Search is changing. As a 200-person search marketing software company, this isn’t just a pithy intro – it is a daily threat to our survival. Being a natural search marketer can be frustrating when even a research like “What’s SEO?” returns something similar to this…
So, why don’t we just give up on search marketing altogether? If I had to pick only one answer, it’s this – because search still drives the lion’s share of targeted, relevant traffic to business websites (and Google drives the great majority of the traffic, at the very least in the US, Canada, Australia, and Western Europe).
We need to do everything better
The clear answer isn’t to quit – it’s to recognize this new complexity, study it, and do our jobs better. Earlier this year, as an example, we embarked on a study to know the way SERP features impact click-through rates (CTR). It turns out to become a difficult problem, but even the initial insights of the information were useful (and somewhat startling). For example, here’s the typical organic (SERPs with no features) curve from that study…
Various studies show the kick off point at various places, but the design itself is consistent and familiar. We know, though, that reducing everything to at least one average ignores a lot. Here’s a dramatic example. Let’s compare the organic curve to the curve for SERPs with expanded sitelinks (which are highly correlated with dominant and/or branded intent)…
Results with sitelinks in the #1 position have a huge 80% average CTR, with a steep drop to #2. These two curves represent two wildly different animals. Now, let’s look at SERPs with Knowledge Cards (AKA “answer boxes” – Knowledge Graph entities with no organic link)…
The CTR in the #1 organic position drops to almost 1/3 of the organic-only curve, with corresponding drops throughout all positions. Organic opportunity on these SERPs is severely limited.
Opportunity isn’t disappearing, but it’s evolving. We need to do better. This is the reason Moz has teamed up with STAT, and why we’re doubling down on search. We recognize the complexity of SERP analytics in 2018, but we also truly think that there’s real chance for those willing to complete the work and build better tools.
Doubling down on RANKINGS
It hurts somewhat to admit, but there’s been more than once before few years where a client outgrew Moz for rank tracking. When they did, we had one thing to say to those clients: “We’ll miss you, and you must keep in touch with STAT Search Analytics.” STAT is a huge market leader in daily rank tracking, and they take that job very seriously, with true enterprise-scale capabilities and reporting.
For days gone by few years, STAT’s team has been a good source of knowledge, and even as competitors our engineering teams have shared intel on Google’s latest changes. As of now, all brakes are off, and we’re going to dive deep into each other’s brains (figuratively, needless to say – I just take mad science so far) to discover what each team does best. We’re going to work to mix the most effective of STAT’s daily tracking technology with Moz’s proprietary metrics (such as Keyword Difficulty) to chart the future of rank tracking.
We’ll also be working together to redefine what “ranking” means, in a natural sense. You can find multiple SERP features, from Featured Snippets to Video Carousels to People Also Ask boxes that represent significant organic opportunity. STAT and Moz both have a lengthy history of researching these opportunities and recognize the importance of reflecting them within our products.
Doubling down on RESEARCH
One area Moz has excelled at, showcased in the launch and evolution of Keyword Explorer, is keyword research. We’ll be spending so much time to put that knowledge to work for STAT customers even as we evolve Moz’s own toolsets. We’re already doing work to higher understand keyword intent and how it impacts keyword research – beyond semantically related keywords, how do you find the best keywords with local intent or directed at the right part of the sales funnel? Within an age of answer engines, how do you find the best questions to target? Together, we hope to answer these questions within our products.
In August, we literally doubled our keyword corpus in Keyword Explorer to supercharge your keyword research. You can now tap into suggestions from 160 million keywords over the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.
Beyond keywords, Moz and STAT have both been market leaders in original industry research, and we’ll be stronger together. We’re going to possess access to more data and more in-house experts, and we’ll be putting that data to work for the search industry.
Doubling down on RESULTS
Finally, we know that SERP analytics are much more than lots from 1–50. You’ll need to know the way results drive clicks, traffic, and revenue. You’ll need to understand your competitive landscape. You’ll need to understand the entire ecosystem of keywords, links, and on-page SEO, and how those work together. By combining STAT’s enterprise-level analytics with Moz’s keyword research, link graph, and technical SEO tools (including both Site Crawl and On-demand Crawl), we’re going to bring you the equipment you’ll need to show and drive bottom-line results.