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The Top 4 Enterprise SEO Platform Tools: An In-Depth Review

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With millions of pages and keywords to manage and report on, enterprise SEO is increasingly more complicated and time-consuming.

Using an enterprise SEO platform tool can increase efficiency and productivity for organic search marketing teams in a large organization who are managing organic search initiatives.

These SEO tools can help you with:

  • Identifying opportunities.
  • Tracking performance.
  • Optimizing content.
  • Backlink reporting and management.
  • Cross-organization communication.
  • Competitive analysis.
  • Integrating analytics tools.
  • Technical analysis from crawling to conversions.
  • Local, national, and global.

While there are many free SEO tools available, none are able to manage the large scale and complexity that comes with an enterprise site.

For the past 20 years, I have seen enterprise SEO platform tools come into the space with the promise of providing the ability to increase efficiency in reporting on the aforementioned.

However, few tools have managed to truly capture all that an enterprise SEO needs.

I gathered a shortlist of a select few including:

  • seoClarity
  • Conductor
  • Botify
  • BrightEdge

The tools I chose to review are all companies I have encountered throughout my years managing teams at enterprise-level organizations.

I asked the sales reps to run me through a review process complete with filling out an extensive questionnaire (similar to what would be in an RFP) and lengthy demos focusing on what ecommerce and B2B enterprise-level companies would need for their SEO reporting tool.

Here is a comprehensive look into each tool by an unbiased reviewer.

This review should help you begin your evaluation process while you decide which enterprise SEO tool best fits your needs.


This summer, I attended the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle with my team. We walked through the hall browsing the various booths for any new SEO companies breaking into the space.

The sales team at seoClarity had some of the coolest swag and eager salespeople ready to show us what they have to offer.

Founded in 2009, seoClarity is an enterprise SEO and content optimization platform powered by Clarity Grid infrastructure.

It’s the combination of petabytes of data (keywords, daily crawls of the web, and years of historical data), machine-learning algorithms, and patented analyses.

The tool enables real-time, interactive analysis and insights to improve search visibility and deliver the best customer search experience.

Executives, SEO practitioners, content marketers, data analysts, IT, product and merchandising teams will all find seoClarity useful.

The company works with over 3,500+ brands across top industries with a heavy footprint that includes travel and hospitality, ecommerce, automotive, higher education, and technology.

Ecommerce & B2B Features

seoClarity has a proven track record of aiding in growth from SEO for B2B companies.

In this case study, the company was able to identify and resolve problematic technical elements, then push out the data delivered by real-time reporting to gain a holistic view of the entire search landscape.

The result was a 30% year-over-year growth in organic search traffic.

seoClarity can be a powerful tool for ecommerce focused businesses as well as users gaining insight into category-focused optimization, identify duplicate content, and continue to improve pages for SEO.

Key Features

During the demo, I stopped the sales rep for a moment to walk me through the Actionable Insight portion of the tool.

The basic idea is that while the tool offers up suggestions, those can be manually overridden based on impact and effort that might be unique to the company.

seoClarity SEO Enterprise Platform

Content Fusion was also talked about with its powerful ability to scale content writing and optimization. It analyzes top ranking content and provides insights to help clients write the most authoritative content faster than ever before.

seoClarity’s additional features that set the tool apart from the competition include:

  • Rank Intelligence provides an advanced, real-time exploration of ranking data to easily navigate and understand ranking performance – at scale. It includes 27+ SEO metrics to slice, dice, and analyze ranking data, including unlimited competitor comparisons.
    • Unlimited daily rank tracking from every country, on every search engine, both desktop and mobile. It includes all instances of Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex, Naver and more.

seoClarity SEO Tool

  • Research Grid provides interactive and dynamic keyword research and discovery to analyze the performance of content and provides access to the entire search landscape.
  • Clarity Audits is a site audit technology that includes 40-plus technical health checks and includes a built-in HTML and JavaScript crawler, that crawled up to 48 million pages.
    • Includes an unlimited number of crawl projects or number of pages crawled, internal link audit and analysis.
  • Content marketing suite includes the full lifecycle of Content Optimization management features and services and also applies User Search Intent throughout for content research, content ideas, and an AI-driven content writer, Content FusionTM.
  • Bot Clarity is an advanced log-file analysis tool to identify search engine crawl issues as they happen. It also identifies spoof-bots acting as search engines and how quickly new pages are being crawled by the search engines.
  • Actionable Insights algorithm designed to learn from hundreds of data points and automatically generate insights to scale SEO practices across the enterprise.
  • Page-level analytics and advanced Google Search Console integrations identify close to 100% visibility into term “(not provided)” and includes 16 months of historical GSC data. It allows correlation of keyword-level data with all SEO metrics.
  • Built-in workflow management system for customizable team collaboration.

Deep Learning or Artificial Intelligence

From anomaly detection to helping write higher quality content, the latest version of the seoClarity platform is built from the ground up to take advantage of machine learning advancements and artificial intelligence.

seoClarity acts like a personal data scientist to constantly analyze all SEO data, metrics, and actions to provide live insights based on the ever-changing search landscape.

seoClarity clients love the instant insights with Content Fusion by helping writers understand how to cover a topic with authority in just a few seconds.

Their proprietary machine learning applied to ranking data provides fast, relevant answers to every level of an organization by helping:

  • Recognize trends as they happen.
  • Increase team efficiency.
  • Show clear, measurable results.
  • Capture new revenue opportunities.

Competitive Reporting & Analysis

Users can access rankings for any domain, subdomain, URL, and their backlink index.

seoClarity claims to be the only SEO platform to offer unlimited competitive comparisons, on the fly, against existing keyword rankings or within the entire search landscape.

Clients can uncover opportunities and compare against five competitors at one time to recognize content gaps with just a few clicks.

Users can quickly filter for their keyword research and identify content gaps, in addition to comparing their keyword portfolio ranking data against any competitor, on-the-fly.

seoClarity will also surface opportunities for content that competitors are ranking for, but the client’s website isn’t.

Analytics Integration

seoClarity provides analytics integration in the form of an open data platform, importing data from virtually any analytics source, including Adobe, IBM, Google Analytics, and internal data warehouses.

Link Evaluation: Internal and/or External

With seoClarity clients can fully understand their current link structure and gain insights into the impact and opportunities for new links in order to boost their search visibility as well as overall user experience.

seoClarity SEO tool Dashboard

External Link Analysis

While the internal link analysis is valuable, the seoClarity platform also combines multiple backlink data sources through consolidated link profile data with integrations for Ahrefs, BuzzStream, Majestic, Moz, and Google Search Console providing clients with a holistic view into their backlink portfolio.

User Level Settings

User accounts for the seoClarity system can be set-up and customized for each user. Each user’s access can be set by role-based or user-based giving them access to only the areas that are needed.

Access to Tool, Reports & Data

Users can access seoClarity’s robust API, various exports and transform and load virtually any data point.

Reports or analyses are collected by seoClarity into a data storage system for long-term storage, or integration into an internal data warehouse, through Adobe Marketing Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Box.com, FTP data exchange, or custom data warehouses.

Platform Updates & Technology Trends

seoClarity has a two-week development release cycle.

Their roadmap is built 100% based on client feedback to solve real challenges in enterprise SEO and content marketing.

Support

seoClarity’s client success support includes:

  • 24/7 phone and email critical support.
  • Live chat.
  • Online knowledge base of articles, training videos, and use case studies.
  • Active online user community.

Pricing Structure

Pricing packages are based on the combination of domain profiles and number of keyword search queries tracked.

What You Should Know Before Getting Started

seoClarity has tried and tested SEO workflows for getting onboarded and set up in the platform quickly.

Each client’s dedicated Client Success Team has defined workflows to help seamlessly get them onboarded and trained in the platform to start showing value quickly.

Summary

seoClarity clients spend a lot of time leveraging their dashboards for reporting.

Dashboards are 100% customizable and help streamline reporting to easily communicate updates of performance with many levels within an organization.

Rank Intelligence is another capability that clients tend to rave about making it different than your typical rank tracking tool offering on-the-fly analysis to gain clear insights from ranking data.

Clients love the ability to compare against any competitor depending on the segment of the business they are analyzing.

What Sets seoClarity Apart From the Competition?

seoClarity is the only enterprise SEO platform to provide all SEO data, metrics, and capabilities under one integrated platform without artificial limitations.

Some of the key functionality that set seoClarity from the competition are:

  • No artificial limitations including:
    • Unlimited competitor comparisons (on-the-fly analysis).
    • Site audit technology allows for unlimited crawl pages and projects.
    • Extract and download data right within the platform.
    • Unlimited users.
    • Unlimited dashboards for reporting.
  • Built and support of infrastructure on daily ranking updates where all SEO data and metrics are updated continually (as often as every 24 hours) and stored indefinitely.
  • Constantly building solutions that help solve their clients’ most complex SEO challenges. Their dev roadmap is built 100% on client feedback. seoClarity’s approach is, if two clients request it, they will put it into the dev roadmap, updating and upgrading existing features in 2-week development cycles.

You can learn about seoClarity and read through their customer case studies here.


I was first introduced to Conductor by a friend, an executive at a company listed in the mid-200 range of the Fortune 500.

This friend very enthusiastically recommended the SEO enterprise platform and connected me to the company’s CEO. I was immediately impressed with the break into the SEO world of Conductor Searchlight SaaS in 2010.

Conductor’s Searchlight is an enterprise SEO and content technology that encourages and enhances collaboration for customer-driven teams.

The platform:

  • Provides insights around what customers are searching for.
  • Delivers recommended actions so users can drive visibility and revenue.
  • Measures the impact made through SEO efforts.

Conductor provides results through a combination of organic marketing technologies and strategic digital services.

It offers technology-first insights around how a company’s audience is searching organically while surfacing recommendations and opportunities to better optimize content improving visibility and overall technical health of large scale websites.

The platform measures how a site’s content is performing online and the positive or negative impact of technical optimizations the team has implemented for SEO by:

  • Understanding the audience.
  • Investigating competition.
  • Tracking visibility.
  • Analyzing content performance.
  • Optimizing content reporting and sharing​.

In addition, Conductor’s digital services team provides resources and strategies outside of their technology offering giving customers the added resources they may need to drive SEO success.

Key Features

The beauty of Conductor’s enterprise SEO platform is that it is created around three principles: simplicity, consistency, and providing insights over data.

Conductor SEO ToolOne of the top two reasons customers consistently give Conductor a 9 or 10 NPS, contributing to the company’s NPS of over 50, is usability.

At the heart of the platform is Insight Stream, which provides an activity news feed for customers (traffic changes, new content ideas, competitive alerts, etc.).

Users scroll through insights gathered from a variety of tools, and can chat with team members directly in “stories.”

The interface is clean and focused, presenting detailed information progressively as users scan and scroll through.

It’s easy for users to manipulate data through filtering, sorting, and customization so they can see the information that’s most relevant for them and their particular role within the organization.

The reporting suite is uniquely flexible, enabling users to pull third-party media and data into custom dashboards.

All of Conductor’s reports are interactive and designed to allow the user to head down through the rabbit hole of data in a seamless workflow.

Deep Learning or Artificial Intelligence

Conductor’s Insight Stream analyzes the client’s search data to highlight content performance, keyword alerts, competitive insights, and optimization opportunities across multiple domains and countries.

Stories within the Insight Stream can be shared with various stakeholders to ensure insights are effectively communicated across teams and have actionable items associated to grow their SEO.

Additionally, Insight Stream becomes more powerful as different data sources are brought into Conductor including web analytics, Google Search Console, DeepCrawl, Keyword Objects, and more.

Competitive Reporting & Analysis

Conductor identifies the competition that appears on the first page with the addition of Conductor’s Market Share views identifying domains owning universal results within search (i.e., answer boxes, video images, etc.).

These insights aid in identifying which competitors have built out targeted content for any specific featured snippets within search.

Rank Comparison enables users to cross-compare their positions with up to four different domains within a single view. Making it easy for users to easily identify key competitive areas that may need to focus their efforts on.

Allowing for the ability to narrow competitive insights down to specific categories, the local and device type level, and across various types of search results (images, videos, and answer boxes).

This data can be quickly filtered to derive insights:

  • Where the content is exclusively ranking.
  • Where competitors are appearing.
  • Where there is opportunity to capture an untapped market.
  • Where the content is placed among the competition in the SERPs.

For on-demand research, Conductor’s Explorer helps with competitive research outside of managed keywords.

This view is a direct representation of Conductor’s partnership with best-of-breed keyword index, SEMrush, and identifies the number of keywords driving traffic to competitor domains as a whole.

Domain Explorer is fully global and does not restrict users to only reporting on countries within their account configuration. Additionally, competitive research can be tailored to focus on any targeted subdomain or subfolder.

Customers use these tools for benchmarking market share against tracked and non-traditional competitors.

The need to identify new competitors in the market and having a better understanding of the competition’s search strategy are areas of opportunity to gain visibility against competitors.

Analytics Integration

Conductor provides a secure API based integration with both Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics. No custom tagging required.

Conductor integrates both domestic and international page-level analytics reporting on keywords tracked in Conductor that are ranking on all URLs.

Highlighting which keywords are ranking well and driving traffic to individual pages allow users to gain a deeper insight into their SEO.

Current Conductor customers leverage this data to measure performance and demonstrate ROI around their organic search efforts.

Link Evaluation: Internal and/or External

Conductor’s integration with DeepCrawl helps clients perform internal link audits in order to:

  • Remove duplicate and out of date content: Consider whether to delete, deindex, or canonicalize out of date content.
  • Deal with primary navigation issues (web crawl depth report): Are all pages reachable within a few clicks of the homepage.
  • Conduct technical checks: Broken Links, any links to internal pages returning a 404, unlinked pages, pages in sitemaps which aren’t linked. All should contain a link from at least one other area on the site.
  • Check for pages with too many links: Pages with more than 100 links (including those in headers and footers) look spammy to search engines.

External Link Analysis

DeepCrawl integrates with Majestic to provide additional value to site audit reports with external link reporting. Majestic metrics automatically pull and feed into reports such as:

  • Redirecting URLs with Backlinks
  • Broken Pages with Backlinks
  • Disallowed URLs with Backlinks
  • Pages with Backlinks but No Links Out
  • Non-Indexable Pages with Backlinks

User Level Settings

Conductor offers unlimited seats within the platform and can be leveraged by many different stakeholders across the organization.

Account and access management is primarily based on user roles. Users in certain roles are granted access to specified data.

Access to Tool, Reports & Data

One of the appealing features of Conductor is the ability to export reports into excel or CSV for those data geeks like me.

Users simply add a report to the Workspace (or dashboard) which easily reports on and automates sharing key organic search insights across the organization.

Workspaces can be automatically shared/emailed to both Conductor users and non-Conductor users on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly cadence.

Nearly every view within the platform can be added to a Workspace making it easy to cross-reference traditionally silo-ed data-sets within a single report.

Additionally, Workspaces will automatically update regularly making it easy to automate and save time on reporting.

For custom reporting, the Conductor enterprise SEO platform has an easy to use API which can be imported into various business intelligence tools. Various API endpoints are available in relation to keyword level and competitive information.

For less self-sufficient users, Conductor’s Business Intelligence team offers customizations through their FlexHub offering.

FlexHub is a custom reporting overlay where Conductor data analysts can leverage the API endpoints of Conductor and its partners to provide insights into specific business needs.

Pre-configured template reports require slight modifications and can be delivered within two weeks.

Larger and more specific custom reports are scoped on an ad-hoc basis and will be delivered based on the number of hours required to complete.

Platform Updates & Technology Trends

What is most impressive about Conductor is their ability to constantly roll out new features.

All feature teams have full visibility into their customer’s needs and demands thanks to their Customer Advisory Board, surveys, bug reports, sales escalations, etc.

The design of the platform allows for experimenting with new features from the ground up and for innovations to happen with little overhead in terms of delivery to customers.

Feature teams have the flexibility to build new offerings in an agile way and offer them to a limited set of customers to iterate rapidly.

Support

Offering 24 hours of tech support 5 days a week through in-platform chat, email and phone is a huge win with customers.

The chat feature is a huge win with clients with a support satisfaction score of 99%+ and response times on chat under 45 seconds (email just under 4 hours).

The company provides on-demand online training courses to help facilitate their client’s understanding of the platform.

There is an in-depth Knowledge Base that is filled with product documentation, workflow examples, and FAQs for all of their features.

They also offer webinars that go through a variety of topics related to the platform, SEO, and content.

Users can schedule on-demand sessions with a variety of experts (technical, product, SEO) anytime, in addition to the regularly scheduled sessions with their customer success team.

A unique feature, Conductor offers a wide range of deliverables that can be requested on-demand through their Orchestra Menu offering.

Pricing Structure

Priced competitively, Conductor has multiple factors that influence pricing including the number of tracked keywords.

Talk to a Conductor rep to schedule a demo and discuss pricing for your needs.

What You Should Know Before Getting Started

Conductor’s onboarding experience focuses on platform training and account configuration.

Conductor’s unique Training Camp is a comprehensive program designed to get team members trained, certified, and executing on initiatives within Conductor in as little as two weeks.

Each training is customized to meet defined business goals set at the beginning of the partnership. In addition to Training Camp, Conductor’s Audience Research team will work on account configuration. Audience research services include:

  • Keyword Discovery: In-depth keyword identification and selection reflecting business setup and the search landscape.
  • Categorization (Keyword Categories): Dynamic category creation to reflect site structure and potential content opportunities at a keyword level.
  • Content Segmentation (Page Groups): Dynamic content segmentation to reflect site structure and potential content opportunities at a URL level.

Identification and optimization for relevant seasonal keywords begin at the onset of every partnership with the Conductor team.

Through thorough audience research and in-depth conversations on seasonal company strategies and objectives with every client, the Conductor Audience Research team focuses its efforts on finding relevant, high impact keywords based on the inventory calendar released by the client.

Conductor primarily targets optimizations for category pages, as inventory turns quickly. Category pages are optimized to reflect applicable, seasonal keywords, based on objectives discussed and agreed upon with the client.

As the primary focus is usually increasing qualified traffic, the seasonal keywords agreed upon can range from high monthly search volume head term keywords, to lower monthly search volume keywords targeting a more niche audience.

Incorporating a seasonal strategy into organic search approach, with guidance from Conductor’s Professional Services team, ultimately allows retailers to capture more qualified traffic and drive higher conversions.

What Sets Conductor Apart From the Competition?

Ease of Use

Ease-of-use and proper navigation is a cornerstone to the Conductor design philosophy.

The platform is advanced enough to meet the needs of the most technical user, yet simple enough for a user to get value with little to no experience.

While part of that is achieved through simple navigation, a robust Knowledge Base and support model are essential to this experience.

Conductor’s Knowledge Base offers users overviews of any page/feature within the platform. Users will also have access to:

  • Guided workflows.
  • Getting started guides.
  • FAQs.
  • Product releases.
  • Industry news.
  • And more.

In addition to a dedicated Account Manager, email, phone and in-app chat are available for the team to use at their discretion, as well as ad-hoc deliverables through Conductor’s Orchestra Menu.

Global Reporting

Global marketing organizations rely on Conductor to be able to scale their SEO efforts across multiple domains, in dozens of markets, across tens of thousands of keywords, and in hundreds of locations.

Most enterprise customers require reporting that rolls all of this information in one central location in order to effectively use this information to drive marketing decisions.

Conductor is uniquely positioned to help teams both in the platform’s ability to scale and roll up this information in a digestible format.

An example of this is seen in Conductor’s Global Market Share FlexHub report, which can be configured to roll all of a company’s web properties and markets into one single global competitive report.

Partnership Ecosystem

Beyond its own data collection processes, Conductor Searchlight draws from diverse sources of technologies to offer truly best-in-class solutions to its clients.

Conductor has established long term partnerships with some of the most trusted names and best-in-class applications in the digital marketing ecosystem.

Its development philosophy is to build best-in-class solutions where they don’t exist and, if they do already exist, Conductor partners with that technology and synthesizes the data in meaningful ways throughout its platform.

Forrester released a review on SEO platforms which identified Conductor as a “Leader” in the space.

In addition regarding customer reviews from Trust Radius and G2Crowd, Conductor is seen as a top performer in comparison to others in the space.

Conductor SEO Enterprise Platform

You can learn more about Conductor and read through their customer stories here.


A few years ago, I was attending a conference in New York and was able to get away for a quick demo for the Botify platform.

Just 5 minutes in and I knew we needed Botify for Nordstrom, and have repeatedly asked for demos for other companies since.

Botify solves a huge problem for large, enterprise websites: with such a large complex site, over half of the content typically won’t be crawled by search engines.

Whatever isn’t crawled, won’t be indexed, which means it won’t show up in results, won’t generate traffic, and definitely won’t make money from SEO for the business.

The Botify enterprise SEO platform was built on the holistic understanding that SEO professionals need to understand every phase of the search process, from crawling to conversions, in order to really gauge what improvements are needed.

Botify includes a log file analyzer, a crawler, keyword tracker, and analytics integration. This not only allows you to see your website at every phase of the search process; it also allows you to see, over time, how and what is impacted.

Botify users are SEO practitioners who work on some of the largest sites on the web. It covers the full spectrum of search and is built for technical SEOs responsible for identifying indexing issues all the way to marketers who need to analyze content for quality.

The platform works with enterprise organizations that have large complex websites (i.e., millions of URLs) and count on their website(s) for a substantial portion of their revenue.

In many cases, that translates into working with retail/ecommerce, publishers, classifieds, and travel organizations.

Botify can layer 750+ data points for any URL on any website. Customers use Botify for:

  • Analyzing their website architecture for SEO.
  • Finding and fixing indexing issues.
  • Identifying trending keywords.
  • And so much more.

Some of the more Popular components to Botify include:

Botify Analytics

The crawler component (and really the foundation) of the Botify platform allowing customers to evaluate the structure and content of every page of every version (AMP, mobile, desktop, etc.) of their site just like a search engine would, and keep track of changes over time.

Botify Log Analyzer

This allows customers to feed their server log files into a dashboard built specifically for SEO pros.

The log file analyzer provides insight into how search engine bots are crawling a site, paired with crawl data, customers gain a deeper understanding of what’s going on.

Botify SEO Enterprise Platform

Botify Keywords

The keyword and position tracking component of Botify, which comes from their integration with the Google Search Console API.

The GSC API provides users with more data than the GSC performance dashboard allows.

Botify Studio

It allows users the ability to custom build dashboards based on Botify data collected in the crawl and schedule them to send to SEO stakeholders.

Botify Data Station

This incorporates the ability to export data via pre-set exports or custom scenarios depending on the user’s needs.

Botify API

It can be used to pull information from Botify’s database to use in other tools, or even on a client’s own website! The Botify Chrome extension is a great working example of this.

Key Features

There are a few key features within the Botify core platform worth calling out.

JavaScript Crawl

Users can render pages of a website the way a search engine might.

Track which resources are executed, and collect valuable user-centric performance metrics (time to first paint, time to interactive, and other performance metrics) to ensure their JS content is rendered and seen by search engines.

Data Layering

Users can layer any other data point onto their URLs to get insight into the “why” behind what they are seeing.

For example, is a URL not ranking?

Layer on log file analysis data and a user could find that Googlebot hasn’t been crawling that URL – no wonder it’s not ranking!

Page not getting crawled by Googlebot?

Users can layer data from their Botify crawl and find a possible correlation between low crawl rate and low content uniqueness. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Segmentation

Users can look at specific sections of their site in isolation (e.g., evaluate blog content separately from ecommerce content). Learn more from Botify’s knowledge base.

Content Quality Analysis

This gives the user the ability to evaluate content like a search engine would, including the ability to eliminate template content from their analysis.

Deep Learning or Artificial Intelligence

Data science is a part of Botify’s DNA and every new project includes some component of this.

That being said, they have informed me that they are planning an announcement in Q4 that speaks exactly to this question, so stay tuned!

Competitive Reporting & Analysis

While the focus of the Botify suite is to provide users more insights and information on their website, they can also use Botify Analytics to crawl a competitor’s site.

The technical issues they’re experiencing may or may not be valuable for them to know, but they’ll be able to get a good grasp of on-page optimization and content.

Understanding a competitor’s content makes it easier to perform a content gap analysis on a site to see where they may be missing out on opportunities. Just as an agency or consultant would spend hours and charge large fees for.

Analytics Integration

Botify works seamlessly with Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and also AT Internet. They can connect with a site’s analytics account to bring in valuable visits data to overlay with their Botify Analytics crawl data.

Users can see real-time trends and report on how technical issues are impacting site traffic and ultimately revenue.

Botify also connects via API with Google Search Console through Botify Keywords – showcasing an entire keyword profile, and uncovering hard to find trends.

Link Evaluation: Internal and/or External

Most enterprise-level websites have no shortage of backlinks, but where the real wins come from are often found in internal links and distribution of PageRank throughout the site.

Botify can evaluate an internal linking structure and showcase how well a site is connected.

From the distribution of internal links (follow/nofollow), compliant URLs with low counts of internal links, non-compliant URLs that are being linked to, links going to non-200 URLs, to page depth metrics.

User Level Settings

Users are allowed Guest(Read-only) and Admin level access. All owners share a library of dashboards and features. There is no limit to the number of dashboards or filters an account has.

One of the nicest features of Botify is that it doesn’t limit the number of logins. Larger teams are also allowed to group users into what they call “Organizations”.

Organizations have teams, which can essentially determine access to projects and reports that only they are allowed to see and use.

Access to Tool, Reports & Data

Any report across Botify Analytics, Botify Keywords, and Botify Log Analyzer can be exported to their Data Station where users can download the report.

Additionally, Botify has a range of APIs that tie into Google Sheets, Google Data Studio, or most CMSs. The Botify API Developer site is a great resource with more information.

Platform Updates & Technology Trends

Botify, as a company, works in an agile technical environment so they are always releasing new updates – from backend improvements like crawl speed or JavaScript rendering capabilities to UI/UX improvements.

New functionalities are typically released every 3-4 weeks, but sometimes even more frequently.

Support

Botify offers support through their Customer Success Managers, who are their customer advocates helping to get clients everything they need.

They also offer professional services, which blends SEO expertise and platform expertise to answer some of the more difficult and technical questions a client has.

Pricing Structure

There are a few different variables that go into Botify’s pricing structure, but they don’t share these publicly.

Suffice it to say, their pricing is built to ensure customers are getting the most value out of the platform.

What You Should Know Before Getting Started

The Botify enterprise SEO platform team has never seen any websites with zero potential. Using Botify will help identify where that potential is.

Expect to be able to save a lot of time and energy uncovering those opportunities. The team recommends starting with simple features and then moving on to more advanced features.

If there are ever any questions, their SEO support team is available to help.

Summary

The ease of uncovering insights that a client may miss with other tools is where Botify shines the most.

Clients respond well to how Botify can combine data from the Botify Suite to see how content quality, technical issues, and internal page rank impact the crawl rate and keyword rankings.

Botify also provides various reports within the platform – and a powerful API that can be used with any BI platform to create dashboards that can leverage data to influence organic search and development projects.

Having daily log analysis to see how Google is crawling a site and the types of errors in real-time is something that clients also love.

Seeing how a code push or content update last night is impacting their site this morning is what sets Botify from the competition.

Overall, because Botify really aims to be the best solution for enterprise SEO teams, their customers can really tell that they are designing everything for their needs: scale, speed, granularity of data, security, API features, and more.

What Sets Botify Apart From the Competition?

One of the key differentiators is that Botify takes a URL-first approach to SEO data, rather than a keyword-first approach.

They start by providing a complete picture of every URL on a website (not just desktop, but AMP versions, alternate language versions, mobile versions, etc.) and then layer onto everything needed to understand each individual URL.

Botify does this in a way that’s compliant with Google’s terms of service integrating with Google Search Console for keyword data rather than scraping the SERPs.

A few specific differentiators include:

  • JavaScript rendering at scale: Get the results of JS crawls quickly and accurately.
  • Speed and scalability: Botify can crawl through up to 50 million URLs at speeds around 250 URLs per second.
  • Structured data: Automatically extracting 15+ different types of structured data without needing to set up custom extracts to pull information.
  • Daily log file analysis: See search engines crawling a website in near real-time.
  • Google Search Console integration: Keyword and URL organic search performance and rankings trended daily, monthly or even year over year.
  • They also have a pretty incredible engineering and SEO support team.

You don’t have to just take my word for it, Botify has provided a lot of great testimonials on their G2 profile.

You can learn about Botify and read through their customer success stories here.


Founded in 2007, BrightEdge is a global search and content marketing platform driven by massive data collection, artificial intelligence, and real-time insights with a robust customer success model.

My first demo of BrightEdge was in 2011 while working for ADP managing usedcars.com’s online marketing and analytics.

BrightEdge stayed in my head as I continued on with my career and I was able to use it with various clients and other companies.

BrightEdge is a great resource for digital marketers, content marketers, and SEO managers alike.

You don’t have to be an expert in SEO to be able to use the tool, gain benefits from it, or understand the data.

Companies that would benefit from BrightEdge are those with a strong presence in:

  • Ecommerce/retail.
  • Travel/hospitality.
  • Finance.
  • B2B and B2C tech.
  • Consulting/services.
  • Universities/educational institutions.
  • Real estate.
  • Restaurants.
  • Healthcare agencies.
  • Media/entertainment.

BrightEdge’s focus is on developing an all-encompassing search and content marketing strategy by bringing all aspects of a strategy into one platform.

This includes keyword research, competitive analysis, technical SEO, content optimizations and creation, backlink research, keyword tracking, and reporting.

What sets BrightEdge from the competition is the DataCube tool which brings its proprietary keyword index of over 3.5 billion topics (and growing) enabling users to perform on-demand research and hone on the specific area of focus or site section that matters most.

BrightEdge SEO Enterprise Platform

Key Features

There are four big key selling points to BrightEdge that sets them apart from the competition.

BrightEdge Instant

Search is becoming a real-time industry with how fast things are changing on Google.

BrightEdge Instant is the industry’s first solution to the need for having real-time insights into:

  • Rank.
  • Search volume.
  • Recommendations.
  • Page speed performance.
  • Competition.
  • Voice search opportunities.

It covers tens of thousands of locations and languages across the globe, including non-Google engines like Amazon and YouTube – and without having to add keywords (which won’t affect pricing).

As search moves into non-traditional search engines, BrightEdge enables users the ability to identify how they stack up against competitors’ content.

More specifically, it looks into how users are performing on sites like YouTube and Amazon to ensure clients are developing content strategies for all areas where their customers are looking.

BrightEdge Instant

BrightEdge Data Cube

One of their “greatest hits,” the proprietary keyword index of over 3.5 billion topics and growing, empowers BrightEdge clients to perform on-demand research – quickly identifying search terms with how any website ranks in comparison while easily honing-in on the specific area of focus or site section that matters most.

Using their simple, flexible, dynamic filters such as keyword, URL, search volume, rank, universal listing type, and more make this tool a favorite among users.

The index can not only be used for head-to-head site benchmarking but also spans back over 5 years, providing clients with a tremendous wealth of insight into consumer behavior/demand for any site of focus.

BrightEdge DataCube

BrightEdge Recommendations

This takes the guesswork out of search by providing a simple, actionable to-do list to improve clients’ organic performance, leveraging the ability to analyze the top-performing pages for every keyword of focus.

For more experienced SEO pros, this analysis is displayed in one convenient view, saving the time of manually checking the source code/HTML for each competing page individually.

ContentIQ

BrightEdge’s technical site audit solution is built directly into the platform allowing users to gain a deeper insight into how their SEO is performing.

Deep Learning or Artificial Intelligence

Because BrightEdge collects and stores all of their own information, they are in a unique position in the market to be able to analyze the data on behalf of their customers using artificial intelligence.

BrightEdge Insights digs deep into thousands of data points on behalf of their customers to save hours of time on analysis and enabling their customers to spend more time on making changes that can drive performance.

BrightEdge SEO Tool Quick Answers

For example, Insights will analyze a client’s keyword footprint and automatically identify the best pages that should be optimized for Quick Answers based on where the keyword is in the current top 5 positions, but not yet owning Quick Answer for that particular keyword.

Additionally, BrightEdge’s platform analyzes the top 10 ranking pages for all tracked keywords and identifies trends/themes that are causing the other pages to outperform the website and provides prescriptive steps/changes to make in order to improve performance.

Competitive Reporting & Analysis

BrightEdge enterprise SEO platform looks at competitors in two different buckets, natural competitors and named competitors.

Natural competitors are any websites that are currently outperforming a site for any keywords/topics the user wants to perform well for.

Named competitors are the websites a client will identify as directly competing with from an overall business perspective.

Natural Competitors

For natural competitors, BrightEdge identifies the top-performing websites for all of a client’s most important topics, analyzes content and provides recommended changes to make in order to improve performance.

BrightEdge also regularly tracks performance and market share over time to account for the constant changing of the search landscape and identification of emerging sites/competitors.

Named Competitors

For named competitors, BrightEdge tracks keyword movement and performance week over week for in-depth reporting. They also use this rank data to drive reporting of other metrics such as market share against top competitors.

Brighedge’s Data Cube also enables customers to perform unlimited research against any website they want to identify keywords and competitors where they are lacking.

By understanding the competition users can ensure they are benchmarking themselves against who Google is rewarding today, not who they think Google is rewarding.

Additionally, this analysis saves hours of time of looking at competitors’ content in an attempt to understand what they are doing differently.

Analytics Integration

BrightEdge integrates with Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and Coremetrics through multiple options including API, SFTP, and hybrid options.

It also supports custom analytics integrations, so be sure to ask a BrightEdge representative during a demo.

Link Evaluation: Internal and/or External

Providing analysis on both internal and external links, BrightEdge partners with Majestic for their backlink information and connects the data directly into the platform on a weekly basis.

Customers use this to:

  • Monitor trends in their overall backlink performance compared to their competitors.
  • Correlate this to rankings or other metrics.
  • More importantly, identify where their competitors are getting links that are helping to drive their performance on Google.

BrightEdge looks at Trust Flow, Domain and Page Authority, anchor text, etc. to help their customers know where to get not only a high quantity of links, but high-quality links.

BrightEdge analyzes internal links in a similar way. They strive to help customers understand where they have internal linking opportunities ensuring that they have strong anchor text (mapped to consumer demand) and are linking from high authority pages to low authority pages to improve on their SEO.

User Level Settings

The enterprise SEO platform has multiple levels of access that can be assigned to individual users.

There is typically an organization admin user that has full access to the platform and the ability to assign permissions of other users.

Standard users have the ability to use the full platform including tracking keywords, creating dashboards, and access to all aspects of the platform. There are read-only users as well.

Access to Tool, Reports & Data

All reports and dashboards within the platform are exportable on an unlimited basis in PDF or CSV format.

BrightEdge also has an open API to pull information out of the platform and into data warehouses or reporting tools like Domo, PowerBI, and Tableau.

Platform Updates & Technology Trends

The BrightEdge platform rolls out with updates every 5-6 weeks with new features as well as system improvements.

Support

100% of BrightEdge customers are assigned at least two dedicated resources in the form of a Customer Success Manager and a Strategic Account Manager.

These resources are simply not there to “teach you how to login or XYZ” (as they put it) but are there as extensions of a client’s team to ensure that they are seeing success in the channel and hitting goals.

Pricing Structure

There are a couple of different factors that can influence pricing including the number of keywords tracked, domains tracked, competitors tracked, and the number of pages crawled for technical audit.

BrightEdge customers get unlimited users, downloads, reports, exports, etc.

What You Should Know Before Getting Started

BrightEdge works with organizations of all shapes and sizes, from some of the biggest to some of the smallest companies in the world.

They have experience working with every industry out there and are well-positioned to leverage both their experience and the expertise to help any organization regardless of size or experience.

Their passion is to help clients exceed their goals by capitalizing on the largest and most proactive channel on the planet.

BrightEdge has built a platform that is easy to learn for newcomers to search, but also flexible enough to grow and scale within large, experienced teams.

In addition, their award-winning customer success model is designed to align with clients’ level of experience, introducing many to the channel for the first time, while also enabling sophisticated SEO professionals to hit the ground running.

Summary

BrightEdge’s Data Cube and Customer Success Team are what their customers respond to most. BrightEdge customers love the support they get with the BrightEdge team.

BrightEdge likes to see themselves as not just a simple vendor that provides training and usage of the platform but integrated into a client’s business goals and metrics and an extension of the team.

The company reports that customers who have moved from other solutions to BrightEdge continuously boast about the move to everything being housed in one platform, that they save hours of time a month on historically manual, non-revenue driving, tasks.

By automating those tasks and analysis for them, their customers are able to spend more time on creating and optimizing their content, which helps to move the needle.

Flexibility and customization of the platform allow customers to essentially create an unlimited number of reports/dashboards within the technology. This helps them tell a much more clear story of the value of their work within the channel.

Additionally, within the Data Cube, BrightEdge customers love how they are able to narrow down on their sites to find the best opportunities.

What Sets BrightEdge Apart From the Competition?

Ease of Use

Everything needed to effectively optimize a site is accessible in one place, utilizing a unified methodology, where each “system” is able to speak to each other.

This allows their clients to track something in one place, the platform to produce an associated action in other, and quickly generate a corresponding report to capture everything.

Artificial Intelligence

With an endless amount of data available on the web, it is almost impossible for even the most sophisticated SEO professionals to make sense of it all.

Their artificial intelligence engine, Data Mind, takes much of this effort off of our clients’ plate, by analyzing tremendous amounts of data to:

  • Identify trends at scale and stay ahead of market/industry changes.
  • Capitalize on the best opportunities to drive growth.
  • Make data-driven decisions.

Real-Time Insights

BrightEdge Instant is the industry’s first solution to the need for having real-time insights into rank, search volume, recommendations, page speed performance, competition, and voice search opportunities

Pace of Innovation

BrightEdge develops its technology internally. They are not reliant on other data providers where they have no control over the product roadmap or SLAs.

This allows them to take feedback directly from their customers and build technology suited directly to their needs.

BrightEdge releases updates to the platform every 6 weeks based on this feedback to constantly keep their customers ahead of Google.

You can also learn about BrightEdge and read through their over 50 customer stories and case studies.


Wrapping Up

While there are many SEO tools for agencies available, the tools reviewed here are focused on users that work within large corporations that need a quick and easy resource to:

  • Report on ROI.
  • Track keywords.
  • Work across the organization to successfully drive SEO to success.

In my years, I have used many free tools as well as the reasonably priced monthly fee SaaS tools like Moz, SEMrush, and even Keylime both for my own websites and some SMB clients during my consulting and agency days.

That said, enterprise-level companies need more robust platforms that can provide a one-stop-shop for the most experienced SEO all the way down to the marketers, product managers, and executives.

More Resources:


Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, September 2019



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Navigating a cookieless future – Search Engine Watch

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30-second summary:

  • On September 16, Apple launched iOS 14, which is a major overhaul of the Apple operating system and would require users to authorize information known as (IDFA).
  • This was followed by announcements from Google that they will be following a similar path for Google Chrome, effectively turning off tracking on Safari, which commands 90 percent usage on iPhones, and Chrome, which commands five percent.
  • These moves towards user privacy and marketing compliance are effectively a pivot away from the traditional advertising and search marketing industry, which will impact later players like Facebook to national media agencies like GroupM.
  • More details on how marketers can navigate in a cookieless world.

One of the most impactful changes to internet advertising and media has stayed mostly unspoken in agency and SEO chatter. However, like the switch from a desktop landscape to a mobile landscape, there is no reprieve from the coming cookieless world.

On September 16, Apple launched iOS 14, which is a major overhaul of the Apple operating system and would require users to authorize information known as (IDFA). IDFA is used to track user behavior for advertising.

This was followed by announcements from Google that they will be following a similar path for Google Chrome, effectively turning off tracking on Safari, which commands 90 percent usage on iPhones, and Chrome, which commands five percent.

These moves towards user privacy and marketing compliance are effectively a pivot away from the traditional advertising and search marketing industry, which will impact later players like Facebook to national media agencies like GroupM.

Content created in partnership with SherloQ™, Inc.

National TV advertisers and PPC advertisers are not waiting around

Once again led by the advertising and search category of injury law, due to the highly competitive and expensive nature, we are seeing a couple of key movers.

Smith & Hassler, a nationally recognized personal injury law firm that famously uses Judge Alex Ferrer and William Shatner as TV spokespeople, and Mike Slocumb Law, a firm that is known for its use of celebrity spokespeople and a sometimes outrageous style. They are both first use cases of using Natural Language Understanding (NLU) for content and first-party data extraction, and automatic AI, which assists in marketing automation to Google without the use of cookies.

In both cases, the companies are working with and have implemented  SherloQ™, powered by IBM Watson, to implement cookieless changes and compliance to market their websites.

A recent story from AdWeek quoted Andrew Casale about a cookieless future for publishers, who said it best,

“Publishers haven’t seen a recovery in their CPMs, and similar to Root, believes the focus of online media trading will be publishers’ first-party data as such a method of audience targeting will mean less personal information is traded between (comparatively) anonymous ad-tech players.”

The rapid move towards using first-party data and AI automation will not be limited to a single industry. Privacy is a big selling feature and while Apple has allowed an extension to IDFA, mostly due to the time needed for developers to employ these new frameworks, Apple and Google are not going to wait for the advertising industry’s input.

If your agency or enterprise wants to learn more about how SherloQ™, powered by IBM Watson, can help navigate a cookieless world, please download our white paper to learn more about our framework.



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Synergized search is key to success in the new normal

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30-second summary:

  • Given that consumers run billions of searches every day — with Google estimated to process 40,000 per second it’s clear marketers need a smart strategy to cut through the competition.
  • The question is: Will they drive the highest traffic and performance with SEO or PPC?
  • Head of Paid Media at Tug shares insight on how perfectly balancing these two facets can lead to success in the new normal.

Consumer activity online is at an all-time high. So, it’s no surprise many marketers are aiming to make the most of it by hooking their attention early, at the point of search. But deciding how best to do so isn’t necessarily easy.

Given that consumers run billions of searches every day — with Google estimated to process 40,000 per second — it’s clear marketers need a smart strategy to cut through the competition. The question is: will they drive the highest traffic and performance with search engine optimization (SEO) or pay per click (PPC)?

Both have their own advantages and drawbacks. PPC is a quick win, enabling businesses to rapidly reach consumers and boost visibility. But its lead generation power only lasts while the money flows and, depending on campaign scale and scope, those costs can run high. Meanwhile, SEO delivers more lasting rewards and higher click-through rates (CTRs), often for less investment. Yet marketers might have a long wait before organic searches pay off, and may still fall behind dominant digital marketplaces for certain keywords.

Ultimately, the smartest route lies neither one way nor the other, but in a combination of both. Blending PPC and SEO not only generates stronger results but also balances out their respective shortcomings, offering marketers the best chance of success in the new ever-changing normal.

Utilizing a combination of paid and organic search tactics isn’t new – but it’s never been clear how marketers can best do this, or a way to visualize the data for optimization. Leveraging PPC and SEO in conjunction with one another can be challenging, but creating the perfect synergy is possible if marketers focus on the following three factors:

Unify search operations

With consumers spending a quarter of their waking day online, marketers have plenty of chances to spark their interest through search. To outmanoeuvre rivals and capture eyeballs first, brands must make fast yet informed decisions about which approach will produce the ideal outcome.

Achieving this requires holistic insight which, in turn, calls for greater unity. Due to the general view of PPC and SEO as separate entities, teams often operate in silos, but this isolates valuable knowledge around consumer behaviour and the tactics that generate the biggest rewards. Simple as it sounds, removing divisions and encouraging teams to share their insight can significantly improve campaign execution and drive more efficient CPAs.

For example, information from the PPC teams on the best performing keywords and ad copy will help SEO teams to optimize meta descriptions and website content.

Sharing information on what keywords campaigns are covering will also prevent the doubling up of efforts – for example, as organic keyword positions improve, there might be an opportunity to pull back PPC activity and reallocate budget to other keywords to increase the overall coverage. Similarly, updates from the SEO team on keywords that are particularly competitive to rank in top positions are an opportunity for PPC to drive incremental conversions. And, on a more fundamental level, by sharing any new or emerging search terms with each other, both SEO and PPC teams can ensure they are up-to-date and reacting as quickly as possible to opportunities.

Select tech that drives collaboration

The next step is integrated technology. Implementing tools that collate and merge data from multiple sources — including PPC and SEO campaigns — will make collaboration easier. That’s not to mention generating a complete overview of collective search operations, performance, and opportunities for businesses.

A holistic and unified dashboard, for example, can provide visibility of combined search performance against KPIs and competitor activity. This enables PPC and SEO teams to identify where there are opportunities and how strategies can be adjusted to leverage them, without duplicating each other’s efforts. Marketers can understand where organic rankings are high, and competitor activity low, and vice versa, which means they know when to reduce PPC activity, as well as opportunities where it can drive incremental conversions over and above what SEO can deliver.

All of this, however, depends on accuracy and usability. Information needs to be reliable and actionable, which means simply joining up the data dots isn’t enough: in addition to robust cleansing, processing and storage, tools must offer accessible visualization.

Although frequently overlooked, clearly-presented data plays a huge part in enhancing everyday activity. Providing a streamlined picture of keywords and performance data is vital, but to ensure teams can pinpoint prime SERPs, accelerate traffic, and increase conversions, businesses also need tools that allow their teams to quickly find and activate key insights.

Don’t forget human checks

Dialing up tech use, however, does come with a word of warning – no matter how smart platforms may be, they can’t entirely replace human experience and expertise. On their own, sophisticated tools bring a range of benefits that go far beyond translating data into a more cohesive and user-friendly format. The most advanced boast immediate alerts that tell PPC teams where their competitors are bidding — or not — and use artificially intelligent (AI) analysis to deliver a cross-market, sector, and classification perspective on SEO activity.

Human knowledge is still paramount to steering search campaigns in the right direction and picking up on the nuances that machines miss. For instance, problem-solving machines might take the quickest path to objective completion for certain pages or messages, but seasoned search professionals may see the potential for longer-term uses that deliver higher incremental value.

As a result, organizations must avoid the perils of over-reliance on their marketing tools. By persistently applying manual reviews and checking automated conclusions against human knowledge, they can tap the best of tech and people power.

Today’s marketing leaders are grappling with multiple uncertainties, but when it comes to search, the way forward is clear. PPC and SEO are complementary forces; producing deeper insights and higher returns together, as well as minimizing risk. By connecting the two and taking a considered approach to data-driven search strategy, businesses can ensure campaigns are strong enough to succeed in the new normal and take on whatever tomorrow brings.

Asher Gordon is Head of Paid Media at Tug. He leads a multi-disciplined media team who plan, buy, and deliver integrated media plans for a diverse set of clients. With over 10 years experience working across multiple markets and brands at PHD and Wavemaker, Asher works with clients to better their marketing goals and drive their business forward.



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Guide to using interactive 404s to boost your SEO

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30-second summary:

  • Reducing bad user experience of 404 errors by branding and customizing them.
  • Including links to 404s allow users to navigate the website even when they come across a potential dead end.
  • Boost SEO by placing your sitemap, homepage tab, and search bar.
  • Usage of conversational language along with attractive visuals reduces user’s contempt and frustration.
  • Mention of blog on your customized 404 error page promotes your intellectual prowess for possible users who might be interested in your content.
  • Amanda Jerelyn shares some amazing methods to improve the SEO of your site even through 404 pages.
  • Lastly, some tips to help you avoid 404 errors wherever possible.

Bad user experience can lead to your website’s demise and can also adversely affect your website rankings. This is why 404 errors are considered deplorable when taking into their perspective regarding both user experience and the search engine rankings of your website.

However, there are ways through which you can use 404s to boost your SEO, as in some situations, it is not a broken link but an error by the user that can cause them.

A 404 can be generated when a user types in a faulty address, and this may result in an error being generated on their browser that may look bad, but you can definitely address the situation.

According to a recent study conducted by Gomez, a commercial platform that runs tests for web performance, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience.

In the light of this information, let us take a quick look at some of the ways you can use 404s to negate such inferences and strengthen your SEO.

1. Add links to them

Creating interactive 404s - Add links

Screenshot Credits

Perhaps one of the best ways to make use of 404s is to design them so that it can link random internal pages from your website. This will allow you to get more website pages indexed through your 404 error pages. This can be achieved by running an algorithm that can help you to link out to a random number of internal pages.

Hence whenever a 404 page is generated, the links also change each time. According to Neil Patel’s own practice, he was able to boost TechCrunch search engine traffic by 9% in just a matter of 30 days. As far as search engines go, Google itself encourages developers to create custom 404 pages.

Since it is a standard HTML page, developers can customize it the way they want to, hence adding links to 404 pages shouldn’t be a big hassle.

2. Brand and customize them

Creating interactive 404s - Brand and customize

Screenshot Credits

The inconvenience user experiences when they run into a 404 can be quite infuriating; however, this is also a moment where you can use creativity to capture their attention. By branding and customizing your 404 pages, one can actually boost their website revenues and increase their conversions.

However, this might involve additional effort where a 404 page has to be properly designed and optimized in order to turn lost visitors into loyal customers. A standard 404 page doesn’t look good at all. In fact, it seems like coming for an era that was far less progressive. We understand that visuals play a huge role in attracting customers.

Several social media and marketing statistics proclaim the power of visuals, such as the fact that 96% of online shoppers watch a video about a product or a service before making a decision and that 88% of marketers prefer visuals in their published content.

So why refrain from using visuals and not branding your 404s? The answer is that you should definitely not only brand them but also customize them to make them even more appealing for your users.

3. Put in a search bar

Creating interactive 404s - Add a search bar

Screenshot Credits

Another great tactic to follow with your 404 pages is to add in a search bar. This is further reflected by the study published by the Search Engine Journal, where 81% of users think less of a brand if it’s outdated, and that 40% of users consider search box as the most important feature.

Therefore this should be plenty of reasons for you to make this change happen. A search bar added to your 404 is like sweet candy to a small kid who just dropped their ice-cream.

Surely it is not what they were expecting, but with the power of search in their hands, they can begin their adventure anew. Plus, a nice consolidating message to go along with it would also work wonders.

It is all about compensating for the error they just ran into. Hence you are covering damages and making it easier for your users to recover from them.

4. Include mentions of popular landing pages

Creating interactive 404s - Add popular landing pages to encourage engagement

Screenshot Credits

Remember that your main goal is to create attention for your online users and direct them to your most profitable and viable landing pages. Hence even when your customers accidentally land themselves on a 404 error page, you can continue your efforts to divert their attention from the error and towards your most popular products and services. It is like a never-back down approach.

Sure, you would be offering them some comforting words to soften the impact created by the error. However, marketing is all about never quitting. Hence your 404 actually becomes like a landing page. It is true no one would actually land on a 404 with intention.

However, when they do, you will be prepared for them to divert the traffic to the most popular pages on your website. This can downright act out as a recommendation for your users. According to a recent report by McKinsey and Company, 35% of Amazon’s and 75% of Netflix’s revenues are generated by their recommendation engines, respectively.

5. Place your sitemap

Creating interactive 404s - Place your site map

Screenshot Credits

If you are from the SEO side of things and adept in the knowledge that encircles the mastery of search engine rankings, then you know for sure that sitemaps can be extremely good for your websites. Since they are listed in search control, there is no doubt that Google does pay attention to them. Hence it would be great for your 404s to include a sitemap on them.

This will allow users to easily navigate through your website without leaving your website or going back to the SERPs (search engine result pages) to start their journey all over again. Hence you would be effectively reducing pogo-sticking. This will thus enhance your users’ dwell-time.

6. Use conversational language

Creating interactive 404s - Use conversational language

Screenshot Credits

It must be pretty obvious by now that a remedy for a 404 lies in offering users a human touch that softens their impact, and this can be further augmented with the use of conversational language.

You want your customers and website visitors to feel less infuriated, and in order to do that, you need to spread out some comfort for them so that they do not feel agitated.

This can be reflected by a recent study by Business 2 Community, where they emphasize the use of conversational marketing. According to the study, 79% of consumers are willing to use messaging apps for customer service, 82% consider immediate response as extremely important, and 36% of companies are actively using live chat for marketing and sales.

Hence the idea over here is to make your users feel as if you are directly speaking to them, and this can help break the ice and reduce the tension created.

7. Get to homepage tab

Creating interactive 404s - Homepage tab

Screenshot Credits

Probably one of the easiest get around for your 404 pages is to link back to the homepage. What you are doing is here is giving your customers the easiest route to start their search all over again without letting them go and trying to keep them on your domain.

8.   Mention your blog

Mention your blog

Screenshot Credits

Blogs are considered a good choice for your audiences as well. While they may not be good for directly influencing their behavior, they can certainly create awareness that your domain does publish interesting content that users might find interesting to read.

It’s just a small nudge in the right direction. Obviously, customers who are looking to buy products or hire services would like to be directed to their requested pages, but mentioning your blog on a 404 is like saying, “hey there, we have more in store for you!”

Many students nowadays also go through blogs while they buy research papers online to increase their pool of knowledge relating to their field of study.

9.   Avoiding the 404 Error

Lastly, I would like to share some guidelines with you to help you avoid 404s where you can possibly manage to reduce them. This will only make your user experience skyrocket and help negate dissonance from users. Here are some quick tips:

  • Log into your Google Search Console account.
  • Check the Coverage report to see how many URLs are returning error codes.
  • Use the URL Inspection Tool to find more details about each error.
  • A 301 redirect is considered a good option for rectifying a 404 status.

Why are we doing this after all of the discussion above? This is because having too many 404s can prove to be detrimental to your user’s experience. Hence if you are notified about their existence, you should resolve them.

Conclusion

The 404 error codes undoubtedly leave a negative impact on your users and visitors. However, there are various ways you can make them add value for your customers.

I hope this post was able to offer you some meaningful ways through which you can use 404s in an interactive manner to boost your website’s SEO. For more questions regarding the topic, please feel free to post your queries in the comment section below.

Amanda Jerelyn currently works as a Marketing Manager at Dissertation Assistance, a perfect place for students to buy academic writing services from expert dissertation writers UK.  During her free time, she likes to practice mindful yoga to keep herself fit and healthy.



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