Optimization Targets – New SEO Feature

I am happy to announce on a new feature, called Optimization Targets, we just added to sheerseo. I believe this is a very important feature which combines the main features we have in sheerseo. It reflects the entire SEO process, of picking up the right keywords, then optimizing both on page and off page SEO, and finally iteration of tracking and adjusting the SEO for those selected keywords. Even better, you’ll be able to correlate the efforts done for this keyword to results that were achieved.

Choosing the Keywords

Some people use sheerseo to track hundreds of keywords, which is great, but eventually, you can only focus your main work on a limited number of keywords. This is what this step is all about.

So, first thing is to go to the new screen, called “Optimization Targets”. Which is right under the rankings screen, and look at the suggestions at the bottom right part of the screen. Here is how it looks like for our website:

Optimization targets - keyword suggestions

Optimization targets – keyword suggestions

As you can see, the suggestions in this case show you information that helps you decide on what keywords you should focus on. Here, the information includes keywords and your site’s rank for them in Google results. Also, you can see the number of times this Google page was viewed. So, for example, if you rank 15, this is page 2 in google results, and the impressions number in this case mean the number of times the second page was viewed by users for this keyword. The “localization” is here, because it is an integral part of the keyword. Each keyword ranks differently in different countries.
This information will show up for Advanced and Professional users that integrated Google Search Console (formarly Google Webmaster Tools) into sheerseo. Users who integrated Google Analytics will see less information, and more basic users will see just the keywords they picked up in the rankings screen and their rankings.
Each keyword you choose here is called Optimization Target, and this is limited, depending on your account level (limits are 2 per standard and light, 10 per advanced account and 20 per pro account ), so choose wisely which keywords you want to focus on.
Few ideas on what should be focused:
1. Keywords that are most vital to the business in terms of value.
2. Keywords that have been neglected so far. If you see a suggestion that you never targeted so far and it has potential, than this might be an easy win.
3. Keywords that are on the top of the Google page. For example a keyword that you rank 11th, might have a great benefit if it advances to first page.

On Page SEO

OK, now you have chosen your optimization targets, and you see some information for them, like here:

Optimization targets - on page SEO

Optimization targets – on page SEO

As you can see, each optimization target shows a score for On Page Optimization. This score reflects how well this page is optimized for that keyword. If you’ll press the link on the score, you’ll be able to see details of how the score was calculated. You can then work to optimize this page, and check again by pressing the refresh button next to the score. In the above image, it looks like “seo software tool” has a low on page optimization score of 50, so it is a good candidate for optimization.

Off Page SEO

As you all know, off page SEO, is mostly about getting good backlinks. Here we measure and track the citation flow and trust flow of your page. Those are numbers between 0 and 100 of how well your page is perceived by Google, according to the backlinks  to it. Are they coming from strong sources (citation flow), and are they coming from reliable sources (trust flow). See example here:

Optimization targets - off page optimization

Optimization targets – off page optimization

Another measure you can see here is the number of backlinks. This shows the amount of backlinks per this speciffic URL, not your entire site. Those figures will update weekly, so you can see the progress.

If you want to use sheerseo to do something useful in order to add more backlinks, you can try the “blog reviews” feature. If you look at the right most column of the optimization targets table, you’ll see an icon with a “B” on it. Pressing it will lead you to the a blog review, with the details of the optimization target already populated. It is a good way of getting good backlinks . Just recently I used it for our website and easily got 2 great bloggers to talk about our product, so don’t miss this one.

Optimization targets - blog reviews

Optimization targets – blog reviews

Let’s Examine the Results

So we did all we could, and we want to see progress. This takes time. Google scans pages depending on their value, so some pages might be scanned daily, and some are scanned every 4 months. So, it might take months for the changes you did to be noticed by Google. SEO needs patience.
The Optimization Targets let you track your progress per each of the optimization targets. Let’s see how.

Optimization targets - seo tracking

Optimization targets – seo tracking

As you can see above, we got the rank, the impressions, and finally, the ultimate goal of the visits to our website here. Those of you with basic packages will only see the rankings. Would be great to correlate that to the process you done with the on page and off page optimization, wouldn’t it. In the future, I plan to allow adding some kind of log per optimization target, so you can write the actions you did per each date.

Hope you enjoy this feature, it took us more than half a year to develop it.

RIP – Google PageRank

Sadly, Google decided to stop the support of their Toolbar PageRank. For years, we were able to see Google’s score for each page over the web. On April 2016, two months ago, that stopped. So we can’t tell what is the Google PageRank anymore. Not just us, no one can.

So, we replaced the Google PageRank with the indications we get from Majestic SEO. They scan all the links in the internet, just like Google does, and provide two scores. One is the Citation Flow, which is somewhat similiar to Google PageRank. It is a number between 0 and 100, where 100 is the best score and 0 is the worst. Another score in the Trust Flow. That is also from 0 to 100. The difference between the numbers is that the Citation Flow shows the strength of the backlinks a page has, and the Trust Flow, indicates how trust worthy the link profile of that page is. So, for example, if a page has strong backlinks from unreliable sources, it might have a high Citation Flow score, but low Trust Flow score.

What we did to accommodate for the loss of the PageRank is to replace it all over our system with Citation Flow and Trust Flow. That includes the Main Referrers screen, the Backlinks Checker, the blogs score in the Blog Reviews section, and the directories score in the Directory Submission feature.

Many More Back-Links in Main Referrers

As probably many of you already noticed, we started showing a lot more backlinks in the Main Referrers screen since last week.
This is due to an upgrade we did, which now takes many backlinks from Majestic SEO.

Another nice feature here is that we show more indications regarding the value of the backlink through data available from Majestic SEO. This is shown in the 2 new columns “Citation Flow” and “Trust Flow”. Citation Flow is something like PageRank, and Trust Flow shows another indication regarding the worth of a link from this page – this time it represent if the website has links that are of value or that outgoing links from this website are often spam. Both citation flow and trust flow have values between 0 to 100, where the higher the number the higher the value of the page.

Here is an example of how the new data looks like:

majesticBackLinks

 

For those of you with the professional packages, this new information regarding backlinks can be very useful if you want to see what your competitors are doing.

Change in Webmaster Tools Integration

As many of our users well know, G. Analytics (and any other tracking software) is not reliable in providing data regarding visits from Google. Which has caused many users to use G. Webmaster Tools for that purpose. Our software allows grabbing data from G. Webmaster Tools regarding the keywords that brought you traffic for the advanced and pro packages. You can see what it gives you here (see the 2 right columns):
google search console integration

Recently, Google has made some changes in G. Webmaster Tools. First, it is now called Google Search Console. Second, we need you to authorize our access to your data. Same way which is already done for G. Analytics.

So, either new or existing users to this data, will need to first allow our software to view the data from Google Search Console and then activate it on our end (basically letting our software know that your data is accessible for us). Now, let’s explain step by step what needs to be done:

  1. Go to Google Search Console (used to be called Google Webmaster Tools): . If you’re not a user for that yet, you’ll need to identify yourself as the site owner. They have a few methods to do that.
  2. Once you’re in the relevant account in the Search Console. Go to settings>Users and Property Owners screen. As seen here:
    google search console integration - select users and property owners
  3. Now, press the “add a new user” button:
    google search console integration - add new user
  4. In the pop up window that is opened, put the user 1097503045745@developer.gserviceaccount.com
    google search console integration - finish add user, and press the “add” button. Note that we only need restricted access. That means we can only view the data, not change it.
  5. You should now see that the user is added to the property. like here:
    google search console integration - user added
  6. Now, last step is to go to sheerseo.com, and activate the G. Search Console integration in settings>domain settings>account details screen. See here:
    google search console integration - activate search console

If all went well, you should see a success message and your data in the rankings screen should be updated (visits and impressions columns).
If there is any problem, contact our support using the contact form.

RIP Google Supplemental Index

We used to show Google Supplemental Index Ratio. That used to allow people to see if they have their PageRank wasted on pages that don’t have a chance of showing up in Google’s results anyhow.
It seems that there is no reliable way these days to pull this information. If I’m wrong, please show me how this can be done.

As a result, we have to remove this feature for now.

Added Webmaster Tools Data to Domains Overview Screen

Well, the title says it all.
This only applies to agencies and master accounts, who have this screen.
The accounts that use the advanced or pro features have data coming also from G. Analytics and G. Webmaster Tools.
We already had data from Google Analytics in the domains overview, and now added also the data from G. Webmaster Tools.
Here is a snapshot of the 2 new columns taken from Webmaster Tools: impressions and visits:
Webmaster Tools Data in Domains Overview Screen

Change at Google Analytics Integration

Google have recently changed something about their API. This forced us to make some changes on our end, and we also need your cooperation.
If you’re using G. Analytics in your SheerSEO account (advanced and pro accounts only), and you’re not using the integration with G. Webmaster Tools (which overrides G. Analytics data since it is more reliable), then you need to make a little change to keep the integration with G. Analytics working.

In short, we need you to authorize access to our new G. account and notify our system that the change is done.
In more detail:
Step 1 – Share G. Analytics Data with Our User:
a. Users page:
Login to your G. Analytics account, select your domain, and go to “Admin” screen. Find the ”View” column (right most column ) and select “User Management”
adding a user to G. Analytics

b. Add Permission
On the second block, add our email (1097503045745-7ngk3ar3qbolhhh8ujika397g2se0bb0@developer.gserviceaccount.com) make sure that the right permission is given and please don’t check the “Notify this user by email”.
If everything is OK, Clicking the “Add” button will immediately add a new row on the block above (users list).
Adding the G. user to analytics
adding google analytics API to SheerSEO software

Step 2 – Notify SheerSEO About the Change
Login to your SheerSEO account and go to “Settings” > “Domain Settings” > “Account Details” screen.

At the bottom of the screen, under the “Google Analytics Activation” section, click the “enable” button.
If everything is OK, the activation section will disappear and the status (marked in green) will change from “disabled” to “active”.
analytics enabling button

If this didn’t work, you’ll see an error message. Failure will probably be caused because the data sharing wasn’t done properly. If all goes well, you should now be able to go to “Rankings” > “Current” screen and see the “Real Clicks” column.

Track Google Mobile Rankings

Google announced this on they blog: “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results”.

What this means for us, the people that take care of the presence of websites in Google’s search results, is that we are forced to make our websites more mobile friendly. I personally hate the idea, since usually being mobile friendly means that the website is stripped from the graphics and the fonts becomes larger. Then, you can’t see all the content in the page in a brief look, and zoom in as I do today. You just see 2-3 paragraphs at a time, and you have to scroll endlessly to see all the content. If I have the option, I always choose to see websites with their regular looks instead. But now, with this recent Google change, most websites will be forced to make those changes.

Anyway, we just launched a new feature that allows you to track websites’ rankings on mobile searches. It could be different then your regular desktop rankings. So now, it is not enough to know how you rank for google. You need to know how you rank also on Google mobile searches. Our new feature enables you to do just that.

Here is how it looks like:
mobile_rankingsNotice that search engine selection box says “Google Mobile”. So, these are rankings for Google mobile and not the regular rankings you see when the search engine selected is “Google”. You can also see the mobile results in the historical data and of course, as always, you can export the data into PDF and CSV reports.

Now for the costs. The mobile collection doesn’t happen by default. You need to specifically activate it, and it doubles your keywords consumption. So, if you have for example a light license, that is limited to 20 keywords. If you activate the mobile collection, you are limited to 10 keywords. As another example, if you now have 13 keywords with a light license, and you want to activate the mobile collection, you’ll need to either expend your keywords limits (by upgrading the license), or delete some keywords, to be within the 10 keywords limit.

To activate the mobile collection, what you need to do is to go to settings>domain settings>account details screen. From there, find the “collect mobile” option, and select “yes”. See here:
activateMobile

It will show a warning message that you are doubling your keywords consumption. You should confirm. Then press submit. That is it. Your mobile rankings will start being collected and you can see them as described above.

Checking the ClickThrough Rate

I wanted to check the click through ratios of organic results in Google. As we published before, here: , we do have some kind of idea of the click through ratios based on some data that leaked from AOL a few years ago. Here it is:
click ratios

But since I never trust anything I didn’t check myself, and sheerseo is unique in having a lot of data regarding both rankings in SERPS, visits from those SERPs and search volume numbers, we are in great position to be able to investigate this information.

So, here is what we got:click through rates

The results are based on about 10,000 keywords, taken from hundreds of domains. The data is based on Google Webmaster Tools for the actual clicks (visits). Note that we can’t use Google Analytics since it is no longer reliable for this information as many of the organic keywords information is not counted. The SERPs is based on our rankings collection of data. The search volume per keyword is based on Google Keyword Planner. One note is that I tried to weed out missleading data like the name of the site as a keyword. For example, sheerseo.com would be clicked more than the average click through rate for the keyword “sheerseo”, but this is unfair.

Now, let’s analyze the data.

  1. You can see that the numbers are lower than the ones we have from AOL. The #1 rank for example, is 26.45% and in AOL it was 42.3%.
  2. Rank 7 is a little higher than 4-6. Not sure why. Could be just an anomaly in the data we used, but might happen since it is many times at the bottom of the page you first see when you get the results, or the fact that even if you scroll to the bottom, #7 will appear, so it is in the screen no matter how you scroll the page. Just trying to understand it.
  3. Notice the big drop from #1 to #2. Life is cruel.
  4. #10 gets less than 20 times the traffic that #1 gets.
  5. #4-#7 are more or less the same. So, no big deal in investing to promote a result that is #7. On the other side, you don’t want it to drop to #8, which gets just half the traffic of #7.

Now, let’s look at SERPs 11-20:Click Through Rates Second Page

Not much to say about this. Just the sad fact that those results get a lot less clicks than the ones in first page. All of them are less then 1% click through rate.

 

Hope you enjoyed this data and hope to hear your thoughts on this.

 

Ayal