Moz is a veteran in the SEO world. They started in 2004 as an agency and grew into a reliable product.
The metrics they use for competition analysis are trusted by a lot of SEOs. Even other tools rely on their DA and PA when they show some data.
Plus, Moz Pro has features for everything from social media (at least some parts of SMM) to backlink analysis.
But how does Moz fare when put to the test?
Read our Moz review to find out.
Getting Started With Moz
The interface of Moz can get slightly complicated at times.
It’s not as confusing as SEMRush for example.
But besides the sometimes cluttered screen, Moz could do with a revamped color palette.
It’s not old per se…
It just looks a bit outdated when compared to the newest tools around.
But you won’t struggle to learn how to use Moz.
They provide some help to let you hit the ground running.
For example, as soon as you sign in, you’ll be prompted with this screen.
And the first Moz dashboard will adapt based on your choice.
On top, you have a lot of explanations for all the metrics and options, and links to support articles. Since this help is provided right when you want to use new features, it’s a good way to get you up to speed on how this SEO tool works.
All in all, it’s easy to get started with Moz.
Even a beginner SEO should have an easy time after a few hours of playing around with it.
But to be completely fair, there are better looking and easier to use alternatives, especially for beginners. If you want to find out more about that, read our KWFinder review.
The bread and butter of most SEO tools are finding the right keyword to target.
In Moz, you can research content ideas both by seed keyword and by site.
That means you can do both traditional keyword research, and reverse-engineer your competition’s site to see what they’re ranking for and get inspired from that.
But that’s the theory, and SEO is all about experimenting.
So let’s see how these features fare in practice.
Traditional Keyword Research
If you go by seed keyword, you get a good overview of your analyzed keywords.
This is pretty much everything you need to know about a specific keyword.
You get search volume, keyword difficulty, and organic CTR, all in the same place.
There’s this trend with SEO tools to start showing paid advertising metrics as well and bundle everything together.
Moz steers very clear of that and just lets you know if your keyword is a worthy term for SEO purposes.
However, for traditional keyword research, you need to dig a bit deeper.
That’s because you need a good overview of multiple keywords to find the low hanging SEO fruit that will help you rank.
When you research a seed keyword, you can get a glimpse into other suggestions.
But for a real chance at finding the best keyword to target, you need to expand that view.
And here you’ll be able to take a closer look at your SEO opportunities.
Filtering is easy to get started with, which is more than can be said about some market competitors.
You have a few pre-set modifiers, such as displaying keywords based on closely related topics, so the whole process is streamlined.
At first glance, you’d be excused to think you don’t have access to as many suggestions as possible.
For example, suggestions in SEMRush and Ahrefs can be separated in columns based on whether they’re questions or not.
And Ubersuggest has a lot of other pre-set columns.
But dig deeper, and you’ll see that most options are available in Moz as well. They’re just not packaged in columns.
For questions, just drop down the main pre-set modifiers.
And you can go even deeper.
If you want to find commercial keywords, include an advanced filter with “buy” “price” or “offer” and you’ll get searches that show buyer intent.
But you’ll notice that if you go too deep, you’ll be left with no suggestions.
This is not necessarily a Moz problem. There may just be no keywords to rank for with those specific filters.
So play around with your seed term and filters. That’s what the whole process is all about.
Ok, so you know you’ve got some tools to play around with
What about the results?
You get a ton of keyword suggestions ripe for inclusion in your SEO efforts.
Yeah, Ahrefs displays considerably more ( over 13.000 for that same query to be specific).
And again, if you filter down too much you’ll come up empty.
But that’s the process, you need to brush through the results to find the SEO gems.
Quality-wise, you get specific metrics and relevant keywords.
But there’s a big problem when you compare Moz to market competitors.
There’s no KD or SEO difficulty metric displayed here.
You’ll need to open up each keyword in its own overview to get this information.
And that’s a big drawback.
You need such a metric to do the digging. Without it, you’ll be stuck with 30 open tabs every time you want to find a new article topic.
For the same price, Ahrefs will pull-up all competitive metrics:
And it’s not just Ahrefs.
Most SEO tools will show competitive metrics on keyword suggestions.
So if you plan on doing a lot of keyword research, Moz already seems like a bad choice.
And if you plan on doing mostly keyword research, there are definitely better alternatives.
But let’s give Moz a fair review.
Let’s see what else it’s got.
SERP Analysis is another requirement to find SEO gems. Keyword difficulty metrics are good to get an initial impression, but analyzing the actual search results page yourself is even more important.
And that’s good for Moz because it does SERP analysis well.
Even in the keyword overview snippet, it’s got all you need to know.
Although, when I think about it, some link metrics could’ve helped.
If you click to see the full analysis, Moz delivers even more SEO knowledge.
You get a breakdown of the SERP, and helpful metrics like domain authority, page authority and a backlink profile.
This is why people recommend Moz for competitive analysis.
They don’t have a competition analysis window, but Moz provides valuable insights into your competitors at every step.
Sure, the SERP checker could be improved.
For example, other tools let you open up a detailed analysis of the links leading to a page from the SERP.
But Moz still helps.
Reverse Engineering Your Competition To Find Content Ideas
If you’ve never done something like this, Moz has you covered.
This explanation is all you need.
On top, you can do this process, and add more competitors in the report, to get a general idea of how much your niche is focusing on a certain topic.
If you only look at one competitor, you can find gaps in their content, but you won’t know if another big guy isn’t focusing on that already.
Will Moz actually help here?
You get to see the top ranking keywords of a competitor.
And it’s always great to see Moz metrics on hand because you get a good idea of how hard it’ll be to beat them in the search engine rankings.
You can also open up all the keywords they’re ranking for, which gives you an exhaustive list of potential keywords.
And scrolling down could uncover some SEO gems.
If you’re to add more sites to compare against, you get an even better overview.
You’re shown the same trusty SEO metrics.
But there are more websites to look at and identify gaps or content opportunities (although Moz falls short on showing relevant links pointing to a page).
You should also use this screen for competition analysis since Moz doesn’t hold your hand throughout the process.
(again that doesn’t mean Moz doesn’t have the competitive research features, they’re just not centralized)
And the same is true for links.
Overall, doing link research, scrambling for backlinks and spying on your competition’s link profile is straightforward.
Their link explorer will help you get a bird’s eye view.
But let’s take a look at the highlights of this system.
A simple overview of the link profile provides a lot of value.
- Check the basic metrics, like DA or total links
- Review their links over time
- Check a follow vs. nofollow comparison
- Download a .csv with all of their links
And much more.
But all of these are even more valuable when you analyze a specific page.
This kickstarts the link building process and shows helpful data like the PA.
Scrambling for links can get tiring. But at least you get a starting point in Moz.
Now for a fair take: This is not revolutionary. Most SEO tools have this type of feature.
But it’s still a decent functionality that you can use to improve your SEO efforts.
Another great tool is the comparison chart.
This is great to get a grip on your niche, and implicitly determine the value of backlinks from someone, as well as how hard it’ll be to beat them on a SERP.
Coupled with the keyword comparison tool, it’s a great way to understand your market.
But again, there’s nothing revolutionary here.
The two fully-fleshed tools of Moz help…
But not always. And for the same price, you get more value from Ahrefs, SERPStat or SEMRush.
Other Bells And Whistles
Moz Pro Has a lot of other features in its toolset, whether we’re talking about technical SEO, a web explorer or social media mentions tool.
This right here is the web explorer. Add a term and you’ll see where people mentioned you.
It’s good to find possible link building opportunities.
And great to understand how people perceive your brand.
You can also create an alert for mentions, so you don’t go back to this screen every day.
Besides this feature, you can also evaluate a specific page for a keyword, see if you need to do more on-page search engine optimization.
And this is something you don’t see as often. At least not so fleshed out and accurate.
On top, Moz serves great tips and a good overview of your content.
But something seems to be missing…
You can do that in Moz too, even if it’s not labeled as a site explorer. They call it an on-demand crawl here.
Initially, I wanted to say: make sure you put “https” in front of your URL or Moz will crawl the HTTP version.
At least that’s what I thought the mistake was since it was only crawling two pages of our site.
But with each crawl, it kept showing results for the HTTP version, regardless of what I did.
And I tried a lot to fix that.
I filled in variations for the domain, same thing.
I know what you’re thinking. Don’t crawl the root domain, that’s why the error showed.
Yup, I know, tried that as well, Moz still wouldn’t provide a full site audit.
I figured maybe the site crawler isn’t a… full-on site crawler?
But the feature is advertised to work as a site audit tool.
So I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong or if their tool is faulty. Either way, a bad experience with this functionality.
So if you want to analyze your site in detail, maybe go for something like the Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
Tracking SEO Performance
Moz also has a rank tracker.
It’s a new feature, but like most other digital marketing tools, Moz falls behind Ahrefs for one simple reason.
You have to add everything manually.
Again, this is a market standard.
But it’s a struggle. While Moz has me choose keywords to track a site for, Ahrefs automatically tracks your keywords and backlinks after a site audit.
So if you’re a small business trying to get a grip on your rankings and do some site optimization, don’t choose for Moz.
You can set-up a campaign to track organic traffic and keywords performance.
But the thing is… it’s just a fancy add-on.
Besides getting reliable data from your site with an Analytics integration, there’s not a huge difference between the campaign dashboard and the data from the rank tracker.
I can see how this feature could help when you’ve set up a complicated sales funnel.
So maybe, in this case, going for the trend of including advertising metrics could improve Moz.
But it’s still a feature you can play around with, so maybe you can get more mileage out of it.
You’ve seen what you get on the technical side.
But is Moz a good service overall?
The pricing is similar to most tools from this market.
$99 for the standard piece and some higher tiers for agencies or an experienced SEO.
The standard version has a few problems – for example, you don’t get access to keyword lists, so it may be hard to migrate to Moz or keep track of your content efforts.
But other than that, the caps are pretty decent.
And you can try Moz for 30 days, for free. That’s a generous trial.
Support is decent as well.
As you’ve seen, you get a lot of help getting started, and the support center is on-par.
The same can’t be said about getting in touch with a support agent.
It’s weird that Moz runs on Intercom, but you can’t chat with a rep.
But overall, you’ll still get the job done.
And that could be said about Moz in general. You get a decent tool that lets you get the job done.
But not much in terms of innovation or advanced workflows.
Except for the domain authority and page authority metrics, which are reliable.
So Should You Buy Moz?
We dare say no, at least not in general, or not right now.
If you constantly do competition analysis and you rely on their metrics, Moz could be a choice.
If you use their 30-day free trial and they get you hooked, definitely give Moz a shot.
But other than that, Moz is a bit behind on features.
And Ahrefs can get you more value for the same price. Read our Ahrefs review to find out why.
Moz used to be big, and it can still do some stuff right.
More importantly, you won’t have problems with it. It’s not like you’ll get the wrong data or be in dire need of a feature.
But there are better alternatives.