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Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, once wrote:
‘It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data'.
Conan Doyle wrote these words in the late 1800s. Today, they’re as relevant as they were back then, especially when it comes to SEO reporting tools.
It’s easy to think that decisions based on data is a new philosophy, but in truth, making decisions based on data has always been at the centre of how we operate. Data provides logical reasoning, and logical reasoning helps us make smarter choices.
Here are five of the best SEO reporting tools that the internet has to offer, from the SEO go-to guy at Articulate Marketing (that’s me!).
1. Google Analytics (obviously…)
Okay, so back in 2017 Google accounted for more than 96.96 percent of the global desktop search traffic. As for mobile, Google had a 90 percent market share. Google Analytics (GA), then, is the obvious choice when it comes to reporting on SEO. It’s ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’, so to speak.
The most important factor for SEO is organic traffic. You can use Google Analytics to measure your organic search and drill down into key areas, including:
- What content is performing well;
- What keyword phrases people are searching that brings them to your site;
- How long people are sticking around for;
- Visitor demographics.
This is basic data - sure - but, it’s also critical to understanding your website’s overall performance. For example, if you’ve created a buyer persona (if not, stop reading and go create one), you can dig into your demographics to see if you’re hitting the mark. If you’re targeting the wrong people, then M.A.G.G.I.E (make adjustments, go get it energised).
Moz plays a big part in how we do keyword research at Articulate. Their ability to analyse search engine results pages (SERP) data is nothing shy of brilliant. But, gathering data on keywords is only one part of what they offer.
A Moz Pro account gets you access to other SEO tools, including:
- Link explorer - which analyses your link-building capabilities against competitors.
- On-page grader – which provides data and recommendations on how to improve your on-page SEO.
- Rank tracker – which lets you analyse how you’re ranking for up to 50 keywords.
- Fresh web explorer – which lets you explore popular content for particular keywords and topics.
Think of Moz as your go-to SEO reporting platform. Don’t get me wrong, GA is an incredible reporting platform, but Moz is specific to improving your SEO, and it has been built with UX in mind.
Ah, Ahrefs, what a handy piece of kit you are for us SEOs. I love Ahrefs, but for different reasons to Moz. Moz is easy to comprehend, and its strongest features are those that help with content ideation. Ahrefs strongest features, however, lie in website SEO.
The tool is known for its backlink profiling, as well as its competitor benchmarking. You can report on areas like:
- Your backlink profile (this is Ahref’s biggest strength);
- Your domain rating;
- Your referring domains;
- Your new and lost backlinks;
- And your organic keywords, top pages and broken links.
As you may or may not know, backlinks are extremely important for SEO. If you can understand and report on your backlink profile, you can begin to fix issues and build a healthy network of links, which will subsequently improve your overall website performance.
Sitebulb is the go-to tool for website SEO audits. Our sister company, Turbine, recently when through a Sitebulb audit and thanks to the data it flagged, we managed to resolve more than 30 critical issues on the site, including:
- Broken links (internal and external)
- Duplicate content
- Pages without meta-tags
- Poorly placed H1 and H2 tags
- 404 error pages
- Security issues
Thanks to the data pulled from Sitebulb, we bumped Turbine’s domain ranking up 6 points. It is now a more authoritative website.
5. SEO PowerSuite
(Bear in mind that at the time of writing this, SEO PowerSuite is in beta at Articulate. We’re currently experimenting…)
Okay, SEO PowerSuite seems to be, so far, so good. It’s simple. It’s clever. It’s all-encompassing. They have an array of SEO reporting desktop apps available to download and play with for free, including:
- SEO Spyglass – which lets you spy on your competitors and any competing content.
- Rank Tracker – which allows you monitor and report on thousands of targeted keywords.
- Website auditor – which lets you conduct SEO website audits and fix technical SEO issues.
- Link assistant – which helps you build up and monitor your backlink profile.
In short, it’s Ahrefs, Moz, Google Analytics and Sitebulb all smooshed together. It’s the DiCaprio of SEO reporting, and - right now - I just can’t get enough.
(I’d like it to be known here that I don’t work for SEO PowerSuite, nor am I paid to sell their products. I’m just a passionate guy…)
Your website and content go hand-in-hand
SEO is everything these days, and with such an availability of tools at your disposal, it’s essential that you begin tracking, reporting and improving upon your SEO efforts.
That means conducting site audits and fixing technical SEO aspects. It also means doing thorough SEO-keyword research prior to writing and publishing content. In short, SEO is the engine to your digital marketing efforts. Take care of it, and it’ll carry you a for long while down that road.
For more things SEO, check out our awesome SEO guide.
This blog was updated in 2023.