ClickZ Enterprise SEO Tools Buyers Guide: Ahrefs Review


ClickZ, Search Engine Watch’s sister site, has launched an innovative new series of buyers guides, created with the aim of cutting through the complexity of the technology landscape to help our community of readers to make better decisions about vendors.

The second guide in the series is dedicated to enterprise SEO tools.

With $80 billion predicted to be spent on SEO services annually by 2020, these software packages play a vital role in helping marketers derive insights from masses of data.

The core component (60%) of the ClickZ SEO tools vendor guide scoring comes from our customer survey, which received over 1200 responses and evaluated technologies across the following six areas:

Scores were awarded across 36 sub-categories, with six grouped under each of the categories highlighted in the image above.

A further 20% of the scoring came from the ClickZ expert advisory board, which features representatives from Vodafone, LEGO, GroupM, and Macy’s.

The author attended interview sessions with all six vendors in the guide, along with at least one other member of the advisory board. The output of these interviews were scores that make up the final 20% of the results seen in the guide.

Ahrefs: Company Profile

Ahrefs has quickly become a staple of many SEO toolkits, based on the depth of its backlink data and the comprehensive nature of its site audit capabilities.

This came through in our survey, with 80% of Ahrefs users stating that they use the tool for backlink tracking. Its approach to this field is sophisticated, taking into account the traffic that backlinks refer to a domain rather than focusing purely on the acquisition of a link in itself. Furthermore, the Ahrefs database has link data from over 220 billion pages across more than 200 billion domains, with 4.1 million pages crawled every minute.

The new technical SEO audit tool is a significant improvement to the platform and helps to position Ahrefs as a real contender in this space. This feature scored particularly well with our panel of industry experts.

Moreover, Ahrefs is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market for keyword research and analysis. Its vast database contains over 6 billion keywords and, combined with a user-friendly interface, this makes it a reliable and helpful platform for both novice and advanced SEOs.

The Ahrefs content index contains over 907 million pages too, which allows for sophisticated and in-depth content ideation. The full scale of the Ahrefs databases can be discovered here.

With a range of further innovations in the pipeline, the company’s ambition now is to provide a comprehensive SEO solution to compete with the established enterprise tools. Built on a robust dataset and an increasingly lengthy list of useful performance tools, Ahrefs is in a great position to become a leader in the enterprise SEO space.

 

Ahrefs: The ClickZ Customer Survey Results

The three areas in which Ahrefs received its highest scores from current customers were backlinks, site audits, and keyword research. In fact, it was the highest scorer out of all the technologies we reviewed for its site audit capabilities.

Ahrefs has continually built out its list of features to encompass all of the areas that matter to the modern search professional. As the platform evolves over time, its commitment to delivering the most consistent and insightful data to customers remains very much intact.

This begins with keyword research, where this vendor boasts a database of almost 6 billion keywords. This was reflected in its scores for this category, which were high for both keyword research and keyword suggestions. Ahrefs also provides users with access to sophisticated SERP analysis tools, which allow for in-depth analysis of performance by content type.

Ahrefs drew particular praise in our review for its updated site audit tool, which can crawl and report on JavaScript-rendered pages. Importantly, this feature integrates well with the other data sources available within Ahrefs, such as the traffic and backlink metrics. As a result, Ahrefs does an excellent job not only of identifying technical errors, but also of demonstrating the impact that rectifying these issues has on performance.

Ahrefs’ Content Explorer tool, which uses data from backlinks, search traffic, and social shares to analyze topics, was a core reason for the platform’s high score for content ideation. The Buzzsumo-esque feature helps with long-tail keyword research, as well as highlighting the topics that resonate with different audiences. As SEO continues to converge with content marketing, this tool proves invaluable for their customers.

It was perhaps no surprise that Ahrefs was a leader in the backlinks section of our guide, as the company established itself on the SEO tools scene based on the strength of its backlink index. Ahrefs has since evolved into a range of new areas and is perhaps underestimated in this regard, but it is worth stating that backlink analysis remains a particularly impressive area of the platform.

This vendor scored well for the reliability of its link tracking and competitor analysis features, too. Ahrefs also contains a proprietary metric to calculate the strength of a website based on the quality and quantity of inbound links it receives, known as Domain Rating.

Overall, this platform provides excellent value for money, with monthly packages available at $99, $179, $399, and $999. A 20% discount is also offered when companies sign up to an annual package.

Ahrefs is also at the forefront of innovation with many of its features, so these packages provide access to a lot of insightful tools for a relatively low level of investment.

Across our panel of experts and a large quantity of current customers, Ahrefs scored very well across all categories and was seen by many as an indispensable SEO tool.



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ClickZ enterprise SEO tools Buyers Guide: BrightEdge review


Search Engine Watch sister publication ClickZ has launched an innovative new series of buyers guides, created with the aim of cutting through the complexity of the technology landscape to help our community of readers to make better decisions about vendors.

The second guide in the series is dedicated to enterprise SEO tools.

With $80 billion predicted to be spent on SEO services annually by 2020, these software packages play a vital role in helping marketers derive insights from masses of data.

The core component (60%) of the ClickZ SEO tools vendor guide scoring comes from our customer survey, which received over 1200 responses and evaluated technologies across the following six areas:

Scores were awarded across 36 sub-categories, with six grouped under each of the categories highlighted in the image above.

A further 20% of the scoring came from the ClickZ expert advisory board, which features representatives from Vodafone, LEGO, GroupM, and Macy’s.

The author attended interview sessions with all six vendors in the guide, along with at least one other member of the advisory board. The output of these interviews were scores that make up the final 20% of the results seen in the guide.

Across all aspects of our technology review, BrightEdge consistently impressed as a leader in the enterprise SEO field and the company’s innovation roadmap looks set to ensure that it will retain this position.

Content produced in collaboration with BrightEdge.

BrightEdge: Company profile

BrightEdge is an established player in the enterprise SEO space, boasting over 50% of the Fortune 100 as current clients. The technology has developed significantly as of late, evident through the introduction of functionalities that address the needs of SEO practitioners beyond rank tracking. Central to this strategic focus have been the development of the company’s proprietary data and the application of machine learning to uncover automated performance insights.

In 2014, the company launched Data Cube, which was the most commonly-cited highlight of the platform by current customers, followed by the strategic insights the technology unveils.

In 2015, the successful launch of its content performance marketing methodology helped shift the ways marketers approached the convergence of SEO and Content Marketing.

The following year, they introduced DataMind, a deep learning technology that powers the prescriptive page optimization recommendations, technical SEO audit and automated new content topic insights.

Recently, the company has taken an AI-first approach that is driven by products like Data Cube and DataMind (deep learning technology that is natively integrated into the platform) and launched an SEO automation application called BrightEdge Insights. This brings together data driven insights into an intuitive interface and presents just a few well vetted actionable recommendations each week. The company provides dedicated customer success manager for every customer, which was reflected in the very high scores the company received in this section of the survey.

BrightEdge covers almost all the bases in our report and covers them very well.

Overall, BrightEdge is the most comprehensive solution in our review for enterprise-level SEO.

BrightEdge: The ClickZ customer survey results

The three areas in which BrightEdge received its highest scores from current customers were innovation, data, and strategic insights. These aspects came through as highlights during the vendor interviews, too. All of the vendors take a slightly different perspective on the future of organic search, with BrightEdge placing emphasis on the importance of AI in deriving maximum value from SEO and content marketing data.

This has led to an extensive innovation roadmap that should see its customers avail of the benefits of both automation and deep learning algorithms.

BrightEdge has invested heavily in its content marketing offering, resulting in the launch of ContentIQ and the deep learning engine, DataMind. As a result, this vendor scored highest for its integration of these content marketing technologies with the core SEO features in the platform. This means that content is tied back to performance metrics, aided by the scope of the company’s index of URLs. BrightEdge was highlighted as a very strong performer when it comes to generating insights to create more effective content.

This vendor has also developed a robust backlink index that drew praise from customers for the competitive insights it provides. Driven by integrations with MajesticSEO and Moz, BrightEdge’s index tracks link activity and ties this back to keyword, traffic, and conversion performance. In particular, customers from larger businesses gave high scores to BrightEdge in this category for its ability to synthesize backlink data with other information sources within one interface. It is also possible to manage backlinks by assigning them a status and delegating the activity to other users within the organization.

BrightEdge also hosts a range of community events, which allow users to meet and discuss newly-launched features, and this contributed to very positive feedback in the customer experience category. Some customers did note that, while the technology is thorough and impressive, it can be expensive if users want to track a lot of keywords across locations and devices. Once more, this decision will ultimately come down the each brand’s perception of the value they receive for their investment.

Combined with the insights drawn from its deep learning technology and the widespread use of automation in the platform, BrightEdge provides a very comprehensive reporting solution. Analytics integrations are also available for all major technology providers. No vendor performed particularly well in the cross-channel insights, which was interesting to note given the increased prominence SEO has assumed in digital marketing strategies.

In summary, BrightEdge performed impressively in both the ClickZ customer survey and in the vendor interviews across the core elements of a modern SEO strategy. It remains the  market leader in the enterprise SEO space.

To find out more information about BrightEdge you can download their ebook ‘How Smart is Your Content?’ here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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ClickZ Buyers Guide | Bid management platform review: Kenshoo


Search Engine Watch sister publication ClickZ recently launched an innovative new series of buyers guides, created with the aim of cutting through the complexity of the martech landscape to help our readers make better decisions about vendors.

The first in the series is dedicated to bid management platforms. With more than $90 billion spent on paid search in 2017, these software packages play a vital role in deriving maximum value from a brand’s digital media budget.

The role of a bid management platform has changed significantly over the past decade, in line with the increasing sophistication of the digital media industry. Although the foundations of a successful paid media management platform remain rooted in the effective spending of AdWords budgets, the modern marketer also requires support for social media advertising, attribution modeling, and cross-channel strategy.

Earlier this week, we profiled Acquisio, one of the leading bid management platforms featured in our buyers guide. In this article, we’re going to look at another leader in the bid management space: Kenshoo.

Kenshoo Company Profile

Kenshoo has been a leader in the bid management space since 2006 and its position as a third-party vendor allows space to innovate and work with clients without the potential for bias to enter the equation. This independence also allows Kenshoo to pursue new, promising channels and functionality that makes it easier for clients to work across channels – scaling, shifting budget, and measuring results across them.

Kenshoo company profile

Our survey revealed Kenshoo to be the market leader for enterprise-level digital media campaigns.

Although this is a highly competitive industry with many worthy contenders, Kenshoo shaded the assessment categories that matter most to advanced search marketers. These included cross-channel campaign management, strategic insight, and paid search automation. The overall scores can be seen in the screenshot below, with 5 being the highest possible score:

Kenshoo performance

Furthermore, Kenshoo’s Creative Manager for search and social adds a further dimension to the platform and places the company in a prominent position as search evolves into a more visual marketing medium.

Overall, Kenshoo’s focus is on developing technologies that make a tangible difference to their customers’ businesses.

The usage levels of its features are monitored constantly and the company’s sizeable team of engineers focuses on delivering the innovations that its customer base craves. It is this approach that leads to developments including highly effective performance forecasts, real-time reporting dashboards, and the ability to load high volumes of campaign data almost instantly.

Kenshoo: The ClickZ and SEW customer survey

Throughout the search industry‘s evolutionary process, Kenshoo has remained at the forefront of innovation. Within our customer surveys, vendor interviews, and expert consultation, Kenshoo was a consistently high scorer and was roundly praised for the features it provides for large, complex accounts.

The three areas in which Kenshoo received its highest scores in our community survey were:

kenshoo

In fact, Kenshoo was the leading scorer out of all platforms in our survey in the cross-channel and bid management categories.

A particular highlight was Kenshoo’s adoption of audience management for prospecting and
remarketing across Facebook and Google. This helps its clients to nurture their audience lists and gain maximum returns on their data.

Due to the development of the industry from a keyword-led approach to intent-driven audiences, this will be a core consideration for brands assessing the vendor landscape.

Search is about much more than bottom-funnel acquisition nowadays, with the advent of much more varied visual formats and the ongoing shift to video. Kenshoo’s support for emerging media formats and channels was seen as a core strength of the technology, particularly its early adoption of both Pinterest and Amazon advertising.

These campaigns can be synthesized into one strategy alongside Search, Shopping, and Social campaigns to provide strategic insight into overall performance. A natural extension of this category, and an area of increasing focus within the industry, is the availability of attribution models that elucidate campaign spend and returns by channels.

Once more, Kenshoo was among the highest scorers in this category as it is host to a range of attribution models and allows for a degree of customization by marketers, based on their company’s weighting of each channel’s significance.

Kenshoo’s bid management algorithms that deliver improved returns on cross-channel budgets also received very high scores in our survey. Recent architectural changes enable clients to analyze millions of keywords in a matter of seconds with no volume limits, a significant benefit when managing large, complex campaigns.

One highlight from the vendor interviews was the ease of use of their new Budget Manager, which allows clients to visually model a range of future scenarios based on their planned media spend across multiple channels, objectives, audiences, product categories and geographies. This capability allows marketers to plan more frequently and to quickly get answers to questions about the impact of their budget.

It is also worth noting that Kenshoo was among the three highest-scoring platforms for client support in our survey. This was driven by the company’s focus on providing expert support for enterprise accounts, with customers citing both the availability and the knowledge of their representatives as notable strengths. Kenshoo also has a large research team, with whom clients can work to dig deeper into search data and uncover new insights.

ClickZ overview: Kenshoo

Kenshoo is an effective technology that contains a multitude of advanced features that will help marketers extract maximum value from their media budget. Moreover, it provides additional value on top of the core bid management algorithms that marketers have come to expect.

By focusing on where the industry is headed and developing features that provide clients with a competitive advantage, Kenshoo looks poised to maintain its position as a market leader in this field for some time to come.

To learn more about our readers’ evaluation of the different bid management platforms featured, follow this link to download the Buyers Guide to Bid Management Tools on ClickZ.



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ClickZ Buyers Guide | Bid management platform review: Acquisio


Search Engine Watch sister publication ClickZ recently launched an innovative new series of buyers guides, created with the aim of cutting through the complexity of the martech landscape to help our readers make better decisions about vendors.

The first in the series is dedicated to bid management platforms. With more than $90 billion spent on paid search in 2017, these software packages play a vital role in deriving maximum value from a brand’s digital media budget.

Within this article, we take a look at one of the leading platforms covered in the first ClickZ buyers guide: Acquisio.

The core component of the ClickZ bid management vendor guide is a customer survey, sent out to the readerships of both ClickZ and Search Engine Watch. It received more than 1,600 responses and evaluated technologies across the following six areas:

6_criteria

The role of a bid management platform has changed significantly over the past decade, in line with the increased sophistication of the digital media industry.

Many of these software packages now employ machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in historical data and use this knowledge to predict future trends.

Based on this insight, budget can be shifted automatically to the areas that will deliver the best returns. This can be achieved across devices, across campaigns, and even across different media channels.

Throughout our survey, one platform that was consistently praised for its ability to deliver these improved results while also providing an accessible interface is Acquisio.

Acquisio: Company profile

Acquisio, which was acquired by Web.com in 2017, actually started life as an agency that developed a suite of proprietary tools. The potential of this technology to improve paid search performance was such that the company soon shifted its focus to specialize in bid management software.

The platform has developed rapidly since then and provides access to advanced machine learning technology to businesses of all sizes. This is primarily achieved through the Acquisio Turing (™) product, which powers predictive bid and budget management across search, social media, and display.

acquisio-people

Through its acquisition by Web.com last year, the company has maintained its focus on the areas that matter for its customers, such as the speed of the user experience, the performance improvements the platform brings to PPC campaigns, and insightful reporting dashboards.

Acquisio core strengths

Within our customer survey, there were some clear strengths highlighted by Acquisio customers. In particular, the platform’s core bid management technology drew praise for its clarity and efficacy. The ability to mirror campaigns across channels and keep this automatically synced over time was frequently noted by clients as a significant positive.

acquisio-stengths

Furthermore, Acquisio customers gave positive feedback on the technology’s reporting dashboards and the support clients are offered. In the case of the latter, Acquisio was among the highest scorers of all platforms reviewed in our survey. During our vendor interviews, the thorough nature of the onboarding and training process was clearly a focus for the company.

As we can see in the chart below (5 is the highest possible score), Acquisio was shown to be a very effective all-rounder in our survey, with the user experience and bid management capabilities both singled out for praise. This diagram shows the average score given to Acquisio across each of our six core assessment criteria:

Acquisio Scores

This compares favorably to the competition, as we can see in the chart below, which shows Acquisio’s score in each of the assessment categories against the average of the other five platforms in the survey.

Bid management, strategic insight, reporting, and user experience all resulted in high performance for Acquisio. Acquisio’s reporting dashboard received particular praise for its intuitive and informative nature, showing performance data from search engines alongside Facebook and Instagram.

Acquisio score

Acquisio automatically moves budget around multiple campaigns and/or publishers to maximize traffic and budget attainment, which has contributed to its positive scores within the cross-channel category.

This vendor also offers some specific tools for SMBs within its Promote product, which simplifies the campaign creation and bid management process. Once more, this adds to the accessible nature of the platform for businesses from SMBs up to enterprise-level digital campaigns.

ClickZ overview: Acquisio

Where Acquisio excels is in its ability to offer advanced search management at a comparatively low price point. This is coupled with an intensive, supportive training program that ensures all team members are able to get the most out of the technology.

Although other platforms in our guide provide a broader range of features beyond the core areas of search and social, marketers need to weigh up how important these factors are when considering a bid management vendor partner.

Acquisio has a clear focus on providing the best possible search and social media marketing platform and it competes very well on these fronts. With a 21 day free trial on offer too, it is an excellent option for marketers looking to take their search strategy to the next level.

To find out more information about Acquisio, you can download their Marketer’s Field Guide to Machine Learning on ClickZ. Or follow this link to download the Bid Management Tools Buyers Guide and learn about our readers’ evaluation of the other platforms profiled.



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Mystified by martech? Introducing the ClickZ Buyers Guide series


Search Engine Watch sister site ClickZ has just launched the first report in its new series of buyers guides, which aims to to disentangle and demystify the martech landscape for marketers.

The guide, which focuses on bid management tools, covers a range of market leading vendors and draws on months of research and more than 1,600 customer reviews.

This will be the first in a series of guides created using the collective knowledge of the ClickZ and Search Engine Watch communities to help our readers arrive at more informed technology decisions.

The modern martech landscape is complex and competitive, making it difficult for marketers to cut through the noise and select the right technology partners.

Our buyers guides are created with the objective of providing a clear view on the areas in which vendors excel, in order to allow our readers to establish successful relationships with the most suitable platforms.

What sets our guides apart is the use of a customer survey to hear directly from current clients of each software package. For the bid management tools guide, we received more than 1,600 survey responses, which has provided a wealth of valuable data across our six assessment categories.

 Graphs in the report are interactive to allow comparison.

The series of guides begins with bid management tools because of the importance these technologies hold in the modern martech stack. Along with deriving maximum value from the $92 billion spent annually on paid search worldwide, these platforms also help marketers manage their display advertising and social budgets, with some even providing support for programmatic TV buying.

This creates a varied landscape of vendors, with some focusing on the core channels of Google and Facebook, and others placing bets on the potential of the likes of Amazon to provide a real, third option for digital ad dollars.

Though the vendors we analyzed share much in common, there are subtle distinctions within each that make them suitable for different needs. A combination of customer surveys, vendor interviews, and expert opinion from industry veterans has helped us to draw out these nuances to create a transparent view of the current market.

Within the guide, you will gain access to:

  • Tips on building a business case for investing in a bid management platform
  • Questions to ask of potential bid management tool partners
  • Profiles of the six vendors we analyzed
  • The ClickZ and Search Engine Watch customer survey results

Follow this link to download the Bid Management Tools Buyers Guide on Search Engine Watch.

 



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Amazon marketing channel more buoyant than Google and Facebook — new research from ClickZ


The Age of Amazon: Maximizing the B2C Marketing Opportunity has also found that only 15% of marketers agree they are using Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to its full potential, while only 17% say they have a fully defined AMS strategy.

The report is based on a survey of more than 250 North America-based business-to-consumer marketers carried out in July 2017, and in-depth interviews with those actively using Amazon as a marketing and sales platform for their own brands or on behalf of their clients.

According to the study, the huge reach of Amazon makes it an increasingly attractive platform for advertisers, with AMS paid search products gaining traction with brands and agencies who are benefiting from impressive return on advertising spend.

As part of the research, ClickZ also carried out an online survey of 1,600 U.S. consumers, looking at usage of Amazon, and comparing research and buying behavior for eight categories of retail including grocery, clothing, home electronics and pet care.

The consumer survey, which was carried out in August 2017, found that 66% of consumers surveyed had bought clothing from Amazon in the previous 12 months, compared to 64% for personal care products and 63% for furniture or home décor.

Only 43% of consumers had bought grocery products through Amazon in the last 12 months though, according to the research, this figure is set to grow as Amazon scales up both AmazonFresh and Amazon Prime Pantry programs following its acquisition of Whole Foods.

Kerry Curran, Managing Partner, Marketing Integration, Catalyst, said: “Today, it’s not enough to simply spend more with Amazon. With multi-factored opportunities for product promotion, brand investment needs to be expertly managed for maximum return.” She added: “In this Age of Amazon, brands must be strategic, savvy, and internally integrated to maximize sales.”

Chris Humber, Head of Search, Catalyst/GroupM, explained why Amazon was well positioned to increase its market share for paid search advertising: “Amazon has transactional data, it knows who you are and what you are purchasing. It’s the Holy Grail, and what Google would like to have, the missing piece that allows Amazon to move from predictive to prescriptive search, so they can recommend proactively.”

The research also explores the use of Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service by consumers, and the extent to which brands are planning for the growth of voice search.

According to the consumer survey, 14% of consumers own an Amazon Echo, and a further 32% are considering it. The marketer survey found that only 15% of businesses have developed Skills on Alexa, with a further 23% of companies planning to do so later this year.

The report is available for download from ClickZ here (registration required).

About Catalyst
Catalyst is a leading digital marketing agency that has focused on search and social marketing expertise for over 19 years. The agency specializes in developing digital solutions that are innovative, effective, and consistently deliver business results for Fortune 1000 companies. Catalyst’s services include search engine optimization (SEO), paid search (SEM), paid social, advanced marketing on Amazon, and more.

Get in touch with Catalyst:
Kerry Curran, Managing Partner, Marketing Integration, Catalyst
Website www.catalystdigital.com
Email: [email protected] 
Phone: +1 617-663-1283

About ClickZ
ClickZ is an online publication that provides cutting edge news and insight to digital marketing professionals and business leaders. Its intelligence division delivers in-depth industry leading research that analyzes key topics affecting digital marketers today.

Get in touch with ClickZ:

Get in touch with ClickZ:
Sam Lawson, Head of North America, ClickZ
Website: www.clickz.com  
Email: [email protected] 
Phone: +1 646-755-7399

 

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