If you know me, you know I’m hyper-critical of the software, data, and products Moz releases. My usual response to someone asking about our tools vs. others used to be to give a rundown of the things I like about the competition and why they’re great, then look down at ground, shuffle my feet in embarrassment, and say “and Moz also has a good tool for that.”
But Keyword Explorer (and the progress Moz Pro & Local have made this year) brings out a different behavior in me. I’m still a little embarrassed to admit it, but admit it I must. KW Explorer is the best keyword research tool in the market, period*.
But we are never satisfied, so today, it’s getting even better with the addition of some killer new functionality.
#1: Rank checking inside KW Explorer lists
First on the list is the ability to easily see whether a given domain (or URL) already ranks on page 1 for any of the keywords on a list. Just enter a domain or page, hit “check rankings,” and the Rank column will fill in with your data.
Why is this crucial?
Because many of us who do keyword research need to know whether to add a list of keywords to our “already visible/getting traffic” set, or to the “in need of content creation or optimization” set. This feature makes it simple to build up a multi-hundred keyword list for targeting, and quickly include or exclude the keywords for which we’re already ranking page 1 (or above/below any given position). This column now appears in the CSV export, too, so you can mash up and filter the data however you’d like.
Quick aside: If you have a keyword list with expired SERPs (after 14 days, KW Explorer assumes that Google’s results may have changed substantially enough to invalidate the prior Difficulty & Opportunity scores), you’ll get this experience when checking rankings. Just refresh the keywords on the list to fetch the latest SERPs and you’ll be good to go.
But, of course, there’s also the need to get more ranking data — the ranking positions beyond page 1, tracking over time, comparison to competitors, etc. And that’s why, we’ve also added…
#2: Send keywords directly from a list to Pro Campaigns for rank tracking
Undoubtedly, our most-requested feature of the summer was the ability to import a list (or selected keywords from a list) over to a campaign to track. The previous export/import system worked, but it was an unnecessary hassle. Today, you can simply use the “I want to” menu, choose “Add XYZ to Campaign,” and then select which campaign you want (or create a new one).
The keywords will auto-magically copy themselves into your campaign, using whatever default settings you’ve got for rank tracking (US-English, Google.com is most common, but you can rank track in any country or language).
Why is this crucial?
Because once you know the keywords you’re targeting, you need to know how you’re performing over time, how your competition’s doing on those terms/phrases, and how the rankings are changing to include or exclude various SERP features (yup, as of August, we also track all the SERP features in Pro Campaigns).
The challenge, of course, is that you’ve got to know which keywords are worth targeting in the first place, and how relatively important they are, which is why we’ve worked like mad to deliver…
#3: Better, more accurate keyword volume and coverage than ever
(that’s way, way frickin’ better than whatever Google AdWords is doing with their “low spending” accounts)
Russ Jones and the Keyword Explorer team have been going full-force on a new, more powerful solution to replacing Google AdWords’s weird, imprecise, always-30-days-or-more-behind keyword data with better information. We started working with clickstream data (searches and click patterns gathered from browser extensions, anonymized, and sold to us by various folks) early this year; Russ wrote a detailed account of the process here.
But now our volume numbers are even better, with the addition of dramatically more data via a partnership with the awesome crew at Jumpshot. Their clickstream-based search behavior, plus what we get from other sources, combined with our modeling against AdWords’ impression counts on real campaigns, gives us higher accuracy, more coverage, and faster recognition of volume trends than ever before.
Why is this crucial?
When you enter a term or phrase into Keyword Explorer, you can now expect that we’re providing the best, most accurate volume ranges available*. Marketers need to be able to trust the numbers in their keyword tools, or else risk prioritizing the wrong search terms, the wrong content, and the wrong investments. We have confidence, thanks to our test comparisons, that the volume ranges you see in KW Explorer’s ranges will match real volume for the prior 30 days 95%+ of the time.
In the months ahead, Russ will have more to share comparing Moz’s keyword volume data to AdWords’ and, hopefully, an external API for search volume, too (especially after all the resounding requests on Twitter).
If that wasn’t enough, we’ve also added volume numbers to Pro Campaigns, so you can see this high-quality information in the context of the keywords you’re tracking.
Not too shabby, eh?
Let’s get real. Moz had a number of years where getting one change to one product, even a small one, felt like pulling teeth. It took forever. I think you could rightly point at our software and say “What’s going on over there?” But those days are long gone. Just look at all the useful, quality updates in 2016. This team is firing. on. every. cylinder. If you work on Moz’s software, you should be proud. If you use our software, you can feel like you’re getting your money’s worth and more. And if, like me, you tie far too much of your self-worth to the quality of your company’s products, well, even you can start holding your head high.
Rock on, fellow Mozzers and Moz subscribers. Rock on.
* In the English-language market, that is; outside of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia (where we get Jumpshot and other clickstream data), the suggestions aren’t as comprehensive and the volume numbers are often missing. Sadly, it’ll probably be this way for a while as we’re focusing on English markets for the time being, and will need to find and make deals with clickstream providers in each country/language in order to match up.