Business can be a lot like an Olympic race; being world class isn't good enough, to be successful you have to out-perform your competitors.
Nowhere is that more true than search engine optimization, when results are quite literally about your position in a league table. You simply cannot win by focusing exclusively on your own site, you have to know what your competitors are doing.
One of our favorite ways of staying on top of the competition is Moz — you may know it by its old name SEOMoz — but it's still the indispensable tool that it's always been. Moz gives you the ability to treat SEO like the competition it is, to monitor your rivals, learn when you're gaining on them, when you're slipping back, and when you're leaving them in your wake.
Have you looked at a competitor and thought, "How are they doing so well?". With Moz you don't need to wonder anymore, competitor analytics show you exactly what your rivals are doing, how they're being picked up and what you can do to match, and even exceed them. Of course, knowing how your site is performing is only half the battle, if you want to address problems — or avoid creating new ones — you need to know the why as well. Moz has several tools to automatically assess your site and score you on your SEO effectiveness.
Link Research & Analysis
Link Research & Analysis lets you inspect your competitor's links, and social data. If they're doing it, and succeeding as a result, you need to start doing it to.
Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explorer will track your backlinks, as well as your competitors. An influential blog driving traffic to your competitor? Discover the link, check what their interest is, and approach them yourself.
Fresh Web Explorer
As well as backlinks, it's important to spot any other mentions. Social Media can be a minefield for many brands, with many users trolling behind your back; Fresh Web Explorer shows you all mentions, good and bad so you can respond accordingly.
Moz focuses on showing you not just the current state of play, but your performance over time, so you can judge trends, monitor the affects of changes and keep your results moving upwards.
Link analysis helps you keep an eye on your competitor's links and helps you find opportunities to expand your own link range. This is increasingly vital as Google push their emphasis to natural links.
How is your site performing on Google right now? How about Bing? Not sure? Then you need Rank Tracking, which will tell you exactly where you are right now.
On-Page Optimization will look at your site and grade it for SEO effectiveness. No more puzzling over the reason you've dropped to page 2.
SEO Web Crawler
How sure are you your site is accessible to crawlers? It's amazing how many sites fall down on the basics, SEO Web Crawler will make sure yours isn't one of them.
Social media monitoring
Analysing social media is easy with Moz too. Watch who's talking about you, and connect with power-users. Do you know the best time of day to tweet? You will with Moz, and that data helps you build lasting relationships for long-term social media success. Most importantly Moz shows you our social media impact in the context of your site.
Twitter Analytics analyses exactly when and who is online of your followers helping you to determine the best time of day to push out new posts. Ensuring that you get the best reception for your hard work.
Campaign Tracking is your one-stop-shop for whole campaigns. It's a place to pull together all of your data and analyse your SEO footprint.
But Moz isn't just a toolset, it's a fully rounded resource ideal for beginners and advanced SEO professionals alike.
Twice monthly training webinars lift the lid on SEO best practices and teach you to fully understand the how and why of your site's performance.
The Q&A Forum is the perfect place to find the answer to that question.
Comprehensive Q&A Database
If it's something you're asking, chances are it's been asked before. The answers are all here, you've just got to look.
Advanced Online Marketing Guides
Advanced Online Marketing Guides give you the professional view of SEO, and make sure that you know exactly how to out-perform your competitors.
The Moz SEO community is 300,000 strong and growing. Become a part of it and see your site's performance really take off.
Free for 90 days
We're thrilled to be able to say that the generous people at Moz have agreed to give WebdesignerDepot readers an amazing 90 days of free access to their Pro toolset — that's almost $300 of SEO optimization at your fingertips!
Moz includes a plethora of great tools, and surprisingly, many are completely free for everyone, 365 days a year. Pro subscribers also get access to some of the best tools available for SEO: Fresh Web Explorer; Rank Tracker, On-Page Grader; and Keyword Analysis. It's those Pro tools that you're going to be able to use free of charge for 90 days.
All you've got to do to take advantage of this amazing offer is to sign up with Moz using this link and get ready to start winning the SEO race.
Have you taken advantage of this 90 days for free offer yet? Which of Moz's tools are you most looking forward to trying? Let us know in the comments.
Ben Moss has designed and coded work for award-winning startups, and global names including IBM, UBS, and the FBI. When he’s not in front of a screen he’s probably out trail-running.