You might have heard about the SISTRIX Toolbox and wondered just what it can do to assist your organisation’s search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts.
Well, the truth is that this handy SEO suite can be used for everything from comparing your site’s visibility with that of rival sites to the monitoring of keyword changes and the uncovering of potential backlinks – to name just some of the functionality to which it might take you a while to become fully accustomed.
SISTRIX was introduced in Germany in 2008 and since seen increasingly widespread use across Europe. But what else do you need to know about this tool as a website owner, and how can you get the best out of it?
An introduction to the Visibility Index
Although SISTRIX consists of a series of modules – on which we elaborate below – the tool is very much based around what is known as the Visibility Index, which provides a score for every domain on the basis of its visibility within the Google SERPs for a given targeted country.
This deceptively simple measure is great for evaluating where you’re going right and where you’re going wrong with your site’s SEO, allowing you to clearly see not only how your domain compares to its online competitors, but also the effects of Google algorithm changes.
SISTRIX uses the top 100 positions for a million different keywords to calculate the Visibility Index on a twice-weekly basis – once for mobile and once for desktop. Keyword data is crawled throughout the week, with the Visibility Index scores then being calculated over the weekend.
What modules make up SISTRIX?
The SISTRIX Toolbox consists of six primary modules, ranging from ‘SEO’ for such functionality as the analysis and optimisation of organic search results, right through to ‘Optimizer’, the on-page analysis module that enables the evaluation of keyword sets.
In-between those, you will also find such modules as ‘Universal’, which enables the evaluation of Universal Search Integrations within a search query such as photos and news, and ‘Links’, which gives you insight into the backlink profile of not only your own site, but also your rivals.
Another module, ‘Ads’, allows you to evaluate a website’s banner campaigns, and then there’s ‘Social’, which is similarly self-explanatory with its focus on analysing social signals for the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ platforms.
The basics of using SISTRIX
With SISTRIX offering such an incredible wealth of features and functionalities, it’s easy to become overwhelmed as a new user. The best place to start is therefore probably the overview section, typing in the domain – minus the www. – that you wish to investigate.
You’ll soon be presented with a feast of information, including a large graph showing the given domain’s Visibility Index. As SISTRIX has been developing this aspect of the suite since 2010, you can see how a specific domain’s visibility has changed over time, and how it is likely to change in future.
However, it’s one matter to know your own domain’s current Visibility Index, and quite another to put such data into perspective by comparing it to the scores of rival sites and judging whether your competitors could be impacting on your site’s visibility. All of this can be done by using the Visibility Index as a benchmark.
With just a few clicks, it’s a straightforward process to compare your domain with as many as three competitor sites – and the more rival sites to which you compare your domain, the better you will be able to contextualise your domain’s data.
Examining market share
The SISTRIX Toolbox is great for keeping abreast of competitor visibility so that you can investigate the actions of better-scoring sites, and it’s worth remembering that the natural fluctuations that occur over time can often be attributed as strongly to competitors’ actions as they can be to your own measures.
Your site’s visibility may therefore be adversely impacted at certain points by your rivals simply doing a better job. Again, such trends can be observed in SISTRIX, enabling you to take a closer look at the competitor that is outperforming you, analysing its backlinks and content in search of any opportunities to mimic their methods so that you can wrestle back some market share.
Use the Visibility Index to ask – and answer – the big, pressing questions about your domain and its competitors, including what the market share is between you and your rivals in the SERPs, how your competitors are affecting your domain and how your domain is affecting your competitors.
SISTRIX can be an indispensable partner
With all of the above said about SISTRIX, what do we think about it? Well, we certainly find it to be an invaluable tool for the best in SEO monitoring, keyword research and competitor analysis.
The Toolbox offers a wide range of benefits, including the freedom to subscribe to only those modules that you require. You can use the suite’s sections together or individually, depending – for example – on whether you are undertaking a complete site audit or wish to focus on a particular problem area.
There are all manner of nice little ‘touches’ in SISTRIX, such as the ‘pins’ that enable you to see when Google algorithm updates have occurred and how your site has been affected by them. The Optimizer module, meanwhile, allows you to add as many as 1,000 keywords that can be labelled for specific projects or areas of your site.
One disadvantage of the Toolbox is that it isn’t quite the self-explanatory beginner-friendly suite that you might have expected from a glance at the SISTRIX website, or at least, not until you have developed a decent understanding of certain elements of SEO.
Talk to Pod Digital about getting the best out of SISTRIX
Here at Pod Digital, we make extensive use of the SISTRIX Toolbox’s features and are appreciative of the overview that it gives us of a client domain’s visibility, keywords and competitors, which enables us to examine backlink profiles and undertake vital on-page analysis.
Contact our team now to learn more about how we can leverage the undeniably in-depth and wide-ranging functionality of SISTRIX to help ensure that we deliver the best possible results for your own brand’s online presence.