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Samantha Noble

Linkdex Review: From a Digital Marketing Agencies Perspective

1st Sep 2011 SEO | 1 Comment


Back in January I met John Straw, the founder of Linkdex. He’s an extremely enthusiastic character and I got a five minute demo of the tool which launched earlier on that month. From the word go, I could tell that he had created a very exciting tool that would be used by agencies and companies around the world.

We have been using Linkdex at Koozai for eight months now and it has proven to be a very versatile tool within the team. It integrates many of the good features of other tools into a single structured place. Whereas before a lot of link research and tracking would have to take place in Excel or across multiple tools we can now carry out most of these functions within one location.

Linkdex has helped the Search Team become more efficient and deliver better results for our clients but from another angle it has also helped when it comes to pitching for new business.

For the Sales Team, being able to go into a client pitch armed with some very interesting competitor analysis has helped them give potential clients a lot more insight into what needs to be done to compete with their competition. The Timelining functionality (more information below) is fantastic and allows you to see competitors link building activities over time, highlighting increases and decreases in activity.

Over the last eight months I have had some positive and some negative feedback from all members of the team based on their own experiences. I wanted to pull this feedback together into one post which is aimed to help users get to grips with the different functionality available as well as provide you with the key benefits we have found since introducing Linkdex to our agency.

There are seven sections within the Linkdex interface and I am going to focus on each one in turn. If you are only interested in one or two of the sections, use the links below to jump to the relevant section.

  1. Dashboard
  2. Tasks
  3. Keyword Research
  4. Keyword Rank Tracking & Analysis
  5. Site Optimisation Advice
  6. Link Analysis
  7. Link Building

My Dashboard

This is the entry point to the tool and in my opinion it does need some work. I spoke to a developer at Linkdex a couple of weeks ago who has informed me that each section of the tool is a holding place for what’s to come, so I’ll move on from here for now.

At present you can integrate the dashboard with Google Analytics if you have admin access to the GA Account which will display data for:

  • Rank
  • Natural Traffic
  • Goals and Value

The other aspect of the dashboard provides you with a  top level overview of the link building activity and any outstanding tasks that has taken place for that account.

Tasks

Next up is the Tasks tab which is essentially moulding into a CRM system for each project and can be a massive benefit if you have multiple people working on one account.

All of your users within the Linkdex platform can be assigned tasks for a project which can be derived from other areas of the tool or tasks can be entered manually.

Tasks can be assigned to the following groups so you can quickly see which areas need more work:

  • Keyword Research
  • Rank Checking
  • Site Optimisation
  • Content
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Link Building
  • Local Search
  • Social Media
  • Outsourcing

We have been using this feature even though we do not have multiple team members working on one account. The benefit for us is that the person managing the account can create tasks for themselves to ensure nothing is forgotten in future months. Additionally, any member of the Management Team can easily add a task within the project if they notice something that could be beneficial when reviewing the work that has been carried out.

Another nifty function within this section is that for every project, Linkdex automatically creates tasks for some of the more standard elements of SEO. When you are reviewing a project, if you have already completed one of the automatic entries, you can simply delete it.

For anyone that is new to SEO, this is a great feature as it gives you some of the basic foundations that should be in place for any SEO project.

Adding a task can be a little time consuming and this is an area that could be improved on easily but once this section is right, I can see it being used a lot more within our agency.

Keyword Research

 

This section covers the keyword research element of an SEO project but there are so many tools available to us now that essentially all do the same thing, this isn’t an area of Linkdex we currently use at Koozai.

However, saying this I am aware of some cool additions that Linkdex are adding to this section which will take it to the next level and this is when I think agencies will start to utilise this feature more.

Keyword Rank Tracking & Analysis

 

The rank tracking environment is a genius idea and will continue to be improved on with more feedback from the users of Linkdex.

Key benefits for an agency using this feature is that you cannot just see ranking fluctuations for your keywords, but you can also see what SEO activity could have led to any increases or decreases. This is very interesting for any optimiser to see as correlations between some of the work you did on an account last month to the ranking improvements this month are often not tracked.

At Koozai, Linkdex is just one of the ways we monitor ranking fluctuations and another feature of the rank tracking section that is really interesting is that you can assign keywords to specific pages for tracking. How many times have you seen your keywords ranking but the wrong page is being indexed? Assigning a keyword to a specific URL in Linkdex shows you the ranking for that keyword for the specified URL, which is important to us as we want to ensure the best page possible from our client sites is the one shown.

Some of the team are using this feature at Koozai, whilst others have different tools they prefer. There are many rank tracking tools available which are either free, cheap or expensive that do a similar job as Linkdex equally as efficiently.

Site Optimisation Advice

 

The Site Optimisation Advice section is split into two areas and is a great place for a novice SEO to hang out to get to grips with what on-page elements need working on. It is also great for anyone looking to get a quick snapshot of how well optimised a page is for a specific keyword. You simply need to add the keyword and specify the target page and Linkdex will return a percentage score indicating how well optimised it is.

If you click through on the percentage score, you can then see suggestions for on-page elements that could be worked on to get your score up to 100% for each page.

As an agency, our Digital Marketing Executives have the on-page site optimisation process engrained in their minds and do use a couple of other plugins that present more detailed information on any particular page but feedback from the team is that this feature would certainly help anyone that is just starting out in SEO.

An example of the information that is available to you for each page can be seen in the screenshot below.

Link Analysis

 

Out of all the available features, this section is by far my favourite. I have not seen any other SEO tool that groups links together based on category and display them in a graphical way that allows you to easily visualise areas that you need to improve on.

First up you can compare the top level link profile of your website against a number of competitors. When you are looking at which competitors to add to Linkdex, make sure you add those that have a higher number of links. The tool works much better with a high volume of data and as you are charged per domain that is added, the more links you have to work through, the more cost effective the tool is.

From the below screenshot you can see the top level link comparison between seven different domains, which provides you with a visual representation of what you are competing with.

The earlier you add your competitors into the tool, the more you will get out of this section and the reason for this is the ‘timeline’ feature. Linkdex have created something extremely unique here and every 30 days, their system crawls all your domain’s link profiles and collects fresh data. Using the Timeline over a long period, you can see which of your competitors are actively sourcing links for their sites. The graph moves as the months progress and over time you can see when links were either obtained or lost.

As most SEO’s should know, it is not all about the quantity of links that you or a competitor has, it is the quality of those links that matter.

Checking the ‘Show Influential’ box will reduce the number of links shown in the graph and using a clever algorithm, you will only see the links that your competitors have that are quality.

Taking this to the next level, you can drill down to see which areas of link building each domain is active in. In the below graph, you can see links to the various domains broken down into categories:

  • Blogs
  • News
  • Wikis
  • Directories
  • Forums
  • Social
  • PR
  • Article
  • Resource

From here you can identify the areas of link building that your competitors are not actively seeking which gives you the upper hand. You can also use this to drill down into each section for each competitor to go after similar links and ensure you are doing what they are doing and more.

Clicking through on any of the columns in the bar chart will take you to a list of links for that competitor in that particular category.

There are no limitations to how many competitors you can add, but there is a $10 per domain cost on a monthly recurring payment.

Link Building

 

In the previous section, I mentioned drilling down into the different link sources for a competitor. This is an example of the screen you can expect to see when doing this.

From here you can review each link one by one and if it is a link that you want to go after, you simply add it to your ‘Link Prospects’. Once you get into the swing of things, this is the most powerful section of Linkdex.

Sifting through all your competitor links and adding them as a prospect in the first instance builds you up a pool of potential links. Following this, you can go through each prospect and submit to the site. Using the task tracking functionality, you can tag each link with a status so you know where you are at with each link submission. Next time you come back to work on link building for a site, you can quickly pick up from where you left off.

Whilst sorting through your competitor links, if you come across as source that you know will not be something you want to or can go after, you can hide that link from your project to ensure you are not covering old ground each time you review your competitors. Likewise, Linkdex will also highlight any links that you already have a link from allowing you to move on easily and not attempt to submit to the link source.

I haven’t come across another tool that allows this functionality and it has saved our agency so much time.  There are many link building tools out there but with Linkdex, you get a fresh crawl of all the domains you have added every 30 days ensuring you always have an up to date list of competitor links. Whether you’ve submitted a link or eliminated one from your options, they will remain hidden so you are always seeing the most up to date actionable data.

Once you have added a link from your ‘Link Prospects’ list, it moves across into the ‘New Links I have Built’ section.

This is where things really get interesting as the links that you build collaborate with the Rank Tracking section allowing you to monitor what activity results in fluctuations in search keyword positions.

The screenshot below shows this in action:

On 11th August various links were completed and on the 15th August rankings improved significantly for two keywords that were being tracked. This is a great source of data which allows you to closely monitor your SEO and link building activity in comparison with rankings.

The final element of Linkdex I want to talk about in this post is the filtering option available in the Link Building section. Take a look at the below screenshot which shows you the different filtering available to you. Some of my favourites include:

  • Filter by Site Type
    • Show all links from various sources (blogs, directories, articles etc)
  • New Websites Only
    • Checking this box will only show you links added within the last 30 days
  • No Follow
    • Excludes all links that are no follow
  • High Influence Only
    • Based on various algorithms within Linkdex, you will only be shown links with a high authority

Summary

I wanted to finish this post with a couple of quotes from some of the team at Koozai to give some other opinions of the tool and not just my own thoughts. Linkdex has helped us to become a more productive agency, saving us time and resource whilst achieving better results for our clients.

Above all, I am very excited to see what the Linkdex team are launching in the coming months as I have heard some great things. Last week I spent some time interviewing three of the brains behind Linkdex and will be publishing that interview as a blog post early next week.

Collette Easton, John Straw and Matt Roberts

So moving onto quotes from the Koozai team to wrap this up:

Anna Lewis
Digital Marketing Executive
“I love the integration of keyword ranks alongside links and tasks. Seeing everything in one place really helps too.”

 

Tara West
Digital Marketing Executive
“If I have been working on a website that is in a highly competitive industry, using Linkdex saves me time as I am not having to go back over old links that I have already reviewed in previous months.

Andy Williams
Digital Marketing Executive
“Linkdex has allowed me to find new authoritative sites in less time than manually researching or using any other tools.”

 

Andrew Tonks
Digital Marketing Executive
“Allowing you to quickly and easily see where your competitors are sourcing links from is invaluable, in fact it’s so easy I decided to use it on my own projects at home!”

 

Rob Arkell
Sales and Marketing Director

“Since using Linkdex in the Sales Team, we have been able to go into client pitches armed full of information about their competitors and highlight visually which areas of link building which they really need to focus on. The timelining functionality is a real gem in pitches as we can now show just how active a potential clients competitor is in SEO.”

Mike Essex
Online Marketing Manager
“With Linkdex you won’t waste any time. On other tools it’s easy to submit a link to the same place twice. On Linkdex that’s impossible as you can hide any prior link submissions from ever appearing again, and track the process of each link you’ve submitted over time. Even for a new user, a handy ‘ME’ symbol marks any sites you’ve already got a link from – it really helps you hit the ground running. Every second spent in Linkdex is used to improve the number of links for our clients.

 

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Samantha Noble About the author

Samantha Noble

Samantha Noble is the Marketing Director at Koozai; having worked within the marketing industry for over nine years, Sam has a plethora of marketing knowledge. With a strong understanding of digital marketing techniques, Sam will be covering all aspects of search and the industry in general.

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