10 things to look for in enterprise SEO software: 2018 tool review

by Greg Lee, 30 Jan 2018

A national brand client who had worked with us for several years in SEM decided it was time to get a handle on their SEO. They had several brands and online properties to track and wanted some advice on the best SEO platform. They were somewhat familiar with Moz, Brightedge, Conductor and SEMrush, but weren’t SEO experts themselves and needed some direction. They came to the right place! At DRUM, we’re always reviewing our SEO department tools to determine if we want to renew contracts or test new vendors. Most recently, we reviewed AWR, Moz, BrightEdge, Conductor, seoClarity and Searchmetrics. But for the last three years, we’ve stayed with Conductor Searchlight. They’ve been a great partner on price, customer service, usability and rolling out new features in line with our SEO vision for our corporate brand clients. Below are 10 features that are specifically advantageous to this client, as well as to other national and international brand clients.

1. Localized search results

Since most brands have regional markets, it makes sense to track keywords across a sample of cities. Although this is an option with Moz and other platforms, you may find you’re charged a lot more for each keyword tracked locally. Because Conductor treats these terms like standard keywords, it won’t be cost-restrictive to cleanly track core terms in different cities. Customer reports also illuminate where your business is struggling or where there are areas for easy wins.

2. Google Analytics integration

Conductor makes reporting very efficient. Google Analytics traffic, entrances, goals, bounces and the like can be pulled into Conductor’s automated reports. By integrating Google Analytics data, your reports can show category ranking results (or potential) side by side with web performance of content segments reflecting those same categories.

3. Google Search Console integration

Google Search stopped passing keyword data for organic results a few years ago. As a result, Google Analytics can no longer show you what keywords drove traffic and conversions. The only keywords you can see in Google Analytics are from paid search or other non-Google search engines. Google Search Console is the only place where you can get information on organic keyword performance (including impressions, clicks, click-through rate and average position), and this data is available only for 90 days in Google Search Console. Without this feature, we’d need to export keywords into multiple spreadsheets every month and manage them. Instead, Conductor automatically pulls this data and manages it in our SEO platform. It makes us more efficient and eliminates human error in pulling and managing large numbers of spreadsheets.

4. Content activity reporting

Many brands have a constant queue of website updates. However, some changes can inadvertently affect website rankings and traffic. Conductor allows you to see how changes to your website affect rankings while monitoring content and SEO tags. It keeps a timeline of website changes that can be mapped against traffic and rankings. This is an innovative new feature that tracks the cause and effect of website activity. Have tags been implemented yet? Were they removed? When? Now you know the answers to questions like these. And you see the correlation with rankings and traffic.

5. Content mapping

This feature illustrates any gaps in your content—and shows how that content is performing. Visual reports align with phases of the customer journey. You can customize customer journey phases or content segments to match \your organization’s approach to its audience. Content mapping reports provide data to inform decisions on adding, removing and changing content.

SEO6. Excellent competitor tools

Conductor tracks rankings for chosen competitors. Plus, it automatically tracks 100 competing sites that rank for your keywords. Then, it gives you tools to slice and view competitive gaps like:
  • Which keywords you rank close to Page 1, but your competitors do not — so that you can make easy wins to gain competitive visibility.
  • What keywords are competitors using, and which ones are you missing?
  • What are the highest search volume keywords that four competitors rank Page 1, but you do not?
  • Where are keyword opportunities that neither you nor competitors rank Page 1?
  • Where are you ahead of or behind competitors?
It also lets you see market share, so you know:
  • Who owns what percent of Page 1 (or Top Five) rankings across any category of keywords?
  • Who are the competitors you did not consider?
  • What sites have market share where you can consider partnership, advertising (direct buy, programmatic white list), provide content, etc.
All these metrics are visible across your full keyword list, or can be narrowed down to just certain categories—so you can consider specific efforts for product lines, business units, audiences, etc.

7. Paid vs. organic reporting

The platform enables you to integrate your paid and organic search approach. Conductor can track organic and paid listings, named competitors and any other sites ranked on Page 1 for your keywords.
  • Finds gaps in organic or paid, so you can compensate with the other channel.
  • Finds gaps in competitors' paid and organic coverage, so you can take greater advantage.
  • Tests road blocking to see how conversion is affected by keywords that rank highly in both paid and organic.
  • Saves money by lowering bids on terms that rank organically (that is, test and see how it affects conversions).

8. Insight stream

A lot of clients really like this feature: It provides a running feed of insights automatically pulled from your data. You can share these with other members of the organization, start a conversation within the platform or dig into the detailed reporting that generated the insight.  

9. Business case reports

Using a click-through curve (i.e., average click-through rate from Google depending on where you rank) and information from Google Analytics, you can forecast the increased traffic or revenue by employing SEO for a given set of keywords. (Brightedge also has a similar feature.) Before using Conductor or Brightedge, we used to forecast manually with a smaller set of data and much larger assumptions. But Conductor’s business case approach assumes a realistic increase in rankings for each keyword, according to keyword difficulty or competition. Then you can configure the click-through curve and how aggressive of a rank improvement you want to assume.  

10. A vast range of templates for reports that can be generated for other roles in the organization.

  Workspaces—Conductor’s version of customized automated reports—allows for templated designs for specific members of an organization. It makes it easy to quickly put together quarterly reports for executives and leadership, monthly reports for marketing management, ongoing keyword opportunity reports for content writers and plenty more. We customize these reports and schedule them to send to any email at specific intervals. Is there something you’d like to know about your SEO platform? Is there another SEO platform you prefer?

Want to learn more?

Contact us!