When it comes to choosing a tool for measuring the performance of your SEO and social media marketing campaigns there are not many better tools out there than German tool XOVI. A comprehensive all-in-one online marketing suite, XOVI allows brands to conduct all their SEO and online marketing from one single cloud-based platform. And we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on it to look under the hood and review this excellent tool as it enters the UK market.
Understanding where you are getting backlinks from, where you are ranking for specific keywords versus your competitors, how fast your page loads, and how effective your social media campaigns are going are some of the important questions that business owners and SEO pros will often ask themselves in order to crack the SEO code and climb higher on Google – thus hopefully reaping more and more business.
Not just another SEO tool!
At first glance it would be easy to confuse the number of tools out there to measure your online marketing efforts. However, XOVI stands out from competitors such as SEMrush and others as it allows you to set up an unlimited number of projects and run as many analyses and comparisons as you like – in all price brackets. Indeed, project management is a core feature which makes XOVI particularly useful for agencies managing numerous different clients, setting it apart from similar tools.
What’s more, XOVI boasts a much larger backlink database (approx 800 billion backlinks at the time of writing), meaning that you can tap into a much wider pool to understand where you and your competitors are gaining links from. This helps you keep up-to-date on your competitors and better understand where your competitive advantage lies.
XOVI’s primary target markets include online businesses, digital agencies and large companies who want to fully grasp their search engine optimisation and social media analytics. Although it’s fair to say that with an attractive pricing model starting at just £70, XOVI is an appealing prospect for just about anyone.
Why you will love XOVI
There are a number of reasons why people will love XOVI, one of which will undoubtedly include the level of personal support.
XOVI offer all their customers and testers free tutorials and webinars (in English, German and Spanish) as well as free in-house workshops at their headquarters in Cologne. At first, this may seem a little inconvenient if you aren’t based in Germany, however, it does demonstrate how willing XOVI are to go above and beyond in helping you understand and get the most out of their platform by providing hands-on, personal training – a rarity when it comes to software providers.
Indeed, XOVI’s Germany-based customers can even book the XOVI Academy to come to them for sessions exclusively tailored to their business. It’s a great example of customer service and we hope they’ll be expanding this service to the UK very soon!
Whilst understanding the in-depth analytics of your online marketing campaigns can be difficult at times, especially for newbies, XOVI is anything but challenging. There are a vast number of features on the platform – with nine key features listed on their home page – that you can use to fully understand how effectively, or not, your marketing efforts are performing, but let’s take you through what we felt are the most pertinent ones.
The first steps on XOVI
After signing up and logging into the platform you are presented with your customisable dashboard. Here you are presented with summary of statistics and data that effortlessly sum up the overall picture of your presence online.
For business owners who are new to SEO and all the terms and acronyms synonymous with it, XOVI does a great job of explaining what every box means and what your KPIs are telling you.
Keyword Tool – reveal your competitors’ most valuable search terms
The first tool beneath the dashboard is the Keywords Tool, which provides a detailed analysis of your ranking keywords, good keywords to use, your ranking spread across Google’s pages, ranking comparison against competitors and a range of other useful sub-tools. This means that, at a glance, you can fully grasp what keywords you should be using and which ones you should not.
Our favourite feature in the keyword tool is the Domain Comparison where you can directly compare your keyword rankings to your competitors to see where they rank and thus benchmark your own performance against theirs. Simply enter as many domains as you wish and XOVI displays what keywords you are ranking for versus the competition. Use the arrows in the table to sort the data according to the keywords for which your competitor ranks on the first page of Google but for which you do not. Alternatively you can do this for your page as well to see where you are out-performing your rivals.
For example, Comms Axis rank on page five of Google for “branding trends” and on page six for ”speaker services”. Understanding where you and your competitors rank for specific keywords is very useful for dictating the direction of your content strategy.
Furthermore, as we have not been actively pushing Forbes and Oracle power influencer Lilach Bullock’s speaker services, and have relatively little content out there about this, the XOVI suite reveals a promising degree of potential in this area. We can use the data to make calculated adjustments to target specific keywords on our “Speaker Services” page and optimise our content marketing accordingly.
Seeing as we love content we thought we’d look at how the pros in the social media blogging world fare. We read Social Media Examiner all the time and so wanted to see what they were nailing and what we could learn for our agency’s blog and website content. Ok, it’s kind of an unfair comparison, but we didn’t really want to be revealing our competitive advantage against our closer competitors! SME currently rank on the first page of Google for the keywords; “Social marketing strategy”, “Where to find content for social media” and a whole host of other keyword phrases. We really love this feature as we are easily able to see what are the keywords we should be targeting in our quest to climb the Google ladder.
You might have chosen to rank for keywords that you will now discover are irrelevant and your competitor is ranking you out on other keywords. So getting down to business with this feature is an absolute must.
Another cool feature within the Keywords tool is Hot Keywords. Here you can see recommended keywords to improve your site’s ranking. Based on rankings, terms are displayed that have gained at least 20 places since the previous week and are therefore “hot”. In terms of value, the suggested keywords will be particularly well known in a certain sector and therefore often entered as Google search queries, promising an increased visitor stream (although be aware that very popular search queries often means very competitive rankings).
Similarly, the Winners and Losers and Gained and Lost features show the best and worst performing keywords for your domain against the previous week. This feature is ideal for understanding trends to do with specific keywords. At Comms Axis we have loved seeing what is popular and what is not, which in turn has helped dictate our content strategy for the coming year.
A key feature of the keywords tool is the Keyword Monitoring sub-tool. Add your most important keywords to the monitoring tool to assess exactly how your website is developing and responding to your optimisation measures on a day to day basis.
You can also choose to analyse keywords which are not automatically checked by XOVI each week and so do not appear in keyword tables. This can sometimes be the case, for example, for niche search terms such as place names or rarer, specialist queries. With 196 international and regional search engines, this is vital for international companies whose keywords XOVI simply may not have in their database.
On-Page Analysis Tool
XOVI provides you with an easy to understand results page, which is broken down into sub-sections and allows you to click on errors, warning and tips which you can apply to improve your page so that it can be much more responsive and seen in a positive light by Google. You can also click on individual sections such as content, images, page structure and many more to fully understand the detailed analysis of your page. Visually, XOVI do an excellent job at articulating this information (see below) without overloading you with data.
Included in the on-page tool, the Text Optimization calculator helps you to determine the relevance of content on a webpage compared to all other documents. This doesn’t just include keyword density. We found that this was a particularly useful tool as it is often difficult for newbies to SEO to understand how often you should be using keywords on a page and often don’t have enough or the opposite and including too many keywords that will get them penalised by Google.
Not only are Keywords and a responsive, textually relevant website important, but so is having links pointing to your website. Backlinks really help boost the “search value” of your website. For newbies to SEO, a link (or backlink) can be described as an external recommendation to your site. A good link ratio can have a positive effect on the visibility of a domain in a search engine.
The “Links Gained” section is brilliant. It effortlessly breaks down the links you have gained and lost during a particular period. This is a really useful tool to have in your arsenal for analysing your link building campaigns.
The Domain Comparison feature, much like the keyword comparison feature in the Keyword tool section allows you to gain an insight into link comparison with your competitors. You are able to see the shared links that you have with your competitors’ websites, but also understand where the unique places they are getting their links from that you’re not. This is an absolute ‘must know’ if you want to outrank your competition on Google and XOVI again distil all of this in a user-friendly manner. So if you are new to SEO it shouldn’t be too daunting and should become a powerful competitive advantage for you.
Link Disavow essentially evaluates your link profile and allows you to ensure that your links are “natural”. If you are new to SEO you might assume that getting as many links pointing to your page is a good thing. Wrong. There are bad links and by being able to see that you have bad links pointing to your site is a very useful tool indeed. XOVI reveals the “bad” links pointing to your site as shown below, and provides a disavow file which you can download and then upload to Google to avoid future penalties.
As social media lovers we were keen to try out the social analytics tool. Again, we were not disappointed. XOVI provides a succinct summary of your social media stats and who your top influencers are on each page.
There are a number of other tools that offer similar stats and insights, however, where we feel XOVI excels is that, as with the other features on the platform, you can compare and contrast it to your competition, thus being able to understand, adapt, evolve and improve.
The Social Signals are also worth getting stuck into and the data is, you guessed it, presented in a very clear and effective way. Evidence is increasingly suggesting that the influence of social signals on Google results is on the increase. It is therefore important that businesses have a strong presence on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and other social networks. So be sure to check out this section on a regular basis to make sure that your strategy is aligned with the results and so forth.
Last but certainly not least is XOVI’s in-built reporting tool – perfect for agencies and independent marketers alike who need to create weekly, monthly and yearly reports for clients. The reporting feature is a real time saver. Not only that, the reports it creates are incredibly professional looking and easy to grasp, in keeping with the rest of the platform, which is great for a client who isn’t as clued up with SEO. They are also customisable and 100% white label even in the lowest price bracket.
There you have it; that is XOVI. There are many other features to the platform including AdWords Monitoring and Affiliate Marketing, however why don’t you discover them for yourself by signing up for a free trial here? Or if you’re not convinced as to the power of the suite, check out their free domain checker over at www.onlinevalue.com.
We highly recommend XOVI – it really is the “all-in-one online marketing suite” that it proclaims to be and the team at Comms Axis really loved playing around with the tool. We have found huge value in a very short period of time in how it can aid our online marketing efforts and SERPs. We will definitely be using it in the coming weeks to help dictate our 2016 strategy so that we can climb the Google ladder.
What we really loved was just how easy it was to navigate, understand and use. The adoption period often takes a bit of time with a new tool as each of them have their own way of working. However, we were up and running very quickly on the platform and if you encounter any problems, there are many instructional videos and “How To” guides throughout the platform – as well as that all-important personal support.
If you have any questions about XOVI then give us (or them!) a shout. If not then sign up for a free 14 day trial here.
Previously, he was Director at Comms Axis, a full service marketing agency specialising in content, social media & website services for businesses of all sizes.
Dan Purvis writes for a number of leading business, social media and marketing sites, including Smart Insights, MarketingProfs, Marketo, MarTech Advisor, Marketing Tech News, MarTech Today, MarTech Exec, and more.
Dan was also ranked by Brand Republic as one of the Top 50 UK Marketing & Social Media influencers.
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