Google wants the best content to win.
When a person clicks on the Page 1 results from a Google search and finds useful information, that constitutes a win.
As shared in previous posts, Google’s increasing emphasis on content over technical gamesmanship is a good thing for communications professionals.
Still, there’s more to it than crafting 500 words that would make Faulkner smirk and flinging the narrative into the online sphere. The Google algorithm depends on numerous signals that determine quality of content as well as relevance to the search query.
To gain familiarity with the core signals, PR folks can download a slick free tool called the MozBar. Teaming with your browser, the MozBar automatically pulls in key SEO metrics that reduce the time you would otherwise spend on manual research for SEO planning.
In short, MozBar will help you increase traffic to the online asset.
For example, we support the blog for a B2B company called Endicia (online shipping software). When it came time for the Endicia blog team to draft the annual shipping carriers’ rates comparison blog post, it was critical for this post to land high on the SERP (search engine results page).
Before team members started the writing process, they conducted an analysis of the competition on Page 1 for the search phrase, “FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS” and adjusted their SEO strategy accordingly. Depending on the domain authority of the websites on Page 1, they may have had to select a different focus keyword so the post would have a fighting chance for Page 1 visibility.
Thanks to the MozBar, this type of arduous research is now available at a glance. Again, using the Endicia search phrase “FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS,” here’s snapshot of the SEO metrics in the MozBar (you can see our client’s post in the No. 1 position):
In short, you’re seeing:
- Page Authority
- Domain Authority
- Total Links (internal and external)
When you click to the website’s page, you’ll find the nitty gritty, which includes:
- Social Media Shares (Facebook, Twitter and Google+)
- On-page Elements (title tag, meta description, alt tags, etc.)
- General Attributes (page load time, country/location, Rel= “canonical,” etc.)
- Link Metrics (external followed links, linking root domains, etc.)
- Markup (Google Authorship, Twitter Cards, Schema.org, etc.)
- Http Status
- Customized results by location and browser (Google, Bing and Yahoo!)
- “Link Analysis” option that takes you to Moz Open Site Explorer
You can download the MozBar, in around 120 seconds:
- Download the toolbar on either Chrome or Firefox. You have the option to download on either browser, but you should choose Chrome to have the newest version of the tool.
- After you click on “Download,” the following screen will pop up, and you will need to click on “Add to Chrome.”
- Once installed, the MozBar will be present at the top of your browser, as such:
As one of our common uses for the tool, we’ll identify the keyword utopia for a given post. Then, we’ll use the MozBar to scope out the competition visiting the top 5 website page results that have a similar or higher domain authority than our client’s website. This way, we can reveal the keywords used for each page’s title tag, meta description and URL as well as the number of external links.
In addition, by analyzing the SEO foundation of an existing successful post, you can apply these lessons learned to improve future posts.
Our Endicia blog team recently used this approach to ensure that the new shipping carriers’ rates comparison blog post was just as successful as the equivalent article from the previous year. While drafting the blog post, they used the MozBar to identify the SEO elements of the 2014 blog post — keywords in URL, meta description and links — that made it a success. Via this strategy, in just a few months, the post secured the No. 1 spot on the SERP for numerous focus keywords and phrases.
For those interested in coming up the curve in SEO, the MozBar makes for a good starting point.
As I shared during my talk at the Holmes Report Innovation Summit earlier in the year, SEO often intimidates PR pros.
Familiarity breaks down this barrier.
Note: I want to recognize Sara Staffaroni, part of our Endicia blogging team, who did the heavy lifting for this post.