Analytics SEO’s new Domain Alias feature is something we are very excited to tell you about. Our platform can now give SEOs greater depth of keyword ranking analysis by rank checking your domain aliases and/or showing all URLs that rank in the top 100 results (not just your top URL).
This feature is aimed at enterprise-level clients who have multiple sub-domains in any one campaign and want to gain visibility of rankings across their entire site without having to set up additional sub-domain specific campaigns.
The tracking of Domain Aliases is particularly helpful if you are planning a full or partial site redesign because:
- You are able to see all ranking keywords for a specific URL and can check before and after your website redesign to see if you have lost or gained rankings
- You can also see whether multiple pages are ranking for the same keyword and therefore determine which pages you might want to 301 redirect to increase the ranking power of a specific URL
If you have an Enterprise package with us and this feature is turned on then you will see a ‘Show Domain Aliases’ checkbox on the top left-hand side of the standard keyword ranking table (see below).
The Standard Keyword Ranking module will still function as normal and will continue to show you the top ranking URL from the top 100 results for each unique keyword.
Checking the ‘Show Domain Aliases’ box will load a new Domain Aliases keyword ranking table.
The Domain Alias enabled keyword ranking module now checks the following patterns for all your monitored keywords:
- *.example.com (which also includes the standard URL match checks as mentioned previously) and/or;
- Your root domain (example.com) and/or;
- Your www. sub domain (www.example.com) and/or;
- Your mobile domain (m.example.com)
The platform will now store your ranking position and ranking URLs for any URL that matches the above formats, within the top 100 search results. In other words, the platform will now check all sub-domain variants (e.g. sub1.example.com, sub2.example.com, fr.example.com, en.example.com, demo.example.com, etc). Once we have checked these and found URL variants that are ranking for any of your monitored keywords, they will then show up within the platform.
It should be noted that if you are a current client of ours, your standard keyword ranking table will look quite different with Domain Aliases turned on. You might now see the same monitored keyword appearing several times within the table if they appear for many ranking URLs across all sub-domains.
If you are tracking keywords across multiple search engines in the platform, then you may find that:
- Keyword(s) rank for multiple URLs; or
- Keywords don’t rank at all; or
- Keywords rank in one search engine but not another
We are also introducing Keyword and URL pair tracking
This shows URLs that have perhaps stopped ranking for a keyword that they were previously ranking for, and now shows a new URL that the keyword is ranking for.
A keyword and URL pair’s ranking position from 1 to 100 as well as rank change from -100 to 100 will be recorded wherever we find a match. This recorded ranking is unique across search engines. If you rank for a specific keyword and URL in one search engine and not another, you will see a ranking position in one column and >100 in the other.
By default, we rank check the root domain, www and mobile domain, so if you experience instances where a keyword and URL pair ranks for both your search engines but you still have an entry for this keyword with a rank of >100 and a blank URL, this may be the reason. For example, you might rank for the www.example.com sub-domain but not the example.com root domain. If you have set up your Analytics SEO campaigns with example.com, then we will also check for this and show a >100 and blank URL field.
How to use the Domains Alias feature
Query all URLs ranking for a keyword
This could help you find additional ranking pages with external links that could be redirected to help your primary page rank better. In the example below, the keyword ‘seo analysis’ has ranked for three different URLs in this period. There are two opportunities here:
- Consolidating these URLs by redirecting them to one specific page in order to improve rankings
- Creating different content within each page to target different keywords and avoid the cannibalisation and dilution of your ranking power
This feature will help a great deal with a site re-design or migration. This is because it can help you identify URLs that have been re-directed but for some reason, are still appearing in the SERPs. This is a great way to spot technical errors caused by a misbehaving or misconfigured content management system. In the example below, a search for ‘seo platform’ shows a page that although it now ranks >100, it has during the period ranked higher and it is a dupe of the homepage! This can then be 301 redirected.
Query all keywords for a specific URL
It is highly likely that a company, especially larger ones, can create pages on their site that are almost identical without realising. By being able to filter all of your ranking URLs across all sub-domains for all ranking keywords makes it a lot easier to locate these pages and easily redirect them.
Showing ranking URL changes for a Keyword
Over a specific period of time, you are able to plot all ranking URLs for a specific keyword to determine whether your content marketing efforts and optimisations have been effective. In the example below, over the last three months, you can see that three pages have ranked for ‘seo analysis’.
And finally – Compare ranking for multiple sub-domains, sub-directories or URLs
You are also able to compare rankings by downloading the Keyword Ranking table into an Excel file and using Pivot tables for the analysis. If you are having trouble with this, please get hold of your account manager and we would be happy to help.
Hopefully, it is easy to see the benefits of Domain Alias tracking however, because this is not a small undertaking, for the moment, it is only available for our enterprise customers. If you are not currently a client, do get in touch with us and we would be happy to give you some more detail about this exciting new feature.