How to Use Moz for SEO

Sam Rose - Head of Content

Sam Rose

7th December 2021

There are so many tools you can use to help with your SEO efforts, but sometimes it can feel like a lot of effort (not to mention expense) using a new platform and finding your way around it in order to get the most value from it. Here we will introduce you to Moz - what is it, why could it help you with your SEO, and how can you get started? Read on to find out.

 

What Is Moz?

Moz.com is an SEO tool that helps you to track your website’s performance in SERPs and keep an eye on your competitors. It also features a keyword tool to help you decide which search terms you would like to target. Features such as Link Explorer and Keyword Explorer are available for free, but to track campaigns you’ll need a Moz Pro account.

Not only is Moz a very useful tool, but the website also features a whole host of resources to help you sharpen your SEO skills, such as the SEO Learning Centre, The Beginner’s Guide To SEO, and the Help Hub, which explains how to use Moz itself.

 

Why Is Moz Useful For SEO?

If you’re looking to improve your online presence and SEO is part of that strategy, an SEO platform can greatly help your efforts. There are a few to choose from, including Google Analytics, SEMRush and Ahrefs, and each comes with different benefits. While Google Analytics is a staple for any online activity related to your website, you can take your SEO further with a specialised platform. Moz is a good choice because it is easy to use and navigate, and offers a range of features to help you track your progress and compare your website with your competitors over time, as well as plan your future SEO strategy.

 

What Can You Do In Moz?

Let’s break down just a few of the features available in Moz:

Moz Pro Campaigns: Rankings

Within your Moz Pro Campaign, you’ll be able to see how your website is ranking for the keywords you are tracking. To set this up, you need to create a campaign by entering your website URL and connecting your Google Analytics account, and then enter the keywords you would like to target. You can also add labels to keywords, which helps you to filter your view and see how different types of keywords are performing - such as “Branded” or “Location”.

On the rankings page, there is an overview at the top of the page that shows the movement of your website in the rankings for your keywords, and how many featured snippets you appear in. Scrolling down, your Tracked Keywords Overview gives you a closer look at individual keywords. It shows the monthly volume for each, where you're ranking for them, whether you've gone up or down in the rankings, and which URL is being used to rank for that keyword. The latter is useful so you can see whether the URL you're ranking for is the best one for that keyword - is that really the page you'd like users to land on when using that particular search term, or should you be optimising another page to get a more appropriate URL to rank instead?

For rankings, at SilverDisc we don't base our entire SEO strategy around this, and we believe rankings aren't the be-all and end-all in terms of performance. After all, what good is ranking highly if people are clicking through but not making a purchase? It's best to keep your goals in mind and use those to determine how well your SEO is going - such as revenue or transaction goals. However, it is still useful to see how well you are ranking for keywords so you can see where you may need to improve - especially to get into those all-important featured snippets and increase the space you take up on SERPs.

 

Moz Pro Campaigns: Links

Another very useful part of your Moz campaign to set up is your competitors. When you create your campaign you’ll be prompted to enter URLs and names of your competitors so that their performance can be tracked alongside yours in the Links section. The Links section of Moz shows a range of statistics for your website and your competitors so you can see where you need to improve in order to stay competitive. Here is a breakdown of the statistics and what you should take from them:

  • Domain Authority - The definition of DA is “a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.” So while DA doesn’t affect your rankings in Google, it is an indicator of performance. Typically, it’s a good idea to aim for a DA of at least 30.
  • Spam Score - The percentage of sites with similar features that have been found to be penalised or banned by Google. This does not mean that the site is spammy. It’s best to use this as a guide to potentially spammy sites for further investigation. All being well, your website will likely have a very low spam score, but this is a useful metric when investigating other websites - especially if you’re considering them as part of your link building strategy.
  • % of total links, external + follow - The percentage of all links to the website which are external and follow, rather than internal or nofollow. As external, follow links can help with SEO, the percentage of links that meet this description would ideally be as high as possible.
  • External, Followed Links - Followed links to the site from other sites (there is no "nofollow" tag added to the link).
    • This is a very helpful metric, as this is the type of link that can greatly help with SEO. If your website has a significantly lower number of external, followed links than its competitors, you’ll need a good link strategy to address this.
  • Internal, Followed Links - Followed links within the site (there is no "nofollow" tag added to the link).
    • This metric gives us an idea of the size of each website. All other things being equal, large sites tend to perform better than small sites. If your website has a lot less of this type of link, it’s a good idea to prioritise adding more content to your website and ensure each page has a good number of links to it within your site.
  • External, NoFollowed Links - Nofollowed links to the site from other sites (there is a "nofollow" tag added to the link and it is therefore not valuable for SEO).
    • Nofollowed links are not useful in terms of gaining “link juice” to rank more highly with Google. It’s true that users can still click through these links so they do serve a purpose, but having a lot of nofollow links isn’t very helpful for SEO. In some cases, it may be worth trying to negotiate a removal of the nofollow tag.
  • Internal, NoFollowed Links - Nofollowed links to the site from within the site (there is a "nofollow" tag added to the link and it is therefore not valuable for SEO).
    • You shouldn’t have internal, nofollowed links on your website, since that indicates that you don’t trust pages on your own site. Luckily as this is under your control, you can work to change any nofollow internal links to follow.
  • Followed Linking Domains - The number of domains with at least one followed link to the site.
    • This is a very helpful metric because if this number is significantly lower than your competitors’, you will see that you need a good link strategy to address this.

 

Keyword Research

Type a search term into Keyword Explorer to see its monthly volume, ranking difficulty, and organic click-through rate. This page will also provide you with keyword suggestions, so you can type in your search term and gather ideas for similar keywords.

You can also explore keywords by site - type in the URL and Moz will show you the top ranking keywords for that website.

Also under Keyword Research, you can find out who your true competitors are - which websites are showing for the same search terms as you?

 

Link Research

Type a URL into Link Explorer to see a website’s Domain Authority, linking domains, inbound links and ranking keywords. This is useful if you would like to see information about a website without adding it to your campaign or as a competitor.

Within the Link Research section of Moz, you can also compare link profiles and view other link information, such as Discovered and Lost. This shows you the recent links a website has gained or lost, so you can see who has started linking to you and where you used to have links but no longer do (and then try to get them back if appropriate).

 

The majority of information you can see in Moz can be downloaded as a PDF or a spreadsheet so that you can present it to stakeholders or analyse it further.  

These are just a few of the tools available in Moz. There is a lot to learn about the platform in order to get the most out of it, but when you work with a digital marketing agency like SilverDisc, we use tools such as Moz on your behalf. We create campaigns for the websites we work on so that we can monitor performance in SERPs, report back, and devise an SEO strategy that will help you reach your business goals, based on your unique data.

If you would like any help with your SEO, get in touch with SilverDisc.

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