With the help of Raven’s Research Central SEO tool, you’ll quickly find yourself knee deep in all of your favorite data sources (SEOmoz, MajesticSEO and SEMRush).
There are so many ways to use Research Central (and we plan on detailing all of them in a weekly series here on the Raven Tools blog). First and foremost, it’s a link-builder’s goldmine. But if you only use it for link research, you’re missing out on some serious – and unexpected – SEO perks. So we’re starting our Research Central series with our 10 favorite ways to use Research Central that aren’t about link research.
1. Domain Analysis
More than likely, the first time you used Research Central you input your own domain. The Summary tab on Research Central gives you the perfect snapshot of where your website stands from an optimization standpoint. You’ll gain insight into a variety of KPIs that measure just how strong your domain is, a historical graph that details everything from total backlinks down to nofollow links from the past six years, and a breakdown of the TLDs that your backlinks are coming from. All within seconds of running a Research Central report.
2. Competitive Analysis
In addition to the Competitors tab in Research Central (which identifies websites that frequently show up in the SERPs for the same keywords the domain you entered does), there are a number of ways to analyze your competitors in Research Central:
- Look at your competitors backlink history for the last six years and spot trends
- Use the Keywords tab to identify what keywords they may be targeting based on their inbound link anchor text and the content on their site
- See if you can spot your competitor’s microsites/side projects in the Neighborhood section which shows you all of the websites hosted on the same IP or subnet as the domain you entered
- View your competitor’s top performing content and the title tags of those pages in the Pages tab
And let’s not forget that you can compare up to five websites at once in the Compare tab to see how they stack up against each other (more on this later).
3. Business Development
One of the keys to nailing that sales pitch is being prepared. Research Central can give you all of the ammunition you need to show them you have a great understanding of where their site currently stands and what they’ve been working on. Go into the meeting knowing who their top competitors are, what keywords they are targeting (and where they rank for them), as well as how they stack up from a backlink perspective. The Compare tab can easily visualize this comparison for them.
4. Domain Buying
Before buying a domain, one of the things you want to look at is where the site currently stands. Has it been well optimized? Is it in the same network as a variety of shady websites? How much traffic do you estimate the site is getting and where is it ranking for its top keywords? You’ll be able to get a quick and thorough understanding of this and more simply by performing a search in Research Central on the domain you’re interested in buying.
5. Monthly/Quarterly/Yearly Reviews
Link building can be one of the hardest areas of SEO to visualize for your clients/management. It’s an area that they (your client/boss) aren’t heavily involved in, and it eats up a lot of resources. So naturally, they seem to pay very close attention to how your link building efforts are performing. Using the Backlinks tab in Research Central you can show quickly show them visually how their backlink profile has grown over the course of a month, quarter or even a year. If you combine this data with the traffic, conversions and ranking shifts you’ve seen (because you can export all of the data in Research Central), you should be able to make the connection between growths in your website’s backlinks and in your KPIs.
6. Keyword Research
When you’re working with a variety of websites, keyword research can become difficult. You’re not an expert in everything, and your time is limited. The Keywords tab shows you two valuable data sets:
The External Keywords section looks at the anchor text from your inbound links. The Internal Keywords section does the opposite, it looks at what keywords you might be targeting based on the content, headings and internal anchor text of your domain.
Tip: Throw a relevant Wikipedia page or some other great resource article on the subject into Research Central to find new keyword ideas quickly.
7. Global Targeting
Still trying to decide if it’s time to translate your website or resource into another language? Research Central can help give you some insight into the matter. The Summary tab shows you a breakdown of the TLDs linking to a particular domain, subdomain or page. If you notice an influx in links from a particular foreign TLD, it might be time to consider translating that guide/page/site so you can generate even more links.
8. On-Page Diagnostics
The Pages tab within Research Central is a great way to quickly check for duplicate title tags on your site. Just analyze an entire domain, export the pages data and sort by name. This way you can easily see where duplicates exists and address them as necessary.
9. New Content Ideas
Deciding what to invest your content development resources on is an important decision. There are a couple of ways you can decide what type of content to create and even find inspiration for new content. Run your domain through Research Central and head over the the Pages tab. There you can view which content on your site is the strongest and has generated the most links. This is a great way to figure out what topic and presentation you should be creating your content in. You can also run a competitor’s site through Research Central and see what their top performing content is so you can find a way to capitalize on some of their success.
10. Quality Control
As mentioned earlier, the Neighborhood section of Research Central is a great way to perform some quality control. You can easily view what websites share the same IP address or subnet as your own site, or you can throw a potential link partner into Research Central and see if they are connected with any shady websites via IP or subnet.
What are your favorite non link-research ways to use Research Central so far? Let us know in the comments.