Moz Pro was widely popular back in the day as one of the first and best SEO tools in the market. But with the emergence of other SEO tools, how does this tool stack up against the competition? Read this review to find out!
What probably brings you to this Moz Pro review is the reputation the brand built throughout the years.
I remember religiously checking out Whiteboard Friday in 2012 hosted by the Wizard of Moz Rand Fishkin. Their content marketing efforts elevated their business and increased the trust people have for their software.
Over time, however, other tools emerged from the woodwork to offer arguably better and more comprehensive features.
Therefore, this article aims to show what Moz Pro brings to the table in today’s SEO landscape. Does it still have the magic touch that it did years ago? Let’s find out!
What is Moz?
Moz is a SaaS company that focuses on delivering the best SEO solutions to customers.
According to founder Rand Fishkin, they got the name “Moz” from brands like Mozilla and DMoz that focused on bringing transparency and integrity in the SEO world.
The company, formerly known as SEOMoz, started out as a consulting agency in 2004. In 2007, they focused on developing and offering SEOMoz Pro to the public.
In 2013, they rebranded to Moz as it outgrew its SEO roots and works its way to helping customers with their inbound marketing needs.
However, Moz lately took out the inbound marketing feature from their software to shift their focus back into SEO.
What is Moz Pro?
This all-in-one SEO solution is Moz’s flagship product.
Its goal is to provide you with all the features you need to increase your site’s organic traffic.
As mentioned, Moz removed previous options such as the Content tool that gives you an overview of your site page’s performance broken down into different factors.
Also, the company got rid of FollowerWonk, a tool that lets you analyze the tweets and followers of a Twitter handle. You can also compare different Twitter accounts to help you understand their strategy.
From the outside, it seems like Moz Pro is on self-destruction mode by getting rid of them.
However, the company is taking the “addition by subtraction” principle. By removing functions not related to SEO, they can dedicate all their resources to improving their SEO toolset.
But here’s the big question:
Are Moz Pro’s SEO features good enough?
Through the years, Ahrefs and SEMrush gave Moz Pro a run for its money.
And let’s be candid here – both tools are probably surpassed Moz Pro in popularity.
If 90% of Rand’s followers prefer the competitors, then it goes to show the current underwhelming state of Moz.
However, we’re not here to make fun of Moz Pro as if it’s over the hill.
Because it’s still more than capable in helping you achieve higher keyword rankings if used correctly.
Below are some of the options that will help you in your SEO campaign:
The first thing Moz Pro will ask you to do upon signing up is to enter the site you want the software to track.
You will need to give Moz Pro access to your Google Analytics to help you make sense of your website traffic.
Also, you will need to enter your site’s target keywords. If you don’t have a clue yet, the tool will offer suggestions from your topic that you can target for your website.
Once you’ve successfully signed up, give it a moment to compile the data for you.
Once finished, your dashboard will look something like this:
It will show you the most relevant data about your site.
Arguably the most important of the bunch is the Search Visibility. It shows how visible your site is for your keywords. The higher your keyword rankings are, the higher your Search Visibility score will be.
Another variable you need to look at is the Page Crawl Issues. Rogerbot, Moz’s trusted crawler, will scan your site and identify errors and issues you need to fix.
While there are multiple factors that affect your keyword rankings, on-page SEO is one of the most crucial. Using the information here, you need to address the issues and take necessary actions.
Finally, Moz shows you the Domain Authority (DA) of your site.
In a nutshell, Domain Authority is the aggregated score Moz provides for your website. To achieve a higher score, your site must observe the best SEO practices and build authority in your niche over time.
The score may be an oversimplification of your site’s quality. Nonetheless, it’s a good measure on how authoritative your site is at the moment. We’ll talk about DA later in this review.
In my opinion, Domain Authority is one of the few things that keeping Moz from obscurity. A lot of marketers trust this metric to gauge a site’s authority.
Within Campaigns, you can access other features to help you stay on top of all your site’s respective performances.
In this section, you will see your SERP ranking for your target keywords.
The only difference is you can analyze how optimized the ranking page is for the keyword. This gives you an opportunity to further improve the page’s chance of ranking higher.
From here, you can also compare your keyword rankings on mobile and desktop view.
If you entered your competitors, you can also pit your site against theirs for your tracked keywords.
This allows you to compare your site’s performance with others and scale your efforts.
Finally, you can see keywords that you are ranking for but are not tracking yet.
You can choose to track them and include them in your report.
As mentioned above, you can review out how optimized your pages are for their respective keywords. Using the Page Optimization feature, enter the URL and target keyword to get the score.
The goal is to achieve the highest score possible for each page so you can hopefully rank higher for your keyword.
It checks your page for 27 features and identifies issues that you must resolve to make your page more optimized.
Also, the Content Suggestions shows you words and phrases you should include in your page. Moz fetches these words from pages ranking for your keyword.
By including them in your post, you can also make your content similar to the pages ranking on top.
It’s not enough to have great content on your website.
Before you can even publish them, you need to have a website that works.
Ideally, your site must load fast enough to keep most of your visitors from leaving.
People should also have access to your site pages without problems. They shouldn’t see errors or broken links, to name a few common issues.
In fact, there are too many issues to mention here that can affect your site’s performance in the eyes of not only your visitors, but also search engines.
Because if your site has lots of errors, then it won’t rank on Google!
Moz’s Site Crawl helps you identify what those errors are so you can take immediate action of fixing them.
Moz organizes the crawler issues between Critical and Warning. This helps you prioritize which issues you must address first to help make your site SEO-friendlier.
The crawl diagnostics also points out redirect issues that might be keeping your visitors from seeing the real page on your site.
Part of on-page optimization is the proper use of metadata on your pages. The tool scans your pages and detects any issues with your title, meta description, and more.
Finally, you can check if you have issues with its quality. Site Crawl detects duplicate pages, thin or low-quality content, and more.
An all-in-one SEO tool without a link building feature is like a car without wheels – incomplete and ultimately useless.
Since links are arguably the most influential ranking factor, it’s only appropriate to have a feature that lets you check your link profile.
Moz Pro’s Link feature lets you analyze the backlinks your site has so far.
From the Overview, you can see the number of links you won and lost over a period. So, if you’re running a link building campaign, you can refer to this graph to see your progress.
You will also see your Moz metrics over time. The more high-quality links you generate over time, the higher your DA and Page Authority (PA) will become.
Scrolling down the page, you will see other information such as:
- The number of nofollow vs. dofollow links
- Pages with the highest PA
- Most used anchor texts
- Linking domains according to DA
You can check all the inbound links Moz crawled thus far.
You can order them according to PA, DA, Linking Domains, and Spam Score. This helps you identify and monitor the best links you have to ensure that you don’t lose them.
Ideally, watch over backlinks from sites with DA 50 or higher and a low Spam index. These help maintain and increase your ranking over time.
A thing you must know about backlinks is you need to find backlinks from different domains.
It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of links from the same domain. Because link juice does not pass from all the pages.
Therefore, you need to focus on acquiring just one link from each website.
This way, you acquire link equity from the site, which helps bolster your link profile.
With Moz, you can check your domain backlinks to understand how diversified your profile is. This gives you an easier view of your best links.
Next are your anchor texts.
Some people are conscious about the kind of anchor texts used for their link building campaign.
If you’re one of these folks, you can view your anchor text distribution across your backlinks.
This could help you correlate the effect of using exact-match and branded anchor texts, as well as naked URL to your campaign.
Also, you want to see which pages on your site is getting the most love. Whether you’re running a link campaign or not, Moz’s Top Pages gives you the lowdown on the most linked pages on your site.
If people are naturally linking to it, you can analyze the page and see what makes it a linkbait content. From there, you can replicate the process and results to further build your backlinks.
As mentioned, you can see the backlinks you gained and lost over time from the dashboard.
However, if you want to see what these backlinks are, then head over to the Discovered and Lost page.
From here, you can see your latest backlinks and the ones you previously lost.
Regarding the latter, make sure that you don’t lose backlinks from pages with a high DA and low Spam Score. If you do lose them according to Moz, do everything in your power to get them back.
As part of your link building initiative, you can’t help but look at your competitor’s link profile to size up the competition.
You do this to understand their link building strategy and potential acquire the links they have from the same website. This goes on top of your current campaign where you’re looking for new links.
So, if you want to do competitor analysis right, use Moz to see how you compare against other similar sites based on different variables.
This feature is a great way to see other things you need to do to match up others, especially if you’re still starting out.
Finally, the Spam Score page shows you links from potentially harmful site.
Again, you need to focus on quality instead of quantity in link building. So, if you have links from spammy websites, you’re doing more harm to your site than good.
The best way to deal with them is to observe how these backlinks ultimately impact your SERP position.
If you retain your rankings, then you don’t have to do anything with it. But if you drastically drop your search rankings, then disavowing these links are in order.
If you’re in the process of finding link building opportunities, then Link Intersect will do wonders for you.
What it does is find links that you’re competitors have that you don’t.
This way, you don’t build links on the same domain. Also, you can use the information here to replicate the same kind of link to authoritative sites that power your competitor’s link profile.
If you found potential link opportunities using the Link Intersect feature or a different method, the Link Tracking feature lets you create a to-do list of these links.
During your campaign, Moz will automatically tag the links if you have or don’t have them yet. You can add notes for each entry so you know what to do next.
This feature allows you to streamline your link building process and keep everything under a single roof.
If you connected Moz Pro to your site’s Google Analytics, you can see your search traffic straight from the tool.
It shows which search engines referred how many visitors in a period and other basic metrics.
I guess it’s okay to have these data available on your Moz Pro dashboard so you don’t have to go to GA for them.
If you’re an SEO agency, then updating your clients with your progress is important.
Your reports should focus on KPIs that justify the work you spent on their websites.
Moz Pro is aware of this, which is why it can automatically create and send reports to clients on your behalf.
Creating a report is easy, too. You can choose from pre-built templates with a goal in mind.
From here, you can customize and add more metrics to feature in the report.
Finally, you can schedule when the tool will send the generated reports and who will receive it.
Local Market Analytics
As part of Moz’s effort to go back to its SEO tools, the Local Market Analytics is another step towards that direction.
Brick-and-mortar businesses are more aware of the benefits that maintaining an online presence will have for their brands. That’s why this feature aims to determine metrics to analyze the landscape of your market.
Using the data available in this feature, you can formulate your SEO strategy to help gain an edge over the competition.
Unfortunately, I won’t cover this feature in depth because it’s not available in the Moz Pro subscription. Also, it’s currently in beta mode, so it’s not a fully-formed product just yet.
However, you can sign up to at least get your hands on the feature and play around with it.
In my humble opinion, the Keyword Explorer is Moz’s crowning achievement thus far.
Upon clicking on it, you can perform either traditional keyword research (find ideas from your seed keyword) or competitor-based research (find keywords your competitors are ranking for).
Regarding the former, Moz offers you very important metrics to help you decide which keywords to target first.
The usual keyword difficulty and volume appears. However, the volume shows you the range of monthly search volume. Regardless, these metrics are what you’d expect from your typical keyword tool.
However, the Organic CTR and Priority metrics are game-changers.
Organic CTR shows you the percentage of clicks on SERPs.
Due to ads and featured snippets, not everybody clicks on the pages anymore.
This metric is handy because it gives you insight to the amount of people who will click on your page once it ranks for the keyword.
Therefore, a keyword’s search volume becomes less valuable as a site owner’s standpoint. If you’re targeting a keyword with lots of monthly searches but is bombarded with SERP features, then your chances of getting visitors from it drastically goes down.
What’s important is that people see the organic search results and click on these pages.
To help you make an informed decision as to which keyword to target first, Keyword Explorer’s Priority value comes into play.
It combines all the keyword variables and delivers you an aggregated value.
A high Priority means the perfect balance between high search volume and organic CTR and low competition.
On the same page, you will see suggestions based on the keyword you entered to expand your search.
You can also analyze the SERPs for the keyword and check their metrics.
Finally, the Mentions section gives you the latest posts and news articles about your keyword.
We’ll go in depth about the Fresh Web Explorer later.
If you want to perform competitor-based keyword research, you can analyze a single site or enter multiple sites at once to compare.
Regarding the latter, it allows you to see which keywords they are ranking for and you’re not.
This is an excellent way to plan for keyword to target on your next blog posts. From here, analyze the keywords to check their metrics and give you an idea on how to approach each.
Formerly known as the Open Site Explorer, the Link Research provides you with a wealth of information about a site’s link profile.
This feature appears as Links within a campaign. But if you’re in the mood of analyzing sites outside of your campaign, then Link Research is your go-to tool.
There’s nothing much to add here because it is literally the same Links feature which we already covered above.
The difference here is Link Research is an on-demand link profile analysis for any website. With the Links feature in the Campaigns section, you are confined to the backlinks of the site you’re monitoring.
Fresh Web Explorer
This feature allows you to search the web for mentions about your keyword or name.
You can use search operators to filter the results to your liking.
Once you’ve entered your search phrase, the tool shows you how many pages mentions the phrase in a duration.
Below it are the pages that contain the phrase.
The best thing about Fresh Web Explorer is the ability to create alerts sent to your email if a page mentions the phrase in real-time.
There comes a point that you’re bombarded with other tasks that prevent you from searching for the phrase manually.
With alerts from Fresh Web Explorer, Moz does the job searching for the phrase or topic for you. Just check your email regularly for the alerts.
This feature has lots of use-cases to help your SEO strategy:
- Find unlinked mention – You can create an alert for your brand name to receive emails that mention you. If the page doesn’t link to your site despite containing your brand name, you can reach out to the author to link back to it
- Engage with your audience – If you want to partake in discussion boards and forums about a hot topic related to your niche, you can create an alert for it. This way, you can ride the wave of its popularity and share your knowledge about it, if not learn from others.
- Spy on your competition – Track your competitor’s name and see where which websites mention them. You can enter multiple competitor names at the same time to compare the frequency of their mentions
Similar to the Page Optimization feature within Campaigns, On-Page Grader lets you check how optimized the page is for your target keyword.
You can run any page here you can think of to analyze their on-page optimization value.
Again, there’s no reason to repeat myself here as it’s the same feature that’s found in the Campaigns section.
This feature lets you crawl any site and check on-page issues and errors.
You can only crawl sites with a maximum of 3,000 pages. If you search for the site that exceeds the number of pages, then Moz will only show you the data of the 3,000 pages it crawled.
This is the same tool that you can find within the Campaigns section. So, there’s nothing else to say about its feature that’s not been said already.
In this case, however, On-Demand Crawl gives you a sneak peek on your competitor’s hood and see what it’s made of.
You can also uncover areas that you can capitalize against it.
For instance, you can check the 4xx error pages of your competitors and analyze its backlinks.
If there are links from high-quality pages pointing to it, you can recreate the broken page on your site. Then reach out to the website about the 4xx link and ask them to link to your page instead.
A fairly new feature in Moz, Rank Checker lets you check pages for their target keywords and see ranking data on the go.
As with most options outside the Campaigns section, you can run any site here and see how optimized the page is and how difficult it is to rank for the keywords they’re targeting.
Personally, the feature isn’t very intuitive. You have to enter the keyword and the corresponding URL one by one to see the results. So, if you have hundreds of URLs to analyze for its keyword rankings, then you have to do this manually for hours, which is a big waste of your time.
Also, the Keyword Explorer lets you research for pages that are ranking for its keywords. So, I’m not sure what this feature strives to achieve.
But as a new feature, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt as there’s probably bigger plans for it that I’m not seeing right now.
This Chrome extension is one of the more popular free SEO tools available. You can extract SERP results and analyze them further using SEO metrics.
With a free account, you only have access to a site’s DA and PA. You can also analyze a site’s link profile although you will only have limited queries in a month. Also, it doesn’t show you the complete list of backlinks.
With a Moz Pro subscription, it also shows you the number of total links and linking domains the page and site has.
From a page, you can run a Page Optimization and see how optimized a page is for a keyword.
Also, you can see which links are nofollow, dofollow, internal, or outbound.
As a premium SEO software, Moz charges premium prices as well.
The lowest plan is at $99/month and the highest is $599/month. The price per month decrease if you subscribe for their yearly plans.
The difference between plans are the monthly queries available. The lower the plan, the fewer the monthly queries.
The price is somewhat reasonable in my opinion. The Keyword Explorer and Link Explorer make it worth your while, at the very least.
However, I have reservations regarding the disparity between the Standard and the Medium plans.
For example, the Standard has 150 queries for the Keyword Explorer whereas the Medium Plan has 5,000. Similarly, you can only save one list for Link Tracking on the Standard plan compared to 30 for the Medium plan.
I understand that you have to pay more to enjoy more queries. However, the jump in queries from Standard to Medium is ridiculous.
However, if you can overlook that fact and know how to maximize the queries regardless of the plan you purchase, then Moz can deliver the goods.
A Simple and Easy Way to Do SEO
Moz Pro gives you all the tools to conduct SEO research and increase your search traffic
Pros and cons
There is no question that Moz is a great SEO tool. However, after going through the toolset one by one, Moz Pro has quirks that some may not like about the tool.
And that’s perfectly fine. After all, there’s no perfect SEO tool.
That said, below are some of the pros and cons of Moz Pro that you should consider before subscribing to any of its plans.
Pro: Excellent keyword research tool
Moz’s Keyword Explorer is arguably the best keyword research tool in the market. It’s the perfect mix of usefulness and simplicity.
It delivers you the most necessary information to help you decide which keywords to optimize for your site.
At the same time, it doesn’t overload you with suggestions and ideas that might lead you astray from you research.
Con: Confusing features
Some of the options that you can access from the Campaigns section repeat in the menu.
For example, the Page Optimization under Campaigns is the same as On-Page Grader.
The difference between the two is, you can only run pages of the site you’re tracking with the Page Optimization. For the On-Page Grader, you run run pages from any site.
At first, it’s confusing that they have to create a same feature outside of the Campaigns section and make it look like Moz Pro has more features than it actually has.
Eventually, you will get used to its workflow long enough.
Still, there must be a better way to present them without separating creating a separate set of features for the Campaigns section.
Take a look at Ahrefs – all the options remain the same whichever project you choose. In the middle of analyzing your project, you can go off-tangent and search for competitors using the Site Explorer.
I guess it all boils down to preference. And after using tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush, which have an identical approach to presenting its features to customers, Moz just feels like the odd man out.
Pro: Great link research tool
You can’t go wrong with Moz’s link research function. It’s a staple among SEOs and even has a free version that everybody can use (provided they have a Moz account).
The biggest asset that Moz has over other SEO tools is the Domain Authority. And it is in full display when analyzing links because you can see the DA of all the sites with links back to yours.
As a link profile analyzer, this metric alongside Domain Links and Spam Score makes it easy for you to determine your and your competitors’ best links.
Also, you can find link opportunities using the Link Intersect feature. Compare link profiles of different sites to see links that they have that you don’t.
Con: Limited Standard plan
If you’re a blogger or a site owner, then Moz’s Standard plan is the perfect plan for you. It’s affordable enough to help you conduct SEO research and analysis to improve your site’s keyword rankings.
However, there will come to a point that the Standard Plan won’t be enough, especially if your site keeps growing.
My main gripe is the inconsistencies in the limit of queries. The 150 keyword queries a month is too small while the 5,000 backlink queries feels too generous.
Of course, you can just upgrade your Moz plan to enjoy more query limits. But some people aren’t ready to make the leap yet.
Worst case scenario is they jump off Moz to use a different SEO tool that gives them more limits.
Pro: Simple and intuitive
Once you get over the initial confusion over its features, you will find that Moz is one of the most user-friendly tools in the market.
It shows you enough data to provide you with solid insights about your website that are actionable.
Some tools lump results after results for every query. As you result, you are let dumbfounded and paralyzed due to information overload.
So, if you’re an SEO newbie, then Moz’s presentation of data and information should be appealing to you. It will help you make decisions to improve your site faster.
Frequently asked questions
What is Moz tool?
Moz Pro is your all-in-one SEO tool to help you increase your keyword rankings and traffic. It includes keyword research, link analysis, rank tracking, and more. Alon with Ahrefs and SEMrush, Moz Pro is one of the most popular SEO software in the market.
What does Moz stand for?
Moz is not an acronym and it doesn’t stand for anything significant. However, the inspiration for Moz, according to founder Rand Fishkin, is from brands like Mozilla and DMoz that held integrity and transparency as their calling cards. For the longest time, Moz aspired to do the same in the field of SEO.
Is Moz free?
You can sign up for a free Moz account where you can use the Open Site Explorer with a 10 monthly queries limit. Other than that, you need to subscribe to one of their plan to enjoy its other features.
How much does Moz Local cost?
Below are the pricing plans for this software:
- Basic – $129/year
- Plus – $199/year
- Complete – $299/month
I did not review this because it is a separate product from Moz Pro. You can read more about it here.
What is MozRank?
MozRank computes for the quality of your link profile on a scale of 0 to 10 (10 being the highest). The higher the MozRank, the more authoritative your link profile is.
How much is Moz Pro?
Below is the breakdown of Moz Pro’s pricing plans:
- Standard – $99/month
- Medium – $179/month
- Large – $249/month
- Premium – $599/month
Lower-tier plans are ideal for bloggers or site owners who want to grow their site’s organic reach. Higher plans are perfect for SEO agencies who use Moz to help their clients.
What is a good SEO score?
Using Moz, a domain with a high DA (at least 30) is a good enough value. That means the site is an authority in its niche or industry.
The minimum DA for a good SEO score will depend on the competition. If the average DA of your top competitors is higher than 30, then you have to perform better to reach the same figure, if not surpass it.
Moz Pro review: Verdict
Moz is easily one of the most influential SEO tools in the market.
It’s one of the first that offered a wide range of features to help brands and businesses push atop organic search. And based on this review, it still possess options that even the best SEOs will have a use or two for.
Also, I can’t think of a better software to recommend than Moz if you’re an SEO beginner.
The intuitive and clean UI makes SEO analysis easy. Also, the data provided is enough to help you decide your next course of action.
A Simple and Easy Way to Do SEO
Moz Pro gives you all the tools to conduct SEO research and increase your search traffic
Now, onto the most important question:
How does this stack up against the current wave of SEO tools?
Honestly, Moz Pro is no longer the king of the mountain and hasn’t been for a long time.
SEOs are much more savvy nowadays and demand more information and data from their research.
Unfortunately, while Moz offers the information you need, it doesn’t give you everything.
Simply put, Moz doesn’t have enough juice to satisfy data-starved marketers.
I guess shifting its focus exclusively to SEO is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, Moz can narrow down their resources to increase the search traffic of their customers.
On the other, they exclude digital marketing practices like content marketing and social media off your site.
There is a relationship that exists among these disciplines and SEO. For example, to rank higher on organic search, you have to create compelling posts that’s not just optimized for search engines.
So, without options on Moz Pro to help you achieve this and more, it creates a gap in your overall strategy.
Nonetheless there are a few things that keep Moz relevant.
One of them is the Domain Authority.
It’s arguably the best all-encompassing and reliable SEO metric that measures a site’s quality.
And Moz Pro display it in full effect when analyzing a site’s link profile.
Also, the Keyword Explorer is arguably the best tool out there for researching keyword metrics.
Again, Moz Pro focuses on delivering information to users in the simplest way possible. And you can’t fault them for that.
But with other tools providing more data and offering more value as a result, Moz Pro became too simple for their own good.