your competitors have. My emphasis is on quality over quantity. This is why I like to thoroughly qualify every single site I may want to try and get a link from. The job of doing competitive backlink research using this method is to assess every possible option and filter out the websites you don’t want links from. Everything that’s left is considered a potential target.

I’m genuinely very interested to hear your ideas on how else network graphs could be used in SEO circles. Please share them in the comments below.

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Source: MOZ

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