Searchmetrics Essentials: a Must-have for International Marketers.

Searchmetrics Essentials: a Must-have for International Marketers.

17th February 2012

There are a lot of tools to analyse your competitors’ and your own websites on the market. Most of them focus on the English-speaking countries, some of them on the German-speaking. But for me, for example, it has always been very hard to analyze websites in my home country: the Netherlands. Until recently there wasn’t a decent tool that covered our market. But now there is Searchmetrics Essentials and with just one subscription you can analyze SEO, SEA, Social and Link data in 15 different countries!

Searchmetrics Essentials consists of 3 different modules: SEO & SEA Module, a Social Module and since a few weeks also a Link Module in Beta (which you can test for free at the moment!). After your login you can start your analysis on the dashboard, which gives you some general visibility information and your current SEO rank in your main country:
The Searchmetrics Essentials Dashboard
Fig. 1: the dashboard says: “ ranks #3,155 in search engine optimization in United Kingdom with a SEO visibility of 6,741. In social media has a visibility of 226,118.”

Now lets dig deeper into the site and analyze the SEO and Universal Search Data (as we are not doing any PPC) using the SEO & SEA module:

Like most of these kind of tools, Searchmetrics Essentials gives you access to a big keyword database to “spy” on your competitors. In this case, we are talking about a dataset of about 100 mio. keywords and 75 mio. domains.

The database is divided in a “short head” and a “long tail” set. The rankings of short head terms are updated weekly, the long tail keywords, monthly. Sometimes the selection is a bit strange: I found several short head terms in the long tail database and vice versa.

Unfortunately you are not able to add your own keywords to the database. If you want this feature you should take a look at the -more expensive- Searchmetrics Suite.

SEO Module

The SEO module gives you information about the visibility of the domain, the Google rankings, the “SERP spread”, the competitors, subdomains & directories, industries & topics and the winner & loser keywords:
Searchmetrics Essentials: Winner & Loser keywords

Fig 2: The winner of the week: “how to get more Twitter followers”. State of Search will tell you!

By the way: we are using the competitor feature a lot, when we are doing affiliate management for clients, to discover new affiliates.

Another cool feature for international domains is the “World SEO visibility”, which shows you your visibility in various countries:
Searchmetrics Essentials: World SEO visibility
Fig.3: Great performance in the UK, a lot of work in the other countries ahead

Paid Search

A few words about the Paid Search Module:

In the SEA part you can find information about the Adwords strategy of a website. The Essentials Toolbox gives you information about the paid visibility, an estimation of the budget, a traffic estimation and information about the position spread.

Of course you can see and export the paid keywords, with all kind of information like: position, page, traffic-index, estimated CPC, Ad budget, Search Volume and Competition.

It’s also possible to see the ads of the website, but especially in this part, you notice that PPC is not Searchmetrics’ core business. The ads are shown in a simple four row table, there are a lot of errors. (text lines missing, Sitelinks all in one phrase, Google + messages etc.) Besides that, there is no way to export the ads, to sort them or to see for which keywords the ad appeared.

With all tests and changes Google is doing on PPC lately, it’s probably also kind of difficult to scrape the ads correctly.

Universal Search

Universal search is getting more and more important. With the SEO / SEA module of the Essentials toolbox you’re able to analyze the different universal integrations of your or your competitors’ website.

The tool gives you information about the historical development of the universal visibility. Besides that, it shows for which keywords and on which channel (Images, News, Videos, Maps and Shopping) a website shows up.

Link Module

The link module is the newest part of Searchmetrics Essentials. It is currently in Beta, so you can try it out for free. When you jump into the link module, you’ll find a little overview with general backlink data:

The total number of backlinks, the domain popularity, the “Searchmetrics Page Strength” (SPS, the Searchmetrics’ version of PageRank) and the number of social links.

A pretty cool feature is the “Latest Links” function, which shows you the links that Searchmetrics discovered in the last months. Other “latest” functions are the “Latest Anchor Text” and the “Latest linked pages”.

Of course also Searchmetrics offers the possibility to dig deep into a site’s backlink profile. You can see from which industries backlinks are coming from, which type of pages are linking to the investigated domain, the SPS spread, the referring domains, the geo location of the backlinks and a list of IPs and TLDs.

Other information you get from the link module are the deeplink ratio, the follow / nofollow ratio and the numer of links from news pages.

Social Module

One of the coolest modules, but also the most expensive module, is the Social module.
Social Metrics in the Searchmetrics Essentials Social module

Fig.4 When you enter the social part you see immediately Bas’ acivity on Twitter.

Like the SEO visibility, Searchmetrics introduces in this component the term “Social Visibility”. It represents how visible a selected domain appears to social networks. The metric is split in “total impact” and “weekly impact”, so you can see which pages are hot at the moment. Unfortunately they just count the numer of people who tweet or like somthing on Facebook, without taking into account their followers (See Dave’s blog). Nevertheless, it’s still an interesting metric.

My favorite part however is the “social spread”. This item reveals your most tweeted, liked, shared or plussed pages on your website or your competitors’ sites (in total and weekly). So you want to know the most tweeted pages of State of Search? Here it is:
Most tweeted pages in Searchmetrics Essentials


The Searchmetrics Essentials is a very fast toolbox, which gives you a lot of information for an affordable price (starting at $99 / month), especially because 15 countries are included. (Australia,Austria, Brasil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the USA). Besides that the tool has some strong export and reporting functions.

Like all kind of tools, the “visibility” approach has its limits. The database is really big, but sometimes keywords are missing of course. The choice whether a keyword is a short head term or a long tail keyword is sometimes a bit strange. It seems that Searchmetrics didn’t just look at searchvolume.

The PPC part could be improved a bit.

The link component looks promising. Some functions didn’t work. (the tool gave State of Search a SPS of 0.0, with 3055 backlinks and a 449 domainpop). For competitor analysis, the “latest” functions are really cool.

Of course, you should try and compare all linkdatabase services (LinkResearchTools, Majestic, Openlinkgraph, Opensiteexplorer etc.) to find out who’s the best for you.

The social module is a pretty unique part of Searchmetrics. If you do a lot on social networks or want to analyze your competition on the social network this component is a must-have!


Written By
Evert Veldhuijzen is consulting various international brands about different aspects of online marketing. His company Netlead is in affiliate business and develops websites for his joint-ventures.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.