This review is part of the SEO tools comparison report.
Introducing the tool
Moz Analytics is a beta release of the new flagship product from Moz.com – the new name for SEOmoz who have long been regarded as one of the biggest authorities in the SEO space.
The Moz Analytics tool is set to replace the existing “SEOmoz Pro App” tool which we reviewed as part of previous versions of this guide.
Moz Analytics takes a slightly different approach to some of the other tools we’ve looked at. With more of a focus on measuring your efforts rather than actually “doing” and managing your SEO work. At its heart though this is still an SEO tool. Search and links make up over 50% of the functionality within the tool. As with some of the other tools we’ve looked at as part of this report Moz Analytics has reports on social media and brand mentions – for the purposes of this report we’re just going to look at SEO functionality.
Also to clarify at the start one of the biggest misunderstandings some people seem to have had about Moz Analytics- despite its name this isn’t an Analytics platform in the sense of Google Analytics, Omniture or Web Trends. It doesn’t monitor or measure your traffic, rather it pulls in data from other 3rd party and proprietary Moz tools. To that end its highly reliant on Google Analytics – if you’re not using GA you probably won’t get much, if any value from this tool.
Setup & Interface
The first thing you’ll notice when you open up Moz Analytics is the interface. It really does look fantastic, easily the best looking tool we’ve looked at in this report.
Unless I’m mistaken though there’s still no report export feature in Moz Analytics or option to give clients a login to the dashboard. This is a real shame because these are the kind of reports which clients would really like to see.
The setup feels a bit buggy at the moment. Authorisation with Google Analytics didn’t work during the setup procedure so I had to go back into the settings after setting up the new account to select the profile I wanted to track. No big deal, its a beta release after all.
Once I’ve input all my settings I get the message: “We’ll start collecting your data over the next week” – this isn’t really what I want to see when setting up a new tool (especially when reviewing it!). Even the Analytics report when you first load it reads “We are collecting your data now. Check back within 24 hours”. This seems unnecessary given Analytics data can be retrieved directly from the API so as in other tools like Raven you’d expect these reports to be accessible straight away or at least within minutes rather than hours.
This of course isn’t a real issue. 24 hours isn’t long to wait in the scheme of things but in the world of instant gratification from our SaaS services it threw me a bit to be told, right, come back in a day or so and start using it.
Moz Analytics still lets you monitor your rankings using scraped data through their Analytics software. By default this starts to make it look like a much more attractive Raven alternative (Raven Tools having removed their scraped rank tracking last year).
The layout is user friendly and you can track up to 3 competitors rankings. Moz Analytics run rankings once a week. This is fine for client reporting but many SEO’s prefer to run rankings on a daily basis to monitor trends more closely, that’s not possible with Moz even if you want to pay a premium, although this probably won’t be an issue for most users.
Moz Analytics also only monitor rankings in the top 50 results of Google whereas other tools let you run deeper ranking results, discovering keywords which rank on low pages, but which might provide an opportunity. If you need to monitor more keyword rankings, or report on deeper results to see how your rankings are moving on deep pages you might want to checkout Advanced Web Ranking instead.
Previously we said of the Moz (then SEOmoz web app);
“Currently the SEOmoz web app doesn’t offer any link management functionality. It does provide comparative data in its dashboard showing your currently linked profile against the competition. You can also research links using SEOmoz’ link analysis tool Open Site Explorer. “
This is still an issue for me. There’s still no management functionality (Moz Analytics is a reporting tool not a management tool) and the link analysis tool within Moz Analytics doesn’t really offer any additional information over what you would see by running your site through the Open Site Explorer tool and there’s no additional features or integration with other tools from this view so I’m not really sure what purpose it serves here.
As I’ve said in previous versions of this guide the main reason for taking out a SEOmoz subscription in my opinion is the access to Open Site Explorer and I think my views on that remain. Although moz.com’s link data isn’t as up to date as other sources it has become an industry standard with their “authority” metrics being the default measurement for link quality used by most SEO agencies.
I guess it would be nice to get notifications of new links in this view (like you get with LinkResearchTools link alerts), or some indication of how links have influenced rankings.
Moz Analytics have 2 tools for analysing onsite optimisation performance. The on-page optimisation grading tool gives you a “grade” for each page on your site based on onsite ranking factors.
The grades could definitely be useful. They’re based on the frequency with which a target keyword is used in different parts of your web pages so in that respect they’re fairly basic but if you’re analysing a relatively large site this would be a good way to check you’ve actually got your keywords on your pages. Basic, but totally valid and actionable.
Moz Analytics also has a crawl diagnostics tool, similar to Raven, AWR and AnalyticsSEO. Moz’ tool takes a little longer to run than the others but it does a good job of identifying issues and providing succinct recommendations for resolving them. With the crawl tools in all the tools we’ve looked at I’m increasingly thinking that the tool builders are wasting their energy continuing to develop this part of their toolsets when Google’s Webmaster Tools is doing a much better of giving accurate and up to date crawl data now than any of the paid tools we’ve looked at. None the less Moz Analytics has this functionality and beginners will likely find this far more accessible than Google Webmaster Tools.
Moz Analytics pricing ranges from $99 to $599/ month. This price includes access to Moz Analytics with varying usage limits and other Moz tools including Open Site Explorer and Followerwonk as well as full access to the Moz.com community including the ability to ask questions in the Q&A section. You also get sizeable discounts on Moz events.
If you’re just buying this subscription as an SEO tool you might find the price hard to justify as Moz Analytics itself has limited SEO functionality and you’ll probably still need additional tools if you’re managing SEO campaigns for clients to help with reporting and project management.
One of my criticisms of the SEOmoz tools has always been that they felt a bit style over substance. Moz analytics is still a beta product so I’m not going to be too harsh here but the toolset does to me still feel a bit empty and I’m not convinced there’s much of an improvement over the old Pro dashboard which Moz Analytics will replace. However some of the tools are excellent and the content is really useful for keeping you up to date.
According to Moz.com its “The only marketing analytics software that gives you; “all your inbound marketing data in one place” – I’d have to argue this isn’t entirely accurate. I would definitely count email marketing and probably paid search as Inbound channels and there is no mention of these in Moz analytics. If I’m doing a LinkedIn or Facebook ads campaign or distributing a video via YouTube there’s no way to analyse the performance of these channels in the platform at the moment. I’m also surprised more local data hasn’t been built into the dashboard given the acquisition of GetListed last year. It is a slick interface and provides some nice looking reports but for me as an SEO tool or more widely an inbound marketing tool it lacks that most important quality – innovation.
So in all, a Moz.com subscription is still worthwhile for SEO’s but for me Moz Analytics on its own doesn’t justify the entry price.
Go back to the SEO tools comparison report.